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.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Five things to look for the morning after Election Day:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - Coast to coast, voters cast ballots with an audible harrumph on Tuesday - many of them unhappy with their choices and doubtful things will get better no matter who wins.
NEW YORK (AP) - Voters in Oregon and the District of Columbia approved ballot measures Tuesday allowing the use of marijuana by adults, elating legalization activists who hope to extend their winning streak across the country.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker won re-election over Democratic challenger Mary Burke Tuesday, overcoming fierce opposition from organized labor for his third election victory in four years - and clearing the way for a potential presidential campaign in 2016.
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - A woman who appealed for money online to help care for her autistic son and disabled husband has been accused of throwing her 6-year-old boy to his death off an historic bridge on the Oregon coast.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A bank card belonging to a woman abducted from a Philadelphia street was used the next morning in Maryland by a man whose grainy image was caught on bank cameras, police said Tuesday as relatives tearfully pleaded for her return.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Russian member of the Taliban made his first appearance in a federal court in Virginia on Tuesday, marking the first time a military detainee from Afghanistan has been brought to the U.S. for trial.
BOSTON (AP) - A sister of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded guilty Tuesday to misleading a police detective during a counterfeiting investigation, avoiding jail time in an agreement with prosecutors.
PITTSBURG, Pa (AP) - The former fugitive charged with ambushing a Pennsylvania state police barracks had a laptop computer and used the Internet while evading hundreds of law enforcement officials, according to court documents released Tuesday.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus misused a key rigging component in a hair-hanging stunt, causing a fall that seriously injured eight acrobats, federal workplace safety regulators said Tuesday.
HONOLULU (AP) - As slow-moving lava approached a cemetery in a rural Hawaii town, Aiko Sato placed flowers at the headstone of the family plot she's tended to over the years, thinking it would be the last time she would see it.
OHIO GIRL, 3, SHOT BY 4-YEAR-OLD BROTHER: LORAIN, Ohio (AP) - Police say a 3-year-old Ohio girl is in critical condition after being shot in the head by her 4-year-old brother, who found a gun in a dresser.
CHICAGO (AP) - Daredevil Nik Wallenda wowed Chicago and the world Sunday with two hair-raising skyscraper crossings on the high wire without a safety net or a harness.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A young woman who moved to Oregon to take advantage of the state's assisted-suicide law took lethal drugs prescribed by a doctor and has died, a spokesman said Sunday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Environmentalists, labor and women's groups that spent more than $29 million to help House Democrats in 2012 have put up barely a quarter of that amount this year, sparking grumbling among party strategists that is likely to grow louder after Election Day.