FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) - President Barack Obama, trying to put a personal touch on "fiscal cliff" negotiations, visited a northern Virginia family's basement apartment Thursday to press his hard line on tax rate increases for the wealthy.
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.
CHICAGO (AP) - Teen girls who have sex should use IUDs or hormonal implants - long-acting birth control methods that are effective, safe and easy to use, the nation's most influential pediatricians' group recommends.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - A marijuana giveaway for veterans attracted about 1,000 people to a Colorado hotel.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A northern New Mexico sheriff who has fought off accusations of misconduct throughout his career was convicted Friday of abusing a driver during a bizarre traffic stop that prosecutors called a fit of road rage.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The arrests of several protesters for writing anti-police messages with chalk on a sidewalk last year have spawned a federal civil rights lawsuit against Las Vegas police.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A man fired from an Oklahoma food processing plant beheaded a woman with a knife and was attacking another worker when he was shot and wounded by a company official, police said Friday.
ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - A Mississippi man who was once declared dead, only to resurface as a suspect in a kidnapping and killing, was sentenced to death Friday after a jury earlier convicted him of murder.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - A man who has bumps resembling horns implanted in his forehead was found guilty of murder and other charges Friday for his role in the kidnapping and slaying of three Massachusetts men in 2011.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina inmate with mental illness who died of thirst was held in solitary confinement for 35 days and cited twice for flooding his cell, according to prison records.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina state trooper's dashboard video shows an unarmed driver being shot just seconds after he was stopped for a seatbelt offense - and the trooper, who was fired last week, has now been charged with assault.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Eric Holder, America's first black attorney general and an unflinching champion of civil rights in enforcing the nation's laws, announced his resignation Thursday after leading the Justice Department since the first days of President Barack Obama's term. He is the fourth-longest-serving attorney general in U.S. history.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A powerful earthquake shook a large swath of Alaska on Thursday morning, knocking things off shelves and causing people to take cover but bringing no immediate reports of injuries or major damage.
BEIRUT (AP) - When the United States opened its aerial campaign against the Islamic State group in Syria this week, its first salvo also hit an al-Qaida cell it says was planning terror attacks - a move that has injected more chaos into the conflict and could help President Bashar Assad.
POLICE: BURGLAR KILLS ACCOMPLICE OVER STOLEN ITEMS: WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina authorities say a burglar fatally shot his accomplice after the two men argued about how to split up the stolen goods.
CARPINTERIA (AP) - A California woman is recovering from scratches, a bite and a broken rib after being attacked by a black bear that chased her dogs through an avocado grove.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI director on Thursday criticized the decision by Apple and Google to encrypt smartphones data so it can be inaccessible to law enforcement, even with a court order.