Czech minister proposes defense budget rise
The Czech Republic’s defense minister says he wants his country’s defense budget to return to growth amid fighting in Ukraine.
Martin Stropnicky says the current crisis in Ukraine is a warning sign that a military conflict in Europe is not unthinkable.
The Czech Republic, which has reduced its defense budget in recent years to just above 1 percent of gross domestic product because of austerity cuts prompted by the global economic downturn, has been under fire from NATO for not spending enough on defense.
NATO’s goal is for member states to use 2 percent of their GDP.
Stropnicky said May 29 the budget should increase by 0.1 percent of GDP a year in the coming years, starting in 2015. The government has not yet approved next year’s overall budget. AP
U.S. says Yemeni can be transferred from Guantanamo
A U.S. military spokesman says a Yemeni prisoner has been approved for transfer from the Guantanamo Bay prison by a review panel.
Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale says the Periodic Review Board recommended that Ghaleb Nassar al-Bihani can be transferred “as soon as practicable” from the U.S. base in Cuba. The decision was announced May 28.
Al-Bihani appeared before the board in April as part of an effort to review the cases of dozens of men who authorities previously determined could not be charged but were too dangerous to release.
U.S. officials say al-Bihani underwent terrorist training in Afghanistan and has a history of disciplinary infractions in custody. His lawyer says he was just a cook’s assistant who poses no threat to the U.S. and is seriously ill with diabetes. AP