NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Freezing rain and sleet made for a sloppy Christmas morning trek in parts of the nation's midsection on Tuesday, while residents along the Gulf Coast braced for thunderstorms, high winds and tornadoes.
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI wished Christmas peace to the world Tuesday, decrying the slaughter of the "defenseless" in Syria, urging Israelis and Palestinians to find the courage to negotiate and encouraging China's new leaders to allow more religious freedom.
NORWALK, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say a 55-year-old man was set on fire as he slept outside a donut shop in southern Los Angeles County.
NEW YORK (AP) - What a couple of mugs, sporting less-than-perfect physiques in the bargain.
WEBSTER, N.Y. (AP) - Police In Webster, N.Y., say the man who lured firefighters to their deaths in a blaze of gunfire left a typewritten note saying he wanted to burn down the neighborhood and "do what I like doing best, killing people."
LOS ANGELES (AP) - After nearly 30 years of friendship and shared tastes in movies, music and comedy, Billy Crystal and Bette Midler have finally taken it to the next level: They did a film together.
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AP) - Volunteers at a Colorado Air Force base monitoring maps showing Santa Claus' progress are several hours into their goodwill mission and have answered more than 24,000 phone calls from children wanting to know everything from old Saint Nick's age, to how reindeer fly, to when they can expect their presents.
HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) - State fish and game officials are vowing to learn from the shooting of two mountain lion cubs in Half Moon Bay - a decision that was criticized by wildlife advocates.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The wet weather that has saturated Northern California is giving a much-needed boost to reservoirs and creating ideal skiing conditions.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A storm pushed its way into Southern California on Monday, causing flooding in some areas, snarling holiday traffic in others and leading to the rescue of a man clinging for hours to a clump of bushes in the fast-moving Los Angeles River.
RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) - A San Francisco Bay Area city once considered among the most dangerous in the nation has seen its homicide rate plummet even as killings in other cities in the region have climbed.
MORENO VALLEY, Calif. (AP) - A Wal-Mart in Southern California was evacuated Monday after shoppers say they saw a man dressed in camouflage enter the store with what appeared to be an assault rifle or shotgun, authorities said.
BAKER, Calif. (AP) - A giant thermometer built to attract motorists headed to and from Las Vegas has become an eyesore, and residents in this Southern California desert town are divided about whether to take the landmark down.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Taxpayers save thousands of dollars when California lawmakers use their personal cars for legislative business rather than state-leased vehicles, a Sacramento Bee review of public records has found.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Students at a Northern California middle school are looking at double the trouble if they misbehave.
Waiting in line for the bus, a Pennsylvania kindergartener tells her pals she's going to shoot them with a Hello Kitty toy that makes soap bubbles. In Maryland, a 6-year-old boy pretends his fingers are a gun during a playground game of cops and robbers. In Massachusetts, a 5-year-old boy attending an after-school program makes a gun out of Legos and points it at other students while "simulating the sound of gunfire," as one school official put it.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - Oscar Pistorius told a packed courtroom Tuesday that he shot his girlfriend to death by mistake, thinking she was a robber. The prosecutor called it premeditated murder.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The CIA thrillers "Argo" and "Zero Dark Thirty" have won top screenplay honors from the Writers Guild of America.