• In this Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, photo Syrian refugee Ahmad Alkhalaf, 9, sits on a prayer rug in a mosque in Sharon, Mass. Ahmad, who arrived in the Boston area this past summer for medical treatment, said he used to have restless nights when he would relive his mother’s screams from the night a bomb killed three of his siblings and left him without arms. But those sounds, he said, have largely faded. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

    Refugee mental health needs could overwhelm, experts fear

    BOSTON (AP) — For the thousands of Syrian refugees expected to arrive in the U.S. in coming months, the first order of business will be securing the basics — health care, jobs, education and a safe home.

    Updated: 11:27 pm

  • In this Feb. 5, 2016 photo, a soldier provides security for a Health Ministry worker fumigating against the Aedes aegypti mosquito in the La Comuna 2 neighborhood of Guatemala City. For health workers battling Zika across much of Central America, the immediate menace is not the mosquitoes that transmit the virus. It’s the gangsters who control the streets, and sometimes threaten their lives. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

    In Central America, gangs an obstacle in battle against Zika

    CUSCATANCINGO, El Salvador (AP) — For health workers battling Zika across much of Central America, the immediate menace is not the mosquitoes that transmit the virus. It’s the gangsters who control the streets, and sometimes threaten their lives.

  • Australia commits to legal growing of medicinal marijuana

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian lawmakers committed on Wednesday to legalize the growing of marijuana for medical use within a part of the world renowned for zero-tolerance and harsh penalties for illegal drugs.

    Updated: 9:20 pm

  • Feds plan outreach to New Mexico youth in opioid fight

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal law enforcement officials are citing a rise in drug overdose deaths in New Mexico as the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration release a documentary aimed at educating high schoolers on the dangers of opioids.

  • An unidentified man walks past a Confederate monument in Linn Park in downtown Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. A legislative committee is considering a proposal that would make it more difficult for local officials to remove Confederate memorials like the obelisk, which the city park board has voted to take down. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

    Bill would stop removal of Confederate, historic markers

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Confederate monuments first erected after the Civil War to honor Southern soldiers have increasingly been targeted by civil rights activists who say they are offensive to blacks and should be taken down. An Alabama legislator wants to make sure that doesn’t happen without state lawmakers’ approval.

  • Kim Davis obeying orders in gay marriage case, judges rules

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge ruled that Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has obeyed his orders in the months since she spent five nights in jail for refusing to license same-sex marriages.

  • In this Jan. 31, 2016 file photo, LL Cool J attends the 20th Annual Art Directors Guild Excellence In Production Design Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. LL Cool J's childhood was scarred by his parents' separation and violence, with his maternal grandparents stepping in to give him a stable family life and love of music. But the couple kept a secret from both LL Cool J and his mother: She was adopted, as the hip-hop artist and actor learns in PBS' "Finding Your Roots." The episode, which also traces Sean "Diddy" Combs’ ancestry, airs Tuesday, Feb. 16, on PBS stations. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

    LL Cool J learns family secret in ‘Finding Your Roots’

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — LL Cool J’s childhood was scarred by his parents’ separation and violence, with his maternal grandparents stepping in to give him a loving home and appreciation of music.

  • In this photo provided by Turkish Islamic aid group IHH, a displaced Syrian boy eats at a temporary refugee camp in northern Syria, near Bab al-Salameh border crossing with Turkey, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Turkey was under pressure from the EU to open its border to up to 35,000 Syrians who have massed along the frontier in the past few days fleeing an onslaught by government forces and intense Russian airstrikes  in Aleppo. (IHH via AP)

    The Latest: MSF says 23,000 flee Aleppo

    BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest developments on the war in Syria and the tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing violence (all times local):

  • This Oct. 12, 2015 photo provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows an alligator in the kitchen of a Wendy's Restaurant in Loxahatchee, Fla. Florida wildlife officials say that 24-year-old Joshua James threw a 3.5-foot alligator through a fast-food restaurant's drive-thru window in October. He's charged with assault with a deadly weapon. On Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, bail was set at $6,000. (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission via AP)

    Fries with that? Man accused of tossing gator at drive-thru

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Alligators have been used as shoes, briefcases, university mascots, lunch and now, authorities say, a deadly weapon.

    Updated: 5:25 pm

  • In this April 13, 2015 photo, Illinois state Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, speaks at a news conference in Benton, Ill. Bryant has proposed a bill that would criminalize posting videos of fights to social media. Her proposal is prompting concerns that it could infringe on people’s freedom of speech rights. (Byron Hetzler/The Southern via AP)

    Illinois bill would criminalize filming fights to put online

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The video posted on Facebook showed a 12-year-old on the ground while another boy tried to stomp him, with classmates standing by, circling the two and recording the fight on their phones.