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.
PALO ALTO (AP) - Electric car maker Tesla Motors said Wednesday it's considering sites in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas for a massive battery factory that would employ around 6,500 people.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed suit Wednesday against a large, for-profit college chain alleging that it pushed students into high-cost private student loans knowing they would likely end in default.
CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) - As deaths from heroin and powerful painkillers skyrocket nationwide, governments and clinics are working to put a drug that can reverse an opiate overdose into the hands of more paramedics, police officers and the people advocates say are the most critical group - people who abuse drugs, and their friends and families.
ATLANTA (AP) - People who take Januvia, Byetta or certain other widely prescribed medicines for diabetes can breathe a little easier - U.S. and European regulators have found no compelling evidence of a link between these drugs and pancreas problems or pancreatic cancer.
FORT EUSTIS, Va. (AP) - Only a small fraction of Army women say they'd like to move into one of the newly opening combat jobs, but those few who do say they want a job that takes them right into the heart of battle, according to preliminary results from a survey of the service's nearly 170,000 women.
PHOENIX (AP) - Gov. Jan Brewer returned to Arizona on Tuesday and faced a pressing decision about a bill on her desk that has prompted a national debate over religious and gay rights.
CINCINNATI (AP) - A biblical booklet in a shirt pocket apparently helped a bus driver survive a shooting, and authorities were looking Tuesday for three suspects, police say.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police may search a home without a warrant when two occupants disagree about allowing officers to enter, and the resident who refuses access is then arrested.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Florida Republican congressional hopeful David Jolly was not charged and not at fault in a 1989 car crash in which he fatally struck a pedestrian, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.
VISTA (AP) - The lead singer of Grammy-nominated metal band As I Lay Dying pleaded guilty Tuesday to trying to hire someone to kill his estranged wife.
WASHINGTON (AP) - State attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws in their states banning same-sex marriage if the laws discriminate in a way forbidden by the Constitution, Attorney General Eric Holder told his state counterparts Tuesday.
• FIRST COLORADO COUNTY REPORTS POT TAXES: DENVER (AP) - A southern Colorado county with two recreational marijuana stores has become the first in the state to announce tax totals from the new industry.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The first night in the United States for a family of Japanese tourists ended with the parents being pulled from their rental car at gunpoint with their young son watching after their confusion about American traffic laws set off a high-speed pursuit in southern Utah.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - A jazzy band behind her and 100 people crowded into a bar before her, the evening's emcee walked on to stage wearing a Victorian outfit of corsets, bustles, bloomers and a feathered hat.
SPARKS, Nev. (AP) - The parents of a 12-year-old Sparks boy who shot and killed a teacher and wounded two students before turning the gun on himself have donated nearly $14,000 to an anti-bullying program in a partnership with the school district.