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.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas could start allowing alcohol sales at gun shows provided they don't allow live ammunition or let buyers take possession of their weapons at the events.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Oracle Corp. has sued the state of Oregon in a fight over the state's health insurance exchange, saying government officials are using the technology company's software despite $23 million in disputed bills.
DETROIT (AP) General Motors' troubles with safety recalls has surfaced in another case, this time with the company recalling a group of SUVs for a third time to fix power window switches that can catch fire.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A quarter of U.S. households say they're "just getting by" financially, a survey by the Federal Reserve shows.
DENVER (AP) - Three people say they were drugged after eating a chocolate bar that wasn't supposed to have marijuana in it at the Denver County Fair's new pot pavilion, and one of them has filed a lawsuit alleging the vendor was negligent.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama authorized U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq Thursday night, warning they would be launched if needed to defend Americans from advancing Islamic militants and protect civilians under siege. His announcement threated a renewal of U.S. military involvement in the country's long sectarian war.
SEATTLE (AP) - A four-day search for a missing Washington girl who vanished from her home over the weekend came to a tragic end Thursday, as authorities said they believe they have found the body of 6-year-old Jenise Wright.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Thinking about getting inked? Check the bottle first.
McALLEN, Texas (AP) - Far fewer unaccompanied immigrant children are crossing the Texas-Mexico border, allowing the federal government to close the temporary shelters that it hurriedly opened to handle the surge, authorities say.
DOVER, Del. (AP) - More than 35 years after the infamous suicide-murder of some 900 people - many forced to drink a cyanide-laced grape punch - in Jonestown, Guyana, the cremated remains of nine of the victims were found in a dilapidated former funeral home in Delaware, officials said Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Nearly 10 million Americans decided they would be a different race or ethnicity in the early 2000s, with the largest movement coming from Hispanics deciding which racial category they should be in, a new census report showed Wednesday.
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - A Fort Hood soldier whose family came to the United States as refugees when he was 10 became the first Vietnamese-American to reach the rank of general in the U.S. Army on Wednesday.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Any worried pet owner who has spent days hanging posters, making phone calls and knocking on neighbors' doors hopes there's a more scientific way to find a lost dog.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Target Corp. is adding its name to a legal defense of gay marriage, joining other large companies that are taking a stand, just four years after the retailer came under criticism for supporting a strident opponent of same-sex unions.
HONESDALE, Pa. (AP) - A 5-year-old boy's lively TV interview at a Pennsylvania county fair, punctuated by his frequent use of the word "apparently," has turned him into an Internet sensation.