By Jennifer Dobner SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - A group of 500 Mormon women who want ecclesiastical equality with men are expected to seek admittance to a male-only session of the faith's spring conference on Saturday, as they promote the ordination of women into the lay priesthood of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Adorned in purple, members of Ordain Women plan to march from a park to the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square, the heart of a four-block campus that is the church's global home. They will stand in line for seats to the evening priesthood meeting at a semi-annual two-day conference, after last month church officials rebuffed their request for advance tickets to that meeting. In a letter, the church said "activist events" such as the group's attempt at entry detract from the sacred environment of Temple Square and the "spirit of harmony" during the two-day conference which includes four events open to both genders and the male-only priesthood meeting.
By Lisa Maria Garza and Eileen O'Grady FORT HOOD, Texas (Reuters) - The suspected gunman at Fort Hood in Texas argued heatedly with fellow soldiers before going on a shooting spree that left three dead and 16 injured at the expansive U.S. Army base, a military investigator said on Friday. The suspected shooter Ivan Lopez, a 34-year-old soldier battling mental illness, then turned the gun on himself in the second mass shooting at the base in the last five years. "We do have credible information he was involved in a verbal altercation with soldiers from his unit just prior to him allegedly opening fire," Christopher Grey, of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, told a news conference, without offering further details. Investigators from the military, Texas Rangers and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have interviewed more than 900 people to gather details of the crime scene that played out over an area covering about two city blocks, Grey said.
By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta, who has been criticized for lavish spending of church money, on Saturday said he has decided to sell the $2.2 million mansion he has been using as his official residence. Money from the sale of the Tudor-style home in an exclusive neighborhood will be used for "the needs of the Catholic community," Archbishop Wilton Gregory said in a statement. Gregory has been heavily criticized by many inside and outside the church for spending money to build the mansion, and he wrote in a newspaper article earlier this week that he took his "eye off the ball" after the archdiocese received a $15 million donation from the estate of Joseph Mitchell, a nephew "Gone With The Wind" author, Margaret Mitchell. Pope Francis has been urging Roman Catholic officials to live simpler lives and has renounced the papal apartments in the Vatican palace for modest quarters in a Church guest house.
NEW YORK (AP) — A car heading down a dead-end street in a desolate New York City industrial area flipped over a wooden curb into a creek, killing four young people returning from a birthday celebration, police and friends of the victims said Saturday.
In and around Cleveland, heroin-related overdoses killed 195 people last year, shattering the previous record. Some Ohio police chiefs say heroin is easier for kids to get than beer. In Missouri, admissions to treatment programs for heroin addiction rose 700 percent in the past two decades. In Massachusetts, state police say at least 185 people have died from suspected heroin overdoses in the state since Nov. 1, and the governor has declared a public health emergency.
SEATTLE (AP) — The warnings could hardly have been clearer. One technical report told of the "potential for a large catastrophic failure" of the 600-foot hillside above a rural neighborhood near Oso, on the Stillaguamish River. Another noted plainly that it "poses a significant risk to human lives and private property."