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.
NEW YORK (AP) - Increasing numbers of prison inmates nationwide are serving their full sentences and then going free without any supervision by parole or probation officers, according to a new report which says the trend is worrisome.
CINCINNATI (AP) - One man hit another while newly graduated kindergarten students were celebrating with punch and cookies, triggering a melee that involved up to 20 people and resulted in the lockdown of an elementary school near Cincinnati, authorities said Tuesday.
MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) - The volume of email cloaked in encryption technology is rapidly rising as Google, Yahoo, Facebook and other major Internet companies try to shield their users' online communications from government spies and other snoops.
CHICAGO (AP) - The city of Chicago is seeking damages in a lawsuit accusing five drugmakers of deceptively marketing a class of prescription painkiller that can be highly addictive.
NEW YORK (AP) - In an attempt to curry favor with regulators, AT&T Inc. said Tuesday that if it's allowed to buy satellite broadcaster DirecTV, it will be able to afford an expansion of fiber connections into more homes to boost their Internet connection speeds.
DETROIT (AP) - Delegates to the United Auto Workers convention have voted to raise dues by 25 percent to shore up the union's finances, the first increase in 47 years.
NEW YORK (AP) - The photo sharing app Instagram is adding editing tools that go beyond the vintage-looking filters that made it popular.
WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) - Prosecutors say two 12-year-old southeastern Wisconsin girls stabbed their 12-year-old friend nearly to death in the woods to please a mythological creature they learned about online.
MONROE, Mich. (AP) - A southeast Michigan public school teacher who was removed from the classroom while district officials looked into whether a lesson plan on African-American history and racial segregation laws was inappropriate has been reinstated, his lawyer said.
• POLICE CONFISCATE $3M WORTH OF SHOES FROM KY. HOME: RADCLIFF, Ky. (AP) - Police are investigating after finding $3 million worth of missing shoes at a central Kentucky home.
SAN JOSE (AP) - The number of whooping cough cases is up in California again and state health officials say they expect them to keep rising.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Some drought-stricken rivers and streams in Northern California's coastal forests are being polluted and sucked dry by water-guzzling medical marijuana farms, wildlife officials say - an issue that has spurred at least one county to try to outlaw personal grows.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown heads into Tuesday's gubernatorial primary with a huge lead, while his top two Republican challengers have pulled into a dead heat, according to a poll released Sunday.
PALO ALTO (AP) - When HBO rolled out a mockumentary poking fun at high tech this spring, Silicon Valley checked it out.
TURLOCK AP) - Police in Northern California have shot and killed a man suspected of fatally shooting two women.