NEW YORK (AP) - For a significant number of Americans, Christmas has largely lost its religious meaning, becoming an occasion focused instead on visiting family and friends and exchanging gifts, according to a new survey released Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - Bernie Goetz said he thought he was going to be mugged by a man who turned out to be a plainclothes cop arresting him in a low-level drug sting - the same explanation he used nearly three decades ago when he opened fire on four panhandling youths on a subway train.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Police think a suicidal gunman was on a mission of violence when he calmly entered a third-floor urology office and opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun, killing one doctor, critically wounding another and shooting a third victim after warning patients and their children in a waiting area to "get out."
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont city of only 17,000 souls just smashed the national one-day record for blood donations - and it's likely to stand for quite a while.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Consumers anxious over tight insurance deadlines and lingering computer problems during the holidays will get extra time to pay their premiums under President Barack Obama's health care law, insurers announced Wednesday.
CHICAGO (AP) - Many older adults with high blood pressure can be treated less aggressively, which could mean taking fewer pills to get it under control, according to new treatment guidelines from an expert panel. But not all experts are on board with the advice - including the federal agency that appointed the group.
PURPORTED ZIMMERMAN ARTWORK LISTED ON AUCTION SITE: ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Artwork reportedly created by George Zimmerman is attracting bids of more than $100,000 on eBay.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA has ordered up a series of urgent spacewalks to fix a broken cooling line at the International Space Station, a massive repair job that could stretch to Christmas Day.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee man is charged with two counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting a motorcyclist several times and backing his SUV into another - after almost hitting them as they exited an interstate.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to an estimated $636 million for Tuesday night's drawing, making it the second largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
HOUSTON HOTEL DISPLAYS HALF-TON CHOCOLATE SANTA: HOUSTON (AP) - Santa Claus has come to town in Houston and he's sweeter than your average holiday fellow.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A suicidal gunman opened fire at a Reno hospital campus Tuesday, killing one person, wounding two others and sending police on a door-to-door search within the facility amid the chaos.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - President Barack Obama sent Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with who he is - and isn't - sending to represent the United States at the Sochi Olympics.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - North Texas prosecutors are trying a second time to imprison a teen who was sentenced last week to 10 years' probation for drunkenly driving his truck into four pedestrians, killing them all.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Year-end legislation to ease Congress' chronic budget brinkmanship and soften across-the-board spending cuts moved to the cusp of final passage Tuesday, a rare display of Senate bipartisanship that masked strong Republican complaints about slicing into military retirement benefits.
NEW YORK (AP) - Online crafts retailer Etsy says it expects to raise as much as $267 million from an initial public offering values the company at up to $1.78 billion.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Maine celebrates its Whoopie pies. North Carolinians proudly dance their Shag. In Kansas, even dirt is official: Harney silt loam is the state soil.
FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) - Two men dressed as women smashed a stolen car into a police vehicle after they disobeyed commands at the closely guarded gates of the National Security Agency on Monday, prompting police to open fire.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Twenty years after Selena's murder, the Latin world will remember "The Queen of Tejano" with concerts, lookalike contests, dances and a massive festival. But her father has mixed feelings about the celebrations.
FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) - The congregants of a close-knit Haitian church gathered Monday around Nicolas Alexis, hoping to learn what happened to 18 friends and loved ones who had been expected to return that morning from a late Palm Sunday service.
HONOLULU (AP) - A supervisor at the Veterans Administration office in Honolulu was manipulating data to make it look like the agency was processing veterans' benefits claims faster than they actually were, according to a new report by the VA Office of Inspector General.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Astronaut Scott Kelly's identical twin pulled a fast one on NASA right before his brother blasted off on a one-year space station mission.
PAHRUMP, Nev. (AP) - A brothel employee and an armored vehicle driver from Las Vegas face felony theft charges following their arrests in a months-long investigation of cash disappearing from a Nevada brothel, a sheriff said Monday.
WOMAN'S APPEAL FOR KIDNEY DONOR ON CAR WINDOW PAYS OFF: SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A Maine woman's decision to seek a kidney donor by putting a personal plea in bright yellow letters on her car has paid off.
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) - A two-day Arab summit ended Sunday with a vow to defeat Iranian-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen and the formal unveiling of plans to form a joint Arab intervention force, setting the stage for a potentially dangerous clash between U.S.-allied Arab states and Tehran over influence in the region.
CINCINNATI (AP) - More than seven decades after an audacious bombing run by the "Doolittle Tokyo Raiders" rallied their own nation while stunning another, the World War II heroes are still adding to their legacy.
MISSION, Texas (AP) - A U.S. surveillance helicopter hovering over the Rio Grande spots a body floating near a muddy bank on the Mexican side of the river.
HURRICANE, Utah (AP) - The small southern Utah town of Hurricane might become a little quieter after a statue of a copper bull lost its most prominent private feature this weekend.
PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon couple took it all in stride as they watched the demolition of a house they owned for nearly 30 years.
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - The stars of a charity calendar are in their 80s and 90s, but that didn't stop the men and women from an assisted living facility in Ohio from showing a little skin.