AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Surrounded by sleigh bell-ringing Santa Claus impersonators, Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday signed a law protecting Christmas and other holiday celebrations in Texas public schools from legal challenges - but also stressed that freedom of religion is not the same thing as freedom from religion.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Danielle Powell was going through a hard time in the spring of 2011, just months away from graduating from a conservative Christian college in Nebraska. She had fallen in love with another woman, a strictly forbidden relationship at a school where even prolonged hugs were banned.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut woman disfigured by a friend's pet chimpanzee in 2009 was denied permission Friday to sue the state for $150 million on her claim that officials knew the animal was dangerous but didn't do anything about it.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The revelation Friday that a former commander of a Nazi SS-led military unit has lived quietly in Minneapolis for the past six decades came as a shock to people who knew him, prompted harsh condemnations from World War II survivors in the U.S. and Europe, and led prosecutors in Poland to say they would investigate.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Authorities lifted evacuations in a wide swath of terrain outside Colorado Springs on Friday as they said a surprise rain shower helped them expand containment of a wildfire that has destroyed 400 homes.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - One of two Czech-built military training jets that collided in midair while practicing for this fall's National Championship Air Races in Reno had to make a belly landing on the runway with no wheels, but neither pilot was hurt at the airport where 11 people were killed during the finals competition in 2011.
PHOENIX (AP) - A 91-year-old Arizona weightlifter didn't just break a world record for the bench press, he powered through it by 52 pounds.
NORTH BAY VILLAGE, Fla. (AP) - Investigators began examining a twisted pile of concrete, metal and wood on Friday to determine why a waterfront deck at a popular sports bar collapsed into shallow Biscayne Bay, injuring two dozen people gathered to cheer the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A high school football player convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl after an alcohol-fueled party last summer was given the state's second-toughest sex offender classification at a Friday hearing.
BOSTON WOMAN PAYS $560,000 FOR 2 PARKING SPOTS: BOSTON (AP) - Parking is such a precious commodity in Boston that one woman was willing to pay $560,000 for two off-street spaces near her home.
NEW YORK (AP) - There's little wonder why George Orwell's novel "1984" is seeing a resurgence in sales.
CHICAGO (AP) - The generation that's grown up posting their lives online wants a little privacy. That's not what we might expect as we debate just how much access the government should have to our mobile and online lives.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - A San Diego-area teacher says she is losing her job for being the victim of domestic violence.
NEW YORK (AP) - Law enforcement officials nationwide are demanding the creation of a "kill switch" that would render smartphones inoperable after they are stolen, New York's top prosecutor said Thursday in a clear warning to the world's smartphone manufacturers.
POLICE: THIEF GETS STUCK IN MUD AFTER BURGLARY: FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Police say a man who robbed a Foxborough home had to call a tow truck after getting stuck in the mud while making his getaway.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Jackpots like Wednesday's anticipated $400 million-plus Powerball can grant a lot of wishes. But what if you were the only winner, and you had but one chance to blow all that money on a single purchase?
uKANSAS BILL WOULD ALLOW SPANKING THAT LEAVES MARKS: TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas lawmaker is proposing a bill that would allow teachers, caregivers and parents to spank children hard enough to leave marks.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - An 84-year-old nun was sentenced Tuesday to nearly three years in prison for breaking into a nuclear weapons complex and defacing a bunker holding bomb-grade uranium, a demonstration that exposed serious security flaws at the Tennessee plant.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The nation's shortage of execution drugs is becoming increasingly acute as more pharmacies conclude that supplying the lethal chemicals is not worth the bad publicity and the legal and ethical risks.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Wisconsin National Guard announced Tuesday that it had suspended a member from honor guard duties after she apparently posted to social media a photograph of soldiers mugging around an empty, flag-draped casket.
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - The FBI on Tuesday was helping investigate who tied a noose around the neck of a University of Mississippi statue of James Meredith, who, in 1962, became the first black student to enroll in the then all-white Southern college.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A man accused of fatally shooting a 15-year-old girl told investigators he fired his pistol because he wanted to scare a carload of teenagers he believed vandalized his vehicle, Little Rock police said Tuesday.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Police haven't substantiated a newlywed woman's claims that she killed more than 20 people in four states before the killing she's now charged with committing with her husband, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A crew member remained hospitalized Tuesday after violent turbulence triggered "pandemonium" aboard a United Airlines flight into Billings and sent passengers and crew flying through the cabin, according to company representatives and passengers.
CHICAGO (AP) - Doctor ratings are less popular than those of toasters, cars and movies when it comes to online consumer sites. That's according to a survey that found most adults hadn't checked online physician reviews - and most said a conveniently located office and accepting patients' health insurance was more important.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A mother upset about "indecent" T-shirts on display at a Utah mall found a quick if not especially convenient way to remove them: She bought every last one.
NEW YORK (AP) - Coca-Cola's fourth-quarter profit fell as the world's biggest beverage maker once again sold less soda in North America.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Boosting the federal minimum wage as President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are proposing would increase earnings for more than 16.5 million people by 2016 but also cut employment by roughly 500,000 jobs, Congress' nonpartisan budget analyst said Tuesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - The company behind "Candy Crush Saga" is going public, hoping the popularity of its addictive online game will translate to sweet returns for itself and its investors.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Many Americans took on more credit card debt and failed to make timely payments in the final quarter of 2013, when consumers typically crank up spending on holiday shopping.