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.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - To Arnold Abbott, feeding the homeless in a public park in South Florida was an act of charity. To the city of Fort Lauderdale, the 90-year-old man in white chef's apron serving up gourmet-styled meals was committing a crime.
SEATTLE (AP) - Police have found a car believed stolen by a man charged with killing his girlfriend, posting pictures of her body online and writing that he wanted authorities to find and kill him.
MONROE, Mich. (AP) - Investigators have interviewed more than 100 witnesses about a Michigan woman's disappearance from an outdoor Halloween party, but many were too high or drunk to offer much help, a sheriff said Wednesday.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Nearly everyone agrees that texting and driving is dangerous. Many people do it anyway.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A woman seen on surveillance video putting up a fight while being abducted off a Philadelphia street was found safe outside Baltimore on Wednesday, and the man who snatched her was arrested, police said.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah schoolteacher whose gun accidentally went off in an elementary school bathroom agreed Wednesday to pay a fine and take a firearm-safety class as part of a plea deal.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - A Steamboat Springs woman pleaded guilty to fatal child abuse Wednesday after prosecutors said she left her 3-year-old son alone for three days in a cabin without running water.
EX-RAVENS CHEERLEADER CHARGED WITH SEX WITH TEEN: GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - A former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader and the estranged wife of a prominent Maryland energy executive was arraigned Wednesday in Delaware on charges of having sex with a 15-year-old boy who attends school with at least one of her children.
NEW YORK (AP) - A snaggletooth eight-year-old. A middle schooler with a punk rocker bob cut and big earrings. Tween siblings with a penchant for playing.
FREMONT (AP) - Electric car maker Tesla Motors beat Wall Street's expectations and set a record for deliveries of its Model S sedan in the third quarter, delighting investors even as its losses doubled from a year ago.
SEATTLE (AP) - A short-term college certificate, for a very specific job-training program like how to use computers for office work, probably won't help students earn more money in the long run, a new study has found.
VIENNA (AP) - Saudi Arabia showed little concern for fellow OPEC members by unilaterally cutting its oil prices to the U.S. this week, a move that casts doubts on the cartel's credibility and its ability to find a common plan to stabilize the slumping energy market.
CHICAGO (AP) - The sketches of "Star Wars" creator George Lucas' Chicago museum show a flowing white building topped with a hovering ring. The newly unveiled architectural designs for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art were drawing a range of reaction on Wednesday, from snide comments to forthright admiration.
SEATTLE (AP) - Marijuana advocates, fresh off victories for legal recreational pot in Oregon, Alaska and the nation's capital, are already preparing for their next target, and it's a big one: California.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Riding a powerful wave of voter discontent, resurgent Republicans captured control of the Senate and tightened their grip on the House Tuesday night in elections certain to complicate President Barack Obama's final two years in office.