SC GOV. HALEY GETS A BERETTA PISTOL FOR CHRISTMAS: COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Santa was apparently right on target for Christmas for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
CHICAGO (AP) - Early blasts of snow, ice and below-zero temperatures haven't stopped a surprising number of Chicago cyclists from spinning through the slush this winter, thanks in part to a city so serious about accommodating them that it deploys mini-snow plows to clear bike lanes.
HOUSTON (AP) - A white Houston-area man was arrested Thursday on federal hate crimes charges for allegedly shooting video of himself sucker-punching a 79-year-old black man in a "knockout game"-style attack.
PHOENIX (AP) - Two men were arrested Christmas Day on opposite sides of the country after they breached perimeters at major airports, raising questions about security measures and whether more needs to be done to protect the nation's transit hubs.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Pastor Mike Butzberger insists he only had holiday spirit in mind when his Florida church's marquee read: "Christmas - Easier to spell than Hanukkah."
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Members of the Ramapough Native American tribe have filed a $50 million lawsuit against the makers of a recent Hollywood movie they say depicts their people in a negative light.
LITCHFIELD, Maine (AP) - Utility crews from Maine to Michigan and into Canada worked Wednesday to restore power to more than half a million homes left in the dark by last weekend's ice storm, and people slowly trickled out of shelters to spend Christmas Day at their finally warm homes.
WEST READING, Pa. (AP) - A terminally ill girl who received support from thousands of Christmas carolers outside her home over the weekend died early on Christmas morning, her family said.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Las Vegas cab driver Gerardo Gamboa thought someone left a bag of chocolates in the back seat of his vehicle, but the stash turned out to be $300,000 in cold hard cash.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Mailing a letter is about to get a little more expensive.
NEW YORK (AP) - Tablet computers are so easy to use that even a 3-year-old can master them.
NEW YORK (AP) - It's beginning to look a lot like ... the day after Christmas?
NEW YORK (AP) - Santa's sleigh didn't make it in time for Christmas for some this year due to shipping problems at UPS and FedEx.
MAN IN DRUG WEBSITE CASE WANTS HIS BITCOIN BACK: NEW YORK (AP) - An Internet entrepreneur accused of being behind an online marketplace for illegal drugs has asked the government to return more than $30 million in bitcoin seized from his computers.
CHICAGO (AP) - 'Tis the season - for heart attacks? Not to dampen any spirits, but studies show heart troubles spike this time of year.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - As promised, the Terminator and the man who originated the steely machine - Arnold Schwarzenegger - are back this summer for another go in "Terminator: Genisys," and Paramount Pictures, eager for a blockbuster, has already fired up a machine of its own - the publicity kind.
MUNHALL, Pa. (AP) - A teachers union says a special needs student at a Pittsburgh-area elementary school shouldn't be allowed to use a faculty restroom even though school officials say it's difficult for the girl to climb steps to reach a student restroom on another floor.
HOUSTON (AP) - A celebrity booking agency has told the Texas attorney general's office it is not all right to make public how much the University of Houston is paying actor Matthew McConaughey to speak at the school's May 15 commencement ceremony.
CHICAGO (AP) - An Illinois Army National Guard soldier vowed to bring "the flames of war to the heart" of America if he was unable to get to the Middle East to join the Islamic State group, and his cousin bragged he could kill up to 150 people in a terrorist attack in the U.S., federal prosecutors said Thursday in announcing the men's arrests. Both are also accused of hatching a plot to attack a U.S. military facility.
DETROIT (AP) - A teenager told authorities that her mother killed two siblings and forced her to put one of the bodies in the freezer of their Detroit home where both were found by an eviction crew.
GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) - A jury recommended life without parole Thursday for an Alabama woman convicted of running her granddaughter to death.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal appeals court agreed Thursday to reconsider its decision to strike down a California law that requires applicants for a concealed-weapons permit to show "good cause" beyond self-defense.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The father of a former Los Angeles police officer was charged Thursday with lying to FBI agents to help his son escape after the officer was charged with killing a man during an off-duty fight.
PARIS (AP) - Passengers with moments to live screamed in terror and the pilot frantically pounded on the locked cockpit door as a 27-year-old German co-pilot deliberately and wordlessly smashed an Airbus carrying 150 people into an Alpine mountainside.
NEW YORK (AP) - The cover for Harper Lee's new novel will surely remind you of the cover for her old one.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A 12-year Allegheny County councilman has withdrawn his nominating petitions - and thus ended his last re-election bid - in grand style.
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) - When a Vietnam veteran briefly stopped in Hawaii on his way home from war, he vowed to return one day to honor the people who perished during the attack on Pearl Harbor. With just less than two months to live, Joseph Hooker realized his longtime dream on Wednesday.
FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin State Patrol trooper just three months out of the academy and working the first solo patrol of his "dream job" died in a shootout with a bank robbery suspect also believed to have killed a motorist.
WASHINGTON (AP) - At Iraq's request, the U.S. began airstrikes in Tikrit on Wednesday in support of a stalled Iraqi ground offensive to retake the city from Islamic State fighters. The bombing marked a significant expansion of the U.S. military role in Iraq.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - An elementary school teacher who resigned this month was obsessed with one of her 11-year-old students, encrypting her phone number on the girl's math homework, exchanging thousands of text messages with her and even talking of running away with her, authorities said Wednesday.