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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NEW YORK (AP) - Use of electronic cigarettes by high school students tripled over three years, according to a new government report released Thursday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
REDWOOD SHORES (AP) - Business software maker SAP is paying rival Oracle $359 million to settle a bitter battle over the theft of copyrighted instruction manuals and other technical information.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department is collecting data from thousands of cellphones through high-tech gear deployed on airplanes that mimics communications towers, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Truckers who haul cargo containers in and out of the massive seaports in Los Angeles and Long Beach staged the latest in a string of demonstrations Thursday against what they call unfair labor practices.
NEW YORK (AP) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. eked out a rare gain in an important sales measurement during the third quarter as it reported profits that beat Wall Street expectations Thursday.