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.
HOUSTON (AP) - A white Houston-area man was arrested Thursday on federal hate crimes charges for allegedly shooting video of himself sucker-punching a 79-year-old black man in a "knockout game"-style attack.
PHOENIX (AP) - Two men were arrested Christmas Day on opposite sides of the country after they breached perimeters at major airports, raising questions about security measures and whether more needs to be done to protect the nation's transit hubs.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Pastor Mike Butzberger insists he only had holiday spirit in mind when his Florida church's marquee read: "Christmas - Easier to spell than Hanukkah."
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Members of the Ramapough Native American tribe have filed a $50 million lawsuit against the makers of a recent Hollywood movie they say depicts their people in a negative light.
LITCHFIELD, Maine (AP) - Utility crews from Maine to Michigan and into Canada worked Wednesday to restore power to more than half a million homes left in the dark by last weekend's ice storm, and people slowly trickled out of shelters to spend Christmas Day at their finally warm homes.
WEST READING, Pa. (AP) - A terminally ill girl who received support from thousands of Christmas carolers outside her home over the weekend died early on Christmas morning, her family said.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Las Vegas cab driver Gerardo Gamboa thought someone left a bag of chocolates in the back seat of his vehicle, but the stash turned out to be $300,000 in cold hard cash.
CHICAGO (AP) - Nik Wallenda is all about spectacle, a showman who crossed Niagara Falls and an Arizona gorge on a high wire and now has his sights on Chicago's iconic skyscrapers - partly because of the city's reputation for being windy.
HONOLULU (AP) - Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory have been monitoring every twist and turn of lava creeping unpredictably toward communities in a rural and isolated Big Island district.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Americans suffer needless discomfort and undergo unwanted and costly care as they die, in part because of a medical system ruled by "perverse incentives" for aggressive care and not enough conversation about what people want, according to a report released Wednesday.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Police in Philadelphia say a man used a banana he swiped from a convenience store counter to simulate a gun while he robbed the place.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - A New York woman was sentenced to eight years in federal prison Wednesday for supplying guns to a former neighbor who used them to kill his sister and two firefighters in a Christmas Eve ambush that also caused seven homes to burn to the ground.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A SUV full of teenagers crashed in Idaho after one of the passengers lit the driver's armpit hair on fire with a lighter, authorities said Wednesday.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Airmen taking their enlistment or officer appointment oaths can omit the words "so help me God" if they choose, Air Force officials announced Wednesday.
WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) - A 14-year-old high school freshman in Washington state has been charged with second-degree rape after prosecutors say he sexually assaulted three students on a football team bus trip.
CHICAGO (AP) - Federal prosecutors seeking to put the billionaire creator of Beanie Babies in prison for hiding millions in Swiss bank accounts told appellate court judges Wednesday that the toymaker's sentence of probation threatens to erode the judicial system's ability to deter other tax evaders.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a last-day appeal from a Texas woman convicted of the starvation and torture death of her girlfriend's 9-year-old son a decade ago, clearing the way for her execution.
DENVER (AP) - Tired of Cheech & Chong pot jokes and ominous anti-drug campaigns, the marijuana industry and activists are starting an ad blitz in Colorado aimed at promoting moderation and the safe consumption of pot.
CHICAGO (AP) - Editors and reporters meeting in Chicago raised concerns Wednesday about what they described as a lack of access and transparency undermining journalists' work, several blaming the current White House for setting standards for secrecy that are spreading nationwide.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal health experts said Wednesday there is little evidence that testosterone-boosting drugs are effective for treating common signs of aging in men and that their use should be narrowed to exclude millions of Americans currently taking them.
DALLAS (AP) - Growth in online shopping is boosting profit at FedEx, and the company plans to hire more than 50,000 extra workers to handle what is shaping up as another record year for holiday-season package deliveries.
NEW YORK (AP) - Pizza Hut is testing out a lighter pizza in two U.S. markets as it seeks to freshen up its menu and regain its footing against competitors.