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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed into law a new defense doctrine that identifies NATO as the chief threat to Russian security and claims the right to use nuclear weapons to counter any aggression that "threatens the very existence of Russia."

Carol J. Williams
At Christ Tabernacle, a megachurch in the Glendale neighborhood of Queens with thousands of members, an usher known as Ralph had no small task come Sundays. Dressed in a suit, he helped mothers handle baby carriages, steered the elderly to the elevator and personified the “little” in a self-described “big little church” by making churchgoers feel at home.MIREYA NAVARRO
States dependent on oil and gas revenue are bracing for layoffs, slashing agency budgets and growing increasingly anxious about the ripple effect that falling oil prices may have on their local economies.MANNY FERNANDEZ and JEREMY ALFORD
Long before revelations in the spring that the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix had manipulated waiting lists to hide that veterans were facing long delays to see doctors, senior department officials in Washington had been made aware of serious problems at the hospital, according to filings before a federal administrative board.Richard A. Oppel Jr.
President Barack Obama for the first time used his Christmas Day visit to the troops to talk about the end of America’s longest war.Amy Chozick
After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, oil giant BP had to cut its worldwide portfolio significantly by selling off $43 billion in assets. Now, unexpectedly, the company finds itself in a more favorable position to weather a bear oil market than some competitors.Jennifer A. Dlouhy | Houston Chronicle
You can see where Elizabeth Gonzalez had a tracheotomy to help her breathe and where the screws were placed in her back. Similar scars are visible on her husband, Ismael Duran Duran: on his back, where he also had surgery, as well as on his arms from windshield glass.Coral Garnick
A paleo-geologist sifts sand and coral deposits for clues to tsunami patterns in Aceh, the epicenter of the Dec 26, 2004 earthquake. Indonesians are marking the 10-year anniversary of the country's deadliest natural disaster.Simon Montlake
Pope Francis on Thursday used a traditional Christmas address to emphasize the plight of children in areas of conflict, pointing out their “impotent silence” that &l...Elisabetta Povoledo
PlayStation Now, a service that allows users to stream PS3 games over the Internet, will come to a few Samsung smart TVs in early 2015. PlayStation Now lets gamers play without any additional hardware besides a big screen and a controller.Jeff Ward-Bailey