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.
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.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A Catholic school teacher was told to take a leave of absence for 21 days when she returned from a mission trip to Kenya, even though the country is thousands of miles from the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.