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IN THE NATION

National news briefs — compiled April 5

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WASHINGTON

$6 billion missing from audit

A government investigation has found that the State Department has incomplete files or is missing files for more than $6 billion in contracts over the last six years. In one case involving State Department operations in Iraq, officials couldn’t provide 33 of the 115 contract files requested. Those missing files were for contracts worth $2.1 billion. A State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, says that the $6 billion hasn’t gone missing and calls it a “bureaucratic issue” that’s being addressed.

TOPEKA, KAn.

Gun curbs could be thrown out

Kansas legislators gave final approval Saturday to a bill that would nullify city and county gun restrictions and ensure that it’s legal across the state to openly carry firearms, a measure the National Rifle Association sees as a nationwide model for stripping local officials of their gun-regulating power. The House approved the legislation, 102-19, a day after the Senate passed it, 37-2. The measure goes next to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

SMYRNA, GA.

Archbishop to sell mansion

Trying to appease angry parishioners, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Atlanta said Saturday that he will sell a $2.2 million mansion just three months after he moved in. Archbishop Wilton Gregory announced the decision following a closed-door meeting with members of several church councils at his headquarters north of Atlanta. He publicly apologized Monday for building the Tudor-style residence and will move out in early May.

SALT LAKE CITY

Mormons reaffirm stance

A top Mormon leader reiterated the church’s opposition to gay marriage Saturday during the church’s biannual general conference. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ stance on homosexuality has softened in recent years, but this marks the second consecutive conference in which leaders took time to emphasize the faith’s insistence that marriage should be limited to unions between a man and a woman, as God created. “While many governments and well-meaning individuals have redefined marriage, the Lord has not,” said Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve.

SAN DIEGO

Navy sends help to voyagers

A U.S. Navy warship was headed Saturday to rescue a 1-year-old girl who fell ill on a crippled sailboat that was attempting to circle the world. Slicing the Pacific at 25 knots, the USS Vandegrift was expected to reach the Rebel Heart by early today, a Navy spokeswoman said. The 36-foot sailboat was about 900 miles off the Mexican coast when it sent a satellite ping for help to the U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday about a sick child.

Compiled from wire reports


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