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Bill protects adoption agencies that turn away gay couples

- Associated Press

Faith-based adoption agencies, including those that care for state foster children, could turn away gay couples on religious grounds without risk of losing their state license, under a bill advanced Wednesday by the Alabama Senate Health Committee.

Vatican abuse probe of Guam archbishop heads to mainland US

- Associated Press

Vatican officials prosecuting Guam's archbishop for alleged sex abuse have moved their investigation from the territory to Hawaii and now the mainland U.S. so they can interview potential witnesses.

Bill would define anti-Semitism on South Carolina campuses

- Associated Press

Supporters say a bill defining anti-Semitism for South Carolina's colleges is designed to curb a national rise of anti-Jewish bigotry on campuses. Opponents argue it could limit First Amendment rights to criticize Israel.

2 Amish men dump horse-poop lawsuit against Kentucky city

Associated Press

Two Amish men from Kentucky who sued the city of Auburn's mayor and police chief over an ordinance requiring horses to wear excrement-catching bags within city limits have voluntarily dismissed their federal lawsuit.

Turkey military allows Islamic headscarves for officers

- Associated Press

Turkey's military has changed its regulations to allow female officers to wear headscarves while on duty, defense officials said Wednesday, removing a ban on Islamic-style head coverings at an establishment that once was considered a bastion of secularism.

Republican Sen. Brian Shiozawa sits on the Senate floor at the Utah State Capitol Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, in Salt Lake City. A resolution expressing Utah's commitment to protecting the rights of legal immigrants and refugees fleeing persecution has received full support from a panel of lawmakers. Bill sponsor Shiozawa says his grandfather moved to the U.S. from Japan as a single man who didn't speak any English. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Utah lawmakers express support for refugee rights

- Associated Press

Utah lawmakers reasserted their commitment to making the state a welcoming place for refugees Wednesday as President Donald Trump crafts a revised travel ban.

Doctor reunited with wife from Iran after travel ban blocked

- Associated Press

A newlywed doctor in New Hampshire was reunited Wednesday with his wife, an Iranian citizen who successfully traveled to the United States after President Donald Trump's travel ban held up their plans.

Trinity School for Ministry celebrates 40th year

- Associated Press

Students at Trinity School for Ministry piled their coats and book bags on chairs and on the floor in the back of their small chapel in Ambridge on an early January morning and took their seats. They sang hymns, recited prayers, a creed and a confession of sin and prepared for communion. Before them, two simple banners proclaimed in Latin a traditional expression for the goal of the theological education they were seeking: Credo ut intelligam, or "I believe that I may understand."

Detroit suburb will allow mosque to settle lawsuits

Associated Press

A Detroit suburb that had denied a religious organization's proposal for a mosque in a residential neighborhood will allow construction to move forward to settle two lawsuits that alleged religious discrimination, U.S. authorities said Wednesday.

FILE - In this June 18, 2015 file photo, Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C.  In court documents unsealed Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, Roof, convicted of killing nine worshippers during Bible study at a black church drove toward a second black church after the shootings, according to South Carolina prosecutors who oversaw the federal case against him.  (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

Documents: After shooting, Roof went toward 2nd black church

- Associated Press

The man convicted of killing nine worshippers during Bible study at a black church in 2015 drove toward a second black parish afterward, according to federal court documents unsealed Tuesday, but no one was there because that sanctuary's class had been canceled.

EXCHANGE: Priests surprise flock with collection of relics

- Associated Press

On the last day of her March 2016 pilgrimage to Rome, Deb Myers of Utica hailed a cab to a small church near the historic Pantheon. She was paying a visit to an old friend - albeit one who'd been dead for 400 years.

President Donald Trump, right, speaks as Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, left, listens at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, where Trump announced that McMaster will be the new national security adviser. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Trump pick as security adviser is independent-minded

- Associated Press

President Donald Trump's choice of an outspoken but non-political Army general as national security adviser is a nod to pragmatism, but Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster will serve a commander in chief with unorthodox ideas about foreign policy and an inner circle of advisers determined to implement them.

Debate over religious freedom returns to Georgia legislature

- Associated Press

Georgia Republicans have again proposed legislation they argue will protect people acting on religious belief, undaunted by the forceful veto of a similar proposal last year by the state's Republican governor.

Rabbi Hershey Novack of the Chabad center walks through Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, where almost 200 gravestones were vandalized over the weekend. "People who are Jewish are shocked and angry," Novack said. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

Evidence of rising anti-Semitism, but data mostly elusive

- Associated Press

Has anti-Semitism accompanied Donald Trump's rise to power? Some organizations that monitor hate groups and hate crimes believe so, noting a rash of recent incidents. But data is elusive, and the president's supporters note his family connection - a Jewish daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren - and his comments this week condemning hate and prejudice.

Deb Wolf, a high school science instructional coach who helps teachers in Sioux Falls, S.D., schools write science curriculum, poses for a photo in Sioux Falls on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. South Dakota legislators are weighing whether to let teachers decide how much skepticism to work into lessons on contentious scientific topics such as evolution and climate change. (AP Photo/James Nord)

South Dakota bill leaves evolution skepticism up to teachers

- Associated Press

South Dakota legislators are weighing whether to let teachers decide how much skepticism to work into lessons on contentious scientific topics such as evolution and climate change.