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.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The governors of California, Oregon and Washington sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewel on Thursday to stress that they don't want the possibility of drilling off of the West Coast.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Americans are wary of granting refugee status to children crossing the U.S. border to flee strife-torn countries in Central America, and most in an Associated Press-GfK poll say the U.S. does not have a moral obligation to accept asylum seekers generally.
WASHINGTON (AP) - House Republicans, scrambling to win conservative support for a bill addressing the immigration crisis on the border, have scheduled a companion vote on legislation to block President Barack Obama from extending deportation relief to any more immigrants here illegally.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A drone carrying cellphones, marijuana and other contraband into a South Carolina maximum-security prison never made it inside the 12-foot-high razor wire fence, and authorities said Wednesday they are looking for one of two people accused in connection with trying to sneak it in.
NEW YORK (AP) - The weather kills at least 2,000 Americans each year and nearly two-thirds of the deaths are from the cold, according to a new government report.
NEW YORK (AP) - It's a ship tied to two critical points in American history: Sept. 11, 2001, and the eve of the Revolutionary War.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida woman who let her 7-year-old son walk alone to a park has been charged with felony child neglect.
CLEVELAND (AP) - A Florida man is accused of trying to suffocate his terminally ill father by holding his hand over the man's nose and mouth at a suburban Cleveland nursing home, police said. The 86-year-old man died a few hours later.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A former IRS official at the center of the agency's tea party controversy referred to some right-wing Republicans as "crazies" and more in emails released Wednesday. A key GOP lawmaker says the remarks show that Lois Lerner was biased against conservative groups and targeted them for extra scrutiny.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas man accused of leaving his 10-month-old foster child in a hot car where she died was charged Wednesday with murder.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A doctor and nurses went to the aid of a 2-month-old baby girl after a Florida mom left the infant in a hot minivan outside a pediatrician's office for about an hour, authorities say.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - A video camera captured the terrifying plight of two women as a freight train bore down on them as they walked along an 80-foot-high railroad bridge in Indiana.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. economy has rebounded with vigor from a grim start to 2014 and should show renewed strength into next year.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Samsung Electronics Co. reported lower-than-expected profit for the second quarter on Thursday and said it was uncertain if handset business profit would improve during the current period.
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) - A southern Indiana sheriff accused of patronizing a prostitute gave the woman a deputy's badge and uniform so she could get hotel discounts, then later encouraged her to get rid of the evidence, authorities said Tuesday.