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) - Is it time to cash out of stocks?
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency's staff has concluded that the government needs to tighten smog rules by somewhere between 7 and 20 percent.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Pikachu and Link will be among the first characters coming to "amiibo."
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A University of Iowa professor who donned a robot costume to heckle Bill Clinton and Michele Bachmann has now set his sights on one of his school's famous quirks: the visiting team's pink locker room at Kinnick Stadium.
LEBANON, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio school bus driver has resigned after being accused of making elementary-age students sit with the windows up in hot weather as a punishment.
DEERFIELD, Va. (AP) - The pilot of an F-15 jet that crashed this week in remote Virginia mountains was killed, military officials said Thursday, bringing to a sad end an exhaustive two-day search involving more than 100 local, state and federal officials as well as volunteers.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - An air ambulance carrying a cancer patient to Phoenix crashed shortly after taking off from a southern New Mexico airport, killing all four people aboard, authorities said Thursday.
NEW YORK (AP) - A New York City child care worker was indicted Thursday on a murder charge in the death of a 20-month-old boy in her care. Prosecutors said she admitted throwing him down and stepping on him.
BOSTON (AP) - An outburst over a reclined seat led an American Airlines flight to divert to Boston, at least the second such incident in the U.S. this week, authorities said.
FIFE, Wash. (AP) - To Tedd Wetherbee, the vacant storefront seems a suitable spot for selling pot. It's in a strip mall across from BJ's Bingo parlor, in a long commercial stretch occupied by fast-food joints, dry cleaners and massage parlors.
LAS VEGAS - The death of an Arizona firearms instructor by a 9-year-old girl who was firing a fully automatic Uzi displayed a tragic side of what has become a hot industry in the U.S.: gun tourism.
A 39-year-old firing-range instructor was killed Monday while showing a 9-year-old girl how to use an Uzi submachine gun. Charles Vacca's death at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range in White Hills, Arizona, has raised questions about allowing young children access to such weapons at firing ranges.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Police officers who opened fire while disrupting a robbery at a fast-food restaurant in Omaha killed a crew member with the TV show "Cops" as well as the suspect, who was armed with a pellet gun that they thought was a real handgun, authorities said Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's sister was arrested Wednesday on suspicion she threatened to bomb a woman who previously had a romantic relationship with her boyfriend.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A federal judge in Utah has issued a final ruling that strikes down parts of the state's anti-polygamy law in a lawsuit filed by the family that appears on the TV show "Sister Wives."