AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Surrounded by sleigh bell-ringing Santa Claus impersonators, Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday signed a law protecting Christmas and other holiday celebrations in Texas public schools from legal challenges - but also stressed that freedom of religion is not the same thing as freedom from religion.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Danielle Powell was going through a hard time in the spring of 2011, just months away from graduating from a conservative Christian college in Nebraska. She had fallen in love with another woman, a strictly forbidden relationship at a school where even prolonged hugs were banned.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut woman disfigured by a friend's pet chimpanzee in 2009 was denied permission Friday to sue the state for $150 million on her claim that officials knew the animal was dangerous but didn't do anything about it.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The revelation Friday that a former commander of a Nazi SS-led military unit has lived quietly in Minneapolis for the past six decades came as a shock to people who knew him, prompted harsh condemnations from World War II survivors in the U.S. and Europe, and led prosecutors in Poland to say they would investigate.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Authorities lifted evacuations in a wide swath of terrain outside Colorado Springs on Friday as they said a surprise rain shower helped them expand containment of a wildfire that has destroyed 400 homes.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - One of two Czech-built military training jets that collided in midair while practicing for this fall's National Championship Air Races in Reno had to make a belly landing on the runway with no wheels, but neither pilot was hurt at the airport where 11 people were killed during the finals competition in 2011.
PHOENIX (AP) - A 91-year-old Arizona weightlifter didn't just break a world record for the bench press, he powered through it by 52 pounds.
NORTH BAY VILLAGE, Fla. (AP) - Investigators began examining a twisted pile of concrete, metal and wood on Friday to determine why a waterfront deck at a popular sports bar collapsed into shallow Biscayne Bay, injuring two dozen people gathered to cheer the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A high school football player convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl after an alcohol-fueled party last summer was given the state's second-toughest sex offender classification at a Friday hearing.
BOSTON WOMAN PAYS $560,000 FOR 2 PARKING SPOTS: BOSTON (AP) - Parking is such a precious commodity in Boston that one woman was willing to pay $560,000 for two off-street spaces near her home.
NEW YORK (AP) - There's little wonder why George Orwell's novel "1984" is seeing a resurgence in sales.
CHICAGO (AP) - The generation that's grown up posting their lives online wants a little privacy. That's not what we might expect as we debate just how much access the government should have to our mobile and online lives.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - A San Diego-area teacher says she is losing her job for being the victim of domestic violence.
NEW YORK (AP) - Law enforcement officials nationwide are demanding the creation of a "kill switch" that would render smartphones inoperable after they are stolen, New York's top prosecutor said Thursday in a clear warning to the world's smartphone manufacturers.
POLICE: THIEF GETS STUCK IN MUD AFTER BURGLARY: FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Police say a man who robbed a Foxborough home had to call a tow truck after getting stuck in the mud while making his getaway.
NEW YORK (AP) - It could be called "The Little Stamp That Could."
PHOENIX (AP) - With much of the Northeast gripped by snow and ice storms, the Southwest is riding a heat wave that is setting record high temperatures and sent people to beaches and golf courses in droves Friday.
NEW YORK (AP) - The relentless snow and ice storms this winter have led to the highest number of flight cancellations in more than 25 years, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Bargoers weighing whether they're sober enough to take the wheel could soon have a tool to help make that decision.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Cable subscribers don't give Comcast and Time Warner Cable good grades when it comes to customer satisfaction. So after Comcast announced its $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable Thursday, it didn't take long for consumers to start venting their frustrations over high prices, spotty service and fears of a monopoly.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Like 78 million other Americans, MaryJane Harrison is obese.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration on Friday gave banks a road map for conducting transactions with legal marijuana sellers so these new businesses can stash away savings, make payroll and pay taxes like any other enterprise. It's not clear banks will get on board.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Workers at a Volkswagen factory in Tennessee have voted against union representation, a devastating loss that derails the United Auto Workers union's effort to organize Southern factories.
ATLANTA (AP) - Women have a higher risk of blood clots that can cause strokes, heart attacks and other problems for 12 weeks after childbirth - twice as long as doctors have thought, new research finds.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The sooner you start explaining the world to your baby, the better.
uMAN IS ACCUSED OF CUTTING OFF DOG'S HEAD: PITTSBURGH (AP) - A Pittsburgh man is facing animal cruelty charges after he allegedly used a machete to decapitate his mother's Chihuahua.
HOUSTON (AP) - A Texas appeals court on Thursday overturned a judge's ruling that had voided the marriage of a transgender widow whose firefighter husband died battling a blaze.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Yet another storm paralyzed the Northeast with heavy snow and sleet Thursday, giving the winter-weary that oh-no-not-again feeling, while hundreds of thousands across the ice-encrusted South waited in the cold for the electricity to come back on.
CHICAGO (AP) - The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago said Thursday that it's appealing a sentence that included no prison time for the billionaire creator of Beanie Babies for hiding at least $25 million from U.S. tax authorities in Swiss bank accounts.
WASHINGTON (AP) - For those who shivered through January, this may be hard to believe: Nationwide, the average temperature for the month was about normal because a warm West offset a cool East.