PHOENIX (AP) -- An ongoing fight in the Arizona House over what constitutes a real prayer has heated up again. The latest skirmish came last week after Democratic Rep. Athena Salman of Tempe delivered the chamber's daily invocation at the start of the session.
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.
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Qatar has secured the release of 26 hostages after nearly a year and a half in captivity, including members of its ruling family, in what became possibly the region's most complex and sensitive hostage negotiation deal in recent years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BAGHDAD (AP) -- After nearly a year and a half in captivity, Qatar on Friday secured the release of 26 hostages, including members of its ruling family, in what became possibly the region's most complex and sensitive hostage negotiation deal in recent years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
DENVER (AP) -- The Latest on the 4/20 marijuana celebrations (all times local): 10:50 a.m. Colorado lawmakers have rejected a last-minute proposal to ban marijuana churches where users can congregate inside and smoke pot. The House vote came Thursday on the 4/20 holiday after it debated whether to try stamping out attempts to use religious freedoms to open places where marijuana users can gather.
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's Supreme Court on Thursday banned Jehovah's Witnesses from operating anywhere in the country, accepting a request from the justice ministry that the religious organization be considered an extremist group. The court ordered the closure of the group's Russian headquarters and its 395 local chapters, as well as the seizure of its property.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Emirates remains committed to the U.S. market despite plans to slash 20 percent of its flights in the wake of tougher security and visa measures put in place under the Trump administration, the airline's president said Thursday. In his first interview since announcing the cutbacks, Tim Clark told The Associated Press that the Mideast's biggest carrier has no intention of pulling out of the 12 U.S.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The father of a Muslim-American soldier who died in combat in Iraq filed an amicus brief on Wednesday supporting a federal judge's decision to block President Donald Trump's revised travel ban. Attorneys for Gold Star father Khizr Khan filed his brief in San Francisco where the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering an appeal to the ruling by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson.
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.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The top attorneys from 16 states and the District of Columbia say President Donald Trump's revised travel ban would hurt their higher education and medical institutions and have a chilling effect on tourism. The attorneys general urged the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a brief Wednesday to uphold a ruling that blocked the travel ban targeting six predominantly Muslim countries.
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.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Emirates, the Middle East's biggest airline, said on Wednesday it is cutting flights to the United States because of a drop in demand caused by tougher U.S. security measures and Trump administration attempts to ban travelers from Muslim-majority nations. The decision by the Dubai government-owned carrier is the strongest sign yet that the new measures imposed on U.S.