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.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Mailing a letter is about to get a little more expensive.
NEW YORK (AP) - Tablet computers are so easy to use that even a 3-year-old can master them.
NEW YORK (AP) - It's beginning to look a lot like ... the day after Christmas?
NEW YORK (AP) - Santa's sleigh didn't make it in time for Christmas for some this year due to shipping problems at UPS and FedEx.
MAN IN DRUG WEBSITE CASE WANTS HIS BITCOIN BACK: NEW YORK (AP) - An Internet entrepreneur accused of being behind an online marketplace for illegal drugs has asked the government to return more than $30 million in bitcoin seized from his computers.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A group of Republicans has come out in support of legalizing gay marriage in Utah and Oklahoma, arguing that allowing same-sex unions is consistent with the Western conservative values of freedom and liberty once championed by Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater.
SAN FRANCSICO (AP) - Exciting research suggests that a shot every one to three months may someday give an alternative to the daily pills that some people take now to cut their risk of getting HIV.
NEW YORK (AP) - Dove is learning the hard way that New Jersey residents don't appreciate being referred to as "The Armpit of America."
EWING, N.J. (AP) - A gas leak and subsequent explosion destroyed at least 10 houses and damaged dozens of others at a suburban town house development Tuesday, killing a woman and injuring seven workers, authorities said.
MENLO PARK (AP) - Facebook is in talks to buy Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered drones, to step up its efforts to provide Internet access to remote parts of the world, according to reports from technology blog Techcrunch and financial news outlet CNBC.
NEW YORK (AP) - United Airlines is getting tough on passengers with oversized carry-on bags, even sending some of them back to the ticket counter to check their luggage for a fee.
NEW YORK (AP) - There will soon be about 1,100 fewer places to buy batteries.
MERCED (AP) - Two recent storms that washed over bone-dry California delivered welcome rain and snow, but officials from the state's Drought Task Force said Tuesday that much more is needed to alleviate the crisis.
TRUCKEE. (AP) - Weather watchers in the Sierra Nevada say they need a "Miracle March" to recover from an abysmal winter that has produced only one-third of the normal snowpack by this time of year.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Striving for unity among Democrats rather than compromise with Republicans, President Barack Obama will unveil an election-year budget on Tuesday that drops earlier proposals to cut future Social Security benefits and seeks new money for infrastructure, education and job training.
NEW YORK (AP) - Ellen DeGeneres' celeb-studded selfie from the most-watched Oscars telecast in a decade was a landmark social media moment at a time online conversation is boosting television viewership and vice versa.
GILMAN, Minn. (AP) - A farmer in central Minnesota has created a towering tribute to winter's excess.
CHICAGO (AP) - Most people who abuse addictive prescription painkillers get them for free from friends or relatives, while drug dealers are a relatively uncommon source for those at highest risk for deadly overdoses, a government study found.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - It turns out that using emergency warning tones in a TV commercial with images of the White House blowing up and the flashing words "THIS IS NOT A TEST" is frowned upon by the government.
• DAUGHTER'S FACEBOOK POST COSTS FATHER $80,000: MIAMI (AP) - A Florida teenager's Facebook post has cost her father an $80,000 legal settlement.