NEW YORK - Squat, homely, dwarfed by stately oaks and poplars, and unnoticed by the tourists passing in horse-drawn carriages, it's a tree that only birds and nut-hungry squirrels could love.
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - About a dozen senior campaign staffers for Rudy Giuliani are forgoing their January paychecks, a sign of possible money trouble for the Republican presidential candidate and last year's national front-runner.
WASHINGTON - Democrats controlling Congress are looking at tax rebates, extended unemployment benefits and more food stamps to stimulate the sagging economy.
WASHINGTON - Residents of at least 17 states are suddenly stuck in the middle of a fight between the Bush administration and state governments over post-Sept. 11 security rules for driver's licenses - a dispute that, by May, could leave millions of people unable to use their licenses to board planes or enter federal buildings.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - One of the largest bombing campaigns of the war destroyed extremists' ''defensive belts'' south of Baghdad, allowing American soldiers to push into areas where they have not been in years, a top commander said Friday.
(Note: All information included in this report is taken from law enforcement incident reports and arrest records, which are public records and available for review at any and all local law enforcement agencies. Not every arrest leads to a conviction. Guilt or innocence is determined by the court system.)
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. - Authorities searched a neighborhood Friday for a shallow grave holding the body of a pregnant Marine, and said the main suspect in her death was a comrade she had accused of rape.
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.
Man of the Decade