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.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday issued permits to use drones to monitor crops and photograph properties for sale, marking the first time permission has been granted to companies involved agriculture and real estate.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York's highest court was urged Monday to require medical examiners to inform families when they return autopsied bodies without certain organs.
NEW YORK (AP) - Mayor Bill de Blasio, his administration threatened to be overwhelmed by a rift with rank-and-file New York Police Department officers, on Monday condemned the thousands of cops who turned their backs to him during a pair of funerals for slain police officers.
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A school bus failed to yield to railroad crossing and stop signs and collided with an empty freight train Monday in North Dakota, killing the bus driver and a 17-year-old student and injuring 12 other people, the Highway Patrol said.
DENVER (AP) - Colorado is taking a novel approach to marijuana education - not telling people to avoid the drug, just to use it safely.
BOSTON (AP) - Some of the prospective jurors who could decide Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's fate got their first look Monday at the young man accused of bombing the Boston Marathon, and they seemed transfixed by the sight of the shaggy-haired 21-year-old.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - An Albuquerque police officer shot during a traffic stop of a suspected drunken driver is a 31-year veteran who came out of retirement to work in the department's DWI unit.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House on Monday waded into a controversy over revelations that the House's No. 3 Republican spoke to a white supremacist group 12 years ago, saying who the GOP has in leadership "says a lot about who they are."
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut brewery apologized to Indians offended that the company is using Mohandas Gandhi's name and likeness on one of its beers.
BANK ROBBER USED CHRISTMAS CARD TO DEMAND CASH: DENVILLE, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say a man accused of robbing a New Jersey bank last month made his demand for money in a Christmas card he passed to the teller.
CHALLIS, Idaho (AP) - A 4.9 magnitude earthquake in a remote Idaho county triggered rock slides that blocked some road lanes Saturday but did not cause any major damage or injuries.
CHICAGO (AP) - The Midwest and eastern parts of the U.S. on Sunday braced for Arctic temperatures that were expected to arrive during the next few days.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - While the gadgets of the future are only just arriving in Las Vegas for the annual International CES show, officials at the city's main airport are updating a decades-old terminal to cater to legions of tech-savvy travelers.
NEW YORK (AP) - Thousands of police turned their backs Sunday as Mayor Bill de Blasio eulogized an officer shot dead with his partner, repeating a stinging display of scorn for the mayor despite entreaties to put anger aside.
ANCHORAGE, Alasla (AP) - A photo of Sarah Palin's young son standing on a dog to reach the kitchen sink is drawing sharp reaction.