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Christmas is more cultural than religious for many

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.

December 18, 2013 | | Nation


Bernie Goetz fights pot charge

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.

December 18, 2013 | | Nation


Hospital killer appeared to be on mission

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."

December 18, 2013 | | Nation


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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.

December 18, 2013 | | Nation


Insurers allow more time to pay under law

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.

December 18, 2013 | | Nation


Higher threshold OK in older adults

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.

December 18, 2013 | | Nation


News from around the nation

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.

December 18, 2013 | | Nation


NASA orders urgent space station repairs

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.

December 17, 2013 | | Nation


Tennessee man charged in road-rage shooting

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.

December 17, 2013 | | Nation


Mega Millions jackpot soars to $636 million

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.

December 17, 2013 | | Nation


News from around the nation

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.

December 17, 2013 | | Nation


Gunman kills himself, 1 other at hospital

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.

December 17, 2013 | | Nation


Obama selects gay athletes for delegation

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.

December 17, 2013 | | Nation


DA tries again to put drunken teen behind bars

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.

December 17, 2013 | | Nation


Federal budget heads to final passage

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.

December 17, 2013 | | Nation


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Articles by Section - Nation


20th hijacker’ seeks role in civil cases

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.

November 16, 2014 | | Nation


172 people on cruise ill with norovirus

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.

November 16, 2014 | | Nation


Song to dying infant captures heart of many via Internet

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."

November 14, 2014 | | Nation


Surgeon with Ebola coming to US

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.

November 14, 2014 | | Nation


Improper disability claims cost $2B

WASHINGTON (AP) - A small group of Social Security judges have improperly approved disability claims for nearly 25,000 people who didn't qualify, costing taxpayers $2 billion over the past seven years, government investigators conclude in a report being released Monday.

November 14, 2014 | | Nation


Alaska’s most active volcano starts erupting

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska's most active volcano is spitting lava into the air and producing an ash cloud at low elevations. But unlike Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island, where there's been spectacular images of lava encroaching on a community and burning a home, there's no property at risk in Alaska because of the eruption of Pavlof Volcano.

November 14, 2014 | | Nation


AT&T stops adding Web tracking codes on cellphones

WASHINGTON (AP) - AT&T Mobility, the nation's second-largest cellular provider, said Friday it's no longer attaching hidden Internet tracking codes to data transmitted from its users' smartphones. The practice made it nearly impossible to shield its subscribers' identities online.

November 14, 2014 | | Nation


Microsoft surpasses Exxon as 2nd most valuable company

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The bull run in Microsoft's stock this past year has helped the tech giant surpass Exxon Mobil and seize the rank of the second most valuable company, behind Apple Inc.

November 14, 2014 | | Nation


Hunt for trooper ambush suspect: $11M

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - State police spent about $11 million on the manhunt for a survivalist charged in the ambush slaying of a trooper outside his barracks, according to a cost breakdown released Friday.

November 14, 2014 | | Nation


Vet has government letter declaring him dead

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - An 81-year-old Army veteran from Wisconsin wants the U.S. government to know he's alive and well, despite its information to the contrary.

November 13, 2014 | | Nation


E-cigarette use rising among teens

NEW YORK (AP) - Use of electronic cigarettes by high school students tripled over three years, according to a new government report released Thursday.

November 13, 2014 | | Nation


Ohio man says wife’s remains lost in mail

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The cremated remains of an Ohio woman that were supposed to be delivered to her husband didn't arrive as scheduled or in time for her funeral, and now the U.S. Postal Service is trying to figure out what happened to the package.

November 13, 2014 | | Nation


Ex-CEO of mine where blast killed 29 indicted

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Don Blankenship, the steely-eyed executive once dubbed "The Dark Lord of Coal Country," on Thursday became the highest-ranking coal official to face federal charges in the nation's deadliest mine disaster in 40 years.

November 13, 2014 | | Nation


CRUDE OIL & RAW POLITICS

WASHINGTON (AP) - In a blend of crude oil and raw politics, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu scrapped on Thursday for converts among fellow Democrats for legislation to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline before a runoff election that threatens to end her career in Congress.

November 13, 2014 | | Nation


5 years for officer who shot handcuffed suspect in his back

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) - A former Maryland police officer convicted in a shooting that paralyzed a handcuffed suspect from the waist down was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison, far less time than prosecutors had requested.

November 13, 2014 | | Nation


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