AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Surrounded by sleigh bell-ringing Santa Claus impersonators, Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday signed a law protecting Christmas and other holiday celebrations in Texas public schools from legal challenges - but also stressed that freedom of religion is not the same thing as freedom from religion.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Danielle Powell was going through a hard time in the spring of 2011, just months away from graduating from a conservative Christian college in Nebraska. She had fallen in love with another woman, a strictly forbidden relationship at a school where even prolonged hugs were banned.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut woman disfigured by a friend's pet chimpanzee in 2009 was denied permission Friday to sue the state for $150 million on her claim that officials knew the animal was dangerous but didn't do anything about it.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The revelation Friday that a former commander of a Nazi SS-led military unit has lived quietly in Minneapolis for the past six decades came as a shock to people who knew him, prompted harsh condemnations from World War II survivors in the U.S. and Europe, and led prosecutors in Poland to say they would investigate.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Authorities lifted evacuations in a wide swath of terrain outside Colorado Springs on Friday as they said a surprise rain shower helped them expand containment of a wildfire that has destroyed 400 homes.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - One of two Czech-built military training jets that collided in midair while practicing for this fall's National Championship Air Races in Reno had to make a belly landing on the runway with no wheels, but neither pilot was hurt at the airport where 11 people were killed during the finals competition in 2011.
PHOENIX (AP) - A 91-year-old Arizona weightlifter didn't just break a world record for the bench press, he powered through it by 52 pounds.
NORTH BAY VILLAGE, Fla. (AP) - Investigators began examining a twisted pile of concrete, metal and wood on Friday to determine why a waterfront deck at a popular sports bar collapsed into shallow Biscayne Bay, injuring two dozen people gathered to cheer the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A high school football player convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl after an alcohol-fueled party last summer was given the state's second-toughest sex offender classification at a Friday hearing.
BOSTON WOMAN PAYS $560,000 FOR 2 PARKING SPOTS: BOSTON (AP) - Parking is such a precious commodity in Boston that one woman was willing to pay $560,000 for two off-street spaces near her home.
NEW YORK (AP) - There's little wonder why George Orwell's novel "1984" is seeing a resurgence in sales.
CHICAGO (AP) - The generation that's grown up posting their lives online wants a little privacy. That's not what we might expect as we debate just how much access the government should have to our mobile and online lives.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - A San Diego-area teacher says she is losing her job for being the victim of domestic violence.
NEW YORK (AP) - Law enforcement officials nationwide are demanding the creation of a "kill switch" that would render smartphones inoperable after they are stolen, New York's top prosecutor said Thursday in a clear warning to the world's smartphone manufacturers.
POLICE: THIEF GETS STUCK IN MUD AFTER BURGLARY: FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Police say a man who robbed a Foxborough home had to call a tow truck after getting stuck in the mud while making his getaway.
DENVER (AP) - Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong hit two parked cars with an SUV after a night of partying in Aspen, Colorado, but agreed to let his longtime girlfriend take the blame to avoid national attention, police reports show.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Sixteen people, most from the New York City area and with ties to Nigeria, face charges in a wire fraud and identity theft ring that prosecutors said caused the Internal Revenue Service to pay more them than $10 million in fraudulent tax refunds.
DENVER (AP) - Selfies were a likely factor in a small plane crash near Denver last year that killed the pilot and his only passenger, according to a new National Transportation Safety Board report.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A Billings lawmaker wants to keep drones from interfering in Montana's hunting and fishing sports.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - An Ohio man who sold fake urine and other products meant to help people pass workplace drug tests has pleaded guilty before a federal judge in Pennsylvania.
CHICAGO (AP) - Many packaged meals and snacks for toddlers contain worrisome amounts of salt and sugar, potentially creating an early taste for foods that may contribute to obesity and other health risks, according to a new government study.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A 3-year-old boy found a handgun in his mother's purse and fired just one shot that wounded both his parents at an Albuquerque motel on Saturday, police said.
AN ANTONIO (AP) - Thousands of immigrants seeking legalization through the U.S. court system have had their hearings canceled and are being told by the government that it may be 2019 or later before their futures are resolved.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A downtown Los Angeles mosque that forbids men from attending may be the first of its kind in the United States.
PHOENIX (AP) - The sideshow is over, which means Marshawn Lynch can go back to not talking and this realization can become obvious again: The Seattle Seahawks are still the best defensive team in football.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A record 41.1 million visitors descended on Las Vegas last year.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal health regulators have approved an attention deficit disorder drug for a new use: A first-of-its kind treatment for binge-eating disorder.
LUDLOW, Vt. (AP) - Seventy-five years ago, the government cut 65-year-old Ida May Fuller a check. It was numbered 00-000-001 - the first Social Security payout.
PHOENIX (AP) - Go ahead, pile on the Patriots.