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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SEATTLE (AP) - A fifth teenager has died as a result of a Washington state high school shooting two weeks ago that began when a student opened fire in the cafeteria.
MAN BRANDED 'SELFIE STALKER' SUES NANCY GRACE: DENVER (AP) - A man who was quickly branded a "selfie stalker" after his picture turned up on a crime victim's cellphone is suing television commentator Nancy Grace for defamation, saying she refused to stop airing his photo even after authorities had cleared him of any wrongdoing.
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) - A Florida mother is home and tending to her new infant less than a month after surviving without a pulse for 45 minutes following complications from a routine cesarean section.
WESTMINSTER, Mass. (AP) - The cartons of Marlboros, cans of Skoal and packs of Swisher Sweets are hard to miss stacked near the entrance of Vincent's Country Store, but maybe not for much longer: All tobacco products could become contraband if local health officials get their way.
SEATTLE (AP) - Kenneth Bae arrived home after years of imprisonment in North Korea, expressing his gratitude to the U.S. government for securing his release and revealing that his time there offered lessons.
NEW YORK (AP) - The residents of Belle Harbor Manor spent four miserable months in emergency shelters after Superstorm Sandy's floodwaters surged through their assisted-living center on New York City's Rockaway peninsula.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Community activists in San Francisco are urging city officials to hasten their efforts to make the streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists following a recent string of fatalities they say could have been prevented with better design and more education.
TUNICA, Miss. (AP) - Joey Chestnut will seek to defend his title today at the 2014 World Twinkie-Eating Championship at the Bally's Casino in Tunica, Mississippi.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A White House lunch aiming for cooperation boiled into a fresh dispute with newly empowered Republicans over immigration reform Friday, with GOP leaders warning President Barack Obama to his face not to take unilateral action. The president stood unflinchingly by his plan to act.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A set of Utah parents were awakened Friday to an unsettling noise for 4:30 in the morning: the sound of their front door opening and their 5-year-old daughter talking.
DETROIT (AP) - A judge cleared Detroit to emerge from bankruptcy Friday, approving a hard-fought turnaround plan with a fervent plea to the people of this one-time industrial powerhouse to "move past your anger" and help fix the Motor City.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - No sooner had authorities announced the shuttering of an alleged illegal online drug bazaar than another popped up claiming to take its place.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Nine rookie police officers have been fired for their behavior at a drunken graduation party in northern New Jersey.
COATESVILLE, Pa (AP) - A Pennsylvania couple went car shopping, bought pizza and engaged in sexual activity as the woman's unresponsive 3-year-old son lay dying after weeks of escalating abuse that ended in three days of systematic torture, authorities said Thursday.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A woman snatched off the streets was rescued with the help of a GPS tracking device that had been installed on the suspect's car by the dealer in case it needed to be repossessed, authorities said Thursday.