WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) - The end of unemployment checks for more than a million people on Saturday is driving out-of-work Americans to consider selling cars, moving and taking minimum wage work after already slashing household budgets and pawning personal possessions to make ends meet.
DENVER (AP) - A gleaming white Apple store of weed is how Andy Williams sees his new Denver marijuana dispensary.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The Boy Scouts of America will accept openly gay youths starting on New Year's Day, a historic change that has prompted the BSA to ponder a host of potential complications - ranging from policies on tentmates and showers to whether Scouts can march in gay pride parades.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Nevada officials have launched a new bid to give Mark Twain recognition in the state where he assumed his pen name 150 years ago, but it doesn't come without opposition.
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Staring at a sixth day without power in a house as cold as a refrigerator, a frustrated John Johnson finally was able to borrow a generator from a neighbor Friday.
FAIRFIELD, Ohio (AP) - A southwest Ohio teacher who allegedly responded after a black high school freshman said he wanted to become president that the nation doesn't need another black president has been disciplined.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A federal judge Friday allowed a wolf- and coyote-shooting derby to proceed on public land in Idaho this weekend, ruling its organizers aren't required to get a special permit from the U.S. Forest Service.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A tall man and a slender woman wiggled into their white hazardous materials suits, putting on protective masks and gloves before venturing into the dark, two-story home where police say a methamphetamine lab recently exploded.
NEW YORK (AP) - The heated debate over the National Security Agency's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records fell squarely into the courts Friday, when a federal judge in Manhattan upheld the legality of the program and cited its need in the fight against terrorism just days after another federal judge concluded it was likely not constitutional.
NO BEER LED TO CERAMIC SQUIRREL STABBING: NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina authorities say a 44-year-old woman angry at a man for returning home without beer on Christmas beat and stabbed him with a ceramic squirrel.
NEW YORK (AP) - Electricians working atop a New York City skyscraper on Friday installed the last of the 2,688 crystal triangles that give the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball its shimmer, including a panel dreamt up by a 12-year-old former cancer patient.
DENVER (AP) - The first batch of Denver businesses approved to sell recreational marijuana got their licenses Friday, the owners mugging for pictures and saying they never thought they'd see the day when they'd get a permit to sell pot.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Call it throwing the book at the bookworms.
SC GOV. HALEY GETS A BERETTA PISTOL FOR CHRISTMAS: COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Santa was apparently right on target for Christmas for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
CHICAGO (AP) - Early blasts of snow, ice and below-zero temperatures haven't stopped a surprising number of Chicago cyclists from spinning through the slush this winter, thanks in part to a city so serious about accommodating them that it deploys mini-snow plows to clear bike lanes.
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) - Your next commuter car could have two seats, three wheels and get 84 miles to the gallon.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Hundreds of thousands of people turned out Saturday for one of the highlights of Pope Francis' trip to South Korea: The beatification of 124 Koreans killed for their faith over two centuries ago.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Three Kentucky death row inmates should get another chance to show they have the right to a sweat lodge, powwow and traditional foods to conduct Native American religious ceremonies behind bars at the prison, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.
BERKELEY (AP) - There may be itsy-bitsy aliens among us.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Highway Patrol seized control of a St. Louis suburb Thursday, stripping local police of their law-enforcement authority after four days of clashes between officers in riot gear and furious crowds protesting the death of an unarmed black teen shot by an officer.
FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey ex-con was charged with strangling his cousin and her 10-year-old foster daughter after the woman found him taking pornographic pictures of the girl, authorities said Thursday.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - A recently fired casino security guard used his knowledge of when and where large sums of money would change hands to help plan and pull off a daring robbery that netted more than $180,000, authorities said Thursday.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - City workers wearing gloves - and a few in face masks - threw sofas, armchairs and quilts into garbage trucks Thursday, clearing out a homeless encampment of about 160 people. Officials said it attracted rats and called it a public health hazard.
PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona high school teacher who feared she was too inebriated to drive took a cab to work, then continued drinking throughout the day until students alerted administrators that she was cursing and yelling at them, authorities said Thursday.
HIDALGO, Texas (AP) - The first wave of National Guard troops has taken up observation posts along the Texas-Mexico border.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Paramedics attended to a man who was bleeding from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, then left him to be taken to the morgue, saying his injuries were "not compatible with life," according to police documents.
• MASSACHUSETTS TO USE MORE HUMOR ON HIGHWAY SIGNS: BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Thursday announced the winners of a contest to come up with humorous yet important driver safety messages for electronic highway message boards.
ATLANTA (AP) - Coca-Cola is buying a 16.7 percent stake in Monster Beverage for $2.15 billion, with the world's biggest soda maker hoping to benefit from the surging popularity of energy drinks.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. cut its annual profit outlook on Thursday amid sluggish sales, higher-than-expected health care costs and the need to invest more in its e-commerce operations.
NEW YORK (AP) - General Electric confirmed that it is considering the sale of its historic appliance division, part of its effort to focus on selling more complex and profitable industrial equipment.