Global warming 'has had a role' in making 2012 the hottest ever recorded in the lower 48 states, says a US climatologist. The average temperature was 54.3 degrees F., a full degree higher than the previous annual record.
The phones at gun shops across the country are ringing off the hook. Demand for firearms, ammunition and bulletproof gear has surged since the massacre in Newtown, Conn., that took the lives of 20 schoolchildren and six teachers and administrators.
More than one-quarter of Americans did volunteer work in 2011, providing 7.9 billion hours of service worth $171 billion. Utah led among states. Iowans responded to their governor's call for volunteers.
Jesus statue lawsuit: A statue of Jesus Christ near the Whitefish Mountain ski resort is on federal land. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, and an atheist skiier, have filed a lawsuit to remove the statue that's been there since 1955.
Idaho is one of four states that do not permit criminal defendants to claim they are innocent by reason of insanity. On Monday, the US Supreme Court declined to take a case testing whether an insanity defense is a constitutional right.