WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Jim DeMint, patron saint of the tea party and a would-be Republican kingmaker, announced suddenly Thursday he would resign his South Carolina seat to head Washington's conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, a shift that reverberated through a soul-searching GOP.
MAINE MALL SACKS SANTA AFTER RUDENESS COMPLAINTS: SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A mall in Maine has sacked Santa Claus after children and parents complained he was rude, grumpy and wouldn't even let one child sit on his lap.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - George Zimmerman sued NBC on Thursday, claiming he was defamed when the network edited his 911 call to police after the shooting of Trayvon Martin to make it sound like he was racist.
AUTOPSY: BORDER PATROL AGENT FIRED GUN 10 TIMES: SAN DIEGO (AP) - A Border Patrol agent in Southern California who shot and killed a mother of five after she hit him with her vehicle fired his gun 10 times from the hood of her car as he tried to get the woman to stop, according to an autopsy report released Thursday.
HONOLULU (AP) - Ray Emory could not accept that more than one quarter of the 2,400 Americans who died at Pearl Harbor were buried, unidentified, in a volcanic crater.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - New York's Times Square is getting a little bit Jersey for New Year's Eve.
SEATTLE (AP) - Hundreds of same-sex couples across Washington state started picking up marriage licenses Thursday as a voter-approved law legalizing gay marriage took effect.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Mormon leaders made their most significant outreach yet to gays and lesbians, unveiling a new website Thursday that encourages church members to be more compassionate in discussions about homosexuality.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - At about 450 pounds, Ohio death row inmate Ronald Post is so fat that his executioners won't be able to find veins in his arms or legs for the lethal injection, and he might even break the death chamber gurney, his lawyers say.
ATLANTA (AP) - An elderly man opened fire on a woman after her car came into contact with his motorized wheelchair at a central Georgia service station, authorities said Wednesday. She died shortly afterward at a hospital despite the efforts of a crowd of people to aid her.
NEW YORK (AP) - The daughter of a man pushed in front of a subway train and photographed a split-second before his death said Wednesday after a suspect was arrested that it "would have been great" if someone had helped her father up but "what's done is done."
NEW STUNNING NIGHTTIME VIEWS OF EARTH UNVEILED: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Twinkling city lights, raging wildfires and colorful auroras are lit up in new dazzling nighttime views of the Earth.
RICHMOND, Texas (AP) - Hilmar Moore, who has been mayor of the Southeast Texas town of Richmond since 1949, has died at age 92.
SEATTLE (AP) - Legal marijuana possession becomes a reality under Washington state law on today, and some people planned to celebrate the new law by breaking it.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The moon took quite a beating in its early days, more than previously believed, scientists reported Wednesday.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A newlywed couple charged in the stabbing death of a stranger they lured through a Craigslist ad offering companionship pleaded guilty to murder on Tuesday and face mandatory sentences of life without parole.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The secretary of defense has recommended a posthumous Medal of Honor for a black World War I soldier from upstate New York who saved a comrade while fighting off a German attack in France, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said Tuesday.
DOLAN SPRINGS, Ariz. (AP) - A 9-year-old girl accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use an automatic Uzi, authorities said Tuesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - A rare, nearly flawless copy of Superman's comic-book debut has sold for a super-powered price: $3.2 million.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A man suspected of walking out of a Juneau, Alaska, jewelry store with a gold nugget worth nearly $5,000 developed a conscience and paid for it - after his image was distributed by police through a "crime stoppers" program.
SELMA, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama couple who wanted a baby repeatedly sexually assaulted an underage girl in hopes she'd get pregnant and give them the infant, authorities said Monday.
NEW YORK (AP) - A Russian tourist climbed to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge to take pictures for fun in the landmark's second security breach in a month, authorities said Monday.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A judge in Wyoming sentenced a 75-year-old Missouri woman to life in prison on Monday for killing her husband with a rifle in the mid-1970s and throwing his body down the shaft of an abandoned gold mine, where it remained for nearly 40 years.
BEND, Ore. (AP) - It cost a Bend teenager about $800 in revenue from chores, yard work and birthday gifts to buy a miniature aircraft and a camera he sent aloft to capture video of a forest fire this summer that was threatening the western edge of the city.
MAINE LOBSTERMAN CATCHES RARE BLUE LOBSTER: SCARBOROUGH, Maine (AP) - A Maine lobsterman says he and his 14-year-old daughter caught a one-in-two-million crustacean: a blue lobster.
ATLANTA (AP) - The American Heart Association's first policy statement on electronic cigarettes backs them as a last resort to help smokers quit. The American Cancer Society has no formal policy but quietly took a similar stance in May.
LANCASTER (AP) - A man has been arrested on suspicion of killing his brother's friend with a bow and arrow during a dispute at his Southern California home.
CHICAGO (AP) - Pediatricians have a new prescription for schools: later start times for teens.
ELMENDORF, Texas (AP) - The police chief of a small Texas town was killed Saturday while attempting to arrest a man on a warrant, authorities said.
MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - Biologists plan to recapture and re-collar OR-7, Oregon's famous wandering wolf that is now a settled father of pups.