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.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Arizona's largest city has gone four months without any measurable rain, and neighboring New Mexico is in the midst of four years of severe drought.
NOME, Alaska (AP) - Alaska wildlife officials have turned to an unusual source in efforts to persuade a herd of musk oxen to leave this Bering Sea coastal town for good.
VETERAN DIES WAITING FOR AMBULANCE IN VA HOSPITAL: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A veteran who collapsed in an Albuquerque Veteran Affairs hospital cafeteria - 500 yards from the emergency room - died after waiting 30 minutes for an ambulance, officials confirmed Thursday.
MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia man who police say intentionally killed his toddler son by leaving the boy inside a hot SUV was exchanging nude photos with women the day his son died and had looked at websites that advocated against having children, a detective testified Thursday.
RIFLE, Colo. (AP) - Many stores and restaurants are telling people not to bring their guns inside, but one western Colorado restaurant not only embraces the practice of packing heat, it encourages its customers to carry openly - and its waitresses do, too.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The family who says their 3-year-old girl was asked to leave a KFC restaurant because her scars disturbed customers won't directly accept a $30,000 donation but instead wants the money given to the foundation of a doctor who will work on her face, according to an attorney's statement.
BRUSSELS (AP) - Google's removal of search results in Europe is drawing accusations of press censorship, as stories from some of the continent's most prominent news outlets begin vanishing. The U.S. internet giant said Thursday it is getting 1,000 requests a day to scrub results.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Mormon church is moving forward with its plan to arm missionaries with iPad minis and broaden their proselytizing to social media.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A surprisingly robust job market is energizing the 5-year-old U.S. recovery and driving the economy closer to full health.
SANTA ANA (AP) - The parents of a severely autistic boy were arrested after investigators determined the 11-year-old had been kept in a large metal cage, possibly to control his violent outbursts, authorities said Wednesday.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - It's not just a people problem: Growing rates of obesity in pets have led to the emergence of fat farms offering "pawlates," ''doga" and "Barko Polo," doggie versions of Pilates, yoga and Marco Polo to help slim down man's best friend.
CLEVELAND (AP) - An Ohio man charged with killing a teenage girl stuffed her body in a playpen bag and carried it past her mother - even offering the woman a chance to "buy a baby thing" - before disposing of the remains in the trash, police said.
NEW YORK (AP) - Business owners who don't want to pay for their employees' birth control are ending that coverage after the Supreme Court said they could choose on grounds of religious belief not to comply with part of the health care law.
CLARKSVILLE, Mo. (AP) - For years, tiny Clarksville has paid for temporary sandbag walls to protect its quaint business district and historic waterfront homes from Mississippi River flooding. But unwilling to raid its coffers again despite rising water levels, the city has left it to individual merchants and residents to safeguard their property.
ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico judge rejected pleas for leniency Wednesday and handed down the maximum sentence for a then-12-year-old boy who opened fire in a Roswell middle school gym earlier this year, injuring two students.