News in Brief: California Supreme Court Endorses Cutting State Prison Population, and More

Supreme Court Endorses Cutting California Prison Population

The Associated Press reports that the Supreme Court on Monday voted 5-4 to reduce California's prison population by more than 30,000 inmates. The high court said cuts were “required by the Constitution,” and necessary to address violations of inmates' rights, as well as widespread shortage of medical care. As of May 11, more than 143,000 inmates populated the state's 33 adult prisons, which are designed to hold about 80,000 in total. “The violations have persisted for years. They remain uncorrected,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy, a California native.

US Military Accused of Burying Agent Orange Chemical in South Korea Base

According to Democracy Now!, three Army veterans said the US military ordered them to dispose of the Agent Orange chemical defoliant at a South Korea base. The veterans, who were stationed at Camp Carroll in 1978, said burying the chemicals risks the health of South Koreans living near the base. The US military sprayed an estimated 20,000,000 gallons of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, which caused widespread health problems and birth defects among millions of Vietnamese civilians. The Pentagon said it is looking into the veterans' claims.

Tim Pawlenty Will Run for President; Mitch Daniels Won't

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' announcement on Sunday morning that he wouldn't seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012 was followed by Tim Pawlenty's confirmation Sunday night that he would be running, The Wall Street Journal writes. The former Minnesota governor said he would officially launch his campaign on Monday with an event in Des Moines, Iowa. The state will also be the first in the country next year to hold caucuses. Pawlenty now joins a slowly growing list of prospective GOP nominees that already includes Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, among a few others.