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.
CALIFORNIA BIG-CAT PARK APPEALS SAFETY ORDERS: FRESNO . (AP) - The operator of an animal park in Central California said Monday he's appealing orders to increase security more than a year after a volunteer was killed there by a lion.
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - A gunman who killed a rookie officer responding to a report of an armed robbery at a drugstore early Sunday never tried to rob the store and instead lay in wait for police, telling a witness to watch the news because he was "going to be famous," authorities said.
LATTA, S.C. (AP) - When openly gay police chief Crystal Moore was fired by a mayor who condemned her lifestyle as "questionable," she feared her two decade career in law enforcement in this town was over.
CHICAGO (AP) - Unexplained rash? Check your iPad. It turns out the popular tablet computer may contain nickel, one of the most common allergy-inducing metals.
CHICAGO (AP) - The song says a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but a study says that kind of imprecise measurement can lead to potentially dangerous dosing mistakes.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A key Republican said Friday that President Barack Obama's multibillion-dollar emergency request for the border is too big to get through the House, as a growing number of Democrats rejected policy changes Republicans are demanding as their price for approving any money.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Long accustomed to dealing with bad news "garbage" bears that become hooked on improperly stored trash at homes and businesses around Lake Tahoe, Nevada wildlife officials say they're increasingly responding to a new kind of troublemaker they've started calling "drought" bears.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The president of the nation's second-largest teachers union said Friday that President Barack Obama's education chief has turned his back on the concerns of educators and parents, but she stopped short of calling for his ouster.
SEATTLE (AP) - Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes acknowledges he broke a drug-free workplace rule when he brought marijuana back to his office after buying on the first day of legal sales in Washington state.
FEDS: WOMAN SENT NUDE PHOTOS OF SON, 4, TO BOYFRIEND: CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina woman has been charged with sending nude photos of her 4-year-old son to her boyfriend.
NEW YORK (AP) - Amazon is asking the Federal Aviation Administration permission to use drones as part of its plan to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Big Tobacco may soon get smaller.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A second federal judge has ordered the IRS to provide information about lost emails from a central figure in the agency's tea party controversy.
McLEAN, Va. (AP) - Police in Virginia on Thursday backed off efforts to take sexually explicit photos of a 17-year-old to prove a sexting case against him.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge on Thursday ordered the IRS to explain under oath how it lost a trove of emails to and from a central figure in the agency's tea party controversy.