McALESTER, Okla. - Oklahoma's last execution went so badly that the state tried to cancel it before it was over. With the inmate writhing while the lethal drugs seeped into his body, his executioners drew the viewing gallery curtains, concealing what the warden later described as "a bloody mess."
NEW YORK - The presents are unwrapped. The children's shrieks of delight are just a memory. Now it's time for another Yuletide tradition: cleaning up the needles that are falling off your Christmas tree.
WASHINGTON - Americans are closing out 2014 on an optimistic note, according to a new Associated Press-Times Square Alliance poll. Nearly half predict that 2015 will be a better year for them than 2014 was, while only 1 in 10 think it will be worse. There's room for improvement: Americans give the year gone by a resounding 'meh.'
PERELIYA, Sri Lanka - A packed train in Sri Lanka was swept off the tracks by waves as big as elephants. A boat patrolling off Thailand's shore was hurled more than a mile inland. Streets in Indonesia turned into roaring rivers that carried people to their deaths.
LOS ANGELES - "The Interview" was never supposed to be a paradigm-shifting film. But unusual doesn't even begin to describe the series of events that transpired over the past few weeks, culminating in the truly unprecedented move by a major studio to release a film in theaters and on digital platforms simultaneously.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Two Saudi women detained for nearly a month in defiance of a ban on females driving were referred on Thursday to a court established to try terrorism cases, several people close to the defendants said.
NEW YORK - Critics and early viewers agree that "The Interview" is less than a masterpiece. But thanks to threats from hackers that nearly derailed its release, it has become an event.
VATICAN CITY - A somber Pope Francis steeped his Christmas message to the world Thursday in sadness for those with little cause for joy - abused children, refugees, hostages and others suffering from violence in the Middle East, Africa, Ukraine and elsewhere.
COLUMBIA, Miss. - Power companies struggled to restore electricity to thousands of people in Mississippi on Wednesday, a day after a powerful storm swept through the southeastern U.S. and killed at least four people.
NEW YORK - At least 60 journalists around the world were killed in 2014 while on the job or because of their work, and 44 percent of them were targeted for murder, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.
BETHLEHEM, West Bank - It's Christmas season and the little town of Bethlehem is jammed with a big-city problem: Traffic snarling streets everywhere, including around the church marking the spot where tradition says Jesus was born. The city is considering a dramatic solution to the problem - digging a tunnel under Manger Square.
WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration is building a legal case against companies that sell pure powdered caffeine, which can be fatal even in small doses.
NEW YORK - Big-city police departments and union leaders around the country are warning the rank and file to wear bulletproof vests and avoid making inflammatory posts on social media in the days after a man ambushed two officers and shot them to death inside their patrol car.
CAIRNS, Australia - A judge on Monday rejected a plea by lawyers for an Australia woman charged with killing eight children to have the next hearing held in a mental health court.
NEW YORK - The gunman who fatally ambushed two New York City police officers in their squad car had a long criminal record, a hatred for police and the government and an apparent history of mental instability that included an attempt to hang himself a year ago, police said Sunday.
NEW YORK - New York City looked like a ghost town early Tuesday, blanketed by a snowstorm that disrupted life for tens of millions of people along the U.S. East Coast.
NEW YORK - More than 35 million people along the Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor rushed to get home and settle in Monday as a fearsome storm swirled in with the potential for hurricane-force winds and 1 to 3 feet of snow that could paralyze the Northeast for days.
McRAE, Ga. - The car belonging to a Georgia couple who were reported missing after traveling to meet a person claiming to sell a classic auto has been found in a lake and two bodies were found nearby, authorities said Monday.
SAVANNAH - The Savannah River has enough room for cargo ships to accommodate Georgia and South Carolina adding a new port terminal downstream from the busy Port of Savannah, according to a study presented to officials from both states Monday.
WASHINGTON - A device, possibly an unmanned aerial drone, was found on the White House grounds during the middle of the night while President Barack Obama and the first lady were in India, but his spokesman said Monday that it posed no threat.
LOS ANGELES - "American Sniper" hit the mark with moviegoers again.
NEW YORK - The Monday morning commute was normal for much of the Northeast as officials continued to urge residents to prepare for a "crippling and potentially historic" storm that could bury communities from northern New Jersey to southern Maine in up to 2 feet of snow starting later in the day.
ATLANTA - Gov. Nathan Deal asked lawmakers to invest more in educating state prison inmates and promised in his budget address on Thursday that the expense would pay off for the individuals and Georgia's economy when they are released.
WASHINGTON - With thousands of abortion protesters swarming the city in their annual March for Life, Republicans muscled broadened abortion restrictions through the House on Thursday after a GOP rebellion forced leaders into an awkward retreat on an earlier version.
EVERGREEN, Colo. - Every year on his daughter's birthday, Ian Sullivan visits the grave of the child he lost when a gunman slipped into a Colorado movie theater and fatally shot the 6-year-old as she sat with mother in the fourth row.
WASHINGTON - The FBI has completed its investigation into the police shooting of an unarmed, black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, a U.S. official said Wednesday.
ATLANTA - Georgia lawmakers may be ready to put new limits on the use of "no-knock" warrants after an infant was severely burned by a flash grenade during an overnight police raid last May in north Georgia.
WASHINGTON - Refusing to bend to the new Republican Congress, President Barack Obama unveiled Tuesday night an ambitious State of the Union agenda steeped in Democratic priorities, including tax increases on the wealthy, education and child care help for the middle class and a torrent of veto threats for the GOP's own plans.
CLARKSON, Ky. - The father of a 13-year-old girl who police say went on a multi-state crime spree with her older boyfriend said Tuesday that he is not angry with the 18-year-old.
BOSTON - A victim of one of Mark Wahlberg's racially motivated attacks as a teenage delinquent in segregated Boston in the 1980s insists he shouldn't be granted a pardon for his crimes.