Court OK of student-led school board prayers to be appealed

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A federal appeals court in New Orleans will be asked to reconsider its ruling allowing student-led prayer at school board meetings. On Monday, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in a Texas case that such prayers don't run afoul of the prohibition against government-established religion. The American Humanist Association, a plaintiff in the case, disagreed.

The Latest: Court reviews practice of prayers at meetings

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Latest on a case in front of a federal appeals court examining a North Carolina county commission's practice of opening meetings with Christian prayer (all times local): 1 p.m. A federal appeals court is wrestling with whether it matters if a prayer opening a government meeting is led by local clergy or an elected official. The full 15-judge bench of the 4th U.S.

Court asks who should lead prayer before government meeting

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Does it matter whether a prayer opening a government meeting is led by local clergy or an elected official? That's a question a federal appeals court is wrestling with in a unique case examining the constitutional requirement of separating church and state. The case will likely eventually wind up before the Supreme Court. An attorney for a North Carolina county commission told the 4th U.S.

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.

Court: Student prayers OK at school board meetings

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A Texas school board can open its meetings with student-led public prayers without running afoul of the Constitution's prohibition against government-established religion, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld a lower court ruling dismissing a lawsuit against the Birdville Independent School District.

School refutes Texas official's Muslim prayer room concerns

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- A Texas school district says Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton is raising unfounded concerns about religious freedom over a spare classroom where Muslim students pray. Muslim students at Liberty High School in Frisco have been allowed since 2009 to pray in a classroom that's vacant for part of the afternoon. School officials say the initiative never has attracted controversy.

US denies striking mosque in Syria amid high death toll

BEIRUT (AP) -- The United States struck an al-Qaida gathering in northern Syria, killing dozens of militants, U.S. officials said Friday. They said they found no basis for reports that civilians were killed. Syrian opposition activists said around 40 people, mostly civilians, were killed in a mosque in the area, accusing the U.S.-led coalition of carrying out the airstrike Thursday evening.

Couple gets word of heart donor for baby girl after prayer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- A North Carolina family says it received a quick answer to a prayer to save their baby daughter's life when word of a heart donor came through just moments leaving church. Melanie and Mike Leitner tell WBTV-TV (http://bit.ly/2mM5783 ) that their daughter Ella Kate had a large mass on a heart ventricle and they were told in November that she needed a transplant.

Pope prays for all mistreated youths after Guatemala blaze

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis has prayed for the 39 girls killed and others injured in the blaze that began in a Guatemalan youth shelter when mattresses were set alight in a protest by those living there. Greeting the faithful in St. Peter's Square on Sunday, Francis also prayed that God console the victims' families.

Israel considers bill forcing mosques to lower volume

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's parliament has passed an initial reading of a bill that would make mosques lower the volume of their call to prayer, amid protests by Arab lawmakers. Arab-Israeli politician Ahmed Tibi tore up the proposal at the Knesset podium Wednesday. The bill still needs to pass several more hurdles. Devout Muslims pray five times a day, starting around 5 a.m.

Before "Lion," the story behind an unlikely family reunion

KHANDWA, India (AP) -- Editor's note: Four years before the movie "Lion" was released, two Associated Press reporters told the story of Saroo Brierley's complicated reunion with his mother, Fatima Munshi. This is that story, which was originally published by the AP in 2012: _____ Saroo's eyes snapped open and everything was suddenly, horribly, wrong.

Update on the latest religion news

OIL PIPELINE No immediate ruling on Dakota Access pipeline WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge says he'll decide within a week whether to temporarily halt construction of the final section of the Dakota Access pipeline over claims that it violates the religious rights of two Indian tribes. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg told lawyers at a hearing Tuesday that he wants to issue a ruling before oil begins flowing in the pipeline.

Federal appeals court to consider Michigan county's prayers

DETROIT (AP) -- A full federal appeals court will consider whether a Michigan county's tradition of Christian-only prayers at public meetings violates the U.S. Constitution. A 2-1 ruling earlier this month by a three-judge panel that said prayers by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners were unconstitutional has been vacated, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday in an order.

The Latest: Vigil honors man killed at Kansas bar shooting

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) -- The Latest on a deadly shooting at a Kansas bar that some witnesses said was racially motivated (all times local): 9:15 p.m. Residents of a Kansas City suburb gathered at a church to honor a man who died in a shooting earlier this week at a bar across the street. About 400 people sang, prayed and lit candles Friday night at First Baptist Church in Olathe, Kansas, to honor Srinivas Kuchibhotla.

Update on the latest religion news

OBIT-DOUG COE National Prayer Breakfast organizer dies at 88 ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Doug Coe, who cultivated relationships with national and world leaders and whose ministry coordinated the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, has died at the age of 88. Family spokesman Larry Ross says Coe died Tuesday in Annapolis, Maryland, after a brief hospitalization following a heart attack and stroke.

National Prayer Breakfast organizer dies at 88

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Doug Coe, who cultivated relationships with national and world leaders and whose ministry coordinated the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, has died at the age of 88. Family spokesman Larry Ross says Coe died Tuesday in Annapolis, Maryland, after a brief hospitalization following a heart attack and stroke. Ross says Coe died at home, surrounded by family members "who sang songs and hymns together by his bedside.

Update on the latest religion news

SCHOOL PRAYER Indiana House education committee backs school prayer bill INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Students' right to pray aloud in Indiana schools would be reaffirmed under a measure a House education committee has approved. Democratic state Rep. John Bartlett's measure was approved Tuesday on a 10-2 vote. Bartlett has said his measure would give students an opportunity to pray in school, but not require them to do so.

Indiana House education committee backs school prayer bill

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Students' right to pray aloud in Indiana schools would be reaffirmed under a measure a House education committee has approved. Democratic state Rep. John Bartlett's measure was approved Tuesday on a 10-2 vote. Bartlett has said his measure would give students an opportunity to pray in school, but not require them to do so.