JAKARTA, Indonesia - An astonishingly tragic year for air travel in Southeast Asia turned worse Sunday when an AirAsia plane carrying 162 people disappeared over stormy Indonesian waters, with no word on its fate despite several hours of searching by air and sea.
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.
POLK CITY, Fla. - The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will phase out the show's iconic elephants from its performances by 2018, telling The Associated Press exclusively that growing public concern about how the animals are treated led to the decision.
NEW YORK - A plane from Atlanta skidded off a runway at LaGuardia Airport while landing Thursday, crashing through a chain-link fence and coming to rest with its nose perilously close to the edge of an icy bay.
ATLANTA - A prosecutor said Thursday that he would seek a misdemeanor charge - but no felony - against a suburban Atlanta police chief who reported accidentally shooting his sleeping wife on New Year's Day.
WASHINGTON - Sharply divided along familiar lines, the Supreme Court took up a politically charged new challenge to President Barack Obama's health overhaul Wednesday in a dispute over the tax subsidies that make insurance affordable for millions of Americans.
BOSTON - The question, for all practical purposes, is no longer whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev took part in the Boston Marathon bombing. It's whether he deserves to die for it.
WASHINGTON - Bitterly admitting defeat, House Republicans on Tuesday abandoned their attempts to use the Homeland Security Department's spending bill to force concessions from President Barack Obama on immigration, and sent him legislation to fund the agency through the end of the budget year with no strings attached.
WASHINGTON - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Congress on Tuesday that an emerging agreement between Iran and the United States would all but guarantee that Tehran gets nuclear weapons and would be a very bad deal, drawing an extraordinarily blunt rebuttal from President Barack Obama.
SELMA, Ala. - When the nation's first black president steps onto the Edmund Pettus Bridge to honor the marchers beaten there 50 years ago, he'll be standing on a structure that's at once synonymous with the civil rights struggle and a tribute to a reputed Ku Klux Klan leader.
ATLANTA - Georgia prison officials were indecisive about whether to proceed with a cloudy lethal injection drug, at one point saying they weren't sure whether they checked "this week's or last week's" batch, according to court documents.
JACKSON, Ga. - Citing concerns about the drug to be used in a lethal injection, corrections officials in Georgia postponed the execution of the state's only female death row inmate for the second time in a week.
SAVANNAH - The mother of a handcuffed man killed by police said Monday she doesn't believe investigators' findings that her son was armed with a gun, and she suspects a cover-up to protect the officer who shot him five times.
ATLANTA - A senator said Monday that he has filed a new bill to legalize medicinal marijuana in Georgia that would avoid legal problems that could arise under the House version, which passed overwhelmingly last week.
WASHINGTON - Seeking to lower tensions, Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. officials cast their dispute over Iran as a family squabble on Monday, even as the Israeli leader claimed President Barack Obama did not - and could not - fully understand his nation's vital security concerns.
JACKSON, Ga. - Georgia postponed its first execution of a woman in 70 years late Monday, as officials cited problems with the lone drug that would be used for the lethal injection.
ATLANTA - Many of Gov. Nathan Deal's top aides and senior executive branch officials got raises for 2015 that will far exceed what most teachers and state workers can expect in coming year.