TRYING TO SPREAD CHEER, SANTA IN NH SCARES INSTEAD: HOLLIS, N.H. (AP) - Police in southern New Hampshire say a man dressed as Santa Claus was only trying to spread some cheer but ended up panicking officials when he knocked on school windows and entered the building.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Thursday that will make it harder to force public schools to drop tribal nicknames, pushing aside opponents' charges that the measure is racist.
NEW YORK (AP) - Can an experimental drug developed to treat epilepsy block the AIDS virus? A preliminary lab study suggests it's possible, and researchers are eager to try it in people.
MIAMI (AP) - A month after pleading guilty to cocaine-possession charges, Republican Rep. Trey Radel of Florida refused to resign Thursday, saying he wants to "rebuild the trust" of voters.
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a sharp and unexpected shift, the national debate over U.S. government surveillance seems to be turning in favor of reining in the National Security Agency's expansive spying powers at home and abroad.
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City lawmakers paved the way Thursday for an eventual ban on plastic foam containers, added electronic cigarettes to the city's already stringent smoking bans and approved the creation of a website that will help the public track federal dollars budgeted for Superstorm Sandy-related damages.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A suspect in a deadly hospital shooting in Reno left a suicide note at his home and claimed he had botched surgery three years ago before killing a doctor and himself this week, police said Thursday.
CINCINNATI (AP) - An Ohio judge rebuffed an argument Thursday that traffic cameras make law enforcement more efficient, stating sharply that violating motorists' rights isn't the American way.
McALLEN, Texas (AP) - A federal judge in South Texas said in a recent order that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is assisting in criminal conspiracies to smuggle children into the country when it helps reunite them with parents who are known to be in the U.S. illegally.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the sentences of eight people he said were serving unduly harsh drug sentences in the most expansive use yet of his power to free inmates.
OKLA. MAN PROPOSES TO GIRLFRIEND DURING ARREST: ELK CITY, Okla. (AP) - Talk about a marriage proposal to remember.
SEATTLE (AP) - Figuring out how much marijuana people use has been one of the trickiest, and most important, questions facing the bureaucrats who are setting up Washington state's new legal pot system.
Wildlife advocate pleads guilty to poaching
RENO (AP) - A 39-year-old man who received asylum in the U.S. from India has been arrested in northern Nevada and accused of helping to plot terror strikes in the Punjab region of his home country on the border with Pakistan, federal officials said Wednesday.
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.
ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - A Mississippi man who was once declared dead, only to resurface as a suspect in a kidnapping and killing, was sentenced to death Friday after a jury earlier convicted him of murder.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - A man who has bumps resembling horns implanted in his forehead was found guilty of murder and other charges Friday for his role in the kidnapping and slaying of three Massachusetts men in 2011.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina inmate with mental illness who died of thirst was held in solitary confinement for 35 days and cited twice for flooding his cell, according to prison records.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina state trooper's dashboard video shows an unarmed driver being shot just seconds after he was stopped for a seatbelt offense - and the trooper, who was fired last week, has now been charged with assault.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Eric Holder, America's first black attorney general and an unflinching champion of civil rights in enforcing the nation's laws, announced his resignation Thursday after leading the Justice Department since the first days of President Barack Obama's term. He is the fourth-longest-serving attorney general in U.S. history.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A powerful earthquake shook a large swath of Alaska on Thursday morning, knocking things off shelves and causing people to take cover but bringing no immediate reports of injuries or major damage.
BEIRUT (AP) - When the United States opened its aerial campaign against the Islamic State group in Syria this week, its first salvo also hit an al-Qaida cell it says was planning terror attacks - a move that has injected more chaos into the conflict and could help President Bashar Assad.
POLICE: BURGLAR KILLS ACCOMPLICE OVER STOLEN ITEMS: WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina authorities say a burglar fatally shot his accomplice after the two men argued about how to split up the stolen goods.
CARPINTERIA (AP) - A California woman is recovering from scratches, a bite and a broken rib after being attacked by a black bear that chased her dogs through an avocado grove.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI director on Thursday criticized the decision by Apple and Google to encrypt smartphones data so it can be inaccessible to law enforcement, even with a court order.
CUPERTINO (AP) - Apple's response to a high-profile gaffe involving its iPhone software may be more important than the glitch itself.