SAN FRANCISCO - Robin Williams' suicide seared into the world's collective mindset more than anything else this year, based on what people were searching for on Google.
WASHINGTON - Electronic cigarettes have surpassed traditional smoking in popularity among teens, the government's annual drug use survey finds.
ATLANTA - Seventy-five years after the premiere of the movie "Gone with the Wind," research is shedding light on the racial tensions that existed at the time between the producer and city of Atlanta officials.
SAVANNAH - A $1.1 trillion spending bill approved by Congress includes a small amount of money to help begin deepening the Port of Savannah's shipping channel, and Georgia officials said they're confident more federal funding will follow once the $706 million project gets underway.
PENNSBURG, Pa. - A man suspected of going to three houses in the Philadelphia suburbs and fatally shooting six people, including his ex-wife and her teenage niece, was at large, and prosecutors said investigators didn't know where he was or how he was getting around.
SYDNEY - The deadly siege began in the most incongruous of ways, on a sunny Monday morning inside a cheerful cafe in the heart of Australia's largest city. It ended 16 hours later in a barrage of gunfire that left two hostages and the Iranian-born gunman dead, and a nation that has long prided itself on its peace rocked to its core.
AUBURN, Ala. - The girlfriend of a slain Auburn football player said he was arguing with a man at a party when a third man pulled a handgun and opened fire.
LOS ANGELES - After three weeks of box office dominance, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" ceded its reign to "Exodus: Gods and Kings." The biblical epic easily ruled the weekend with a $24.5 million debut, according to box office tracker Rentrak's Sunday estimates, while "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" dominated international charts with a staggering $117.6 million from 38 territories in advance of its North America release this week.
ATLANTA - Georgia's transportation needs and how to pay for them emerged this week as the issues that will dominate the 2015 legislation session. Lawmakers convene Jan. 12 at the state Capitol.
BRYANT, Ark. - An 11-year-old Arkansas girl paid a cabbie $1,300 to take her to meet a boy in Florida, but authorities caught up with the runaway in Georgia, and found her safe, after her parents reported her missing.
WASHINGTON - It's now up to the Senate to pass a huge $1.1 trillion spending bill to keep the government running, but not before a battle between old school veterans and new breed freshmen such as tea partier Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren, a liberal with a national following.
SAN FRANCISCO - A powerful storm churned down the West Coast Thursday, bringing strong gales and much-needed rain and snow that caused widespread blackouts in Northern California and whiteouts in the Sierra Nevada.
WASHINGTON - Swapping crisis for compromise, the House narrowly approved $1.1 trillion in government-wide spending Thursday night after President Barack Obama and Republicans joined forces to override Democratic complaints that the bill would also ease bank regulations imposed after the economy's near-collapse in 2008.
WASHINGTON - It's another political victory for the popular potato.
GENEVA - All senior U.S. officials and CIA agents who authorized or carried out torture like waterboarding as part of former President George W. Bush's national security policy must be prosecuted, top U.N. officials said Wednesday.
DES MOINES, Iowa - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has accused President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, of double standards in parenting, saying in an interview published Tuesday that the first family shelters its daughters from some things but allows them to listen to the music of Beyoncé.
RICHMOND, Va. - A state lawmaker who resigned his seat following a sex scandal involving a teenage employee won it back during a special election Tuesday.
VALLEY, Ala. - An Alabama middle school principal wants to stockpile cans of corn and peas in classrooms for students to hurl at possible intruders as a last resort defense.
NEW YORK - Americans want to cut back on soda, and they're willing to pay more to do it.
WASHINGTON - A large majority of Americans support labeling of genetically modified foods, whether they care about eating them or not.
WASHINGTON - Hackers claiming to work on behalf of Islamic State militants seized control of the Twitter and YouTube sites of the military's U.S. Central Command on Monday. The Pentagon swiftly suspended the sites and said it appears that no classified material was breached.
ATLANTA - Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal recommitted to supporting criminal justice changes and alternatives to public schools on Monday as he was sworn in for a second term in office, and said his mission for the next four years is "building upon the foundation we have laid."
Unlike its counterparts in other states, the Georgia Hospital Association has not been seen as actively advocating for Medicaid expansion.
DETROIT - The North American International Auto Show begins this week in Detroit with media and industry previews. It opens to the public Jan. 17.
PARIS - The man whose amateur video of a Paris police officer's cold-blooded murder shocked the world now regrets sharing the footage online, saying he never expected it to be broadcast so widely.
DETROIT - Americans are ready to let their tops down and feel the wind blow through their hair.
MIAMI - Florida authorities say George Zimmerman, whose acquittal of murdering an unarmed black teen sparked a national debate on race and self-defense laws, has been arrested on an aggravated assault charge.
WASHINGTON - In a move that surprised his most loyal supporters and former staff, Mitt Romney told several donors Friday he is seriously considering a third run for the White House.
PARIS - French police on Saturday were hunting the widow of one of the slain suspects in a wave of attacks around Paris, considered dangerous herself and the possible key to helping authorities dismantle what could be a terrorist network.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - President Barack Obama on Friday proposed to bring the cost of two years of community college "down to zero" for all Americans, an ambitious nationwide plan based on a popular Tennessee program signed into law by that state's Republican governor.