NEW YORK (AP) - For a significant number of Americans, Christmas has largely lost its religious meaning, becoming an occasion focused instead on visiting family and friends and exchanging gifts, according to a new survey released Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - Bernie Goetz said he thought he was going to be mugged by a man who turned out to be a plainclothes cop arresting him in a low-level drug sting - the same explanation he used nearly three decades ago when he opened fire on four panhandling youths on a subway train.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Police think a suicidal gunman was on a mission of violence when he calmly entered a third-floor urology office and opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun, killing one doctor, critically wounding another and shooting a third victim after warning patients and their children in a waiting area to "get out."
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont city of only 17,000 souls just smashed the national one-day record for blood donations - and it's likely to stand for quite a while.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Consumers anxious over tight insurance deadlines and lingering computer problems during the holidays will get extra time to pay their premiums under President Barack Obama's health care law, insurers announced Wednesday.
CHICAGO (AP) - Many older adults with high blood pressure can be treated less aggressively, which could mean taking fewer pills to get it under control, according to new treatment guidelines from an expert panel. But not all experts are on board with the advice - including the federal agency that appointed the group.
PURPORTED ZIMMERMAN ARTWORK LISTED ON AUCTION SITE: ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Artwork reportedly created by George Zimmerman is attracting bids of more than $100,000 on eBay.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA has ordered up a series of urgent spacewalks to fix a broken cooling line at the International Space Station, a massive repair job that could stretch to Christmas Day.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee man is charged with two counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting a motorcyclist several times and backing his SUV into another - after almost hitting them as they exited an interstate.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to an estimated $636 million for Tuesday night's drawing, making it the second largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
HOUSTON HOTEL DISPLAYS HALF-TON CHOCOLATE SANTA: HOUSTON (AP) - Santa Claus has come to town in Houston and he's sweeter than your average holiday fellow.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A suicidal gunman opened fire at a Reno hospital campus Tuesday, killing one person, wounding two others and sending police on a door-to-door search within the facility amid the chaos.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - President Barack Obama sent Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with who he is - and isn't - sending to represent the United States at the Sochi Olympics.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - North Texas prosecutors are trying a second time to imprison a teen who was sentenced last week to 10 years' probation for drunkenly driving his truck into four pedestrians, killing them all.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Year-end legislation to ease Congress' chronic budget brinkmanship and soften across-the-board spending cuts moved to the cusp of final passage Tuesday, a rare display of Senate bipartisanship that masked strong Republican complaints about slicing into military retirement benefits.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Court decisions this week paving the way for same-sex marriage to become legal in dozens of states, including Mormon strongholds like Utah, Idaho and Nevada, have emboldened a growing group of Latter-day Saints who are pushing the conservative church to become more accepting of gay members.
The "Never Ending Pasta Pass" card from Olive Garden not only promised weeks of unlimited pasta, but a look into why the chain is fighting to hold onto customers.
PHOENIX (AP) - A manufacturer of sapphire glass that Apple Inc. uses in iPhones told a bankruptcy court Friday that it wants to shut down a Mesa factory that was once touted as a big job creator for Arizona.
BOSTON (AP) - An airline passenger who became upset after a woman reclined the seat in front of him, causing the pilot to divert the plane, has been indicted on a federal charge of interfering with a flight crew.
NEW YORK (AP) - Sears Holdings Corp. said Friday that a data breach at its Kmart stores that started last month may have compromised some customers' credit and debit cards.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The U.S. Army War College revoked Democratic Sen. John Walsh's master's degree after an investigation completed Friday concluded that he plagiarized a research paper required to graduate.
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - Investigators say the student who killed a classmate before taking his own life at a suburban Denver high school described himself in a diary as "a psychopath with a superiority complex" and indicated he was exacting revenge for being teased in elementary school.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - An Alaska couple knocked on the door of their son's long-time girlfriend Thursday, intending to inform her that he'd been killed in a car accident.
TORRANCE (AP) - A woman who spent 17 years in prison after being convicted of murder in the death of a homeless man was exonerated Friday by a Los Angeles County judge who said she should not spend another minute behind bars.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah teacher who was injured by fragments from a bullet and a porcelain toilet when her gun accidentally went off in a faculty bathroom at an elementary school has been charged with a misdemeanor and resigned from her job.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Days after the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear any appeals from states trying to uphold gay marriage bans, Diane Ansley and Cathy McGaughey waited for hours in a church basement for a federal judge's order that would finally allow them to exchange their vows.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Two years after a prostitution scandal rocked the Secret Service, a Republican congressman renewed allegations Thursday about possible involvement by a White House volunteer and said he smelled efforts to cover it up. White House officials adamantly denied wrongdoing and said there'd been no attempt to keep anything quiet.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber's fiancee admitted Thursday that she violated the law when she married an immigrant seeking to retain residency in the United States.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will defend Activision in court against a lawsuit filed by disgraced Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega over the "Call of Duty" franchise, the video game maker said Thursday.
HAVANA (AP) - The number of Cubans heading to the United States has increased dramatically since the island lifted travel restrictions last year, eliminating a costly exit visa and making it easier for emigrants to return, new U.S. government figures show.