NEW YORK (AP) - Years after being exiled to New York City's sidewalks by a ban on smoking in indoor public places, some smokers relished electronic cigarettes as a way to come in from the cold.
BRUSHY PRAIRIE, Ind. (AP) - A northeastern Indiana soldier surprised his mother Friday with an early return home, masquerading as Santa Claus while she sat on his lap at a school staff Christmas breakfast while she gave a wish list of gifts.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A federal judge struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban Friday in a decision that marks a drastic shift toward gay marriage in a conservative state where the Mormon church has long been against it.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Authorities on Friday were trying to determine whether a Northern California man's anger over complications he suffered from a 2010 surgery prompted him to go on a shooting rampage at a Nevada urologist's office, killing one doctor and critically wounding another before committing suicide.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - SeaWorld on Friday posted ads in a handful of newspapers around the nation in response to a critical documentary that inspired eight musical acts to cancel performances at the company's Orlando marine park.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A new historical narrative posted by the Mormon church on its website officially acknowledges that some plural marriages were performed following an 1890 ban and that polygamy was widely practiced in the late 19th century.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Usher says though Justin Bieber had a wild year, people shouldn't count the pop singer out just yet.
TRYING TO SPREAD CHEER, SANTA IN NH SCARES INSTEAD: HOLLIS, N.H. (AP) - Police in southern New Hampshire say a man dressed as Santa Claus was only trying to spread some cheer but ended up panicking officials when he knocked on school windows and entered the building.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Thursday that will make it harder to force public schools to drop tribal nicknames, pushing aside opponents' charges that the measure is racist.
NEW YORK (AP) - Can an experimental drug developed to treat epilepsy block the AIDS virus? A preliminary lab study suggests it's possible, and researchers are eager to try it in people.
MIAMI (AP) - A month after pleading guilty to cocaine-possession charges, Republican Rep. Trey Radel of Florida refused to resign Thursday, saying he wants to "rebuild the trust" of voters.
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a sharp and unexpected shift, the national debate over U.S. government surveillance seems to be turning in favor of reining in the National Security Agency's expansive spying powers at home and abroad.
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City lawmakers paved the way Thursday for an eventual ban on plastic foam containers, added electronic cigarettes to the city's already stringent smoking bans and approved the creation of a website that will help the public track federal dollars budgeted for Superstorm Sandy-related damages.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A suspect in a deadly hospital shooting in Reno left a suicide note at his home and claimed he had botched surgery three years ago before killing a doctor and himself this week, police said Thursday.
CINCINNATI (AP) - An Ohio judge rebuffed an argument Thursday that traffic cameras make law enforcement more efficient, stating sharply that violating motorists' rights isn't the American way.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Days after the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear any appeals from states trying to uphold gay marriage bans, Diane Ansley and Cathy McGaughey waited for hours in a church basement for a federal judge's order that would finally allow them to exchange their vows.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Two years after a prostitution scandal rocked the Secret Service, a Republican congressman renewed allegations Thursday about possible involvement by a White House volunteer and said he smelled efforts to cover it up. White House officials adamantly denied wrongdoing and said there'd been no attempt to keep anything quiet.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber's fiancee admitted Thursday that she violated the law when she married an immigrant seeking to retain residency in the United States.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will defend Activision in court against a lawsuit filed by disgraced Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega over the "Call of Duty" franchise, the video game maker said Thursday.
HAVANA (AP) - The number of Cubans heading to the United States has increased dramatically since the island lifted travel restrictions last year, eliminating a costly exit visa and making it easier for emigrants to return, new U.S. government figures show.
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) - An Indiana couple was found dead in an apparent murder-suicide only hours after they were married, authorities say.
NEW YORK (AP) - No wonder Coke and Pepsi are spending millions of dollars to fight proposed taxes on sugary drinks in California.
NEW YORK (AP) - Ice cream and fast food chain Dairy Queen is the latest retailer to reveal a hack of its customer data.
WASHINGTON (AP) - AT&T wireless customers may want to take a closer look at their old phone bills because they may have money coming back to them.
PALO ALTO (AP) - Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and other Silicon Valley executives say controversial government spying programs are undercutting the Internet economy and want Congress to step up stalled reform.
DETROIT (AP) - Gas mileage for new cars and trucks in the U.S. averaged a record 24.1 miles per gallon last year, but gains in fuel economy are slowing.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Scientists are moving closer to an artificial hand that can feel: Implanted electrodes allowed some amputees to tell by touch how gently to grasp, letting them pluck fruit without crushing it.
FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (AP) - Police mistook a black teenager for a burglar and pepper-sprayed him inside the home of his white foster parents.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Nevada will have nearly 35,000 more residents in the year 2032 than it would have if the state hadn't landed the Tesla Motors battery factory and another out-of-state business, according to new projections released Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - It's not just big businesses like JPMorgan Chase, Target and Home Depot that get hacked. Small companies suffer from intrusions into their computer systems, too.