CUSTOMS SEIZES RUBBER DUCKS FOR CHEMICAL SAFETY: LOS ANGELES (AP) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Southern California have seized nearly 36,000 Chinese rubber ducks that contain levels of a chemical that may be unhealthful for children.
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A Nevada woman survived on snow and tomatoes for nearly a week and found shelter in a hollowed-out tree after she became stranded in a winter storm and her boyfriend died trying to find help, a family member said.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who was elected as the state's chief executive as a Republican and then ran for the U.S. Senate as an independent, announced on Twitter on Friday night that he's switching to the Democratic Party.
PHOENIX (AP) - Lottery officials announced Friday that a married man in his 30s from a wealthy Phoenix suburb has claimed his half of the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot, deciding to collect the winnings now and not next year because of the nation's looming fiscal cliff.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Investigators who spent hours interviewing an Alaska serial killer say he may have murdered close to a dozen people, and that he killed for pleasure and was only conflicted about how his notoriety would affect his loved ones.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The 2012 presidential election broke the $2 billion milestone in its final weeks, becoming the most expensive in American political history, according to final federal finance reports released Thursday. The reports detailed a last-minute cascade of money from mega-donors and an onslaught of spending by the Obama and Romney campaigns and "super" political action committees.
SEATTLE (AP) - A man pleaded guilty Thursday to plotting an attack on a Seattle military complex with machine guns and grenades.
SEATTLE (AP) - People openly lit joints under the Space Needle and on Seattle's sidewalks - then blew the smoke at TV news cameras. To those looking to "get baked," the city's police department suggested pizza and a "Lord of the Rings" movie marathon.
NEW BATAAN, Philippines (AP) - The Philippine government's geological hazard maps show why this farming community was largely washed away by a strong typhoon: "highly susceptible to flooding and landslides." That didn't stop some villagers from rebuilding even with bodies still lying under the mud.
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.
• MARYLAND GIRL PLEADS 'RESPONSIBLE' FOR BULLYING: LEONARDTOWN, Md. (AP) - A 17-year-old Maryland girl accused of assaulting an autistic boy pleaded "responsible" to two misdemeanor charges after her case was transferred from adult to juvenile court.
DALLAS (AP) - Southwest Airlines is being fined $200,000 for advertising a fare sale too good to be true.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Tanning beds and sun lamps will carry new warnings that they should not be used by anyone under age 18, part of a government action announced Thursday aimed at reducing skin cancer linked to the radiation-emitting devices.
MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) - Google has had more trouble diversifying its workforce than its computer scientists have had writing programs that respond to search requests in the blink of an eye or designing cars that can navigate traffic without a human behind the wheel.
MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) - Google plans to build and launch onto city streets a small fleet of subcompact cars that could operate without a person at the wheel.
NEW YORK (AP) - Maya Angelou's story awed millions. A childhood victim of rape, she broke through silence and shame to tell her tale in one of the most widely read memoirs of the 20th century. A black woman born into poverty and segregation, she recited the most popular presidential inaugural poem in history.
PAYSON, Ariz. (AP) - A 3-year-old Payson boy shot and killed his 1½ -year-old brother after the boys found a handgun in a neighbor's apartment and took it to another room, the eastern Arizona town's police chief said Wednesday.
DANBURY, Conn. (AP) - A 17-year-old boy has been named prom queen at his high school and says he's making a point about gender labeling and discrimination.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Two years after a 33-year-old mentally disabled man died at a state institution in Queens, and one year after his sister filed a lawsuit accusing the staff of killing him, New York officials have sent her an $11.67 million bill.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch conceded Wednesday it's only a matter of time before gay marriage is legal across the country, even though he doesn't think that's the right way to go.
• BURN VICTIM DOUSES SELF WITH SLURPEES AT 7-ELEVEN: GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Things were quiet at a convenience store in Southern Oregon when a tattooed man came in and started dousing himself with Hawaiian Punch Slurpees.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - The state Senate on Wednesday was considering a bill that would place some restrictions on vehicle-tracking technology to protect people's privacy.