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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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SENATE-SUPREME COURT Gorsuch faces hours of questioning from senators WASHINGTON (AP) -- Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch says "there is a lot" he regrets about the confirmation process, including putting his family through it. President Donald Trump's pick appeared to grow somewhat testy after more than four hours of questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse asked about a 2010 Supreme Court decision allowed for more money in politics.

The Latest: Royal Jordanian to enforce ban starting Friday

CAIRO (AP) -- The Latest developments related to the U.S. government move to bar passengers in eight Muslim-majority countries from bringing laptops and other electronics onboard direct flights to the United States (all times local): 10:15 p.m. Jordan's national carrier says it will begin to restrict most electronics equipment, including laptops, on direct flights to the U.S., in line with new rules set by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, starting Friday.

No new threat led to airline laptop limits, officials say

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. and British officials said Tuesday the decision to bar laptops and tablets from the cabins of some international flights wasn't based on any specific threat but on longstanding concerns about terrorists targeting jetliners. Unimpressed, some travelers and civil liberties groups denounced the ban, raising concerns that included lost worktime on long flights and worries that checking laptops in baggage will make them more vulnerable to theft.

Electronic carry-on ban...Comey disputes Trump claim...Teacher suspected of kidnapping

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Security precautions are being imposed on certain electronic carry-ons on U.S.-bound flights from eight Middle Eastern and North African countries. Starting tomorrow all laptops, iPads, cameras and some other electronics on the flights will have to be checked. A U.S. official said the ban will apply to nonstop flights to the U.S. from 10 airports. The airports and countries weren't named.

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.

Contrast in style as Duterte meets Myanmar's Suu Kyi

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) -- Regional politics makes for strange bedfellows, and at first glance, it is hard to imagine more of an odd couple than tempestuous Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his cerebral de facto Myanmar counterpart, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who met Monday in Myanmar's capital, Naypyitaw.

US Muslims and Jews strengthen bonds amid acts of bigotry

NEW YORK (AP) -- They sat on either end of the congressmen's couch, one a Jewish healthcare executive whose parents fled Germany in 1936, the other the Kashmiri Muslim chairman of a well-known American furniture chain. The men, Stanley Bergman and Farooq Kathwari, came to draw attention to an outbreak of hate crimes. But Bergman and Kathwari hoped their joint appearance would also send a broader message: that U.S.

Most young Americans don't see Trump as a legitimate leader

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jermaine Anderson keeps going back to the same memory of Donald Trump, then a candidate for president of the United States, referring to some Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers. "You can't be saying that (if) you're the president," says Anderson, a 21-year-old student from Coconut Creek, Florida.