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 Congress & DoD

  1. The littoral combat ship USS Independence is underway in a formation of 42 ships and submarines from 15 international partner nations during Rim of the Pacific 2014. Ensign Joseph Pfaff / US Navy

    PACOM chief: U.S. not worried about Chinese intel ship at RIMPAC

    The head of the Pentagon's Pacific Command said Tuesday that it's 'a little odd' the Chinese government has sent a spy ship to trail the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise currently taking place off the coast of Hawaii — an exercise in which China has f

    • Jul. 29, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    The Taliban released a video June 4 showing the handover of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan. AP

    House committee rebukes Obama over Bergdahl deal

    House Armed Services Committee members voted Tuesday to condemn President Obama for failing to consult with congressional leaders before swapping five Taliban prisoners for prisoner of war Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
  2. President Obama speaks July 29 on the South Lawn of the White House as he announces new economic sanctions against key sectors of the Russian economy in the latest move to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his support for Ukrainian rebels. Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

    U.S. and EU pledge new sanctions against Russia

    The U.S. message has been clear that if Russia would not deescalate its movements and hostility in Ukraine, more sanctions would be imposed.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to reporters Tuesday at the State Department in Washington, during a news conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. Cliff Owen / AP

    Lavrov and Kerry talk about Cold War-era arms deal

    Russia's Foreign Ministry says the chief diplomats from Russia and the United States have discussed the situation in Ukraine and the fulfillment of a Cold War-era arms control deal that the U.S. has accused Russia of violating.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    House and Senate negotiators have approved a compromise bill to spend about $17 billion to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs. Agreement by the 28-member conference committee was needed to move the bill to the full House and Senate. AFP

    Conference committee OKs $17B VA health care bill

    House and Senate negotiators have approved a $17 billion compromise bill to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs and reform a program scandalized by veterans' long waits for health care and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    The Veterans Affairs building in Washington, D.C. Karen Bleier / Getty Images

    Audit: VA manipulated vets' appointment records

    Internal VA documents show the depth of fraudulent scheduling, manipulation of data and in some cases, intimidation of staff, to hide delays in medical care to veterans in the 6-million patient national system, according to documents provided to USA Today

    • Jul. 29, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., joined by Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, speaks during a news conference Monday on Capitol Hill. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

    Miller faces sales job on $17B VA bill in the House

    Before being elected to Congress, Rep. Jeff Miller was a real estate broker.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst has returned from two weeks of training with the Iowa National Guard to a midterm election race against Democrat Bruce Braley that has become a competitive contest in the battle for Senate control. Charlie Neibergall / AP

    Pig-castrating Senate candidate returns from Guard duty

    Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst has returned from two weeks of training with the Iowa National Guard to a midterm election race against Democrat Bruce Braley that has become a competitive contest in the battle for Senate control.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
  3. Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken speaks about Russia, Ukraine as well as the Middle East conflict during a July 28 appearance at the daily press briefing at the White House. Jacquelyn Martin / AP

    White House: EU, U.S. to impose new Russia sanctions

    The United States and European Union plan to impose new sanctions against Russia this week, including penalties targeting key sectors of the Russian economy, the White House said Monday.

    • Jul. 28, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Senate Veterans' Affairs Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, accompanied by House Veterans' Affairs Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., speaks during a July 28 news conference on Capitol Hill. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

    VA reform bill to get vote this week

    In a dramatic legislative turnaround, the chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs committees on Monday unveiled plans for a $17 billion compromise VA reform bill that funds the hiring of more clinicians, expands private care options and makes i

    • Jul. 28, 2014
  4. U.S.: Russia violated 1987 nuclear missile treaty

    In an escalation of tensions, the Obama administration accused Russia on Monday of conducting tests in violation of a 1987 nuclear missile treaty, calling the breach 'a very serious matter' and going public with allegations that have simmered for some tim

    • Jul. 28, 2014
  5. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves after speaking at a July 28 news conference at the State Department in Washington. Cliff Owen / AP

    U.S. fuming over Israeli criticism of Kerry

    Obama administration officials were fuming Monday over a torrent of Israeli criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry's latest bid to secure a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

    • Jul. 28, 2014
  6. The destroyer Frank E. Evans, after it was cut in half in a 1969 collision with an Australian aircraft carrier in the South China Sea. The names of the 74 sailors killed in the incident do not appear on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Navy

    Effort advances to add names of 74 sailors to Vietnam Memorial

    The crew of the destroyer Frank E. Evans is fighting once again, 45 years after their ship sank in the South China Sea after a terrifying collision.

    • Jul. 27, 2014
  7. A satellite image purports to show a before and after close-up of artillery strikes. The United States says the images back up its claims that rockets have been fired from Russia into eastern Ukraine and heavy artillery for separatists has also crossed the border. State Department / AP

    U.S.: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine

    Stepping up pressure on Moscow, the U.S. has released satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists has crossed the border.

    • Jul. 27, 2014
  8. The frigate Taylor leaves Mayport, Fla., in January for a seven-month deployment, scheduled to be its last. Experts say the Navy will have to scramble to find ships to fill all of the missions performed by the disappearing class. MC2 Marcus L. Stanley/Navy

    Retiring frigates may leave some missions unfilled

    The Navy may be shedding all its frigates by the end of next year, but the ships are still busy and in high demand — creating a dilemma for the Navy over which ships will pick up their missions.

    • Jul. 26, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Although the Navy has not asked for the ship, Congress is working to fund a 12th San Antonio-class amphibious ship. Here, the John P. Murtha, 10th ship in the class, is under construction at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. Christopher P. Cavas/Staff

    Money for new amphib falls far short

    Powerful forces in Congress are working to buy the Navy an extra amphibious ship, and lawmakers in both the House and Senate have added between $650 million and $800 million to the proposed 2015 shipbuilding budget to begin construction.

    • Jul. 25, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD

    Number of military suicides showing uptick

    The number of military suicides so far this year is running slightly higher than for the same time frame last year, but without the context of force reductions, the raw data say little about current suicide trends in the armed services.

    • Jul. 25, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD

    U.S. clears Kuwaiti for release from Guantanamo

    The United States has cleared the release of a Kuwaiti man held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for more than 12 years because of his suspected links to terrorism.

    • Jul. 25, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD

    House to Obama: No troops to Iraq without our OK

    The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution Friday that would bar President Barack Obama from sending forces to Iraq in a 'sustained combat role' without congressional approval.

    • Jul. 25, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD

    Central American leaders convening at White House

    President Barack Obama is summoning Central American leaders to the White House to discuss the influx of young immigrants from their countries to the U.S., hoping to show presidential action even as Congress remains deeply split over proposals to stem the crisis on the border.

    • Jul. 25, 2014
  9. Mabus: Cost for LCS will decline

    Operating costs for the U.S. Navy's newest ships will decline and 'become more normal' over time, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Thursday.

    • Jul. 25, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who has previously held up the transfer of Apache helicopters to Iraq, threatened Thursday to block U.S. arms sales to Iraq if Congress doesn't get an assessment of Iraqi forces and assurances the weapons won't fall into the hands of extremist militants. Army

    Senator: No arms to Iraq unless Congress gets info

    An influential Democratic senator threatened Thursday to block U.S. arms sales to Iraq if Congress doesn't get an assessment of Iraqi forces and assurances the weapons won't fall into the hands of extremist militants.

    • Jul. 24, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Veterans Affairs acting Secretary Sloan Gibson testifies July 16 on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing on the state of VA health care in the wake of revelations of neglect and delayed medical visits. He is accompanied by Assistant Deputy Undersecretary For Health For Administrative Operations Philip Matkowsky. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

    Documents detail VA mistreatment of vets

    In 2003, a veteran who had served in the Vietnam War entered a Veterans Affairs live-in treatment facility after trying several times to kill himself — including by stabbing himself in the stomach.

    • Jul. 24, 2014
  10. Court: Poland violated human rights in CIA case

    Europe's top human rights court ruled Thursday that Poland violated the rights of two terror suspects by allowing the CIA to secretly imprison them on Polish soil from 2002-2003 and facilitating the conditions under which they were subject to torture.

    • Jul. 24, 2014

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