Judith Skinner, mother of Indianapolis police officer Kim Carmack, and Dustin Carmack, son of Kim Carmack, take one last look at the casket after the burial services at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis on Wednesday. Carmack was slain by her ex-husband and fellow officer who then killed himself. (Matt Detrich/AP)
Law expands rights on carrying guns

Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed a broad expansion of gun-carry rights into law Wednesday, allowing legal gun owners to take weapons into bars, churches and government buildings under certain conditions.

The measure, which will take effect July 1, also permits hunters to use silencers and authorizes schools to allow staff members to carry weapons on campus.

Critics said the law gives gun owners too much leeway, but Deal said it will protect the constitutional right to bear arms for those with proper carry licenses.

“This law gives added protections to those who have played by the rules — and who can protect themselves and others from those who don’t play by the rules,” he said in a statement.

The Republican-controlled legislature, which passed the measure last month, opted not to allow gun owners to take weapons onto college campuses but approved firearms in bars unless the business owner objects and posts a sign at the door. Churches can allow worshipers to bring guns to services under the law but are not required to do so. Previous Georgia law banned firearms from churches and bars.

— Reuters

Army hearing opens on Iraq slayings

The two unarmed Iraqi brothers posed no threat as they herded cattle in a grove where a U.S. Army reconnaissance team was hidden one day seven years ago. But then-Staff Sgt. Michael Barbera took a knee, leveled his rifle and killed them anyway, a prosecutor said Wednesday as a preliminary hearing opened in the soldier’s case at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle.

The first boy was shot in the back, the prosecutor, Capt. Ben Hillner, told an investigating officer considering whether Barbera should face a court-martial in the March 2007 slayings. The second boy was shot in the chest as he raised his hands in the air, he said.

Barbera, 31 and now a sergeant first-class, faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder in a case that raised concerns about a possible cover-up. Two years after the killings, Army criminal investigators looked into the case, but commanders decided to give Barbera a letter of reprimand instead of a court-martial. It was only after a Pittsburgh newspaper, the Tribune-Review, published an investigation about the matter in 2012 that the Army took another look.

On Wednesday, Barbera’s attorney, David Coombs, called the allegations baseless.

— Associated Press

NOAA team finds ship that sank in 1888

More than a century after a passenger ship sank in the San Francisco Bay after crashing into another ship, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration team has found the shipwreck.

The team came upon the wreckage in 217 feet of water just inside the Golden Gate while it was charting shipping channels. The first images of wreckage were released Wednesday by federal ocean scientists.

The Aug. 22, 1888, collision came soon after the City of Chester departed with 106 passengers for Eureka, Calif., and Portland, Ore. Moments later, it was split in two by the Oceanic, a ship more than twice its size, killing 13 passengers, including two children, and three crew members.

— Associated Press

Governor signs tougher abortion law

Gov. Phil Bryant (R) on Wednesday signed a bill to ban abortion starting at the midpoint of a full-term pregnancy.

House Bill 1400, which becomes law July 1, will ban abortion starting at 20 weeks’ gestational age.

There are exceptions: Abortion would still be allowed at or after 20 weeks if the woman faces death or permanent injury because of the pregnancy. It would also be allowed in cases of severe fetal abnormality. But the new law does not provide exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.

Bryant, who became governor in 2012, has said often that he wants to end abortion in Mississippi. Several states have a 20-week ban, including Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.

— Associated Press

Okla. lawmaker proposes impeachment of justices: A member of the Oklahoma House drafted a resolution Wednesday seeking the impeachment of state Supreme Court justices who granted a delay of execution to two death row inmates. State Rep. Mike Christian (R) said the five justices engaged in a “willful neglect of duty” when they granted stays of execution Monday to Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner, both of whom were scheduled to be executed this month. Lockett and Warner, who aren’t challenging their convictions, have filed a civil lawsuit seeking the source of the drugs used to execute them.

— Associated Press