PARIS - President Nicolas Sarkozy's ex-wife lost a legal battle Friday to stop publication of a book in which she allegedly called her former husband ''cheap'' and a ''womanizer.''
WASHINGTON - The federal budget recorded a record surplus for December, but for the first three months of the budget year, the deficit is running significantly higher than the previous year.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Bank of America said Friday it will buy Countrywide Financial for $4.1 billion in stock, a deal that rescues the country's biggest mortgage lender and expands the financial services empire of the nation's largest consumer bank.
NEW YORK - Founded in the mid-19th century, the Young Men's Christian Association has expanded far beyond its name in the United States. It welcomes all faiths, half the 20.2 million people it serves are female, and more than half are adults.
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - It was every Republican for himself.
Fortunate circumstances are being ushered in that can make many of your personal goals a reality in the year ahead. Some major changes in your lifestyle will be in the offing as a result, but even if you can't see this right now, start planning for it anyway.
BALTIMORE - The revelation that the Army threw out the conviction of the only officer court-martialed in the Abu Ghraib scandal renewed outrage from human rights advocates who complained that not enough military and civilian leaders were held accountable for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.
WASHINGTON - Some travelers may be vulnerable to identity theft after petitioning the government a year ago to have their names removed from lists that restrict them from flying.
SAN FRANCISCO - Personal property seized from the victims of a tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo may contain evidence that they taunted the animal, provoking it to escape its pen, the city attorney's office argued in court documents.
DEAR DR. GOTT: olf season will begin again in Indiana in a few short months. We only have two smokers in our group of 20, but every day when we choose up teams, it seems like one of the smokers shares a cart with me.
DEAR ABBY: "Wilbur" and I have been together for 25 years, married for nine. During that time we have been through almost everything.
WASHINGTON - The recent confrontation between Iranian and U.S. navy forces in the Persian Gulf reflects a shift in military strategy by Tehran to use its Revolutionary Guard's fast boats in a more aggressive manner in the region, the top U.S. military officer said Friday.
WASHINGTON - Consumer confidence fell to an all-time low as worries about jobs, energy bills and home foreclosures darkened people's feelings about the country's economic health and their own financial well-being.
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration will notify Congress on Monday of its intent to sell $20 billion in weapons, including precision-guided bombs, to Saudi Arabia, moving up the announcement to coincide with the president's arrival in Riyadh, The Associated Press has learned.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. trade deficit in November rose to the highest level in 14 months, reflecting record foreign crude oil prices. The deficit with China declined slightly while the weak dollar boosted exports to another record high.
Cecil Wendell Bunch Sr.
ATLANTA - The Atlanta Hawks overcame 37 points by Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge to extend their franchise-record winning streak to 18 games by beating the Trail Blazers 105-99 on Friday night.
PHOENIX - Here are some scary thoughts for the rest of the NFL:
NEW YORK - Some new evidence this is a particularly bad flu season: Flu-related hospitalizations of the elderly are the highest since the government started tracking that statistic nine years ago.
ATLANTA - The delays and cost overruns are piling up for a new plant near Waynesboro that was supposed to prove nuclear energy can be built affordably.
WASHINGTON - Mitt Romney ended his rollercoaster return to presidential politics on Friday, declaring his party would be better served by the "next generation of Republican leaders" and concluding his unlikely comeback as suddenly as it began.
Danny Ferry can only watch from afar, surely with plenty of satisfaction at the juggernaut he created, undoubtedly offset by a sense of melancholy that he's not along for the ride.
MELBOURNE, Australia - Novak Djokovic reached a fifth Australian Open final, avenged a long and arduous loss to Stan Wawrinka and ensured he'd renew an old rivalry with Andy Murray.
FALL RIVER, Mass. - The mother of the man who former New England Patriots standout Aaron Hernandez is accused of killing was overcome with emotion Friday as a prosecutor showed the jury graphic photos of her son's body at the industrial park where he was found.
Mrs. Betty Guinette Hendrix
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Chase Elliott will replace Jeff Gordon in the No. 24 Chevrolet when the four-time NASCAR champion gives up his seat at the end of this season.
MELBOURNE, Australia - It wasn't until Serena Williams forced herself to relax, and not focus too intently on a milestone Grand Slam title, that she rediscovered the art of winning the biggest events in tennis.
PHOENIX - Put Bill Belichick behind a microphone and he's C-SPAN - minus the information.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Tiger Woods helped attract a record, raucous crowd to the Phoenix Open on Thursday, the first big event in a week that concludes with the Super Bowl.
College football's free-agent market is open and Oregon is searching for the next Russell Wilson to replace Marcus Mariota.