End of the line: Crews set to take down 600-year-old tree

BERNARDS, N.J. (AP) -- An imposing white oak tree that has watched over a New Jersey community and a church for hundreds of years is about to come down, leaving residents with a sense of loss as they recall the site that's been a go-to location for formal photos, a landmark for driving directions and a remarkable piece of natural history.

The Latest: French Muslim leader urges big vote for Macron

PARIS (AP) -- The Latest on the French election (all times local): 2:55 p.m. A senior French Muslim leader has called on the country's nearly 5 million Muslims to "vote massively" to elect Emmanuel Macron president. Dalil Boubakeur, rector of Paris' Grand Mosque, called the final May 7 vote to choose the next French head of state "decisive for the destiny of France and its religious minorities.

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.

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.

Amid North Korea crisis, Pence becomes Trump emissary abroad

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) -- As tensions rose on the Korean peninsula, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who has President Donald Trump's trust but little diplomatic experience to go with it, became the top American official headed to the region after North Korea again failed to successfully launch a ballistic missile.

Plight of Palestinian refugees now spans 5 generations

JERASH REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan (AP) -- As a boy, Palestinian Abdullah Abu Massoud fled the war over the creation of Israel in 1948 and sought refuge in the nearby Gaza Strip. As a young man, Abu Massoud was displaced again when Israeli forces captured Gaza, along with the West Bank and east Jerusalem, in 1967. This time he boarded a truck to Jordan.

Pope comforts sister of French priest slain by extremists

ROME (AP) -- Pope Francis on Saturday comforted the sister of an elderly French priest who was slain by Islamic militants in a church in Normandy as the pontiff paid tribute with a special prayer service to the courage of 20th- and 21st- century Christian martyrs. Francis gripped the hands of Roselyne Hamel, whose brother, Rev. Jacques Hamel, 85, died when his throat was slit as he celebrated Mass on July 26, 2016.

Chinese jihadis' rise in Syria raises concerns at home

BEIRUT (AP) -- Many don't speak Arabic and their role in Syria is little known to the outside world, but the Chinese fighters of the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria are organized, battled-hardened and have been instrumental in ground offensives against President Bashar Assad's forces in the country's northern regions. Thousands of Chinese jihadis have come to Syria since the country's civil war began in March 2011 to fight against government forces and their allies.

3 judges to hear appeal of Hawaii ruling blocking travel ban

HONOLULU (AP) -- A three-judge panel of a federal appeals court will hear arguments in an appeal of a Hawaii federal judge's ruling blocking President Donald Trump's travel ban. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday denied a request by Hawaii attorneys asking that a panel of 11 judges hear the case next month. Appeals are typically heard first by a three-judge panel before they are possibly examined by the larger panel.

Judge seems reluctant to issue another travel ban injunction

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge on Friday seemed reluctant to issue another nationwide injunction against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, saying two courts already have halted the bid to stop immigration from six predominantly Muslim counties. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said at a hearing in the nation's capital that blocking the executive order might be an "academic exercise" given similar rulings from courts in Hawaii and Maryland.

Germany to appeal US case involving Nazi art sale

WASHINGTON (AP) -- German officials have signaled that they will appeal a decision by a U.S. judge in a case involving art allegedly looted by the Nazis. The judge ruled that the heirs of Nazi-era Jewish art dealers can sue Germany in an American court over an alleged violation of international law. The case involves medieval relics valued at more than $250 million.

More charges filed in Detroit in genital mutilation probe

DETROIT (AP) -- Federal prosecutors on Friday expanded their investigation of female genital mutilation in the Detroit area by filing charges against the owner of a clinic where the alleged practice was performed on two girls who belong to a Muslim sect. Dr. Fakhruddin Attar was aware that another doctor was performing the illegal procedure at his Livonia clinic after hours, and his wife, Farida, offered assistance, the government said in a criminal complaint.

The Latest: Candidate won't pull ad that angered pastor

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The Latest on the pastor of a Charleston church where nine people were killed complaining about a political ad (all times local): 5:30 p.m. A Republican candidate for a U.S. House seat says she will not remove a campaign ad even though the pastor of a South Carolina church where nine members were killed in a racist attack called it distasteful.

Church pastor where 9 were killed blasts political ad

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The pastor of a South Carolina church where nine black members were killed in a racist attack said Thursday that a political ad calling politicians weak and panicked for taking down the Confederate flag after the massacre was distasteful. "The events of a racist committing murder is something that never should be utilized to advance someone's political career," Emanuel AME Pastor Eric Manning said.

The Latest: Victim plans complaint vs. judge in rape case

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Latest on complaints against a Utah judge who called a convicted rapist a "good man" during sentencing (all times local): 3:05 p.m. A woman says she plans to file an official complaint against a Utah judge who called a man convicted of sexually assaulting her a "good man" during sentencing. Julia Kirby said Thursday that she wants the state Judicial Conduct Commission to know the remarks were "emotionally damaging.

Group complains judge who called rapist 'good man' is biased

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Utah judge who called a convicted rapist a "good man" during sentencing showed bias for the defendant because he was a former Mormon bishop, according to an official complaint filed Thursday by a gay rights group. Mark Lawrence of Restore our Humanity said the group sent the complaint to the state Judicial Conduct Commission, which can recommend the Utah Supreme Court reprimand or remove Judge Thomas Low.