By The Associated Press

California’s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional: court

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court on Tuesday declared California’s same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional, putting the bitterly contested, voter-approved law on track for a likely appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Feb 7, 2012

Santorum poised to give Romney a black eye in trio of state nominating contests

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum may be nudging Newt Gingrich out of the way as the favoured candidate of far-right conservatives as he makes big moves in a trio of Midwestern states, seriously challenging front-runner Mitt Romney in advance of their Tuesday nominating contests.

  • Feb 7, 2012

China vows to continue crackdown on unrest in Tibetan areas, blames overseas groups

BEIJING — China on Tuesday vowed to crack down on unrest in Tibetan areas and accused overseas activist groups and the Dalai Lama of fomenting the recent violence.

  • Feb 7, 2012
Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

’Bama make BCS history

Alabama 21 LSU 0 NEW ORLEANS — The Rematch of the Century, it wasn’t. For Alabama, it was good enough for No. 1, if not a lot of style points.

  • Jan 10, 2012
Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

OT field goal lifts Cowboys over Cardinals in Fiesta Bowl

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Brandon Weeden threw for 399 yards and three touchdowns to Justin Blackmon in his final collegiate game, and Quinn Sharp hit a 22-yard field goal in overtime to give No. 3 Oklahoma State a 41-38 win over Andrew Luck and No. 4 Stanford in a wildly entertaining Fiesta Bowl on Monday night.

  • Jan 3, 2012
Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Rangers rally from 2-0 deficit edge Flyers

PHILADELPHIA — Mike Rupp scored two goals and Brad Richards posted the winner on top of a chilly baseball field, as the New York Rangers outlasted the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2, in the Winter Classic on Monday at Citizens Bank Park.

  • Jan 3, 2012
Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Nugent-Hopkins injured in Oilers’ win

CHICAGO — Edmonton coach Tom Renney hopes the NHL will take a close look at Daniel Carcillo’s nasty boarding penalty. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville made it sound like an accident. Everyone agreed it was a crucial play.

  • Jan 3, 2012
Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Congress passes payroll tax cut

WASHINGTON — Barely beating Santa’s sleigh, Congress delivered a last-minute holiday tax-cut extension to 160 million American wage-earners on Friday, just when it looked like they and millions of unemployed workers were going to be left with coal in their stockings.

  • Dec 24, 2011

French government to pay for removal of breast implants

PARIS — France took the costly and unprecedented step Friday of offering to pay for 30,000 women to have their breast implants removed because of mounting fears the products could rupture and leak cheap, industrial-grade silicone into the body.

  • Dec 24, 2011

Twin suicide blast kill more than 44 in Syria

DAMASCUS, Syria — Twin suicide car bombs blasted outside two buildings of Syria’s powerful intelligence agencies Friday, killing at least 44 people and wounding more than 150, authorities said, in the first such attacks since the country was thrown into turmoil by the 9-month-old uprising against the rule of President Bashar Assad.

  • Dec 24, 2011
Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu (43) tackles San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams (10) in the second quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco

San Francisco crushes Steelers

Monday Night Football nearly became a Monday Night Fiasco. San Francisco’s lights-out return to prime time helped salvage what could have been an embarrassing night for everyone involved on the NFL’s biggest stage after a pair of power outages delayed the game for close to 35 minutes in all.

  • Dec 20, 2011
Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu (43) tackles San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams (10) in the second quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco
In this Aug. 24

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il has died

Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s mercurial and enigmatic leader whose iron rule and nuclear ambitions for his isolated communist nation dominated world security fears for more than a decade, has died. He was 69.

  • Dec 19, 2011
In this Aug. 24
In this undated handout photo released by Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka an oil drilling platform "Kolskaya" is seen in the Sea of Okhotsk. The oil drilling platform has capsized in the Sea of Okhotsk off Russia's east coast

Russian oil rig capsizes, killing 4

Rescue workers are searching for 49 men in freezing, remote waters off Russia’s east coast after their oil rig capsized and sank amid fierce storms.

  • Dec 19, 2011
In this undated handout photo released by Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka an oil drilling platform "Kolskaya" is seen in the Sea of Okhotsk. The oil drilling platform has capsized in the Sea of Okhotsk off Russia's east coast
An Egyptian protester throws stones toward army soldiers during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo

Egypt’s military, revolutionaries compete for public support

Egypt’s ruling military and the revolutionaries who demand they immediately step down battled for a third day in the streets on Sunday — and competed fiercely for the support of a broader public that has grown tired of turmoil since the fall of Hosni Mubarak 10 months ago.

  • Dec 19, 2011
An Egyptian protester throws stones toward army soldiers during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo
Staff Sergeant Prince House from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team

Lost of American troops leave Iraq

The last U.S. soldiers rolled out of Iraq across the border into neighbouring Kuwait at daybreak Sunday, whooping, fist bumping and hugging each other in a burst of joy and relief.

  • Dec 19, 2011
Staff Sergeant Prince House from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team

Man charged with setting NY woman on fire says he was mad over $2,000 debt

As Deloris Gillespie went up the elevator to her fifth-floor Brooklyn apartment, carrying groceries, her killer was waiting. Though no one may have seen him, he had been in the building long enough for neighbours to have smelled something odd.

  • Dec 19, 2011

Former French leader Jacques Chirac convicted of corruption for his Paris mayor days

PARIS — As French president, Jacques Chirac was called all sorts of names, not the least for his vociferous opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Now, he has a moniker that will stick: Convicted criminal.

  • Dec 16, 2011

No mission accomplished banners: U.S. marks formal end of divisive Iraq war with small ceremony

BAGHDAD — There was no “Mission Accomplished” banner. No victory parade down the centre of this capital scarred by nearly nine years of war. No crowds of cheering Iraqis grateful for liberation from Saddam Hussein.

  • Dec 16, 2011

U.S. investigation finds sheriff’s office violated civil rights laws

PHOENIX — The U.S. government said Thursday that the man who called himself the toughest sheriff in America ran an office that has committed wide-ranging civil rights violations against Latinos, including a pattern of racial profiling and heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged complaints.

  • Dec 16, 2011