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House Republicans say pizza is a vegetable

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are fighting an effort by the Obama administration to make federally-subsidized school lunches more healthy. A January proposal by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) aimed to limit — but not eliminate — fries and pizza on the lunch menu. “[S]tarchy vegetables (e.g.,…

Obama: Death of Awlaki is ‘major blow’ to Al Qaeda

President Barack Obama announced the death of Anwar al-Awlaki ahead of his remarks at a ceremony marking the departure of Adm. Michael G. Mullen as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Earlier this morning, Anwar al-Awlaki, a leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was killed in Yemen,”…

Taliban insists it controls Haqqanis, not Pakistan

The Taliban took the unusual step of insisting that it, not Pakistan, controls the Haqqani network, with Islamabad under growing US pressure to cut alleged ties with the group. The militia on Tuesday advised Pakistan, historically perhaps its closest foreign ally, to prioritise “Islamic and national” interests and stand firm…

U.S. weighs blacklisting Haqqani network

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is considering placing the Haqqani network on its list of terror groups after blaming the militants for deadly attacks in Afghanistan, a US official said Monday. Seven leaders of the Haqqani network, which operates from safe havens in Pakistan and was founded by former CIA…

GOP seeks to delay end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives are calling for a delay in lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the US military, saying new rules have not yet been made available. A letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta from House Armed Services Committee chair Buck McKeon…

Dempsey confirmed as next top U.S. military officer

Army General Martin Dempsey will become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff after the Senate confirmed his appointment. Dempsey, 59, will replace Admiral Mike Mullen, who has held the post since 2007, as the highest-ranking US military officer at the end of September. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta,…

U.S. says Iran-backed militia attacks down in Iraq

There has been a significant decline in attacks carried out by Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq in recent weeks, after June saw the highest US death toll in two years, the top US officer said on Tuesday. Admiral Mike Mullen, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made…

Top U.S. officer pushes for troop decision in Iraq

Iraq must decide on the future of the US troop presence in the country as soon as possible and include provisions on immunity for American soldiers, the top US military officer said in Baghdad on Tuesday. The remarks by Admiral Mike Mullen, outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,…

U.S. considered digging tunnel to get Osama bin Laden

NEW YORK — US commanders of the raid on Osama bin Laden considered a more down-to-earth way of entering his compound than swooping in by helicopter, a report said Monday. Tunneling. The short-lived idea would have avoided ground troops having to sneak through the nearby town of Abbottabad as they…

U.S. sees dramatic drop in Iran-backed attacks in Iraq

MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) – Attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq by Iran-backed militia have fallen sharply thanks to U.S. and Iraqi military operations and diplomatic engagement with Tehran by Baghdad, top U.S. military officials said Monday. The upbeat assessment signals a shift from only three weeks ago when visiting Defense…

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