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.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Operators who fly drones or model planes near or over large sports stadiums and auto racetracks are breaking the law and can be fined and imprisoned for up to a year, the Federal Aviation Administration warned in a notice posted on the agency's website.
LAGUNA BEACH. (AP) - Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple's new mobile payment system had over 1 million activations in the first three days after it became available, and is now more widely used than any competing payment system.
MENLO PARK (AP) - Facebook grew its advertising revenue by 64 percent in the third quarter, helped by a boost in mobile ads that are becoming an increasingly large chunk of the social networking giant's overall advertising business.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The father of a Connecticut third-grader filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday saying his daughter has been unfairly barred from school amid fears she may have been exposed to the Ebola virus while in Africa.
DENVER (AP) - One of three suburban Denver girls who authorities say tried to join Islamic State militants in Syria was confused about what her role would be if she had actually made it there, the girl's father said Tuesday.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The Harmon Hotel tower was designed to soar 48 stories over MGM Resorts International's massive CityCenter complex, offering hotel guests and condominium owners unparalleled views at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - An environmental group asked a federal court Tuesday to review its claim that California's last operating nuclear power plant is violating federal law and should be shut down at least temporarily.
PHOENIX (AP) - A sheriff's detention officer shot and killed a jail inmate in Phoenix who slipped out of his restraints, ran away and struggled with another officer over a gun Tuesday, authorities said.
ATLANTIC, Va. (AP) - An unmanned commercial supply rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded moments after liftoff Tuesday evening, with debris falling in flames over the launch site in Virginia. No injuries were reported following the first catastrophic launch in NASA's commercial spaceflight effort.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - A northern New Mexico sheriff's deputy was charged with an open count of murder Tuesday after he allegedly fired several rounds from his handgun as his colleague tried to flee an alcohol-fueled argument at a hotel, police said.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday recommended new restrictions for people at highest risk for coming down with the Ebola virus and symptom monitoring for those at lower risk, but some state governors and even the Army are carving their own paths.
MARYSVILLE, Wash. (AP) - A popular student responsible for a shooting at a Washington state high school invited his victims to lunch by text message, then shot them at their table, investigators said Monday.
HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii officials will make arrangements for those living in the path of a lava flow to watch the destruction of their homes.
POLSON, Mont. (AP) - A 3-year-old Montana boy who died of a bullet wound last week was shot in the back by an intoxicated man who said he didn't think the gun was loaded as they played together, prosecutors said.
MARYSVILLE, Wash. (AP) - A student recently crowned freshman class Homecoming prince walked into his Seattle-area high school cafeteria Friday and opened fire, killing one person and shooting several others in the head before turning the gun on himself, officials and witnesses said.