NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Coast Guard was searching Friday for two workers missing after a fire erupted on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, sending an ominous black plume of smoke into the air reminiscent of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion that transformed the oil industry and life along the coast.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, who opposes abortion rights, testified during divorce proceedings that he and his former wife made a mutual decision for her to have two abortions, according to divorce transcripts released Thursday.
UTAH CITY SETTLES WITH MAN WHO FLIPPED OFF OFFICER: OREM, Utah (AP) - A man who was pulled over and cited after flipping off a Utah police officer in 2010 has agreed to drop his complaint after the city of Orem agreed to pay him $2,500 in damages and promised not to ticket anyone else for the obscene gesture.
CINCINNATI (AP) - A judge's offer to allow an Ohio drug defendant the chance to stay out of prison if he'd give up marijuana might have just gone up in smoke.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Top national security officials trudged to Capitol Hill on Thursday to grapple with fallout from the David Petraeus sex scandal as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asked service chiefs to review ethics training for military officers. He said he was unaware of any other top brass who could turn out to be ensnared in the debacle.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - A Texas boy abandoned at a fire station as an infant got a special wish for his 10th birthday: meeting the firefighter who saved him.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Ten months into 2012, the number of suspected suicides by active-duty soldiers has surpassed last year's total, even as the Pentagon struggles to stem the persistent problem.
DALLAS (AP) - A freight train slammed into a parade float carrying wounded veterans on Thursday, killing four people and injuring 17 others as the float tried to get through a West Texas railroad crossing on its way to an honorary banquet, authorities said.
DENVER (AP) - It's settled. Pot, at least certain amounts of it, will soon be legal under state laws in Washington and Colorado. Now, officials in both states are trying to figure out how to keep stoned drivers off the road.
DENVER (AP) - Hit the slopes - and then a bong?
WASHINGTON (AP) - It started in May with a spiteful email to the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. An anonymous writer warned Gen. John Allen that a friend with whom he was meeting in Washington the following week was trouble and he should stay away from her.
NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) - A pair of Mexican drug smugglers in camouflage pants, bundles of marijuana strapped to their backs, scaled a 25 foot-high fence in the middle of the night, slipped quietly into the United States and dashed into the darkness.
LOOSE GORILLA ALERT? ELECTRONIC ROAD SIGN HACKED: LOOMIS, Calif. (AP) - A prankster is changing the message on an electronic traffic warning sign. The sign is supposed to tell people that a road in the Placer County city of Loomis will be closed for pipeline construction.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Stinging from double-digit election losses among female voters, House Republicans elected a woman to their top leadership team Wednesday in a tense test of gender politics and the clout of the GOP's power brokers.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she will run to keep her job as the Democratic leader in the House after a pair of elections that kept the party in the minority there even as Democrats gained seats in the Senate and a second term for President Barack Obama.
DOG SURVIVES 15-STORY FALL WITH A BIG SPLASH: SACRAMENTO (AP) - A partially blind dog has survived a fall from the balcony outside his owner's downtown Sacramento condominium into a hot tub 15 stories below.
WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) - Neil Olson put up a Christmas tree when two of his sons went off to war in 1974, vowing not to take it down until all six children returned to his Wisconsin home for Christmas. The same tree, he says, is still standing in his living room.
BOSTON (AP) - What started with a widow quietly dropping her wedding rings into a Salvation Army donation kettle has spawned spontaneous acts of jewelry generosity this holiday season.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - When an Oregon man sold his girlfriend's mattress set for $100 because she was moving in with him, little did he realize her cat was hiding inside.
NEW YORK (AP) - The Food and Drug Administration has approved a Novo Nordisk diabetes drug as a treatment for obesity. It's the first injectable drug approved for weight loss.
NEW YORK (AP) - Lori Osterberg and her husband are lifelong Denver folk, but they got restless and intended to relocate for adventure's sake once their only child left home for college.
NEW YORK (AP) - Natural gas, the nation's most prevalent heating fuel, is getting cheaper just as winter is arriving because of mild temperatures and plentiful supplies.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A proposed settlement fund for victims of a fiery train derailment that claimed 47 lives in Canada is nearly halfway to a goal of $500 million in funding commitments ahead of its filing next month, the defunct railroad's bankruptcy trustee said.
NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm admitted Tuesday to federal tax evasion, pleading guilty to charges he had fought as he won re-election in November, but he remained determined to stay in office even with his sentencing now looming.
NEW YORK (AP) - After Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot his ex-girlfriend and posted an online death threat against police, investigators in Maryland used modern cellphone tracking technology to follow his journey to New York City in real time.
NEW YORK (AP) - Santa's sleigh isn't the only thing flying this holiday season.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A 114-year-old woman who challenged Facebook after the social media site wouldn't let her list her real age has died in Minnesota.
ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) - A former NASCAR driver who led police on a 150 mph chase through three states pleaded guilty Tuesday under a deal that spares him any prison time.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - It's official: Florida has surpassed New York in population to become the third-most populous state in the union.
DENVER (AP) - Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana sales. Now the state's voters may consider a ballot measure to allow pot smokers to carry a concealed firearm.