Healing Springs still draw people who believe

BLACKVILLE, S.C. (AP) — For longer than anyone has recorded history, water has bubbled from out of the ground at a natural spring in what used to be deep woods about an hour's drive down a two-lane road south of Columbia.

Christmas stories around the U.S.

Joseph proposes to Mary at Michigan Nativity scene

BLUMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Joseph proposed marriage to Mary — in Michigan.

Shooting of armed 18-year-old reignites tension in Missouri


BERKELEY, Mo. (AP) — The mayor of the St. Louis suburb of Berkeley called for calm Wednesday after a white police officer killed a black 18-year-old who police said pointed a gun at him. The shooting reignited tensions that have lingered since the death of Michael Brown in neighboring Ferguson.

NORAD monitoring Santa’s fabled flight

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Volunteers at the North American Aerospace Defense Command are pretending to monitor Santa Claus as he makes his storybook Christmas Eve flight. So far, NORAD says it used the heat signature from Rudolph’s nose to “track” St. Nick over spots ranging from Australia to the Great Wall of China.

Christmas Eve for many: Warm, windy and not white

NEW YORK (AP) — Christmas Eve is shaping up to be windy, wet and warm instead of white across much of the country, creating headaches for some travelers, especially in the Great Lakes and the Northeast.

Senate, CIA agree: Interrogation program mismanaged

WASHINGTON (AP) — While the Senate report on the CIA's interrogation program and the spy agency's official response clash on almost every aspect of the long-secret operation, both reports largely agree the agency mismanaged the now-shuttered program.

Severe storms slam South, killing at least 4

COLUMBIA, Miss. (AP) — 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.

George H.W. Bush admitted to hospital

HOUSTON (AP) — Former President George H.W. Bush was admitted to a Houston hospital Tuesday evening after experiencing a shortness of breath, a family spokesman said.

Bush, 90, was taken by ambulance to Houston Methodist Hospital as a "precaution," according to spokesman Jim McGrath. He "will be held for observation, again as a precaution," McGrath said in a statement.

IS shoots down warplane in Syria, captures Jordanian pilot

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The Islamic State group captured a Jordanian pilot after shooting down his warplane over Syria, Jordan said Wednesday, in the extremists' first successful downing of an aircraft from the international coalition waging an air campaign against the extremists.

Faithful flock to Bethlehem for Christmas

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Thousands of Christian pilgrims on Wednesday flocked to the biblical town of Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations at the traditional birthplace of Jesus, lifting spirits in the area after a year of conflict and failed peace efforts.