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Hagel proposes big cuts in Army in 2015 budget
Written by ROBERT BURNS, AP National Security Writer   
Monday, 24 February 2014 15:47

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday proposed shrinking the Army to its smallest size in 74 years, closing military bases and making other military-wide savings as part of a broad reshaping after more than a decade of war.

Hagel outlined his vision in a speech at the Pentagon, a week before President Barack Obama is to submit his 2015 budget plan to Congress.

Hagel said that U.S. forces must adjust to the reality of smaller budgets, even as he asserted that the United States faces a more volatile, more unpredictable world that requires a more nimble military.

"We are repositioning to focus on the strategic challenges and opportunities that will define our future: new technologies, new centers of power and a world that is growing more volatile, more unpredictable and in some instances more threatening to the United States," he said.

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Supreme Court seems divided in climate case
Written by MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press   
Monday, 24 February 2014 15:45

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court appeared divided on Monday over the sole Obama administration program already in place to limit power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.

The justices took on a small and complicated piece of the politically charged issue of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in an extended argument that included references to Dunkin' Donuts stores, football games and light bulbs. The examples were meant to illustrate the vast potential reach of the program, in its critics' view, or its limited nature, as the administration argued.

The court's liberal justices seemed comfortable with the scope of an Environmental Protection Agency permitting program that applies to companies that want to expand facilities or build new ones that would increase overall pollution. Under the program, the companies must evaluate ways to reduce the carbon they release. Carbon dioxide is the chief greenhouse gas.

However, conservative members of the bench indicated they're skeptical of the EPA's authority, with Justice Anthony Kennedy as the probable decisive vote.

Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2014 15:47
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Shop owner pleads not guilty in puppy arson case
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 24 February 2014 14:13

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A pet shop owner pleaded not guilty to torching her Las Vegas store, where firefighters rescued 27 puppies.

Shop owner Gloria Eun Hye Lee entered her plea Monday in state court to 31 felony and misdemeanor charges.

In another courtroom, a judge scheduled a March 10 preliminary hearing for co-defendant Kirk Bills on the same arson, conspiracy, burglary and attempted animal cruelty charges.

Authorities say Lee and Bills are seen on security video setting the Jan. 27 fire at Lee's Prince and Princess pet store.

Bills was arrested Feb. 7 in Crown Point, Ind., and returned to Las Vegas.

Lee is being held on $310,000 bail.

The two cases are expected to be consolidated before Lee's trial, scheduled in July.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Ghostbuster' writer, actor Harold Ramis dies
Written by TAMMY WEBBER, Associated Press   
Monday, 24 February 2014 15:41

CHICAGO (AP) — Comedy actor, director and writer Harold Ramis, best known for his roles in movies such as "Ghostbusters" and "Stripes," died Monday at his suburban Chicago home after a four-year battle with an autoimmune disease, his talent agency said.

Ramis, 69, died early Monday morning of complications from vasculitis, which causes inflammation and damage to blood vessels, said Chris Day, a spokesman at United Talent Agency. Ramis was surrounded by family and friends.

Ramis was a key factor in some of the biggest blockbuster comedies in the 1970s and 1980s.

He co-wrote "Animal House," which starred fellow Second City alum John Belushi. He teamed up with Second City alums Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd on "Ghostbusters," in which Ramis co-starred and helped write. He also co-wrote "Meatballs" and "Caddy Shack," both of which starred Murray.

"The best comedy touches something that's timeless and universal in people," Ramis told The Associated Press in a 2009 story about the 50th anniversary of Second City. "When you hit it right, those things last."

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Adm. Nimitz's WWII operational diary put online
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 24 February 2014 11:10

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — The U.S. Naval War College has released a trove of World War II information by posting online the operational diary kept by Adm. Chester W. Nimitz during the war against Japan.

The more than 4,000 pages includes a running estimate of the situation for every day of the war in the Pacific compiled by Nimitz's planning staff, starting with Dec. 7, 1941, the day Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

It is posted at www.usnwc.edu/graybook .

War College professor John Hattendorf says it's the only such document to survive from the war.

Nimitz was commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet. He graduated from the War College in Rhode Island and lectured there several times.

The diary was declassified in 1972 but was relatively inaccessible at the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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