WASHINGTON (AP) - New taxes are coming Jan. 1 to help finance President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Most people may not notice. But they will pay attention if Congress decides to start taxing employer-sponsored health insurance, one option in play if lawmakers can ever agree on a budget deal to reduce federal deficits.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gary Ramey and his adult daughter traveled 2,500 miles to hunt California bears with hounds last month, eager to take part in what he calls a time-honored tradition.
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) - Newtown celebrated Christmas amid piles of snow-covered teddy bears, long lines of stockings and heaps of flowers as volunteers manned a 24-hour candlelight vigil in memory of the 20 children and six educators gunned down at an elementary school just 11 days before the holiday.
BOSTON (AP) - Ben Affleck is taking his name off the list of possible candidates for U.S. Sen. John Kerry's seat, which would be open if the Democratic senator from Massachusetts is confirmed as secretary of state.
Those hoping to spend the holiday watching streaming video from Netflix can now get back in front of their TVs, tablets and PCs after a Christmas Eve outage.
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.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California health officials have reported that two people have been infected with West Nile virus in the state.
BAGHDAD (AP) - Thousands of heavily-armed Shiite militiamen paraded through several Iraqi cities Saturday as Sunni militants seized two strategically located towns in what appeared to be a new offensive in western Anbar province.
PETALUMA, Calif. (AP) - It's that time of year again when dogs with unusually large heads, hairless bodies and other oddities compete to be the World's Ugliest Dog.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says child care, family leave and workplace flexibility aren't frills, they're basic needs.
PETALUMA (AP) - It's that time of year again when dogs with unusually large heads, hairless bodies and other oddities compete to be the World's Ugliest Dog.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The owner of a home in Sylmar where four people died in a fire is facing criminal charges.
SAN MATEO (AP) - A California congresswoman wants electronic cigarettes regulated in the same way as typical tobacco products and announced legislation Friday that would do so.
PASADENA - Santa Clarita Valley's representative on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors joined firefighters and other officials Friday in calling for residents to take precautions now to protect themselves during wildfire season.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority have canceled a joint agreement to bid on high-speed trains that was billed as a way to save money and lure train manufacturing to the United States.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - A sobbing businessman in his 30s called a hotline set up by his fellow Iraqi immigrants, desperate to talk to someone after fearing his father was the man he saw in an online news video of a beheading in northern Iraq.
BEIRUT (AP) - For the first time since World War II, the number of people forced from their homes worldwide has surged past 50 million, the United Nations refugee agency said Friday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Internal Revenue Service commissioner said Friday the agency will not share with Congress additional details about its lost emails related to the ongoing tea party investigation until its own review is finished because he said Republicans are releasing inaccurate, interim information.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The commission that decides the pay and benefits of lawmakers and statewide officials, including the governor and attorney general, is meeting to decide whether to grant a second consecutive pay raise.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed California's $108 billion budget for the coming fiscal year that pays down debt, builds a rainy day fund and provides additional money for schools and health care.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A handsome mug shot of a Northern California man arrested on felony weapons charges has gone viral on social media, attracting more than 30,000 "likes" and drawing comments praising his high cheek bones, chiseled face and striking blue eyes.