WASHINGTON (AP) - Three days out from the end of the year, lawmakers appeared to have made little progress toward devising a compromise to keep the nation from going over the so-called fiscal cliff at the start of 2013. All eyes were on the Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate, who vowed to keep chipping away despite the wide gulf still separating them.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate leaders rushed to assemble a last-ditch agreement to avoid middle-class tax increases and possibly delay steep spending cuts in an urgent attempt to find common ground after weeks of postelection gridlock.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - California women who want to get pregnant using sperm from a donor they know should find the process easier and less expensive next year, thanks to a new state law scheduled to take effect on Jan 1.
MOSCOW (AP) - A passenger airliner careered off the runway at Russia's third-busiest airport and partly onto a highway while landing on Saturday, broke into pieces and caught fire, killing at least four people.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Arriving in a limo, Donna Galluzzo and Lisa Gorney had all the trappings of a traditional wedding: Rings, flowers, wedding vows, an entourage and a friend to officiate.
SAUSALITO, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say a man and a juvenile fishing near the Golden Gate Bridge died after being swept into the ocean by large waves.
It was a year of storms, of raging winds and rising waters, but also broader turbulence that strained our moorings. Our atmosphere, our politics, our economy - rarely in memory have they seemed in such constant agitation.
NEW YORK (AP) - If you'd told investors what was going to happen in 2012 - U.S. economic growth at stall speed, an intensifying European debt crisis, a slowdown in China, fiscal deadlock in Washington, decelerating corporate earnings growth - and asked how the stock market would perform, few would have predicted a good year.
NEW YORK (AP) - For New York City, it wasn't an unusual sight: a possibly mentally ill woman pacing and mumbling to herself on an elevated subway station platform.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - FBI files on Marilyn Monroe that could not be located earlier this year have been found and re-issued, revealing the names of some of the movie star's communist-leaning friends who drew concern from government officials and her own entourage.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Sin City has another New Year's Eve planned with celebrity-studded bashes, exclusive concerts and a rooftop fireworks display billed as the nation's largest.
NEW YORK (AP) - The phones at Red's Trading Post wouldn't stop ringing. Would-be customers from as far away as New York wanted to know if the Twin Falls, Idaho gun shop had firearms in stock. Others clamored to find out if their orders had been shipped.
Santa Clarita Valley native Harry Carey Jr., a character actor who starred in such Westerns as "3 Godfathers" and "Wagon Master," has died. He was 91.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A Wisconsin couple says clucks, not fire trucks, helped them escape a blaze at their home.
HUGHSON, Calif. (AP) - A Central California man died after posting a suicide note on Facebook and then driving his car onto railroad tracks about an hour later, as friends and family frantically tried to get in touch with him.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A woman who flew from San Jose to Los Angeles without a boarding pass and has made repeated attempts to sneak aboard flights was arrested again Thursday at Los Angeles International Airport, authorities said.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) - Revelations about the National Security Agency's electronic eavesdropping capabilities have sparked anger in Germany and a boom in encryption services that make it hard for the most sophisticated spies to read emails, listen to calls or comb through texts.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The Obama administration on Thursday stepped up efforts to press Afghanistan's two feuding presidential candidates to end their dispute over June elections, accept the results of an ongoing audit of all ballots and form a national unity government by early September.
WASHINGTON (AP) - North Dakotans, enriched by an oil boom, stepped up their spending at triple the national pace in the three years that followed the Great Recession. In Nevada, smacked hard by the housing bust, consumers barely increased their spending.
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) - West Africans battling to contain the spread of Ebola will have to wait for months until a potentially life-saving experimental drug used on two Americans infected with the dreaded disease could even be made, officials said. Soldiers in two of the affected countries deployed Thursday to try to stem further spread of the virus.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Bank of America is nearing a $16 billion to $17 billion settlement to resolve an investigation into its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities before the 2008 financial crisis, a person directly familiar with the matter said Wednesday.
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) - They were leaders of Cambodia's infamous Khmer Rouge, the fanatical communist movement behind a 1970s reign of terror that transformed this entire Southeast Asian nation into a ruthless slave state - a place where cities were emptied of their inhabitants, religion and schools were banned, and anyone deemed a threat was executed.
MOSCOW (AP) - Russia banned most food imports from the West on Thursday in retaliation for sanctions over Ukraine, an unexpectedly sweeping move that will cost farmers in North America, Europe and Australia billions of dollars but will also likely lead to empty shelves in Russian cities.
BAGHDAD (AP) - Sunni militants from the Islamic State group on Thursday seized Iraq's largest dam, placing them in control of enormous power and water resources and access to the river that runs through the heart of Baghdad.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - The chief prosecutor in Oscar Pistorius' murder trial said Thursday in closing arguments that the athlete repeatedly lied during testimony in a crude attempt to defend against a murder charge for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
HONOLULU (AP) - Iselle was supposed to weaken as it slowly trudged west across the Pacific. It didn't - and now Hawaii is poised to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it was Hurricane Julio, which strengthened early Thursday into a Category 2 storm.
CAIRO (AP) - A senior Hamas official said the group has decided not to extend a 72-hour cease-fire with Israel that expires on Friday morning. Before the end of truce, Gaza militants fired two rockets at Israel, the army said.
CINCINNATI (AP) - Three federal judges weighing arguments in a landmark gay marriage hearing Wednesday peppered attorneys on both sides with tough questions, with one judge expressing deep skepticism about whether courts are the ideal setting for major social change and another saying the democratic process can be too slow.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - My buying habits have yet to change in my nearly three weeks with Amazon's shopping-centric Fire phone.