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.

Egyptian-American release came after 'no deal,' Trump says

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump said he struck "no deal" for the release of an Egyptian-American charity worker who had been detained in the country for nearly three years. Aya Hijazi, 30, and her husband, Mohamed Hassanein, an Egyptian, returned to the Washington area Thursday. She met Friday with Trump in the Oval Office. Trump had hosted Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the White House at the beginning of this month.

"Right-to-work" constitutional question OK'd by House panel

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- House Republicans are advancing a proposed constitutional amendment to reinforce North Carolina laws prohibiting union membership and paying union dues as a requirement for employment. A House judiciary committee Thursday narrowly approved a measure asking voters in November 2018 to decide whether similar prohibitions should be in the state Constitution. GOP bill sponsor Rep. Justin Burr says constitutional language would further protect workers.

Education secy, teachers union chief meet on school tour

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the head of a national teachers union sought to find common ground as they toured public schools in Ohio, but differences remained. The school visit came just months after American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten fiercely opposed the nomination of DeVos, a longtime advocate of charter and private schools. In the past Weingarten has accused DeVos of feeling "antipathy for public schools.

Iowa administrator testifies fired coaches often gay

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A former University of Iowa athletic administrator said Wednesday that during her tenure she became concerned after noticing that female coaches who were fired were often gay and had become more open about their sexuality. Jane Meyer testified about Iowa coaches as her case continued in Des Moines, where jurors are considering her claim that she suffered workplace discrimination as a gay woman in a relationship with a Hawkeye coach.

Judge spares police in polygamous towns, orders monitoring

PHOENIX (AP) -- The federal government's bid to dismantle the police department in a polygamous community on the Arizona-Utah border has been rejected by a judge as too drastic and expensive. But the towns will still be under court supervision for the next decade as punishment in a religious discrimination case.

UN council accredits religious rights group stalled by panel

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- One of the U.N.'S main bodies voted Wednesday to grant accreditation to a British-based group that promotes religious freedom, overriding a U.N. committee that had deferred action on the matter for years. Britain had argued that the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, which decides what groups can participate in U.N. activities, is biased against human rights groups.

The Latest: Fox News addresses O'Reilly departure

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Latest on Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly (all times local): 8:30 p.m. Fox News addressed the departure of Bill O'Reilly Wednesday night, as the show that used to bear his name debuted as simply "The Factor." Dana Perino, who has been filling in for O'Reilly since he announced an extended break earlier this month, announced that he was no longer with the network.

The Latest: UK lawmakers overwhelmingly back June election

LONDON (AP) -- The Latest on the British prime minister's decision to seek an early election (all times local): 2:45 p.m. British lawmakers have voted by a resounding 522 to 13 to back Prime Minister Theresa May's call for a national election on June 8. The result easily surpasses the two-thirds majority of the 650 lawmakers needed to trigger an early vote. There were also a number of abstentions.

BC-AP News Digest 6:15 pm

Here are the AP's latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EDT. Adds: TRUMP-PARIS ACCORD; TRUMP-INAUGURAL DONORS; FRESNO FATAL SHOOTING; MISSING NYC BOY; FRANCE-ELECTION; FACEBOOK-EVENT. --------------- ONLY ON AP --------------- TRUMP COUNTRY-REFUGEES AND RESENTMENT, HFR -- Richard Rodrigue's working-class Maine community is a place some point to as proof that refugee integration can work. Some 7,500 immigrants have come here, and Rodrigue credits them with plugging the population drain.

The Latest: Trump, May speak about British election plans

LONDON (AP) -- The Latest on British Prime Minister Theresa May calling for a general election on June 8 (all times local): 11:15 p.m. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May have spoken about her plans to call a general election in June. The White House says May telephoned Trump regarding her plans and that Trump wished the British people the best of luck in the June 8 vote.

Trump order would target high-skilled worker visa program

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump is planning to sign an executive order that seeks to make changes to a visa program that brings in high-skilled workers. Trump is heading Tuesday to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he plans to sign an order dubbed "Buy American, Hire American," said administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity despite the president's frequent criticism of the use of anonymous sources.

Bank of America settles racial discrimination case from 1993

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Bank of America settled a decades-old case that accused its predecessor company of systematically discriminating against black applicants for entry-level jobs in Charlotte, the U.S. Labor Department said Monday. The largest U.S. consumer bank settled the 1993 case against its Charlotte-based predecessor NationsBank by agreeing that 1,027 people who applied for clerical, teller and administrative positions a generation ago would share $1 million in back wages and interest, the department said.

Rooney Rule leaves a legacy and impact far beyond NFL

Of all the contributions Dan Rooney made to the NFL, the Rooney Rule was the most important and far reaching. The policy on minority hiring that carries his name has been adopted not only by other sports but by businesses and organizations nationwide. His death came days before baseball honors Jackie Robinson on Saturday, the 70th anniversary of the end to racial segregation in the game.

Ex-official's trial to focus on bias claims against Iowa AD

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The former associate athletic director at the University of Iowa will square off against the school in a trial Monday that centers on her claim that she suffered discrimination as a gay female who fought bias in college sports. The trial in a lawsuit brought by Jane Meyer is expected to litigate whether Athletic Director Gary Barta's personnel decisions were necessary judgment calls or tainted by discrimination.

Italian premier urges Alitalia workers to OK compromise deal

ROME (AP) -- Premier Paolo Gentiloni urged Alitalia workers on Friday to approve a compromise deal to relaunch Italy's struggling flagship airline that was reached in last-ditch, government-mediated negotiations between unions and Alitalia management. The deal reached early Friday reduces proposed job and salary cuts and calls for greater investment in the long-range routes that analysts say are critical for Alitalia's survival. It's to be put to a referendum of Alitalia workers next week.

Uber's PR head resigns amid tumultuous time for company

NEW YORK (AP) -- Uber's head of communications is leaving, the latest in a string of executive departures as the ride-hailing company tries to dig out from a pile of troubles. In a memo to employees, CEO Travis Kalanick called Rachel Whetstone a "force of nature" who was "was way ahead of the game when it came to many of the changes we needed to make as a company.

Google refutes charges, says there is no gender pay gap

NEW YORK (AP) -- Google said it's "taken aback " by the government's claim that it doesn't compensate women fairly. The company said it conducts "rigorous analyses" that its pay practices are gender-blind and found "no gender pay gap" in 52 major job categories it analyzed last year. Google added that analysts who calculate suggested pay don't have access to employees' gender data.

Study: Migrant workers exploited en route to Arab Gulf

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- South Asian migrants working in the multi-billion dollar construction industry in Arab Gulf countries are shouldering the costs of their own recruitment fees while companies and their clients are reaping the benefits from inexpensive labor, according to a study released Tuesday.