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.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Amazon said Wednesday that it is prepared to go to court against the Federal Trade Commission to defend itself against charges that it has not done enough to prevent children from making unauthorized in-app purchases.
LONDON (AP) - British regulators are investigating revelations that Facebook treated hordes of its users like laboratory rats in an experiment probing into their emotions.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper is betting that bitcoins will bring more financial stability to countries with shaky economies, even though the digital currency faces an uncertain future itself.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Two major Las Vegas resorts will be completely overhauled and rebranded in another sign that the entertainment capital is emerging from its recession doldrums.
NEW YORK (AP) - Target is "respectfully" asking its customers to not bring firearms into its stores, even where it is allowed by law.
LAGRANGE, Ohio (AP) - The death of a healthy high school student initially baffled the local coroner until testing of a white powdery substance found in his home came back as caffeine.
DETROIT (AP) - A man who was punched in the head over the weekend while refereeing an adult-league soccer match in suburban Detroit died Tuesday, authorities and a longtime friend of the referee said.
LAKE HAVASU CITY, Arizona (AP) - The London Bridge is not falling down, despite a British tabloid saying that the western Arizona tourist attraction could be bulldozed to make way for drug tourism.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Searchers recovered the body of a teenager who was swept into a storm drain in Cedar Rapids by fast-moving flood waters, a tragic end to an intense daylong search, authorities said Tuesday.
GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Maryland woman poisoned her young sons with eye drops and faces charges of aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children, Pennsylvania police said.
CHAMBLEE, Ga. (AP) - Three men who scaled a median and tried to cross about a dozen lanes of a metro Atlanta freeway were struck and killed by a pickup early Tuesday, snarling traffic into rush hour and puzzling police, who said they were unsure why the group made the risky move.
• POLICE CHARGE PA. MAN FOUND DRIBBLING ALONG I-78: BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) - A 22-year-old Pennsylvania man faces charges after police encountered him dribbling a basketball along Interstate 78 near Bethlehem.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama defiantly dared congressional Republicans on Tuesday to try to block his efforts to act on his own and bypass a divided Congress that has thwarted his policy initiatives.
NEW YORK (AP) - A former New York Police Department officer left jail on Tuesday after a judge stunned prosecutors and overturned his conviction in a sensational case accusing him of plotting on the Internet to kidnap, kill and eat young women, including his wife.
GILBERT, Ariz. (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will decide whether an Arizona town violates the First Amendment by restricting where and when a church can place signs advertising Sunday morning services.