Russian FM: No proof for reports on persecution of gay men

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow is concerned about human rights violations but has no reason to believe reports about the persecution of gay men in Chechnya. The Novaya Gazeta newspaper earlier this month reported that police in the predominantly Muslim republic rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality and that at least three of them were killed.

Report: Companies not complying with Bangladesh garment plan

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) -- Dozens of global clothing companies are not complying with a plan to ensure better safety in Bangladesh garment factories following the deadly collapse of a building four years ago, a rights group said Monday. Only 29 out of 72 recently contacted companies are releasing information about how they source their products in Bangladesh, and "many brands have held out completely," New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report.

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.

New Orleans takes down 1st of 4 Confederate statues

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Workers in New Orleans removed the first of four prominent Confederate monuments Monday morning, becoming the latest Southern institution to sever itself from symbols viewed by many as a representation of racism and white supremacy. The Liberty Place monument, which commemorates whites who tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government in New Orleans, was taken away on a truck in pieces around 5:35 a.m. after a few hours of work.

Report: US cases of anti-Semitism increased last year

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Anti-Defamation League found an increase in cases of anti-Semitic intimidation and vandalism last year, evidence that anti-Jewish bias intensified during the election. The Jewish civil rights group found 1,266 cases of anti-Semitic harassment last year, compared to 941 in 2015 and 912 in 2014.

Guatemalan land activist wins prestigious Goldman prize

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) -- Rodrigo Tot, a 60-year-old farmer and activist, was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize on Monday for work in his Guatemala homeland, an honor that comes after two previous Latin American winners were murdered in the last year. The diminutive, soft-spoken evangelical pastor was recognized for defending his indigenous Q'eqchi community's lands against a mining company and the government.

On Holocaust day, Netanyahu says its lessons guide him

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened Israel's annual memorial day for the 6 million Jews systematically killed by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II by saying the lessons of the Holocaust guide him daily and issuing a warning to Israel's enemies not to test it.

Doctor's arrest brings attention to US female circumcisions

DETROIT (AP) -- Zehra Patwa learned only a few years ago that during a family trip to India at age 7, she was circumcised, which is common for girls in parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Patwa, 46, doesn't remember undergoing the procedure, which is also called female genital mutilation or cutting and which has been condemned by the United Nations and outlawed in the U.S. But she doesn't want to.

North Carolina civil rights center faces conservative ire

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A center founded at the University of North Carolina by a civil rights attorney to help the poor and disenfranchised is the latest institution to come under fire from conservatives seeking to leave their mark on the state's higher education system. Attorney Julius Chambers survived firebomb attacks in the 1960s and 1970s as he fought segregation. Decades later, he founded the UNC Center for Civil Rights.

Report: Anti-Semitism rises, but violence against Jews falls

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) -- Violent attacks on Jews dropped for a second straight year in 2016, but other forms of anti-Semitism are on the rise worldwide, particularly on U.S. university campuses, according to a report released Sunday. Researchers at Tel Aviv University said assaults specifically targeting Jews, vandalism and other violent incidents fell 12 percent last year.

The Latest: French candidate Macron revels at Paris eatery

PARIS (AP) -- The Latest on the first round of France's presidential election (all times local): 12:40 a.m. Emmanuel Macron is celebrating his victory in France's first-round presidential election at a Left Bank eatery frequented by Ernest Hemingway and other artistic dignitaries. The choice to dine in La Rotonde in the Montparnasse neighborhood fits with Macron's literary leanings -- he quotes poets and philosophers in his campaign rallies.

Croatia anti-fascists, Serbs gather at WWII death camp

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) -- Croatian anti-fascists and Serb minority groups have held a commemoration ceremony at the site of a notorious World War II death camp, boycotting the official event over alleged government inaction to curb the surge of neo-Nazi sentiment in the Balkan country. The ceremony Saturday was held a day before the Croatian government plans to mark an attempted escape in 1945 of 1,073 prisoners from the Jasenovac camp when hundreds were killed.

Opposition: Missiles knock out hospital in Syria's north

BEIRUT (AP) -- Missiles struck a medical center in Syria's northern rebel-held province, putting the facility built underground for protection out of service and killing a number of its staff, opposition activists said Saturday. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that airstrikes had seriously damaged the medical center in Abdin village, in Idlib. The activist-run Aleppo Today media group also reported on the airstrikes.

Nastase ejected from Romania Fed Cup tie after tirade

CONSTANTA, Romania (AP) -- Romania Fed Cup captain Ilie Nastase was thrown out of the playoff against Britain after abusing players and the umpire on Saturday. The 70-year-old Nastase also publicly hurled insults at a British journalist in Constanta, a day after apparently making racially offensive comments about Serena Williams' pregnancy. International Tennis Federation president David Haggerty condemned Nastase for his "unacceptable behavior," and the body also began an investigation.

Senators seek data on Americans caught up in surveillance

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Democratic privacy advocate and libertarian-minded Republican are asking the nation's top intelligence official to release more information about the communications of American citizens swept up in surveillance operations. The request by Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky adds to a chorus of calls for more transparency about how intelligence agencies use and share communications to, from and about Americans.