NO BEER LED TO CERAMIC SQUIRREL STABBING: NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina authorities say a 44-year-old woman angry at a man for returning home without beer on Christmas beat and stabbed him with a ceramic squirrel.
NEW YORK (AP) - Electricians working atop a New York City skyscraper on Friday installed the last of the 2,688 crystal triangles that give the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball its shimmer, including a panel dreamt up by a 12-year-old former cancer patient.
DENVER (AP) - The first batch of Denver businesses approved to sell recreational marijuana got their licenses Friday, the owners mugging for pictures and saying they never thought they'd see the day when they'd get a permit to sell pot.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Call it throwing the book at the bookworms.
SC GOV. HALEY GETS A BERETTA PISTOL FOR CHRISTMAS: COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Santa was apparently right on target for Christmas for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
CHICAGO (AP) - Early blasts of snow, ice and below-zero temperatures haven't stopped a surprising number of Chicago cyclists from spinning through the slush this winter, thanks in part to a city so serious about accommodating them that it deploys mini-snow plows to clear bike lanes.
HOUSTON (AP) - A white Houston-area man was arrested Thursday on federal hate crimes charges for allegedly shooting video of himself sucker-punching a 79-year-old black man in a "knockout game"-style attack.
PHOENIX (AP) - Two men were arrested Christmas Day on opposite sides of the country after they breached perimeters at major airports, raising questions about security measures and whether more needs to be done to protect the nation's transit hubs.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Pastor Mike Butzberger insists he only had holiday spirit in mind when his Florida church's marquee read: "Christmas - Easier to spell than Hanukkah."
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Members of the Ramapough Native American tribe have filed a $50 million lawsuit against the makers of a recent Hollywood movie they say depicts their people in a negative light.
LITCHFIELD, Maine (AP) - Utility crews from Maine to Michigan and into Canada worked Wednesday to restore power to more than half a million homes left in the dark by last weekend's ice storm, and people slowly trickled out of shelters to spend Christmas Day at their finally warm homes.
WEST READING, Pa. (AP) - A terminally ill girl who received support from thousands of Christmas carolers outside her home over the weekend died early on Christmas morning, her family said.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Las Vegas cab driver Gerardo Gamboa thought someone left a bag of chocolates in the back seat of his vehicle, but the stash turned out to be $300,000 in cold hard cash.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Mailing a letter is about to get a little more expensive.
NEW YORK (AP) - Tablet computers are so easy to use that even a 3-year-old can master them.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - The dangers posed by a spike in oil shipments by rail extend beyond crude from the booming Bakken region of the Northern Plains and include oil produced elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada, U.S. safety officials and lawmakers said.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Sponsors of an initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana traveled to Salem on Thursday to turn in boxes stuffed with enough signed petitions to bring their total signatures to 145,000 - far more than are needed for the measure to qualify for the November ballot.
BAGHDAD (AP) - Prominent Shiite leaders pushed Thursday for the removal of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as parliament prepared to start work next week on putting together a new government, under intense U.S. pressure to rapidly form a united front against an unrelenting Sunni insurgent onslaught.
KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) - A Sudanese Christian woman whose death sentence for apostasy was overturned was freed again on Thursday after being detained on accusations of forging travel documents.
IZVARYNE, Ukraine (AP) - As a shaky cease-fire in the east entered its final hours Thursday, thousands of Ukrainians in cars stuffed with belongings lined up at the border to cross into Russia, some vowing never to return.
BRUSSELS (AP) - Many political battles are ugly - but toss in 28 nations, high unemployment, angry voters and a skeptical Britain and the fight over who will be the European Union's next chief executive may have profound consequences.
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - A military court on Thursday acquitted a radical Jordanian preacher known for his fiery pro-al-Qaida rhetoric of involvement in a foiled 1999 plot to attack an American school in Amman but postponed a ruling on other terrorism charges.
BRUSSELS (AP) - At a site where their countrymen once slaughtered each other with machine guns, artillery and poison gas, the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and other European nations commemorated the 100th anniversary of World War I and vowed Thursday to preserve peace on the continent.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea fired three short-range projectiles Thursday into the waters off its east coast in a possible move to stoke tensions with Seoul, a South Korean defense official said. Pyongyang's military later criticized alleged South Korean shelling in disputed waters.
DENVER (AP) - A federal appeals court ruled for the first time Wednesday that states cannot prevent gay couples from getting married, extending the movement's legal winning streak and bringing the issue a big step closer to the U.S. Supreme Court.
AZLE, Texas (AP) - Earthquakes used to be almost unheard of on the vast stretches of prairie that unfold across Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - When it comes to its no-fly list, the U.S. government has a choice to make.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional investigators say they uncovered emails Wednesday showing that a former Internal Revenue Service official at the heart of the tea party investigation sought an audit involving a Republican senator in 2012.
WASHINGTON (AP) - In an emphatic defense of privacy in the digital age, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police generally may not search the cellphones of people they arrest without first getting search warrants.
• Buy a vowel? Couple flown to Grenada, not Granada: WASHINGTON (AP) - A District of Columbia couple has sued British Airways, saying the airline ruined their vacation by booking them tickets to the Caribbean island of Grenada instead of Granada, Spain. Edward Gamson and Lowell Canaday said in their lawsuit they wanted to travel from Washington to London and then to Granada, Spain. Gamson, a dentist who has an office in Maryland, said he explained his travel plans to a British Airways agent who made the reservation. The lawsuit said the couple received an electronic ticket that referred to "Grenada" but ...