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New in Brief: Gates Outlines Plan to Cut Military Spending, and More

Gates Outlines Plan to Cut Military Spending

Gates Outlines Plan to Cut Military Spending

As federal officials tighten the purse strings on military expenditures, the Pentagon says it will reduce $78 billion in program spending and reduce the Army and Marine Corps by 70,000 personnel, reports Stars and Stripes. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that none of the cuts will be immediate, but that he plans to implement them within the next five years. The cuts, expected to save $6 billion, are a national security issue, said Gates. “This country’s dire fiscal situation and the threat it poses to American influence and creditability around the world will only get worse unless the US government gets its finances in order,” he said.

US Imposes Sanctions on Defeated Ivory Coast President

As Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo continues to refuse to recognize the results of a recent presidential election and vacate his seat, the United States has imposed financial sanctions on him, his wife and senior advisers. The Ivory Coast’s recent election, which was widely declared free and fair by international observers, gave the presidency to Alassane Outtara with 54.1 percent of the vote, but the country’s constitutional council invalidated the result and Gbagbo was declared the winner, reported GlobalPost. Meanwhile, Gbagbo has expelled the ambassadors of countries that have accepted those appointed by Outtara.

House GOP Kills Global Warming Committee; Puerto Rico and DC Lose House Voting Rights

In their first week in control of the House, Republicans killed the House Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming and introduced at least three different bills to the floor targeting the US Environmental Protection Agency, reported Democracy Now!. The bills are aimed at keeping the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

In addition, House Republicans have passed new rules that restrict delegates representing the District of Columbia and Puerto Rice from having voting power in Congress. The new rule will also affect delegates from Guam, the Northern Mariana Island, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa. Though the delegates never had full voting rights in Congress, they were allowed to vote when the House was in the Committee of the While, a parliamentary term meaning when the chamber becomes a committee to consider certain legislation, reported Democracy Now!.

Facebook Could Go Public by April 2012

The social networking site Facebook may become publicly traded by April 2012, according to financial documents revealed Thursday. Reports unveiling this decision also show a major part of the company’s financial profile. The Palo Alto firm had $355 million in net income on revenue of $1.2 billion in the first nine months of 2010, making it likely that if the company goes public it will be a strong performer, reported The San Francisco Gate.

Discovery and Catholic Church Team Up for Exorcism Series

The Discovery Channel’s new series, “The Exorcist Files,” will recreate stories of real-life hauntings and demonic possession based on cases investigated by the Catholic Church, reported Entertainment Weekly. The series will also include interviews with the Vatican’s top exorcists. The show hopes to eventually join Catholic investigators on their demon-purging missions.

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