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.
DELANO (AP) - A guard on duty in the yard of a central California prison was shot by someone outside the facility, and a suspect is still at large, authorities said Tuesday.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - An appeals court decision striking down punitive water pricing that was intended to encourage conservation had water agencies reviewing rates Tuesday and some residents exploring whether to bring similar challenges.
BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore's top police officials, mayor and prosecutor sought to calm a "community on edge" Monday while investigating how a man suffered a fatal spine injury while under arrest. Six officers have been suspended, but investigators say they still don't know how it happened.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - When Guled Ali Omar made up his mind to join the Islamic State group, authorities said, he wasn't easily deterred.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Several residents of a tiny southeast Missouri town said Monday they don't believe the abrupt resignations of five of six members of the police force after the longtime mayor, a white man, lost to a black woman have anything to do with racism.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah man has been arrested after authorities say a hidden video camera in the home where he was staying captured him violently beating a cat.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The video from the camera attached to the officer's stun gun shows how David Kassick died, authorities say: two bullets, four seconds apart, fired into his back as he lay face down.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Every day when Dr. Rosslyn Biggs goes to work as a federal government veterinarian she is reminded of her mother, one of 168 people killed in the Oklahoma City bombing and honored Sunday on the 20th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil until Sept. 11, 2001.
WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia (AP) - The last man to shoot an American president now spends most of the year in a house overlooking the 13th hole of a golf course in a gated community.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The first woman to serve as both governor and U.S. senator is backing a campaign to put a female face on the $20 bill.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A family was awarded the rights to 10 rare gold coins possibly worth $80 million or more on Friday after a U.S. appeals court overturned a jury verdict.
Q: I am about to turn 62. I am trying to decide if I want to retire and take my Social Security now; or wait until age 66 to get higher benefits. I know everyone has to make a similar decision. But I have a bit of a twist. I have a 14-year-old daughter, and I know she is due benefits on my account until she is 18. I am wondering: Can I file for her Social Security now and defer my own until age 66? Or can I "file and suspend" my benefits so that she can get hers?
CUPERTINO (AP) - If you're planning on buying the new Apple Watch, don't expect to walk into a store and leave with one next week.
KANSAS CITY (AP) - A new customer strategy for Sprint: Phone setup in your house.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Google is about to change the way its influential search engine recommends websites on smartphones in a shift that's expected to sway where millions of people shop, eat and find information.