MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A tall man and a slender woman wiggled into their white hazardous materials suits, putting on protective masks and gloves before venturing into the dark, two-story home where police say a methamphetamine lab recently exploded.
NEW YORK (AP) - The heated debate over the National Security Agency's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records fell squarely into the courts Friday, when a federal judge in Manhattan upheld the legality of the program and cited its need in the fight against terrorism just days after another federal judge concluded it was likely not constitutional.
NO BEER LED TO CERAMIC SQUIRREL STABBING: NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina authorities say a 44-year-old woman angry at a man for returning home without beer on Christmas beat and stabbed him with a ceramic squirrel.
NEW YORK (AP) - Electricians working atop a New York City skyscraper on Friday installed the last of the 2,688 crystal triangles that give the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball its shimmer, including a panel dreamt up by a 12-year-old former cancer patient.
DENVER (AP) - The first batch of Denver businesses approved to sell recreational marijuana got their licenses Friday, the owners mugging for pictures and saying they never thought they'd see the day when they'd get a permit to sell pot.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Call it throwing the book at the bookworms.
SC GOV. HALEY GETS A BERETTA PISTOL FOR CHRISTMAS: COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Santa was apparently right on target for Christmas for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
CHICAGO (AP) - Early blasts of snow, ice and below-zero temperatures haven't stopped a surprising number of Chicago cyclists from spinning through the slush this winter, thanks in part to a city so serious about accommodating them that it deploys mini-snow plows to clear bike lanes.
HOUSTON (AP) - A white Houston-area man was arrested Thursday on federal hate crimes charges for allegedly shooting video of himself sucker-punching a 79-year-old black man in a "knockout game"-style attack.
PHOENIX (AP) - Two men were arrested Christmas Day on opposite sides of the country after they breached perimeters at major airports, raising questions about security measures and whether more needs to be done to protect the nation's transit hubs.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Pastor Mike Butzberger insists he only had holiday spirit in mind when his Florida church's marquee read: "Christmas - Easier to spell than Hanukkah."
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Members of the Ramapough Native American tribe have filed a $50 million lawsuit against the makers of a recent Hollywood movie they say depicts their people in a negative light.
LITCHFIELD, Maine (AP) - Utility crews from Maine to Michigan and into Canada worked Wednesday to restore power to more than half a million homes left in the dark by last weekend's ice storm, and people slowly trickled out of shelters to spend Christmas Day at their finally warm homes.
WEST READING, Pa. (AP) - A terminally ill girl who received support from thousands of Christmas carolers outside her home over the weekend died early on Christmas morning, her family said.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Las Vegas cab driver Gerardo Gamboa thought someone left a bag of chocolates in the back seat of his vehicle, but the stash turned out to be $300,000 in cold hard cash.
SCHOOL AIDE BARRICADED SELF IN CLASSROOM; TOOK OFF CLOTHES: LEMON GROVE . (AP) - Authorities say an afterschool program assistant kept 14 children inside a California classroom while appearing to be hallucinating on drugs.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a pugnacious and glamour-averse tactician who united Democrats to help deliver tough victories for President Barack Obama, said Friday he's retiring next year. He immediately endorsed brash New York Sen. Chuck Schumer to succeed him as leader of a party desperate to regain the Senate majority.
BROOKFIELD, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin couple is accused of locking their 13-year-old daughter in a cold basement with no toilet or sink, forcing her to wear diapers and refusing to allow her to sit on furniture in the family home, according to criminal charges filed this week.
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity apparently learned a racist chant that recently got their chapter disbanded during a national leadership cruise four years ago that was sponsored by the fraternity's national administration, the university's president said Friday.
BARTOW, Fla. (AP) - A baby who was found dead in her car seat in a Florida restaurant parking lot had lost more than one-third of her body weight in the 22 days since she was born, a medical examiner testified Friday.
VALLEJO (AP) - The strange case of a California woman who disappeared for two days grew stranger still Thursday, with her uncle and a lawyer for her boyfriend insisting she was kidnapped while police said it was a hoax.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - As promised, the Terminator and the man who originated the steely machine - Arnold Schwarzenegger - are back this summer for another go in "Terminator: Genisys," and Paramount Pictures, eager for a blockbuster, has already fired up a machine of its own - the publicity kind.
MUNHALL, Pa. (AP) - A teachers union says a special needs student at a Pittsburgh-area elementary school shouldn't be allowed to use a faculty restroom even though school officials say it's difficult for the girl to climb steps to reach a student restroom on another floor.
HOUSTON (AP) - A celebrity booking agency has told the Texas attorney general's office it is not all right to make public how much the University of Houston is paying actor Matthew McConaughey to speak at the school's May 15 commencement ceremony.
CHICAGO (AP) - An Illinois Army National Guard soldier vowed to bring "the flames of war to the heart" of America if he was unable to get to the Middle East to join the Islamic State group, and his cousin bragged he could kill up to 150 people in a terrorist attack in the U.S., federal prosecutors said Thursday in announcing the men's arrests. Both are also accused of hatching a plot to attack a U.S. military facility.
DETROIT (AP) - A teenager told authorities that her mother killed two siblings and forced her to put one of the bodies in the freezer of their Detroit home where both were found by an eviction crew.
GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) - A jury recommended life without parole Thursday for an Alabama woman convicted of running her granddaughter to death.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal appeals court agreed Thursday to reconsider its decision to strike down a California law that requires applicants for a concealed-weapons permit to show "good cause" beyond self-defense.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The father of a former Los Angeles police officer was charged Thursday with lying to FBI agents to help his son escape after the officer was charged with killing a man during an off-duty fight.
PARIS (AP) - Passengers with moments to live screamed in terror and the pilot frantically pounded on the locked cockpit door as a 27-year-old German co-pilot deliberately and wordlessly smashed an Airbus carrying 150 people into an Alpine mountainside.