Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

House Gop Spares Defense

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

House Gop Spares Defense

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- House Republicans approved a sweeping package of budget cuts to food stamps, Meals on Wheels and other domestic programs -- while sparing the Pentagon -- in an election-year showcase of party priorities.

Democrats overwhelmingly opposed the legislation, which is expected to stall in the Senate. But the decision by House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, to call a vote gives the GOP an opportunity to highlight its agenda and attack President Barack Obama's efforts to reduce the deficit. The bill was approved on party lines, 218- 199.

The legislation is "literally taking food out of the mouth of babies" while continuing tax breaks for the wealthy, said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the minority leader.

Republicans countered that they were tackling the nation's deficit problems while preventing steep military cuts that Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has said would be devastating.

The legislation would cut $242 billion over 10 years -- a down payment on the $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction Congress had agreed to after months of negotiations as part of last summer's deal to raise the debt ceiling.

Islam course suspended

WASHINGTON -- A course for U.S. military officers has been teaching that America's enemy is Islam in general, not just terrorists, and suggesting that the country ultimately might have to obliterate the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina without regard for civilian deaths, following World War II precedents of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima or the allied firebombing of Dresden.

The Pentagon suspended the course in late April when a student objected to the material. The FBI also changed some agent training last year after discovering that it, too, was critical of Islam.

The teaching in the military course was counter to repeated assertions by U.S. officials over the last decade that the U.S. is at war against Islamic extremists -- not the religion.

Leak about plot probed

WASHINGTON -- Federal investigators are conducting a probe into who leaked information about an al-Qaida plot in which an explosive device was to have been detonated on a U.S.-bound airline flight, a law enforcement official said. …

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