NEW YORK (AP) - For a significant number of Americans, Christmas has largely lost its religious meaning, becoming an occasion focused instead on visiting family and friends and exchanging gifts, according to a new survey released Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - Bernie Goetz said he thought he was going to be mugged by a man who turned out to be a plainclothes cop arresting him in a low-level drug sting - the same explanation he used nearly three decades ago when he opened fire on four panhandling youths on a subway train.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Police think a suicidal gunman was on a mission of violence when he calmly entered a third-floor urology office and opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun, killing one doctor, critically wounding another and shooting a third victim after warning patients and their children in a waiting area to "get out."
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont city of only 17,000 souls just smashed the national one-day record for blood donations - and it's likely to stand for quite a while.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Consumers anxious over tight insurance deadlines and lingering computer problems during the holidays will get extra time to pay their premiums under President Barack Obama's health care law, insurers announced Wednesday.
CHICAGO (AP) - Many older adults with high blood pressure can be treated less aggressively, which could mean taking fewer pills to get it under control, according to new treatment guidelines from an expert panel. But not all experts are on board with the advice - including the federal agency that appointed the group.
PURPORTED ZIMMERMAN ARTWORK LISTED ON AUCTION SITE: ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Artwork reportedly created by George Zimmerman is attracting bids of more than $100,000 on eBay.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA has ordered up a series of urgent spacewalks to fix a broken cooling line at the International Space Station, a massive repair job that could stretch to Christmas Day.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee man is charged with two counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting a motorcyclist several times and backing his SUV into another - after almost hitting them as they exited an interstate.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to an estimated $636 million for Tuesday night's drawing, making it the second largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
HOUSTON HOTEL DISPLAYS HALF-TON CHOCOLATE SANTA: HOUSTON (AP) - Santa Claus has come to town in Houston and he's sweeter than your average holiday fellow.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A suicidal gunman opened fire at a Reno hospital campus Tuesday, killing one person, wounding two others and sending police on a door-to-door search within the facility amid the chaos.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - President Barack Obama sent Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with who he is - and isn't - sending to represent the United States at the Sochi Olympics.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - North Texas prosecutors are trying a second time to imprison a teen who was sentenced last week to 10 years' probation for drunkenly driving his truck into four pedestrians, killing them all.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Year-end legislation to ease Congress' chronic budget brinkmanship and soften across-the-board spending cuts moved to the cusp of final passage Tuesday, a rare display of Senate bipartisanship that masked strong Republican complaints about slicing into military retirement benefits.
CARSON CITY (AP) - The Glenbrook - perhaps the most viewed locomotive in Nevada history - roared to life for the first time in 88 years this week in Carson City.
MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. (AP) - Frances Moore was hired to help out for the holidays at an Alabama jewelry store in 1939, and she's still there.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Gov. Paul LePage's administration is facing a potential loss of federal funding to administer its food stamp program over concerns about the state's decision to put photos on cards used to access the benefits.
MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) - As Bill Cosby's standup tour crumbled with cancellations, the embattled entertainer joked about his usual subjects of family, wives and childhood Friday to a cheering audience that greeted him with a standing ovation as he took the stage and another when he finished.
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) - Ford said Friday that its new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup will get up to 26 mpg on the highway, making it the most fuel efficient gas-powered full-size pickup.
NEW YORK (AP) - This year's flurry of corporate mergers may not pay off for shareholders in the long run, but one thing is for sure: The bosses who are selling their companies will do just fine.
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (AP) - Ruby Holt spent most of her 100 years on a farm in rural Tennessee, picking cotton and raising four children. She never had the time or money to go to a beach.
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) - A Florida woman who came forward Thursday became the fourth in recent weeks to say Bill Cosby gave her pills that made her feel groggy then forced himself on her sexually.
SEATTLE (AP) - A man who had been in prison for nearly two decades was released from custody Thursday, two years after his supposed victim recanted allegations that he molested her.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida State University alumnus and attorney who shot three people at the school's library early Thursday believed the government was targeting him for persecution, detailing his thoughts in a journal and in videos detectives obtained, authorities said.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Philadelphia-area man who once sought food stamps for his service dog was charged with perjury on Wednesday after prosecutors concluded his claims of severe disability were bogus.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Uber Technologies confirmed Wednesday that it is investigating whether one of its general managers violated the popular car-booking service's privacy policies by snooping on a reporter's ride.
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a broad test of his executive powers, President Barack Obama declared Wednesday he will sidestep Congress and order his own federal action on immigration - in measures that could spare from deportation as many as 5 million people illegally in the U.S. and set up one of the most pitched partisan confrontations of his presidency.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Tens of thousands of gun owners from around the country are taking advantage of Utah's concealed firearm permits each year - often taking a required class given by instructors licensed by Utah but who live in other states.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Ten years after banning the use of firing squads in state executions, Utah lawmakers on Wednesday endorsed a proposal to allow the practice again to avoid problems with lethal-injection drugs.