Inspired by own family, Kentucky gov. tackles foster system

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- The little girl was 11, living in a foster care group home, when she ended up playing tag in a Louisville park with the daughters of a wealthy investment manager who would one day be Kentucky's governor. Matt Bevin said he and his wife, Glenna, noticed how the girl attached herself to their daughters, "like she was just one of the kids.

Woman accused of forcing 12-year-old girl into prostitution

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- A Winston-Salem woman is standing trial for forcing a 12-year-old girl into prostitution over a two-year-period. The Winston-Salem Journal reports ( that 39-year-old Flora Riano Gonzales is accused of driving the girl to have sex with men and bringing the girl to a man who raped her and made arrangements for her to have sex with men for money.

Charity worker returns to US after being detained in Egypt

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An Egyptian-American charity worker freed after nearly three years of detention in Egypt returned Thursday night to the United States, the White House said. Aya Hijazi, 30, and her husband, Mohamed Hassanein, an Egyptian, arrived in the Washington area, said a White House official who was not authorized to discuss the case by name and requested anonymity.

'Infowars' host Jones says his on-air persona not a 'trick'

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Right-wing radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones testified Wednesday that he's sincere in his "Infowars" commentary but acknowledges he also uses satire and comedy on his show. The testimony in his child custody case stands in contrast to comments by his lawyer who last week argued that Jones is a performance artist whose true personality is nothing like his on-air persona.

Nevada woman accused of faking son's death to raise money

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Nevada authorities say a woman faces criminal charges after she faked that her 10-year-old son had leukemia and died, helping her raise more than $2,000. Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong says Victoria Morrison was arrested last Friday at a motel in Nevada's capital city. Authorities placed the son and Morrison's three other children in the custody of state protective services officials.

Penn State launches new research effort to help abused kids

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A new research program at Penn State aims to improve the health of neglected and abused children and test an innovative approach to screen kids for head injuries. Penn State said Tuesday it will establish the Center for Healthy Children at its main campus, supported by nearly $8 million from the National Institutes for Health. The university is putting in more than $3 million.

'Infowars' host Jones disputes persona in custody dispute

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The right-wing radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is a performance artist whose true personality is nothing like his on-air persona, according to a lawyer defending the "Infowars" broadcaster in a child custody battle. Attorney Randall Wilhite said at a pretrial hearing in Austin last week that evaluating Jones based on his on-air comments is like judging Jack Nicholson based on his role as the Joker in "Batman.

Egypt acquits American woman detained for 3 years

CAIRO (AP) -- An Egyptian court on Sunday acquitted Aya Hijazi, a dual U.S.-Egyptian citizen who has been held in detention for nearly three years over accusations related to a non-governmental organization she founded to aid street children. Authorities arrested Hijazi, her husband and six others in May 2014 on charges of abusing children that were widely dismissed as bogus by human rights groups and senior U.S. officials, who called for her release.

Report: Teacher continued to work despite assault claims

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- A Spanish teacher at the prestigious Choate Rosemary Hall boarding school who was fired amid sexual assault allegations by two students in 1999 was able to continue his education career for the next 18 years at several other schools that weren't notified of the allegations, according to a new report.

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck file divorce petitions

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck filed divorce petitions Thursday, the first step in formally ending their marriage more than a year after they publicly declared their relationship was over. The actors both filed divorce petitions in Los Angeles County Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences and seeking joint custody of their three children, who range from 5 to 11. The filings were made without attorneys and are virtually identical.

Foreign adoptions to US families continue their long decline

NEW YORK (AP) -- The number of foreign children adopted by U.S. parents dropped almost 5 percent last year, continuing a steady decline that's now extended for 12 years, according to new State Department figures. However, department officials said they have been working closely with numerous countries to strengthen international adoption procedures, and they suggested the numbers could rise if the U.S.

AP Exclusive: UN child sex ring left victims but no arrests

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- In the ruins of a tropical hideaway where jetsetters once sipped rum under the Caribbean sun, the abandoned children tried to make a life for themselves. They begged and scavenged for food, but they never could scrape together enough to beat back the hunger, until the U.N. peacekeepers moved in a few blocks away.

US temporarily bans use of cyanide predator traps in Idaho

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- U.S. officials on Monday temporarily stopped the use of predator-killing cyanide traps in Idaho after one sickened a young boy and killed his dog last month after they checked it out. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced in a letter that it had halted all use of the traps on state, federal and private land in Idaho in response to a petition from 19 conservation and wildlife groups.

6-month-old in hospital; parents charged with child abuse

SHELBY, N.C. (AP) -- Authorities in Shelby say the parents of a 6-month-old girl now hospitalized in critical condition are charged with child abuse. Local media outlets report the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office was called March 24 to Carolinas Medical Center to investigate what doctors believed to be a case of child abuse. After speaking with doctors, deputies arrested 34-year-old Steven Dean and 34-year-old Morgan Conn.

The Latest: Turkish leader says Syria government blame clear

BEIRUT (AP) -- The Latest on the Syria conflict (all times local): 11:55 p.m. Turkey's president says it's clear that Syria's government carried out Tuesday's chemical attack in northern Syria and called on Russia to stop supporting Bashar Assad's government. In a live interview on 24 TV Saturday night, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected Syria's denial of using chemical weapons. "They say it came from the depot of a terror organization there.

Despite gains, LGBT protections remain a patchwork in US

A federal appeals court in Chicago, citing the Civil Rights Act, has ruled that companies cannot discriminate against LGBT employees in the workplace because of their sexual orientation. It's the latest in a long series of court rulings, state legislation and local ordinances expanding rights and protections for LGBT. But nationwide, in the absence of comprehensive federal legislation, the protections are available only on a patchwork basis.

The Latest: IS-held Syrian dam said to be functioning again

BEIRUT (AP) -- The Latest on the suspected chemical attack in Syria (all times local): 11 p.m. U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces say the gates to the Tabqa Dam held by the Islamic State group in northern Syria are functioning again, releasing water from the swollen Lake Assad into the Euphrates River.