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.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - New York's Times Square is getting a little bit Jersey for New Year's Eve.
SEATTLE (AP) - Hundreds of same-sex couples across Washington state started picking up marriage licenses Thursday as a voter-approved law legalizing gay marriage took effect.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Mormon leaders made their most significant outreach yet to gays and lesbians, unveiling a new website Thursday that encourages church members to be more compassionate in discussions about homosexuality.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - At about 450 pounds, Ohio death row inmate Ronald Post is so fat that his executioners won't be able to find veins in his arms or legs for the lethal injection, and he might even break the death chamber gurney, his lawyers say.
ATLANTA (AP) - An elderly man opened fire on a woman after her car came into contact with his motorized wheelchair at a central Georgia service station, authorities said Wednesday. She died shortly afterward at a hospital despite the efforts of a crowd of people to aid her.
NEW YORK (AP) - The daughter of a man pushed in front of a subway train and photographed a split-second before his death said Wednesday after a suspect was arrested that it "would have been great" if someone had helped her father up but "what's done is done."
NEW STUNNING NIGHTTIME VIEWS OF EARTH UNVEILED: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Twinkling city lights, raging wildfires and colorful auroras are lit up in new dazzling nighttime views of the Earth.
RICHMOND, Texas (AP) - Hilmar Moore, who has been mayor of the Southeast Texas town of Richmond since 1949, has died at age 92.
SEATTLE (AP) - Legal marijuana possession becomes a reality under Washington state law on today, and some people planned to celebrate the new law by breaking it.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The moon took quite a beating in its early days, more than previously believed, scientists reported Wednesday.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A U.S. Marine who vanished from a base in Iraq and later wound up in Lebanon is set to face trial more than a decade after the puzzling case began.
NEW YORK (AP) - Embattled NBC News anchor Brian Williams is backing out of scheduled appearance on David Letterman's "Late Show" on Thursday.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The lead guitarist and founder of the iconic San Francisco rock band Journey sued the city Friday over a $240,000 fee to use a city landmark for his lavish wedding to a former reality television star.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic senators on Friday called on federal regulators to investigate Verizon Wireless, the country's biggest mobile provider, for secretly inserting unique tracking codes into the Web traffic of its some 100 million customers.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Companies that handle billions of dollars of cargo at West Coast seaports said Friday they will hire far fewer workers this weekend, the latest escalation in a contract dispute with dockworkers that threatens to shut down a vital link in U.S.-Asia trade.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - SacramentoKings point guard Darren Collision will miss Saturday's game at Utah with a strained hip flexor.
NEW YORK (AP) - TurboTax, the country's most popular do-it-yourself tax preparation software, halted processing state tax returns for about 24 hours because of a spike in fraudulent filings.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The rush to outfit police officers with body cameras after last summer's unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, threatens to saddle local governments with steep costs for managing the volumes of footage they must keep for months or even years, according to contracts, invoices and company data reviewed by The Associated Press.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The judge who lodged a nearly $1 million fine against a Philadelphia-area lawyer believes she intentionally elicited banned testimony that caused a mistrial - and then lied about it.
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - An Alaska man who attempted to walk 50 miles between two villages at 35 below zero was found in good shape 4 miles from his goal by searchers called by his family.
911 OPERATOR TOLD TEEN TO STOP WHINING AFTER FATAL CRASH: MARYLAND CITY, Md. (AP) - Officials in Maryland say a 911 dispatcher told a teenager to stop whining after a hit-and-run crash that killed her father.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Two city police officers were arrested Thursday and accused of knocking a man off a scooter and beating him so severely that another officer thought he had been shot.
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) - A man who sometimes held his coat together with safety pins and had a long-time habit of foraging for firewood also had a knack for picking stocks - a talent that became public after his death when he bequeathed $6 million to his local library and hospital.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation's new postmaster general says the Postal Service is looking beyond its regular mail and package delivery for new sources of revenue.
CINCINNATI (AP) - A comedy promoter who asked people if they wanted to laugh at a "crippled girl" in a wheelchair and then was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge has received $25,000 from the city to settle his federal lawsuit alleging violation of his free-speech rights, his attorney said Wednesday.