BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A federal judge Friday allowed a wolf- and coyote-shooting derby to proceed on public land in Idaho this weekend, ruling its organizers aren't required to get a special permit from the U.S. Forest Service.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A tall man and a slender woman wiggled into their white hazardous materials suits, putting on protective masks and gloves before venturing into the dark, two-story home where police say a methamphetamine lab recently exploded.
NEW YORK (AP) - The heated debate over the National Security Agency's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records fell squarely into the courts Friday, when a federal judge in Manhattan upheld the legality of the program and cited its need in the fight against terrorism just days after another federal judge concluded it was likely not constitutional.
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.
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.
NEW YORK (AP) - The man who became known as the "20th hijacker" from the Sept. 11 attacks wants to testify in lawsuits filed by victims of terrorism.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 172 people on a cruise ship arriving in California on Sunday have fallen ill with the highly contagious norovirus during a nearly monthlong trip.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - With his infant son clinging to life, Chris Picco picked up a guitar and sang softly to the boy, urging him to "mend those broken wings and learn to fly."
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) - A surgeon working in Sierra Leone has been diagnosed with Ebola and will be flown Saturday to the United States for treatment, officials from Sierra Leone and the United States said.