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In brief: Petraeus would leave staff behind

WASHINGTON – Gen. David Petraeus said if confirmed as CIA director, he would drive up to the agency’s Langley, Va., headquarters alone, leaving behind his 37-year Army career and his military staff, as he shifts to leading the “silent service.”

Petraeus, testifying on Capitol Hill, assured senators Thursday that he will not impose a military hierarchy at the CIA and will encourage a culture of constructive give and take. His comments were aimed at those who feared a replay of what happened under previous directors, both military and civilian, who brought their own staffs and spurned the agency’s culture.

“I wanted this job,” he told senators, saying he had discussed it with the Obama administration for months.

Petraeus signaled he would defend the agency work force, saying it was time to move beyond some of the agency’s controversial policies and mistakes. He alluded to the ongoing Justice Department investigation of former and current CIA employees who were linked to deaths of detainees who underwent interrogation, which outgoing director Leon Panetta has also criticized.

Pastor suspended for marrying gays

KAUKAUNA, Wis. – A gay Methodist pastor from Wisconsin has been suspended for 20 days for officiating at a lesbian wedding.

The Rev. Amy DeLong freely admitted the action, which prompted a church trial this week in Kaukauna. A jury of clergy convicted her Wednesday and decided on a sentence Thursday.

The Rev. Scott Carlson, a DeLong supporter, says the jury also imposed conditions of cooperation. If DeLong declines to comply, she could be suspended for a year.

DeLong’s case is being closely watched by Methodists around the nation. Methodist pastors in several states are defying the ban on marrying gay couples, saying it violates the church’s teaching of inclusion.

Church officials say their longstanding rules are clear and that God’s love doesn’t necessarily equate to acceptance of all behaviors.