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.
SEATTLE (AP) - Seattle's elected prosecutor said Monday he's dropping all tickets issued for the public use of marijuana through the first seven months of this year, because most of them were issued by a single police officer who disagrees with the legal pot law.
SHERIFF: IOWA MAN LOCKED 5 KIDS IN BEDROOM ALL DAY: IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man is charged with locking his girlfriend's five children in a bedroom for more than 24 hours at a time without food or a bathroom, authorities said Monday.
EL PASO, Texas (AP) - A Fort Bliss soldier was charged with capital murder after he fatally beat his 2-year-old daughter with a belt because she soiled her diaper, according to West Texas police.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Pentagon program that distributes military surplus gear to local law enforcement allows even departments that the Justice Department has censured for civil rights violations to apply for and get lethal weaponry.
NEW YORK (AP) - Apple's new and bigger iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are more durable than last year's model and a leading Android phone, a study says.
NEW YORK (AP) - The latest issue of the digital magazine "Dabiq" features glossy photos of smiling militants from the Islamic State group, mutilated bodies on the battlefield and articles with titles such as, "There is No Life Without Jihad" and "Foley's Blood is on Obama's Hands."
NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. Secret Service is having preliminary discussions about setting up security screening checkpoints near public areas around the White House, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press Sunday.
FRESNO (AP) - Residents in drought-stricken California whose wells have gone dry will soon get help from key state agencies under an order Gov. Jerry Brown signed Friday.
CHICAGO (AP) - Jon Daniel was watching cartoons with one of his sons when he created a spoof Twitter account in the name of the Peoria mayor. Out of boredom, he said, he soon began sending profane messages about sex, drugs and alcohol.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - After hundreds of negative responses, Texas officials appear to be backing off a plan to allow alcohol to be sold at some gun shows, which would have come with strict conditions.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - No crime was committed by a woman who told authorities she kept the remains of her miscarried pregnancy in a jar in the freezer for nearly a year, the coroner in Las Vegas said Friday.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A Montana man in prison for raping a girl starting when she was 12 is now charged with trying to persuade her to kill herself by cutting her wrists and taking prescription medication while he watched on a webcam.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Busch Gardens removed some props from their Halloween attractions after people in Virginia complained about decapitated heads, the theme park said Thursday.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A hotel room suicide of a man who was freed from jail after being accused of intentionally crashing his vehicle into the Stratosphere and declaring he wanted to jump from its tower raised questions Thursday about why he hadn't been charged with a crime and whether he was properly screened for mental illness.
CUPERTINO (AP) - Apple has tightened its technological security so not even the company can pry into a password-protected iPhone or iPad, a move meant to reassure the millions of people who are increasingly storing vital pieces of their lives on the devices.