Man in same-sex child custody case gets 3 years in prison

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- A Virginia businessman convicted of international parental kidnapping and conspiracy for his role in a same-sex couple's child custody fight was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison. Philip Zodhiates, Waynesboro, drove Lisa Miller and 7-year-old Isabella Miller-Jenkins from Virginia to the Canadian border in 2009 so they could fly from Toronto to Nicaragua. He also helped with their living arrangements in the Central American nation, according to Assistant U.S.

US declines to join letter criticizing China on human rights

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States has declined to join other countries in criticizing China over allegations of torture against human rights lawyers. The U.K., Germany, Canada and eight others signed a letter raising concerns about lawyers and rights activists detained incommunicado for long periods. The letter urges China to investigate torture claims against lawyer Xie Yang and others. The U.S.

South Carolina editorial roundup

Recent editorials from South Carolina newspapers: ___ March 20 The Post and Courier (of Charleston) on the so-called "schoolhouse to jailhouse pipeline:" Maintaining discipline in the classroom can be a challenge for any teacher. And few things can harm other students' ability to focus and learn more than a particularly disruptive classmate. That much is clear.

Bill would bar discrimination toward climate change doubters

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Maine laws protect people from discrimination based on factors such as race, disabilities and sexual orientation, and a Republican lawmaker wants to add a person's beliefs about climate change to that list. Rep. Larry Lockman has introduced a bill that would limit the attorney general's ability to investigate or prosecute people based on their political speech, including their views on climate change.

High Court bolsters rights of learning-disabled students

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A unanimous Supreme Court on Wednesday bolstered the rights of millions of learning-disabled students in a ruling that requires public schools to offer special education programs that meet higher standards. The court struck down a lower standard endorsed by President Donald Trump's nominee to the high court. Chief Justice John Roberts said that it is not enough for school districts to get by with minimal instruction for special needs children.

In Europe spat, Turkish president warns Westerners on safety

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ramped up his anti-European rhetoric on Wednesday, warning that the safety of Western citizens could be in peril if European nations persist in what he described as arrogant conduct. Erdogan's remarks came amid tension over Dutch and German restrictions on Turkish officials who tried to campaign for diaspora votes ahead of an April 16 referendum on expanding the powers of the Turkish presidency.

Nightclub shooting victims sue gunman's employer, wife

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- A personal injury attorney representing dozens of survivors and victims' relatives from the Orlando nightclub massacre filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the gunman's employer and wife, claiming they could have stopped Omar Mateen before the attack but didn't. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in South Florida on behalf of almost five dozen of the survivors and family members of those killed at Pulse nightclub last June.

The Latest: China envoy hails Syria peace talks 'momentum'

BEIRUT (AP) -- The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local): 5:50 p.m. China's envoy for the Syria crisis says the "momentum of peace dialogue will not be stopped" as U.N.-mediated talks are expected to resume. Xie Xiaoyan spoke to reporters a day before Syrian government and opposition delegations were set to convene for a fifth round of talks in Geneva.

German Cabinet OKs plan to annul homosexuality convictions

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's Cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill that would annul the convictions of thousands of gay men under a law criminalizing homosexuality that was applied zealously in post-World War II West Germany. The decision also clears the way for compensation for those still alive who were convicted under the so-called Paragraph 175 outlawing sexual relations between men.

Labor nominee says he won't let politics influence hiring

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Labor Department said Wednesday he won't allow potential political pressure from the administration to influence his hiring decisions and regrets he let that happen on his watch at the Justice Department. But Alexander Acosta, testifying before the Senate Health, Labor, Education and Pensions Committee, said little about what he would do about overtime pay and other issues if confirmed for the job.

Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment:

BRITAIN-PARLIAMENT INCIDENT Four dead, police believe there was one attacker LONDON (AP) -- The head of counterterrorism at London's Metropolitan Police, says four people have died in the terror incident in London, including an attacker and a police officer. Mark Rowley says some 20 people have been wounded and Parliament was locked down.

Bill letting adults openly carry guns sent to House floor

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A bill allowing adults to openly carry a gun in South Carolina without a permit is heading to the House floor. The House Judiciary Committee voted 15-7 Tuesday to advance the bill that lets anyone who can legally buy a gun carry it around in public. Businesses could still post signs keeping weapons out. And state law barring guns from schools and other places would remain.

Muslim advocacy group seeks broader travel-ban injunction

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- A federal judge in Virginia is weighing a request from a Muslim civil rights group for an even broader injunction against President Donald Trump's proposed travel ban than what other judges have imposed. Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland have blocked the vast majority of Trump's revised ban, which would restrict immigration by refugees and from six majority-Muslim countries.

Arkansas ends Robert E. Lee-Martin Luther King Jr. holiday

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas' governor signed legislation Tuesday ending the state's practice of commemorating Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the same holiday as slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., leaving only two states remaining that honor the two men on the same day. Republican Gov.

High court says patent suit over adult diapers can proceed

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court says a company that makes adult diapers did not wait too long to sue a rival for copying its patented design. The justices ruled 7-1 Tuesday that Sweden-based SCA Hygiene Products AB could take legal action against New York-based First Quality Baby Products LLC for violating patents on its adult incontinence products. A federal appeals court had ruled that SCA's delay in bringing the lawsuit was unreasonable.

Opera tells story of Negro Leagues baseball star Josh Gibson

An opera about Negro Leagues baseball star Josh Gibson, whose power hitting rivaled Babe Ruth's, will have its world premiere in Pittsburgh in April. "The Summer King," presented by Pittsburgh Opera , premieres April 29. Gibson's story also figured in "Fences," the movie starring Denzel Washington that was originally a play by Pittsburgh native August Wilson. Baseball and opera "don't usually inhabit the same universe," said Christopher Hahn, Pittsburgh Opera's general director.

Hanks, Baldwin headline Facebook Live ACLU fundraiser

NEW YORK (AP) -- Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey are among the stars set to appear on Facebook Live as part of a fundraiser for the American Civil Liberties Union. Jon Hamm, Amy Poehler, Tracy Morgan and others will also take part in "Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU," which will stream on Facebook on March 31.