CUSTOMS SEIZES RUBBER DUCKS FOR CHEMICAL SAFETY: LOS ANGELES (AP) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Southern California have seized nearly 36,000 Chinese rubber ducks that contain levels of a chemical that may be unhealthful for children.
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A Nevada woman survived on snow and tomatoes for nearly a week and found shelter in a hollowed-out tree after she became stranded in a winter storm and her boyfriend died trying to find help, a family member said.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who was elected as the state's chief executive as a Republican and then ran for the U.S. Senate as an independent, announced on Twitter on Friday night that he's switching to the Democratic Party.
PHOENIX (AP) - Lottery officials announced Friday that a married man in his 30s from a wealthy Phoenix suburb has claimed his half of the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot, deciding to collect the winnings now and not next year because of the nation's looming fiscal cliff.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Investigators who spent hours interviewing an Alaska serial killer say he may have murdered close to a dozen people, and that he killed for pleasure and was only conflicted about how his notoriety would affect his loved ones.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The 2012 presidential election broke the $2 billion milestone in its final weeks, becoming the most expensive in American political history, according to final federal finance reports released Thursday. The reports detailed a last-minute cascade of money from mega-donors and an onslaught of spending by the Obama and Romney campaigns and "super" political action committees.
SEATTLE (AP) - A man pleaded guilty Thursday to plotting an attack on a Seattle military complex with machine guns and grenades.
SEATTLE (AP) - People openly lit joints under the Space Needle and on Seattle's sidewalks - then blew the smoke at TV news cameras. To those looking to "get baked," the city's police department suggested pizza and a "Lord of the Rings" movie marathon.
NEW BATAAN, Philippines (AP) - The Philippine government's geological hazard maps show why this farming community was largely washed away by a strong typhoon: "highly susceptible to flooding and landslides." That didn't stop some villagers from rebuilding even with bodies still lying under the mud.
FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) - President Barack Obama, trying to put a personal touch on "fiscal cliff" negotiations, visited a northern Virginia family's basement apartment Thursday to press his hard line on tax rate increases for the wealthy.
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.
MIAMI (AP) - Anyone who thinks Cuban-Americans think alike on Cuba hasn't taken a close look at the community lately, poet Richard Blanco says.
PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona sheriff known for crackdowns on people living in the country illegally is giving up his last major foothold in immigration enforcement efforts that won him popularity among voters but gradually were reined in by Washington and the courts.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Had Mark DeFriest just waited a couple of months to collect his inheritance, he never would have gone to prison. Had he just behaved while he was there, he would have been released more than 30 years ago.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Budget cuts at the IRS could delay tax refunds, reduce taxpayer services and hurt enforcement efforts, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Thursday.
ATLANTA (AP) - Companies across the globe are on high alert to tighten up network security to avoid being the next company brought to its knees by hackers like those that executed the dramatic cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment.
NEW YORK (AP) - Online shopping has become as volatile as stock market trading. Wild, minute-by-minute price swings on everything from clothes to TVs have made it difficult for holiday shoppers to "buy low."
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Hellmann's mayonnaise maker Unilever has withdrawn its lawsuit against the maker of "Just Mayo."
BOSTON (AP) - Mold and bacteria were in the air and on workers' gloved fingertips. Pharmacists used expired ingredients, didn't properly sterilize them and failed to test drugs for purity before sending them to hospitals and pain clinics. Employees falsified logs to make it look as if the so-called clean rooms had been disinfected.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - More than 70 years after South Carolina sent a 14-year-old black boy to the electric chair in the killings of two white girls in a segregated mill town, a judge threw out the conviction, saying the state committed a great injustice.
WASHINGTON (AP) - After a half-century of Cold War acrimony, the United States and Cuba moved on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations - a historic shift that could revitalize the flow of money and people across the narrow waters that separate the two nations.
DENVER (AP) - The discovery that a Cleveland officer who shot and killed a 12-year-old boy last month had washed out at another police force highlights what some experts call an unnerving truth about policing: Departments don't always dig deeply enough into recruits' pasts.
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A Montana man who shot and killed a German exchange student caught trespassing in his garage was convicted of deliberate homicide Wednesday despite arguing that a state "castle doctrine" law allowed him to use deadly force to protect his home and family.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Uber promises to focus on rider safety amid increasing concerns that its drivers are not adequately screened for past criminal convictions.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Reserve is edging closer to raising interest rates from record lows given a strengthening U.S. economy. But it will be "patient" in deciding when to do so.
NEW YORK (AP) - Under the threat of terrorist attacks from hackers and with the nation's largest multiplex chains pulling the film from their screens, Sony Pictures Entertainment took the unprecedented step of canceling the Dec. 25 release of the Seth Rogen comedy "The Interview."