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.
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - As the western North Dakota oil patch hub of Williston grows, so does the amount of money the city needs to subsidize housing for city employees.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A protest group has posted what appears to be the first video of the Supreme Court taken inside the courtroom with the court in session.
OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) - McDonald's plans to expand a test this year that lets people order customized burgers.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Public Service of New Hampshire is looking at whether a little peer pressure can prod people to reduce their electricity use.
SACRAMENTO . (AP) - California businesses and government agencies have experienced 300 separate data breaches exposing the personal information of more than 20 million customer accounts during the past two years, leading state Attorney General Kamala Harris on Thursday to elevate cybersecurity as a key focus of the state's top crime-fighting agency.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Best Buy returned to a profit in the fourth quarter and topped Wall Street expectations as it cut costs to offset declining sales.
NEW YORK (AP) - When an important social issue intersected with business in Arizona, Corporate America decided it was time to take a stand.
LONDON (AP) - Britain's signals intelligence division is stealing screenshots from hundreds of thousands of innocent Yahoo users' webcam videos, according to the Guardian newspaper, which also reported that the years-long operation has swept up a huge haul of intimate photographs.
GOODRICH, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan elementary school teacher is fighting efforts to fire her for shooting cellphone video of a student who got stuck trying to squeeze through the back of his chair and allegedly replaying the footage later for her class.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Adolph Hitler's "Mein Kampf" is considered one of the most racist and heinous screeds in modern history, but an auctioneer says two rare, early editions signed by Hitler could sell Thursday for more than $20,000 at an online auction.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Turns out the worst state for carbon dioxide emissions per person isn't smoggy California or bustling New York, but a place famous for its big, clear skies: Wyoming.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The founder of a Bible-themed museum who recently debated evolution with TV's "Science Guy" Bill Nye said Thursday that the widely watched event helped to boost enthusiasm among followers who invested in a project to build a 510-foot Noah's Ark.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken officially filed Thursday to run for Congress in North Carolina, saying that he wants to help end the gridlock in Washington and that no single political party has all the answers.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - When Wissam Akiki was ordained as a Maronite Catholic priest Thursday night in St. Louis, he was welcomed by hundreds of supporters, including his wife and daughter.
ALLEN, Texas (AP) - A $60 million Texas high school stadium that got national attention for its grandeur and price tag will be shut down indefinitely 18 months after its opening, school district officials said Thursday.