AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Surrounded by sleigh bell-ringing Santa Claus impersonators, Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday signed a law protecting Christmas and other holiday celebrations in Texas public schools from legal challenges - but also stressed that freedom of religion is not the same thing as freedom from religion.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Danielle Powell was going through a hard time in the spring of 2011, just months away from graduating from a conservative Christian college in Nebraska. She had fallen in love with another woman, a strictly forbidden relationship at a school where even prolonged hugs were banned.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut woman disfigured by a friend's pet chimpanzee in 2009 was denied permission Friday to sue the state for $150 million on her claim that officials knew the animal was dangerous but didn't do anything about it.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The revelation Friday that a former commander of a Nazi SS-led military unit has lived quietly in Minneapolis for the past six decades came as a shock to people who knew him, prompted harsh condemnations from World War II survivors in the U.S. and Europe, and led prosecutors in Poland to say they would investigate.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Authorities lifted evacuations in a wide swath of terrain outside Colorado Springs on Friday as they said a surprise rain shower helped them expand containment of a wildfire that has destroyed 400 homes.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - One of two Czech-built military training jets that collided in midair while practicing for this fall's National Championship Air Races in Reno had to make a belly landing on the runway with no wheels, but neither pilot was hurt at the airport where 11 people were killed during the finals competition in 2011.
PHOENIX (AP) - A 91-year-old Arizona weightlifter didn't just break a world record for the bench press, he powered through it by 52 pounds.
NORTH BAY VILLAGE, Fla. (AP) - Investigators began examining a twisted pile of concrete, metal and wood on Friday to determine why a waterfront deck at a popular sports bar collapsed into shallow Biscayne Bay, injuring two dozen people gathered to cheer the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A high school football player convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl after an alcohol-fueled party last summer was given the state's second-toughest sex offender classification at a Friday hearing.
BOSTON WOMAN PAYS $560,000 FOR 2 PARKING SPOTS: BOSTON (AP) - Parking is such a precious commodity in Boston that one woman was willing to pay $560,000 for two off-street spaces near her home.
NEW YORK (AP) - There's little wonder why George Orwell's novel "1984" is seeing a resurgence in sales.
CHICAGO (AP) - The generation that's grown up posting their lives online wants a little privacy. That's not what we might expect as we debate just how much access the government should have to our mobile and online lives.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - A San Diego-area teacher says she is losing her job for being the victim of domestic violence.
NEW YORK (AP) - Law enforcement officials nationwide are demanding the creation of a "kill switch" that would render smartphones inoperable after they are stolen, New York's top prosecutor said Thursday in a clear warning to the world's smartphone manufacturers.
POLICE: THIEF GETS STUCK IN MUD AFTER BURGLARY: FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Police say a man who robbed a Foxborough home had to call a tow truck after getting stuck in the mud while making his getaway.
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.