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U.S. begins using armed drones in Libya: Gates

(Reuters) – The United States is starting to use armed Predator drones in Libya to target Muammar Gaddafi’s forces after President Barack Obama approved their use, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday. The unmanned aircraft, already used to target militants along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, will allow for more precise…

Ex-Illinois governor Blagojevich faces second corruption trial

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich goes on trial on Wednesday for a second time on charges he sold his office, including attempts to sell President Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat. Finding an impartial jury could be complicated by Blagojevich loudly proclaiming prosecutors were unfairly limiting evidence, as well as publicity…

Boehner to spend up to $500,000 to defend DOMA

In response to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) demands that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) release the cost to taxpayers of the Republicans’ legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act — which the Department of Justice earlier declined to defend — the contract signed with former Bush solicitor…

Gates: Dramatic military cuts would have ‘catastrophic’ consequences

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Pentagon chief Robert Gates has warned that major cuts to US defense spending planned by President Barack Obama would require scaling back military forces, missions and capabilities. The Pentagon’s stern response came after Obama unveiled a deficit-reduction plan that includes a proposed cut of $400 billion in…

Obama wants $400 billion in defense cuts by 2023

WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama on Wednesday called for cutting defense spending by $400 billion over 10 years as part of a deficit reduction plan. Wading into difficult political terrain, Obama’s proposal calls for “deeper reductions in security spending,” according to a White House statement providing details of the…

Amid deep cuts, defense spending continues to grow

WASHINGTON – Citing an urgent need for painful cuts to reduce the deficit, Democrats and Republicans agreed last Friday to slash spending on programs related to education, health care, environmental protection and scientific research, among others. Yet they hiked defense spending by $5 billion. The bipartisan deal to fund the…

U.N. torture investigator slams U.S. for denying him access to Bradley Manning

A United Nations special rapporteur on torture claims U.S. authorities refused to give him access to Army Private Bradley Manning, 23, the lone soldier accused of leaking secret files to WikiLeaks. Juan Mendez, the U.N. representative on torture, said he had visited numerous other nations where he’d been allowed unmonitored…

Gates first U.S. defense chief to visit Palestinians

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Robert Gates on Friday became the first U.S. Defense Secretary to visit the West Bank, meeting Palestinian leaders keenly aware of every little nod to their hopes of achieving statehood. Children in Ramallah stared as the long motorcade of U.S. cars wound through the streets…

British defense minister admits that Gaddafi may be killed by air strikes

Even though an assassination was not authorized in the United Nations’ sanctioning of a no-fly zone over Libya, the British defense minister said Monday that Col. Muammar Gaddafi may end up the victim of a coalition missile anyway. “Mission accomplished would mean the Libyan people free to control their own…

BREAKING: US fires missiles against Libyan air defense

Despite concern about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s cool language that the United States would “support” international military action against Libya, the U.S. launched its first missiles in Libya just after 3:30 p.m. EST Saturday, according to CNN, which cites Pentagon officials. The missiles landed near Tripoli and Misrata, in…

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