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.

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.

Brazil meat exports collapse in wake of inspection scandal

SAO PAULO (AP) -- Brazil's meat exports effectively collapsed this week, the agricultural minister said Wednesday, as several countries halted imports from the South American country in the wake of a meat inspection scandal. Brazil is struggling to contain the scandal, in which investigators say that health inspectors were bribed to overlook expired meats and chemicals and that other products were added to meat to improve its appearance and smell.

After fight, Indiana man receives 'ATHE1ST' license plate

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) -- A man who was initially denied an Indiana license plate reading "ATHE1ST" now has the personalized plate. The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles denied Chris Bontrager's first request in February without citing a specific reason. The bureau's denial letter to Bontrager noted the agency could refuse a personalized plate if it had a connotation offensive to good taste or decency, was misleading or deemed improper.

Authorities: Woman admits breaking into Amish homes in Ohio

CHARDON, Ohio (AP) -- Authorities say a woman confessed to burglaries against the Amish in northeast Ohio after detectives arrested her and found jars of loose change, cash and other items in her vehicle. The Geauga (jee-AW'-guh) County sheriff says detectives stopped the vehicle last week after a burglary victim reported the license plate information.

Pope says migrant crisis "biggest tragedy" since WWII

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis has described Europe's refugee and migrant crisis as the biggest tragedy since World War II. Francis urged tourists and pilgrims in St. Peter's Square Wednesday during his weekly public audience "not to forget" the problem but instead welcome and help refugees. He also encouraged efforts to integrate them in society.

Beyond spring cleaning: Tapestries get 16 years of grooming

NEW YORK (AP) -- Think your home furnishings are a dust magnet? New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine just spent 16 years cleaning and conserving its rare, supersize wall hangings. Now the historic house of worship is inviting the public to enjoy the fruits of its labor -- "The Barberini Tapestries, Scenes from the Life of Christ," which once graced the Vatican and European palaces.

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.

Mattis says he welcomes approval from Congress for IS fight

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told lawmakers Wednesday that Congress should approve a formal authorization for U.S. military forces to fight the Islamic State militants in Syria, but he wouldn't say whether and when more American troops may be sent to the war-torn nation. Testifying before the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee, Mattis called the Islamic State group a "clear and present danger" and said he wonders why Congress hasn't acted already.

Religious TV station in Senegal accidentally airs porn

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) -- An Islamic television station in Senegal says it has filed a formal complaint against unknown saboteur "X'' for taking over the network and airing pornography instead of its regularly scheduled religious programming. Viewers tuning into Touba TV on Monday afternoon got a shock when hardcore pornography was aired from 1:10 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

AP Interview: Emirates defends security as laptop ban looms

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- The president of Emirates, the Middle East's biggest airline, defended security measures at the carrier's Dubai hub on Wednesday and said the ban on personal electronics onboard U.S.-bound flights came without warning. Tim Clark told The Associated Press that he only learned of the new U.S. regulations the previous day, saying the carrier "had no prior knowledge whatsoever.

Wilders: Dutch coalition talks ignore his 1.3 million voters

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- Anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders said Wednesday that political parties discussing the makeup of the next Dutch ruling coalition are shutting him out and sidelining 1.3 million people who voted for his party in last week's parliamentary elections. "I regret it seriously," Wilders said. "It should not happen and I think that many people will not understand it.

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.

India jails 2 Hindu hard-liners for blast at Muslim shrine

NEW DELHI (AP) -- An Indian court sentenced two Hindu hard-liners to life in prison on Wednesday for triggering an explosion at a Muslim shrine in western India that killed three people and injured more than a dozen a decade ago. The court handed the sentence to the convicts in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan state.

New French minister takes short-timer, scandal-plagued role

PARIS (AP) -- A low-profile politician is taking over as France's interior minister after his predecessor came under formal investigation over a report that he hired his daughters for a series of jobs in the legislature. The resignation of Bruno Le Roux comes amid a similar investigation into conservative Francois Fillon that has dented his presidential bid.

AP Explains: What's behind conflict at sprawling Thai temple

BANGKOK (AP) -- It's more than eight times bigger than Vatican City and twice the size of Cambodia's ancient Angkor Wat, making it quite possibly the world's biggest religious complex. Yet few non-Buddhists have heard of Wat Dhammakaya, a sprawling, extravagant temple compound north of Bangkok that has been at the center of a high-profile power struggle between monks and Thailand's ruling military.

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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.

President pushing passage...Travel ban litigation...Bali earthquake

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump has called on Republican supporters of the GOP health care reform bill "to get busy." Trump made the pitch in Washington tonight at the National Republican Congressional Committee's March Dinner. Trump called Thursday's scheduled vote on the matter "crucial." His promotion of the measure is meant to offset stout conservative opposition. House Speaker Paul Ryan said tonight's dinner raised a record-breaking $30.1 million for the group.

TSA: Teen denied flight to US due to Turkish airline's issue

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A 17-year-old Tennessee girl was denied a flight back to the United States over the weekend because a Turkish airline didn't provide necessary passenger information, but a resolution is expected shortly, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday. In Facebook posts, Sabrina Sadaf Siddiqi said her daughter, Zubaidah Alizoti, was denied a flight home Sunday after the family and friends visited Mecca, the Muslim holy site in Saudi Arabia.