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.
SANAA, Yemen (AP) - Yemeni forces, reportedly backed by U.S. drone strikes, hit al-Qaida militants for a second straight day Monday in what Yemen officials said was an assault on a major base of the terror group hidden in the remote southern mountains. The government said 55 militants were killed so far.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Russia has "days, not weeks" to abide by an international accord aimed at stemming the crisis in Ukraine, the top U.S. diplomat in Kiev warned Monday as Vice President Joe Biden launched a high-profile show of support for the pro-Western Ukrainian government. Russia in turn accused authorities in Kiev of flagrantly violating the pact and declared their actions would not stand.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - A 15-year-old boy found his way onto an airport's tarmac and climbed into a jetliner's wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii - a misadventure that forced authorities to take a hard look at the security system that protects the nation's airline fleet.
JINDO, South Korea (AP) - One by one, coast guard officers carried the newly arrived bodies covered in white sheets from a boat to a tent on the dock of this island, the first step in identifying a sharply rising number of corpses from a South Korean ferry that sank nearly a week ago.