CUSTOMS SEIZES RUBBER DUCKS FOR CHEMICAL SAFETY: LOS ANGELES (AP) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Southern California have seized nearly 36,000 Chinese rubber ducks that contain levels of a chemical that may be unhealthful for children.
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A Nevada woman survived on snow and tomatoes for nearly a week and found shelter in a hollowed-out tree after she became stranded in a winter storm and her boyfriend died trying to find help, a family member said.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who was elected as the state's chief executive as a Republican and then ran for the U.S. Senate as an independent, announced on Twitter on Friday night that he's switching to the Democratic Party.
PHOENIX (AP) - Lottery officials announced Friday that a married man in his 30s from a wealthy Phoenix suburb has claimed his half of the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot, deciding to collect the winnings now and not next year because of the nation's looming fiscal cliff.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Investigators who spent hours interviewing an Alaska serial killer say he may have murdered close to a dozen people, and that he killed for pleasure and was only conflicted about how his notoriety would affect his loved ones.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The 2012 presidential election broke the $2 billion milestone in its final weeks, becoming the most expensive in American political history, according to final federal finance reports released Thursday. The reports detailed a last-minute cascade of money from mega-donors and an onslaught of spending by the Obama and Romney campaigns and "super" political action committees.
SEATTLE (AP) - A man pleaded guilty Thursday to plotting an attack on a Seattle military complex with machine guns and grenades.
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.
FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (AP) - Police mistook a black teenager for a burglar and pepper-sprayed him inside the home of his white foster parents.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Nevada will have nearly 35,000 more residents in the year 2032 than it would have if the state hadn't landed the Tesla Motors battery factory and another out-of-state business, according to new projections released Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - It's not just big businesses like JPMorgan Chase, Target and Home Depot that get hacked. Small companies suffer from intrusions into their computer systems, too.
ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) - A man told police he poured vodka into the IV feeding tube of his girlfriend's disabled 13-year-old son to settle him down, a dose of alcohol that contributed to his death, according to court documents released Wednesday.
PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona's barrage of rain storms in recent months has created an unlikely pest infestation for the desert region: mosquitoes.
NATRONA HEIGHTS, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania high school soccer coach and two players have been suspended for at least five days after an autistic teammate told police the two teens duct-taped him to a goalpost.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - An international team led by two veteran pilots has set its sights on breaking a pair of major ballooning records when it launches its helium-filled balloon from Japan in early 2015.
FRISCO, Texas (AP) - A sheriff's deputy who went into the apartment where the Dallas Ebola patient stayed was hospitalized out of an "abundance of caution" after falling ill Wednesday, officials said.
NEW YORK (AP) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to eliminate health insurance coverage for some of its part-time U.S. employees in a move aimed at controlling rising health care costs of the nation's largest private employer.
HARDWICK, Vt. (AP) - A woman and her boyfriend who police said put alcohol in her disabled 13-year-old son's IV tube, killing him, were charged on Tuesday with murder.
NEW YORK (AP) - Americans are living longer than ever before, according to a new government report filled mostly with good news. U.S. life expectancy inched up again and death rates fell.
DALLAS (AP) - Holiday shoppers with a limitless budget and taste for opulence could spend $425,000 for a trip to the Academy Awards, complete with invitations to the Vanity Fair Oscar party.
DENVER (AP) - A chemistry teacher has been fired after four students were burned, one seriously, when a fire erupted in a Denver high school chemistry laboratory while the teacher was conducting a demonstration with methanol, a school spokeswoman said Tuesday.
HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) - A cellphone video released Tuesday shows police in Indiana breaking a car window then using a stun gun on a man after police stopped the driver for not wearing a seat belt.
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) - Two men and a 15-year-old have been sentenced to life in prison for murdering a metro Atlanta teen who authorities said was targeted over his expensive shoe collection.