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.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Raising fresh concern around the world, a nurse in Spain on Monday became the first person known to catch Ebola outside the outbreak zone in West Africa. In the U.S., President Barack Obama said the government was considering ordering more careful screening of airline passengers arriving from the region.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Doug Wortham used a Defense Department giveaway program for law enforcement to stock his office with an assault rifle, a handgun and a Humvee - even though the people in his custody are in no condition to put up a fight.
CHICAGO (AP) - As a teenager, holed up in his bedroom, illuminated by the glow of his laptop, Youngbin Chung became addicted to video games. Ten-hours-a-day addicted.
SEATTLE (AP) - The Seattle City Council has voted to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day on the same day as the federally recognized holiday, Columbus Day.
BOY LEFT IN CAR DURING CHURCH CHOIR PRACTICE DIES: PHOENIX (AP) - A 3-year-old boy has died a day after being left in a hot car for several hours while his mother and a family friend were in church for a choir practice, police said Monday.
DALLAS (AP) - Worries over Ebola kept some Dallas schoolchildren home Thursday after school officials identified five students who may have come into contact with the first person in the U.S. to be diagnosed with the virus.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Two top state officials resigned Thursday in the growing scandal surrounding office emails containing pornography in the Pennsylvania attorney general's office.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The married stars of the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" are trading the drama of reality TV for prison.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court said Thursday it will consider whether retailer Abercrombie & Fitch discriminated against a Muslim woman who was denied a job because her headscarf conflicted with the company's dress code, which the clothing chain has since changed.
GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) - Students and parents fighting a plan to promote patriotism and downplay civil disobedience in some suburban Denver U.S. history courses blasted the school board Thursday ahead of a possible vote on the proposal, accusing the new conservative majority of trying to indoctrinate students with their politics.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday ruled that prosecutors can use evidence gathered after a GPS device was put on a suspect's van without a warrant.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Secret Service Director Julia Pierson abruptly resigned Wednesday in the face of multiple revelations of security breaches, bumbling in her agency and rapidly eroding confidence that the president and his family were being kept safe.
CLEVELAND (AP) - An Ohio woman and her partner have sued a Chicago-area sperm bank after she became pregnant with sperm donated by a black man instead of a white man as she'd intended.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California's Catholic leadership has filed a federal civil rights complaint over a state requirement that health insurance cover abortions.
ATLANTA (AP) - Giving teens free birth control encourages them to use long-acting methods and greatly cuts the chances they will become pregnant or have an abortion, a new study finds.