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U.S. releases more documents on surveillance origins

Posted: 12/21/2013 - The director of national intelligence on Saturday declassified more documents that outline how the National Security Agency was first authorized to start collecting bulk phone and Internet records in the hunt for al-Qaida terrorists and how a court eventually gained oversight of the program, after the Justice Department complied with a federal court order to release its previous legal arguments for keeping the programs secret.

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Three U.S. military aircraft hit in S. Sudan, four wounded

Posted: 12/21/2013 - Gunfire hit three U.S. military aircraft trying to evacuate American citizens in a remote region of South Sudan that on Saturday became a battle ground between the country's military and renegade troops, officials said.

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4 held in deadly NJ mall carjacking

Posted: 12/21/2013 - Authorities say four people are in custody in connection with a deadly carjacking outside an upscale mall in northern New Jersey.

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1,500 tested for TB at Southern California school

Posted: 12/20/2013 - More than 1,500 staff and students at a Southern California high school have been tested for tuberculosis after one student was diagnosed with the bacterial infection last month.

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Obama: 2014 can be a breakthrough year for America

Posted: 12/20/2013 - Citing strong progress on the economy, President Barack Obama said at his annual year-end news conference Friday that 2014 "can be a breakthrough year for America" after a long season of recession and slow recovery.

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New South Fla. threat: invasive rock pythons

Posted: 12/20/2013 - State biologists are concerned that the aggressive rock python might be the latest invasive species to become established in the Everglades and elsewhere in South Flo

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New Mexico clerk quits over gay marriage ruling

Posted: 12/20/2013 - Officials say a rural eastern New Mexico county clerk and her deputy have resigned rather than abide by a state Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage.

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Verizon to publish data on phone records requests

Posted: 12/19/2013 - Verizon Communications Inc. says it will publish information on the number of requests for customer records it received from law enforcement agencies this year.

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After 10 years in jail, Khodorkovsky eyes freedom

Posted: 12/19/2013 - It was arguably Russian President Vladimir Putin's biggest political decision of the year - the announcement that imprisoned tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky will be pardoned.

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New Mexico legalizes same-sex marriage

Posted: 12/19/2013 - New Mexico became the latest state to legalize gay marriage Thursday as its highest court declared it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

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Figure skating champ Boitano says he's gay

Posted: 12/19/2013 - Olympic figure skating champion Brian Boitano came out Thursday, two days after he was named to the U.S. delegation for Sochi along with openly gay athletes Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow.

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20-40 injured at partial London theater collapse

Posted: 12/19/2013 - London authorities say between 20 and 40 people have been injured at a theater which partially collapsed during a packed performance of a show during the height of the Christmas season.

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Pa. pastor defrocked after performing gay wedding

Posted: 12/19/2013 - United Methodist church officials defrocked a pastor from central Pennsylvania on Thursday who violated religious doctrine by officiating his son's gay wedding, and he later said he was shocked by their decision, calling his involvement in the wedding an "act of love."

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Cayman police arrested bomb hoax suspects

Posted: 12/19/2013 - Cayman Islands police have arrested two local men on suspicion of calling in a bomb hoax that prompted the evacuation of two major beach resorts at the start of the winter tourist season.

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Report: Fired nuke general misbehaved in Russia

Posted: 12/19/2013 - Investigators say the Air Force general fired in October as commander of the U.S. land-based nuclear missile force engaged in "inappropriate behavior" while in Russia, including heavy drinking and rudeness to his hosts.

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Ex-BP engineer convicted on 1 obstruction charge

Updated: 12/18/2013 - The first criminal trial produced by the Justice Department's sweeping probe of BP's massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico ended Wednesday with a jury convicting a drilling engineer of trying to obstruct investigators by deleting text messages from his cellular phone.

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Anti-politician protesters fill square in Rome

Posted: 12/18/2013 - Frustrated and angry, thousands of Italian students, jobless and tax-weary workers have moved their days-long protest against "useless politicians" to Rome.

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Bipartisan budget agreement clears Congress

Posted: 12/18/2013 - Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation Wednesday scaling back across-the-board cuts on programs ranging from the Pentagon to the national park system, adding a late dusting of bipartisanship to a year more likely to be remembered for a partial government shutdown and near-perpetual gridlock.

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Holiday shopping season: A disappointment so far

Posted: 12/18/2013 - Sales are up 2 percent to $176.7 billion from Nov. 1 through Sunday, according to data provided to The Associated Press from store data tracker ShopperTrak.

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