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'Hobbit' trounces box office foes

Updated: 12/15/2013 - Per studio estimates Sunday, Warner Bros. "Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" was No. 1 at the weekend box office with $73.7 million, besting last weekend's No. 1 film, Disney's animated fable "Frozen."

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'Lawrence of Arabia' star Peter O'Toole dead at 81

Updated: 12/15/2013 - Known on the one hand for his starring role in "Lawrence of Arabia," leading tribesmen in daring attacks across the desert wastes, and on the other for his headlong charges into drunken debauchery, Peter O'Toole was one of the most magnetic, charismatic and fun figures in British acting.

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China's moon rover leaves traces on lunar soil

Posted: 12/15/2013 - State media reports that China's first moon rover has touched the lunar surface and left deep traces on its loose soil, several hours after the country successfully carried out the world's first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades.

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Agriculture the most promising market for drones

Updated: 12/14/2013 - While Americans are abuzz about Amazon's plans to use self-guided drones to deliver packages, most future unmanned aircraft may operate far from large population centers.

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Pope's crackdown on order alarms traditionalists

Posted: 12/14/2013 - Pope Francis may have been named Time magazine's Person of the Year, but he has come under scathing criticism from a growing number of traditionalist Catholics for cracking down on a religious order that celebrates the old Latin Mass.

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Rare storm leaves Jerusalem snowed in

Updated: 12/13/2013 - A powerful winter storm left Jerusalem covered in snow on Friday, forcing police to block access to and from the city as a cold snap drove some Israelis to seek treatment from emergency medics.

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Sheriff: Colo. school gunman planned to hurt more people

Updated: 12/14/2013 - A teenager who wounded a fellow student before killing himself at a suburban Denver high school entered the building with a shotgun, a machete, three Molotov cocktails and ammunition strapped to his body, likely intending to track down a librarian who had disciplined him, authorities said Saturday.

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Dog helps Alaska woman survive 3 nights in cold

Posted: 12/13/2013 - A woman survived nearly three nights in bitter interior Alaska cold by burning her snowmobile and huddling with her small dog, Alaska State Troopers said Thursday.

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Police: 2 people killed after Utah rock slide

Posted: 12/13/2013 - Several boulders as large as a delivery van fell hundreds of feet, destroying a chalet-style house and killing a middle-aged couple in a small Utah town outside Zion National Park, the mayor said.

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Kansas airport worker arrested in car bomb plot

Updated: 12/13/2013 - A Kansas man was arrested Friday on charges that he planned to set off a car bomb at the Wichita airport in an attack intended to support al-Qaida, authorities said.

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Gridlock in the Senate, progress in the House

Posted: 12/12/2013 - A budget agreement between key Republicans and Democrats. Even President Barack Obama was on board. All without anyone threatening to repeal this or shut down that.

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Budget peace breaks out after Boehner tough talk

Posted: 12/12/2013 - Battle-fatigued and suddenly bipartisan, the House voted Thursday night to ease across-the-board federal spending cuts and head off future government shutdowns, acting after Speaker John Boehner unleashed a stinging attack on tea party-aligned conservative groups campaigning for the measure's defeat.

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