CUSTOMS SEIZES RUBBER DUCKS FOR CHEMICAL SAFETY: LOS ANGELES (AP) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Southern California have seized nearly 36,000 Chinese rubber ducks that contain levels of a chemical that may be unhealthful for children.
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A Nevada woman survived on snow and tomatoes for nearly a week and found shelter in a hollowed-out tree after she became stranded in a winter storm and her boyfriend died trying to find help, a family member said.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who was elected as the state's chief executive as a Republican and then ran for the U.S. Senate as an independent, announced on Twitter on Friday night that he's switching to the Democratic Party.
PHOENIX (AP) - Lottery officials announced Friday that a married man in his 30s from a wealthy Phoenix suburb has claimed his half of the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot, deciding to collect the winnings now and not next year because of the nation's looming fiscal cliff.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Investigators who spent hours interviewing an Alaska serial killer say he may have murdered close to a dozen people, and that he killed for pleasure and was only conflicted about how his notoriety would affect his loved ones.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The 2012 presidential election broke the $2 billion milestone in its final weeks, becoming the most expensive in American political history, according to final federal finance reports released Thursday. The reports detailed a last-minute cascade of money from mega-donors and an onslaught of spending by the Obama and Romney campaigns and "super" political action committees.
SEATTLE (AP) - A man pleaded guilty Thursday to plotting an attack on a Seattle military complex with machine guns and grenades.
SEATTLE (AP) - People openly lit joints under the Space Needle and on Seattle's sidewalks - then blew the smoke at TV news cameras. To those looking to "get baked," the city's police department suggested pizza and a "Lord of the Rings" movie marathon.
NEW BATAAN, Philippines (AP) - The Philippine government's geological hazard maps show why this farming community was largely washed away by a strong typhoon: "highly susceptible to flooding and landslides." That didn't stop some villagers from rebuilding even with bodies still lying under the mud.
FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) - President Barack Obama, trying to put a personal touch on "fiscal cliff" negotiations, visited a northern Virginia family's basement apartment Thursday to press his hard line on tax rate increases for the wealthy.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Jim DeMint, patron saint of the tea party and a would-be Republican kingmaker, announced suddenly Thursday he would resign his South Carolina seat to head Washington's conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, a shift that reverberated through a soul-searching GOP.
MAINE MALL SACKS SANTA AFTER RUDENESS COMPLAINTS: SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A mall in Maine has sacked Santa Claus after children and parents complained he was rude, grumpy and wouldn't even let one child sit on his lap.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - George Zimmerman sued NBC on Thursday, claiming he was defamed when the network edited his 911 call to police after the shooting of Trayvon Martin to make it sound like he was racist.
AUTOPSY: BORDER PATROL AGENT FIRED GUN 10 TIMES: SAN DIEGO (AP) - A Border Patrol agent in Southern California who shot and killed a mother of five after she hit him with her vehicle fired his gun 10 times from the hood of her car as he tried to get the woman to stop, according to an autopsy report released Thursday.
HONOLULU (AP) - Ray Emory could not accept that more than one quarter of the 2,400 Americans who died at Pearl Harbor were buried, unidentified, in a volcanic crater.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Brittany Maynard's mother is responding angrily to criticism from the Vatican of Maynard's decision to end her life early under an Oregon law written to let terminally ill patients die on their own terms.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - WhatsApp, the globally popular instant messaging system owned by Facebook, has begun using a powerful new encryption program aimed at protecting users' conversations from unwanted surveillance and snooping.
OCEAN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A pedestrian who was struck by a car in southern New Jersey and then became lodged in the vehicle's windshield has died.
ATLANTA (AP) - Home Depot's third-quarter profit rose 14 percent as comparable-store sales climbed in the U.S., suggesting that a huge data breach announced exactly two months ago has not shaken the faith of its customers.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California, two of California's largest health insurers, misled customers about the number of doctors in their networks under plans sold through the state's insurance marketplace, according to a state report released Tuesday.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah woman says she encountered only brief resistance when she recently had her driver's license photo taken while wearing a colander on her head as a religious statement.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Monday and activated the National Guard ahead of a grand jury decision about whether a white police officer will be charged in the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
BOSTON (AP) - When police in Junction City, Kansas, stopped a beat-up pickup truck for speeding in June 2013, the driver got a lot more than a traffic ticket: The stop led authorities to Massachusetts and Arizona, where they said they found about $15 million in cash, almost 400 pounds of marijuana and ledgers detailing drug deals going back to 1992.
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Should tour guides in Washington have to prove they know James Madison from James Monroe? Should those in New Orleans take tests on the difference between Creole and Cajun?
BOSTON (AP) - Lawsuits filed Monday against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill argue that affirmative action policies should be banned at colleges across the nation.
BERNALILLO, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico middle school teacher is facing charges that allege he threatened a student with a knife for talking during a pop quiz, police said Monday.
HUNTER SHOOTS AT DEAD DEER ON CART, HITS OTHER MAN: EAST FISHKILL, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say a man who had shot a deer in the Hudson Valley woods was hauling it away on a cart when he was wounded by second hunter firing at the dead animal.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A surgeon who contracted Ebola in his native Sierra Leone did not receive aggressive treatment until nearly two weeks after he first started showing symptoms - a delay that doctors said probably made it impossible for anyone to save his life.
BEIRUT (AP) - The Islamic State group has beheaded Peter Kassig, releasing a video Sunday showing a masked militant standing over the severed head of a man it said was the former U.S. Army Ranger-turned-aid worker, who was seized while delivering relief supplies in Syria last year.
PROSSER, Wash. (AP) - Washington state's first marijuana auction brought in about $600,000.