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.
MAN FINED AFTER PACKERS-BEARS STUN GUN BET: JUNEAU, Wis. (AP) - A suburban Chicago man was fined $250 after allegedly using a stun gun on his wife after she lost a bet on a Packers-Bears game.
CLINTON, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man faces numerous drug charges after police say he posted a YouTube video of himself giving a tour of what he calls his marijuana garden.
SHARON, Mass. (AP) - Hundreds of people, including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, attended the funeral Tuesday of a Massachusetts teenager whose battle with a rare genetic condition that accelerates the aging process inspired professional athletes and spurred medical research.
ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - A 12-year-old New Mexico boy drew a shotgun from a band-instrument case and shot and wounded two classmates at his middle school Tuesday morning before a teacher talked him into dropping the weapon and he was taken into custody, officials and witnesses said.
DALLAS (AP) - The fate of a brain-dead, pregnant Texas woman and her fetus likely will be decided in a courtroom after the woman's husband sued the hospital keeping her on life support against his wishes.
MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) - Google will pay $3.2 billion to buy Nest Labs, which develops high-tech versions of devices like thermostats and smoke detectors, in its second-largest acquisition ever.
VERMONT SETTLES WITH MAKER OF MISLABELED VERMINTS: BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Vermont reached a settlement with VerMints, a company that mislabeled its tins of mints as Vermont products.
WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (AP) - An argument over texting in a Florida movie theater Monday triggered a retired Tampa police captain to fatally shoot a man sitting in front of him, as about 25 horrified moviegoers looked on, sheriff's officials said.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The University of Utah is investigating a complaint that a convicted felon working at a fertility clinic replaced a customer's sperm with his own, fathering a girl 21 years ago.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A federal judge said Monday that Arkansas can stop making payments in one of the nation's most historic desegregation efforts but cautioned that work remains to ensure Little Rock-area students receive a proper education.
FRANKLIN, Mass. (AP) - A 7-year-old boy and his 8-year-old sister died after getting trapped in a hope chest in their home, authorities said Monday.
SANTA ANA (AP) - Two California police officers who were videotaped in a violent struggle with a homeless man during an arrest were acquitted Monday of killing him.
BOSTON (AP) - Eleanor McCullen clutches a baby's hat knit in pink and blue as she patrols a yellow semicircle painted on the sidewalk outside a Planned Parenthood health clinic on a frigid December morning with snow in the forecast.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - AT&T says it will start offering customers a subscription to streaming service Beats Music in a package that gives as many as five family members unlimited streaming and song downloading for $15 a month.
DRY BRANCH, W.Va. (AP) - For Bonnie Wireman, the white plastic bag covering her kitchen faucet is a reminder that she can't drink the water.