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.
RICHMOND, Texas (AP) - Hilmar Moore, who has been mayor of the Southeast Texas town of Richmond since 1949, has died at age 92.
SEATTLE (AP) - Legal marijuana possession becomes a reality under Washington state law on today, and some people planned to celebrate the new law by breaking it.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The moon took quite a beating in its early days, more than previously believed, scientists reported Wednesday.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama man who went into surgery for what was supposed to be a routine circumcision filed a lawsuit contending doctors mistakenly amputated his penis, but a hospital said Thursday the claims were without merit.
ALIQUIPPA, Pa. (AP) - The father of two toddlers who died after a dresser fell on them is facing involuntary manslaughter charges because he heard a crash and didn't immediately check on his daughters, a prosecutor said Thursday.
MIAMI (AP) - Federal officials have capped the amount of money scofflaws will be forced to pay if they don't buy insurance this year at $2,448 per person and $12,240 for a family of five.
SEATTLE (AP) - Shares of Amazon.com Inc. fell Thursday after the e-commerce retailer reported a deeper-than-expected second quarter loss as expenses outpaced a surge in revenue.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Union Pacific Corp. said Thursday that its quarterly profit climbed 17 percent as the railroad hauled 8 percent more freight and raised shipping rates.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The risk of losing your job is getting smaller and smaller.
NEW YORK (AP) - Starbucks said Thursday its revamped breakfast sandwiches and other food offerings helped boost sales at its U.S. cafes.
DETROIT (AP) - Recall expenses chopped $1.5 billion from General Motors' bottom line in the second quarter, as it added up the costs of repairs for nearly 30 million cars and set aside funds to compensate victims of small-car crashes.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Staking out a populist stand ahead of the midterm elections, President Barack Obama on Thursday demanded "economic patriotism" from U.S. corporations that use legal means to avoid U.S. taxes through overseas mergers.
WEST SACRAMENTO (AP) - California's attorney general said Thursday she is helping secure lawyers to represent minors from Central America during immigration hearings.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - A state appeals court on Thursday upheld a proposed route for California's high-speed rail line connecting the San Francisco Bay Area to the Central Valley.
LOS BANOS (AP) - A Central California man has been sentenced to 14 years and eight months in prison following his conviction on charges that he drugged and raped two men.
COTATI (AP) - A rare redwood tree in a small Northern California city will be replanted instead of being sawed down to make way for planned railway tracks.