SEATTLE (AP) - People openly lit joints under the Space Needle and on Seattle's sidewalks - then blew the smoke at TV news cameras. To those looking to "get baked," the city's police department suggested pizza and a "Lord of the Rings" movie marathon.
NEW BATAAN, Philippines (AP) - The Philippine government's geological hazard maps show why this farming community was largely washed away by a strong typhoon: "highly susceptible to flooding and landslides." That didn't stop some villagers from rebuilding even with bodies still lying under the mud.
FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) - President Barack Obama, trying to put a personal touch on "fiscal cliff" negotiations, visited a northern Virginia family's basement apartment Thursday to press his hard line on tax rate increases for the wealthy.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Jim DeMint, patron saint of the tea party and a would-be Republican kingmaker, announced suddenly Thursday he would resign his South Carolina seat to head Washington's conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, a shift that reverberated through a soul-searching GOP.
MAINE MALL SACKS SANTA AFTER RUDENESS COMPLAINTS: SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A mall in Maine has sacked Santa Claus after children and parents complained he was rude, grumpy and wouldn't even let one child sit on his lap.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - George Zimmerman sued NBC on Thursday, claiming he was defamed when the network edited his 911 call to police after the shooting of Trayvon Martin to make it sound like he was racist.
AUTOPSY: BORDER PATROL AGENT FIRED GUN 10 TIMES: SAN DIEGO (AP) - A Border Patrol agent in Southern California who shot and killed a mother of five after she hit him with her vehicle fired his gun 10 times from the hood of her car as he tried to get the woman to stop, according to an autopsy report released Thursday.
HONOLULU (AP) - Ray Emory could not accept that more than one quarter of the 2,400 Americans who died at Pearl Harbor were buried, unidentified, in a volcanic crater.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - New York's Times Square is getting a little bit Jersey for New Year's Eve.
SEATTLE (AP) - Hundreds of same-sex couples across Washington state started picking up marriage licenses Thursday as a voter-approved law legalizing gay marriage took effect.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Mormon leaders made their most significant outreach yet to gays and lesbians, unveiling a new website Thursday that encourages church members to be more compassionate in discussions about homosexuality.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - At about 450 pounds, Ohio death row inmate Ronald Post is so fat that his executioners won't be able to find veins in his arms or legs for the lethal injection, and he might even break the death chamber gurney, his lawyers say.
ATLANTA (AP) - An elderly man opened fire on a woman after her car came into contact with his motorized wheelchair at a central Georgia service station, authorities said Wednesday. She died shortly afterward at a hospital despite the efforts of a crowd of people to aid her.
NEW YORK (AP) - The daughter of a man pushed in front of a subway train and photographed a split-second before his death said Wednesday after a suspect was arrested that it "would have been great" if someone had helped her father up but "what's done is done."
NEW STUNNING NIGHTTIME VIEWS OF EARTH UNVEILED: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Twinkling city lights, raging wildfires and colorful auroras are lit up in new dazzling nighttime views of the Earth.
NEW YORK (AP) - It was bad enough that Ana Charle was killed after leaving her job for the day as director at a homeless shelter for men. But how it happened shocked even seasoned investigators.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Eighteen black women who were told decades ago that their babies had died soon after birth at a St. Louis hospital now wonder if the infants were taken away by hospital officials to be raised by other families.
WARWICK, R.I. (AP) - The police chief in Warwick said his department has stopped accepting a daily guest list from a city motel with a high crime rate.
DALLAS (AP) - The state of Texas and telemedicine advocates are in a legal tussle over patients who receive doctor consultations through video.
SALEM, N.J. (AP) - A woman accused of savagely beating a mother in front of her young child last year has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault charges.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A first-grader and his brother in kindergarten took two handguns, one of them loaded, on a bus to a Kentucky elementary school Thursday morning after apparently thinking they were toys, authorities said. They said no one was hurt and the firearms were seized when the boys reached school.
COP INVESTIGATING BURGLARY REPORT KILLS DOG AT WRONG ADDRESS : WYCKOFF, N.J. (AP) - A police officer investigating a report of a home burglary mistakenly went to the wrong address and ended up killing a family's dog.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The most-used medicines in Medicare's prescription drug program are generics, but the program spends the most on brand-name drugs, led by the heartburn treatment Nexium, according to an unprecedented release of government data on Thursday.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - One man ran naked through a Florida neighborhood, tried to have sex with a tree and told police he was the mythical god Thor. Another ran nude down a busy city street in broad daylight, convinced a pack of German shepherds was pursuing him.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Registered nurses at six California hospitals went on strike Thursday over staffing levels and other issues during contract negotiations, a move the medical centers called "inappropriate" but said would not interrupt services.
FOSTER CITY (AP) - Tesla CEO Elon Musk is trying to steer his electric car company's battery technology into homes and businesses as part of an elaborate plan to reshape the power grid with millions of small power plants made of solar panels on roofs and batteries in garages.
BALTIMORE (AP) - When police spotted Freddie Gray and he took off running through his Baltimore neighborhood, officers made a split-second decision to give chase, setting in motion his death in custody and rioting in the streets.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Three men have been accused of stabbing a young moose to death at a park in Alaska's largest city, and police said witnesses reported seeing the men punching the animal and walking away.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The death of a troubled transgender teenager who begged people to fix society before she stepped in front of a tractor-trailer on a highway has been deemed a suicide, and the investigation into it has been closed, the State Highway Patrol said.
BALTIMORE (AP) - Thousands of people hit the streets in Baltimore and several other cities from Boston and New York to Indianapolis and Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to protest the death of a black man who died of spinal injuries after his arrest by Baltimore police and to demand reforms to police procedures.