News in Brief: Ivory Coast President May Surrender, and More

Ivory Coast President May Surrender

As fighters surrounded Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo's bunker Tuesday, the country's leader attempted to negotiate the terms of his surrender, according to The Associated Press. Officials wanted Gbagbo to renounce his power as president and recognize his opponent Alassane Ouattara, who won a presidential election and international support in November. After four months of infighting and political deadlock in the Ivory Coast, a former French colony, the United Nations and French forces opened fire on Gbagbo's bases on Monday. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said that military chiefs in the Ivory Coast had called for a cease-fire and urged opposition forces to take Gbagbo alive.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 9/11 Suspect, to Be Tried at Guantanamo Bay

Reuters reports that the Obama administration bowed to political pressure Monday and agreed to try 9/11 terrorist suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a military trial at Guantanamo Bay and not in a civilian court as the president had previously promised. Attorney General Eric Holder said lawmakers who had blocked funding for prosecuting 9/11 suspects in civil court had “tied our hands” and left the White House with no choice but to utilize military trials. President Barack Obama had promised during his election campaign that he would close the military prison in his first year in office; though Guantanamo Bay holds considerably fewer prisoners than it did at the start of Obama's term, 172 prisoners still remain behind bars, many of whom have yet to be charged with a crime.

House GOP Unveil “Path to Prosperity”

House Republicans introduced a 2012 budget plan Tuesday that would cut $6.2 trillion in spending and $4.4 trillion from the deficits over the next ten years, McClatchy Newspapers writes. The plan, called “The Path to Prosperity” and developed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) also aims to overhaul Medicare and Medicaid and restructure taxes for businesses and individuals. According to a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Ryan's plan would cut domestic spending below 2008 levels, freeze the budgets for five years and create a top corporate and income tax rate of 25 percent – down from its current 35 percent rate. If a deal is not reached and implemented this week, federal funding will run out on Friday and could lead to a government shutdown.