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.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - New York's Times Square is getting a little bit Jersey for New Year's Eve.
SEATTLE (AP) - Hundreds of same-sex couples across Washington state started picking up marriage licenses Thursday as a voter-approved law legalizing gay marriage took effect.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Mormon leaders made their most significant outreach yet to gays and lesbians, unveiling a new website Thursday that encourages church members to be more compassionate in discussions about homosexuality.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - At about 450 pounds, Ohio death row inmate Ronald Post is so fat that his executioners won't be able to find veins in his arms or legs for the lethal injection, and he might even break the death chamber gurney, his lawyers say.
ATLANTA (AP) - An elderly man opened fire on a woman after her car came into contact with his motorized wheelchair at a central Georgia service station, authorities said Wednesday. She died shortly afterward at a hospital despite the efforts of a crowd of people to aid her.
NEW YORK (AP) - The daughter of a man pushed in front of a subway train and photographed a split-second before his death said Wednesday after a suspect was arrested that it "would have been great" if someone had helped her father up but "what's done is done."
NEW STUNNING NIGHTTIME VIEWS OF EARTH UNVEILED: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Twinkling city lights, raging wildfires and colorful auroras are lit up in new dazzling nighttime views of the Earth.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Architect Frank Gehry is maintaining key elements of his design for a memorial honoring President Dwight D. Eisenhower near the National Mall in a revised concept presented Thursday, despite recent criticism from a federal arts panel and outside groups.
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's official vehicles were spotted breaking several traffic laws on Thursday, just two days after he laid out a sweeping traffic safety plan that included harsh restrictions on reckless drivers.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Police can lie when interrogating suspects, but when the lies become "patently coercive," any confession cannot be used as evidence, New York's highest court ruled Thursday.
ATLANTA (AP) - Flu season seems to be winding down, and it's been an odd one.
MILFORD, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man has lost his job and unemployment benefits for using a forklift to get a candy bar from a malfunctioning vending machine, state records say.
LOS LUNAS, N.M. (AP) - A 15-year-old New Mexico boy accused of killing his 12-year-old friend struck him following an argument over the teen's infant daughter then stuffed his body under a mattress in an abandoned field, court documents said.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - The federal government will pay $3.5 million to the family of a 9-year-old boy crushed to death by a retaining wall at a national park in Northern California.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Eight New Jersey high school wrestlers scratched from a state tournament days after a photo surfaced of team members apparently simulating a lynching were intending to show school spirit, their attorney said Thursday.
READING, Pa. (AP) - Orange cones and flashing police lights confronted Ricardo Nieves as he rounded a bend on the way to his mother's house. Before he knew what was going on, Nieves said, a man working for a government contractor stepped in front of his car and forced him to turn into a parking lot. There, a woman repeatedly tried to question him about his driving habits and asked for a mouth swab that would detect the presence of illegal or prescription drugs in his system.
NEW YORK (AP) - T-Mobile is allowing people who participate in its $10-a-month Jump program to upgrade their phones anytime, eliminating the previous limit of two upgrades a year.
MENLO PARK (AP) - If Facebook hopes to remain the social networking leader, CEO Mark Zuckerberg knows the company must follow the people. That realization compelled Zuckerberg to pay $19 billion for WhatsApp, a mobile messaging application that is redefining the concept of texting while its audience of 450 million users expands at an even faster clip than Facebook itself.
NEW YORK (AP) - Gap's decision this week to raise the hourly wages of workers at its stores nationwide puts pressure on other major U.S. retailers to do the same.
NEW YORK (AP) - Much like its low-income shoppers, Wal-Mart can't seem to catch a break as the U.S. economy rebounds.
PALO ALTO (AP) - Hewlett-Packard Co. on Thursday reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street's forecasts, mainly on the surprising strength of personal computer sales to businesses.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of U.S. farms is declining even as the value of their crops and livestock has increased over the past five years, a government census of American agriculture released Thursday says.