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.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senators bickered Sunday over who's to blame for lurching the country toward a year-end "fiscal cliff," bemoaning the lack of a deal days before the deadline but bridging no differences in the debate.
JOS, Nigeria (AP) - Rescue workers armed with body bags on Wednesday dug into the rubble of buildings destroyed by two car bombs in a central Nigerian city as people searched for loved ones missing in the market attack that killed at least 118.
HAVANA (AP) - Cuba's first major independent general-interest news outlet in five decades was hacked on Wednesday shortly after being launched by the country's best-known dissident blogger.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Seeking to head off a growing furor over veterans' health care, President Barack Obama declared Wednesday that allegations of misconduct at Veterans Affairs hospitals are "dishonorable" and will be not be tolerated by his administration.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Michael Jace projected the image of a doting, hands-on father and husband to neighbors, but authorities say they are now trying to determine what prompted the veteran actor to apparently shoot and kill his wife while their young sons were in the home.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco transit leaders will temporarily close a stretch of Lombard Street, a popular tourist spot that's known as the "Crookedest Street in The World."
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky dispatched his tea party challenger with ease to win nomination to a new term Tuesday night, and nearly a dozen candidates vied for spots on the Georgia ballot for fall elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate, highlights of primaries in six states.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A judge on Tuesday expanded the powers of Casey Kasem's daughter to determine whether her father is receiving adequate medical care amid his ongoing concerns about the health and welfare of the ailing radio personality.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Federal transportation officials are promising another big dose of cash to help expand Los Angeles' growing public transit network - this time, $2.1 billion in grants and loans to extend a subway line into Beverly Hills.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage was overturned by a federal judge Tuesday in a decision that legalizes same-sex marriage throughout the Northeast.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Opening another legal attack on the NFL over the long-term health of its athletes, a group of retired players accused the league in a lawsuit Tuesday of cynically supplying them with powerful painkillers that kept them in the game but led to serious complications down the road.
BANGKOK (AP) - Thailand's powerful military chief intervened Tuesday for the first time in the country's latest political crisis, declaring martial law and dispatching gun-mounted jeeps into the heart of the capital with a vow to resolve the deepening conflict as quickly as possible.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Actor Michael Jace, who played a police officer on the hit TV show "The Shield," was arrested on suspicion of homicide after his wife was found shot to death in their Los Angeles home, authorities said.
LONDON (AP) - The Museum of London is turning its magnifying glass on the most famous Londoner who never lived - Sherlock Holmes.
TOKYO (AP) - Paul McCartney is canceling his entire Japan tour because of illness.
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The four major U.S. wireless phone companies are providing emergency texting 911 service as of this month to any local government that wants it and has the capability to use it, a big step toward moving the nation's emergency dispatch system out of the voice-only technology that dates to the 1960s.