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Army looks at changes in training regimen

Sit-ups don’t make a soldier, the Army has decided. So its 30-year-old fitness requirements are getting a battlefield-inspired makeover. Soon every soldier will have to run on a balance beam with two 30-pound canisters of ammunition, drag a sled weighted with 180 pounds of sandbags and vault over obstacles while carrying a rifle. Those were just some of the tests the Army unveiled Tuesday as it moves toward making its physical training look more like combat. Right now soldiers have to complete sit-ups, push-ups and a two-mile run twice a year within times that vary by age and gender. Lt.
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Obama wants sell off $15 billion in federal property

The Obama administration on Wednesday proposed a plan to save billions of taxpayer dollars by creating an independent board to speed up the sale of thousands of unneeded federal properties at home and abroad. President Barack Obama previewed the plan in his 2012 budget and State of the Union Address as part of his efforts to trim government waste and curb a budget deficit projected to reach $1.645 trillion this fiscal year. The board, made up of experts drawn from the private and public sector, would make recommendations to Congress on 14,000 properties already identified as excess to requirements. The
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Akaka joins growing list of retiring Senators

With a tiny campaign war chest and indications that powerful Democrats wouldn’t support a re-election bid, Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii announced he would step down after his term expires next year. The 86-year-old Democrat — the only U.S. senator of Native Hawaiian or Chinese ancestry — became on Wednesday the seventh senator to recently decide against running in 2012. “It was a very difficult decision for me,” he said in a statement. “However, I feel that the end of this Congress is the right time for me to step aside.” Akaka, the third-oldest member of the Senate, previously said
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Judge says Idaho can’t require open primaries

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) – A federal judge on Wednesday ruled unconstitutional Idaho’s requirement that the Republican party hold an open primary, a decision which, if upheld, could mean an overhaul of the state’s election laws. Read the full story.
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Top U.S. officials cautious on Libya no-fly zone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior U.S. officials on Wednesday stressed the diplomatic and military risks of imposing a “no-fly” zone over Libya to help rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi’s forces, saying such a move was not imminent. Read the full story.
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Ex-Governor Roemer to launch presidential bid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer said on Wednesday he plans to take a step toward a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 and campaign against business-as-usual in Washington. Read the full story.
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U.S. looking at new moves on Somalia piracy: Clinton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is looking at new strategies to fight pirates off Somalia, who last month killed four Americans and represent a growing threat to sea traffic, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday. Read the full story.
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