Court documents: Mother had abused teen in kidnapping case

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (AP) -- A 15-year-old Tennessee girl who authorities say was kidnapped by her teacher had endured months of abuse at the hands of her mother, according to court documents, making her particularly vulnerable to an adult predator. The mother is scheduled to appear in court next month and has pleaded not guilty to five counts of abuse and neglect involving several of her children.

Lawmakers: Faith-based adoption groups can spurn gay couples

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama lawmakers on Tuesday gave final approval to a bill protecting faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents, or other households, because of their religious beliefs. The legislation would prohibit the state from refusing to license faith-based adoption groups that refuse placements because of their religious beliefs.

HGTV's 'Flip or Flop' to return with divorcing co-hosts

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The divorcing co-hosts of HGTV's "Flip or Flop" are returning to the show for a seventh season. HGTV announced late Monday that Tarek and Christina El Moussa will be back on the show for a 20-episode run beginning in December. Tarek El Moussa filed for divorce from Christina El Moussa in January. They have two children together. The couple announced their separation last year.

Ivanka Trump heads to Berlin for women's conference

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Ivanka Trump's advocacy for women and girls will take her to a conference in Berlin Tuesday, an attention-getting first international outing aimed at building support for investment in women's economic empowerment programs. Back home, the first daughter's plan to push for policies that benefit working mothers is getting less of the spotlight.

Mother, son, his child found dead in apparent murder-suicide

YORK, Pa. (AP) -- A Pennsylvania mother, her son and his 3-year-old daughter have been found shot to death in what authorities say was an apparent murder-suicide stemming from a custody dispute over the child. Officers who were asked to check on the occupants of a Manchester Township home Sunday night found the three family members dead with gunshot wounds, the Northern York County Regional Police Department said Monday.

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.

Hawaii bill giving equal access to fertility treatment dies

HONOLULU (AP) -- Hawaii lawmakers killed a bill that sought equal access to fertility treatments for gay and lesbian couples and single women. The decision came after health care lobbyists argued it was a bad idea to make insurers cover a fertility procedure for surrogate mothers that gay male couples rely on to have a child. State Sen.

7 admit to arranging sham marriages for Brazilians in US

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Prosecutors say seven people have pleaded guilty to arranging sham marriages in South Carolina so people from Brazil could try to become American citizens. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Crick said in a news release that the people trying to become U.S. citizens paid more than $20,000 to marry people in America legally.

Health care lobby pushes back on Hawaii LGBT fertility bill

HONOLULU (AP) -- Health care lobbyists in Hawaii are pushing lawmakers to kill part of a bill that would expand access to fertility treatments to same-sex couples who want to have a child. They're saying requiring insurers to cover fertility treatments for gestational carriers that male couples rely on could lead to legal problems. Under Hawaii law, insurers are required to cover one round of in vitro fertilization for some married, heterosexual couples.

'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.

Alabama Supreme Court upholds Chief Roy Moore's suspension

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore lost his effort to regain his job on Wednesday as the Alabama Supreme Court upheld his suspension for urging defiance of federal rulings allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The fiery jurist lashed out at Wednesday's decision, saying he considers his lengthy suspension to be both illegal and a "clear disregard of the will of the people who elected me chief justice.

The Latest: Alabama justice mulling run for higher office

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The Latest on suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (all times local): 2:15 p.m. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore says he will announce next week if he will run for higher office. Moore also lashed out at the Alabama Supreme Court, which upheld his suspension for the rest of his term for violating judicial ethics by urging state judges to defy the U.S. Supreme Court on gay marriage.

South Dakota lawmakers decline to study polygamous sect

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- South Dakota lawmakers have decided against studying a secretive polygamous sect's outpost in the western part of the state. Republican Rep. Tim Goodwin proposed looking into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' compound near Pringle. Goodwin wanted to look at issues including whether polygamy or sex trafficking are taking place there.

Lawmaker seeks study of polygamous sect's South Dakota site

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- A South Dakota lawmaker frustrated with what he views as inaction over a secretive polygamous sect's outpost in his district wants legislators to look into the compound, including why no South Dakota birth or death records have been filed from there over the last decade. Rep.

'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.

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.