MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A tall man and a slender woman wiggled into their white hazardous materials suits, putting on protective masks and gloves before venturing into the dark, two-story home where police say a methamphetamine lab recently exploded.
NEW YORK (AP) - The heated debate over the National Security Agency's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records fell squarely into the courts Friday, when a federal judge in Manhattan upheld the legality of the program and cited its need in the fight against terrorism just days after another federal judge concluded it was likely not constitutional.
NO BEER LED TO CERAMIC SQUIRREL STABBING: NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina authorities say a 44-year-old woman angry at a man for returning home without beer on Christmas beat and stabbed him with a ceramic squirrel.
NEW YORK (AP) - Electricians working atop a New York City skyscraper on Friday installed the last of the 2,688 crystal triangles that give the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball its shimmer, including a panel dreamt up by a 12-year-old former cancer patient.
DENVER (AP) - The first batch of Denver businesses approved to sell recreational marijuana got their licenses Friday, the owners mugging for pictures and saying they never thought they'd see the day when they'd get a permit to sell pot.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Call it throwing the book at the bookworms.
SC GOV. HALEY GETS A BERETTA PISTOL FOR CHRISTMAS: COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Santa was apparently right on target for Christmas for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
CHICAGO (AP) - Early blasts of snow, ice and below-zero temperatures haven't stopped a surprising number of Chicago cyclists from spinning through the slush this winter, thanks in part to a city so serious about accommodating them that it deploys mini-snow plows to clear bike lanes.
HOUSTON (AP) - A white Houston-area man was arrested Thursday on federal hate crimes charges for allegedly shooting video of himself sucker-punching a 79-year-old black man in a "knockout game"-style attack.
PHOENIX (AP) - Two men were arrested Christmas Day on opposite sides of the country after they breached perimeters at major airports, raising questions about security measures and whether more needs to be done to protect the nation's transit hubs.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Pastor Mike Butzberger insists he only had holiday spirit in mind when his Florida church's marquee read: "Christmas - Easier to spell than Hanukkah."
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Members of the Ramapough Native American tribe have filed a $50 million lawsuit against the makers of a recent Hollywood movie they say depicts their people in a negative light.
LITCHFIELD, Maine (AP) - Utility crews from Maine to Michigan and into Canada worked Wednesday to restore power to more than half a million homes left in the dark by last weekend's ice storm, and people slowly trickled out of shelters to spend Christmas Day at their finally warm homes.
WEST READING, Pa. (AP) - A terminally ill girl who received support from thousands of Christmas carolers outside her home over the weekend died early on Christmas morning, her family said.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Las Vegas cab driver Gerardo Gamboa thought someone left a bag of chocolates in the back seat of his vehicle, but the stash turned out to be $300,000 in cold hard cash.
ELMENDORF, Texas (AP) - The police chief of a small Texas town was killed Saturday while attempting to arrest a man on a warrant, authorities said.
MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - Biologists plan to recapture and re-collar OR-7, Oregon's famous wandering wolf that is now a settled father of pups.
NEW YORK (AP) - A child care worker charged with killing a toddler in her home told police she threw the boy to the floor and stepped on him three times, and after that, he could no longer walk on his own, authorities said.
CHILMARK, Mass. (AP) - President Barack Obama has spent less time away from the White House than his predecessors. But his two-week break on the resort island of Martha's Vineyard and hours on the golf course have his detractors teeing up as they highlight the slew of foreign policy crises currently facing the United States.
WEST FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A reigning North Dakota teacher of the year was charged Friday with five felony counts for allegedly having sexual contact with a female student more than five years ago.
SOMERSET, Pa. (AP) - People who told police they were not that drunk while driving may have been right in one Pennsylvania county.
SELMA, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama teacher was suspended without pay after being accused of having sixth-grade students re-enact the deadly police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, and the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid apologized Friday for jokes he made about Asians during a luncheon of business leaders in Las Vegas earlier this week.
NEW YORK (AP) - John Lennon's killer was denied release from prison in his eighth appearance before a parole board, correction officials said Friday.
DENVER (AP) - A judge ordered a Denver man on Friday to stand trial in the killing of his wife, who told dispatchers moments before her death that he was paranoid and hallucinating after eating marijuana-infused candy.
WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 1,000 U.S. retailers could be infected with malicious software lurking in their cash register computers, allowing hackers to steal customer financial data, the Homeland Security Department said Friday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Seeking to quell a politically charged controversy, the Obama administration announced new measures Friday to allow religious nonprofits and some companies to opt out of paying for birth control for female employees while still ensuring those employees have access to contraception.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Model aircraft hobbyists, research universities and commercial drone interests filed lawsuits Friday challenging a government directive that they say imposes tough new limits on the use of model aircraft and broadens the agency's ban on commercial drone flights.