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April 8, 2013

Headlines April 8, 2013

Business

Pentagon awards surge 71 percent in March as Congress eases budget blow

The Defense Department announced contracts valued at as much as $39.4 billion in March, 71 percent more than the prior month, even as automatic federal budget cuts started taking effect.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/defense-contracts-surge-71-percent-in-march-as-congress-eases-budget-blow/2013/04/07/4deeb982-9c89-11e2-a941-a19bce7af755_story.html

Lagardere to use private placement to sell EADS shares

French media group Lagardere SCA said April 8 that it plans to use a private placement as part of its previously disclosed plan to sell its stake in Airbus owner European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co.
Lagardere said in a statement released after market close that it will sell about 61 million shares in EADS, representing about 7.35 percent of EADS’s share capital. The aerospace company itself will place an order of about $650 million as part of the placement, Lagardere said.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2013/04/08/lagardere-to-use-private-placement-to-sell-eads-shares/

Defense

Pentagon seeks change in military law over sex assault decision

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has decided to ask Congress to change U.S. military law so that senior commanders no longer have the power to set aside the jury convictions for major crimes like murder or sexual assault, a defense official said April 8.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/08/us-usa-defense-sexassault-idUSBRE9370X320130408

Unmanned Navy planes near big milestones in May

The Navy plans to carry out the first catapult takeoff of its new X-47B unmanned plane from an aircraft carrier next month and other shipboard tests despite mandatory budget cuts this year, according to the admiral who runs the programs.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/07/us-navy-planes-unmanned-idUSBRE93609O20130407

Pentagon presses for higher fees for military health care beneficiaries, Congress resists

The loud, insistent calls in Washington to rein in the rising costs of Social Security and Medicare ignore a major and expensive entitlement program ó the militaryís health care system.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congress/pentagon-presses-for-higher-fees-for-military-health-care-beneficiaries-congress-resists/2013/04/08/ae17edce-a021-11e2-bd52-614156372695_story.html

Pentagon struggles with high cost of health care

The loud, insistent calls in Washington to rein in the rising costs of Social Security and Medicare ignore a major and expensive entitlement program ó the militaryís health care system.

Veterans

Obama seeks to hike veteransí funding despite budget pressure

President Barack Obama will request will request a 4 percent increase in discretionary spending next year for the Department of Veterans Affairs, a move officials said April 5 demonstrated his commitment to veterans and their families despite intense fiscal pressure.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/06/us-usa-obama-veterans-idUSBRE93500920130406

http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20130408/BENEFITS06/304080012/Pentagon-struggles-high-cost-health-care

Viewpoint

Mr. Hagel’s budget challenge
The Washington Post

WHEN HE WAS asked in 2011 about the possible impact of the sequestration on defense, Chuck Hagel breezily replied that the Pentagon was ìbloatedî and ìneeds to be pared down.î In his first major speech as defense secretary on Wednesday, Mr. Hagelís assessment was considerably more sober. The $41 billion cut the department is taking this year, he said, ìis already having a disruptive and potentially damaging impact on the readiness of the force.î He added that he would not ìassume or tacitly acceptî that ìthese cuts can be accommodated without a significant reduction in military capabilities.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/mr-hagels-budget-challenge-at-the-pentagon/2013/04/07/997398c0-9df9-11e2-a941-a19bce7af755_story.html




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Navy photograph by Monica McCoy

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