NO BEER LED TO CERAMIC SQUIRREL STABBING: NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina authorities say a 44-year-old woman angry at a man for returning home without beer on Christmas beat and stabbed him with a ceramic squirrel.
NEW YORK (AP) - Electricians working atop a New York City skyscraper on Friday installed the last of the 2,688 crystal triangles that give the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball its shimmer, including a panel dreamt up by a 12-year-old former cancer patient.
DENVER (AP) - The first batch of Denver businesses approved to sell recreational marijuana got their licenses Friday, the owners mugging for pictures and saying they never thought they'd see the day when they'd get a permit to sell pot.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Call it throwing the book at the bookworms.
SC GOV. HALEY GETS A BERETTA PISTOL FOR CHRISTMAS: COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Santa was apparently right on target for Christmas for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
CHICAGO (AP) - Early blasts of snow, ice and below-zero temperatures haven't stopped a surprising number of Chicago cyclists from spinning through the slush this winter, thanks in part to a city so serious about accommodating them that it deploys mini-snow plows to clear bike lanes.
HOUSTON (AP) - A white Houston-area man was arrested Thursday on federal hate crimes charges for allegedly shooting video of himself sucker-punching a 79-year-old black man in a "knockout game"-style attack.
PHOENIX (AP) - Two men were arrested Christmas Day on opposite sides of the country after they breached perimeters at major airports, raising questions about security measures and whether more needs to be done to protect the nation's transit hubs.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Pastor Mike Butzberger insists he only had holiday spirit in mind when his Florida church's marquee read: "Christmas - Easier to spell than Hanukkah."
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Members of the Ramapough Native American tribe have filed a $50 million lawsuit against the makers of a recent Hollywood movie they say depicts their people in a negative light.
LITCHFIELD, Maine (AP) - Utility crews from Maine to Michigan and into Canada worked Wednesday to restore power to more than half a million homes left in the dark by last weekend's ice storm, and people slowly trickled out of shelters to spend Christmas Day at their finally warm homes.
WEST READING, Pa. (AP) - A terminally ill girl who received support from thousands of Christmas carolers outside her home over the weekend died early on Christmas morning, her family said.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Las Vegas cab driver Gerardo Gamboa thought someone left a bag of chocolates in the back seat of his vehicle, but the stash turned out to be $300,000 in cold hard cash.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Mailing a letter is about to get a little more expensive.
NEW YORK (AP) - Tablet computers are so easy to use that even a 3-year-old can master them.
SEATTLE (AP) - Shares of Amazon.com Inc. fell Thursday after the e-commerce retailer reported a deeper-than-expected second quarter loss as expenses outpaced a surge in revenue.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Union Pacific Corp. said Thursday that its quarterly profit climbed 17 percent as the railroad hauled 8 percent more freight and raised shipping rates.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The risk of losing your job is getting smaller and smaller.
NEW YORK (AP) - Starbucks said Thursday its revamped breakfast sandwiches and other food offerings helped boost sales at its U.S. cafes.
DETROIT (AP) - Recall expenses chopped $1.5 billion from General Motors' bottom line in the second quarter, as it added up the costs of repairs for nearly 30 million cars and set aside funds to compensate victims of small-car crashes.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Staking out a populist stand ahead of the midterm elections, President Barack Obama on Thursday demanded "economic patriotism" from U.S. corporations that use legal means to avoid U.S. taxes through overseas mergers.
WEST SACRAMENTO (AP) - California's attorney general said Thursday she is helping secure lawyers to represent minors from Central America during immigration hearings.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - A state appeals court on Thursday upheld a proposed route for California's high-speed rail line connecting the San Francisco Bay Area to the Central Valley.
LOS BANOS (AP) - A Central California man has been sentenced to 14 years and eight months in prison following his conviction on charges that he drugged and raped two men.
COTATI (AP) - A rare redwood tree in a small Northern California city will be replanted instead of being sawed down to make way for planned railway tracks.
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Despite widespread drought in the West and expectations of an above-average wildfire season, wildfires have burned less than half the 10-year average area so far this summer.
FRESNO (AP) - State and federal wildlife officials have unveiled ambitious plans aimed at helping endangered salmon and steelhead thrive again in Central California rivers.
PHOENIX (AP) - A condemned Arizona inmate gasped for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Sen. John Walsh of Montana said Wednesday his failure to attribute conclusions and verbatim passages lifted from other scholars' work in his thesis to earn a master's degree from the U.S. Army War College was an unintentional mistake caused in part by post-traumatic stress disorder.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - An 89-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect died in custody hours before a U.S. ruling Wednesday that he should be extradited to Germany to face trial.