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.
DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Institute of Arts is defending the six-figure salaries of its two top executives, saying Friday that it didn't anticipate a backlash when raises were granted a few years ago, before the city filed for bankruptcy.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Saying more must be done to stop data breaches affecting consumers, President Barack Obama announced on Friday a government plan to tighten security for the debit cards that transmit federal benefits like Social Security to millions of Americans.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Secret Service is charged with watching the president's back, but who's watching his wallet?
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - The home of an 8-year-old Arizona girl who was abducted and killed apparently was a nest of drug abuse and sales, police said.
WASHINGTON (AP) - FBI Director James Comey warned in stark terms Thursday against the push by technology companies to encrypt smartphone data and operating systems, arguing that murder cases could be stalled, suspects could walk free and justice could be thwarted by a locked phone or an encrypted hard drive.
HOUSTON (AP) - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz told congregants of his home church Thursday that the city of Houston abused power by subpoenaing sermons and other documents from pastors who publicly opposed a local ordinance banning discrimination against gay and transgender residents.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Warning that Americans are losing faith in their government's ability to stop Ebola, Republican lawmakers on Thursday pressed for a ban on travel to the U.S. from the West African outbreak zone. The White House said other measures are more effective.
DALLAS (AP) - The Ebola crisis in the U.S. took another alarming turn Wednesday with word that a second Dallas nurse caught the disease from a patient and flew across the Midwest aboard an airliner the day before she fell ill, even though government guidelines should have kept her off the plane.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A state lawmaker who got into a shootout with a 15-year-old boy who was trying to rob him near Pennsylvania's Capitol said Wednesday the experience proves the value of packing a gun.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (AP) - The wing of a firefighting aircraft might have hit a tree and broken off before the tanker crashed into a canyon wall in Yosemite National Park, killing the pilot, federal investigators said Wednesday.
ARTESIA, NM (AP) - One of three centers used for detaining Central American families who have entered the U.S. illegally this year has started releasing many more detainees than it deports, a New Mexico city official said.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - The nation's top disease-fighting agency acknowledged Tuesday that federal health experts failed to do all they should have done to prevent Ebola from spreading from a Liberian man who died last week in Texas to the nurse who treated him.
TYLER HILL, Pa. (AP) - A 10-year-old boy apparently angry that a 90-year-old woman had yelled at him held a cane against her throat and repeatedly punched her, killing her in her bed, prosecutors said.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Beachgoers in Oregon pulled a struggling swimmer to shore by forming a human chain after she and seven others were stranded on a rocky outcropping during high tide.
NEW YORK (AP) - No holiday screams pop culture controversy quite like Halloween.