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.
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.
DALLAS (AP) - The airline passenger who brought Ebola into the U.S. initially went to a Dallas emergency room last week but was sent home, despite telling a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, the hospital said Wednesday in a disclosure that showed how easily an infection could be missed.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida man who opened fire on a carload of black teenagers in an argument over their loud "thug" music was convicted Wednesday of first-degree murder.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - This computer programming app is so easy to use that even a kindergartener can do it.
NEW YORK (AP) - Coke and Pepsi are squaring off again, this time with natural sweeteners.
NEW YORK (AP) - PayPal, Apple and others are betting on billions in mobile payments.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Nevada tourism officials are planning a three-day festival in Reno next fall to celebrate and promote the city as the birthplace of what became modern blue jeans.