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FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 2012 | The Monitor, www.themonitor.com
TODAY’S FEATURED INTERACTIVE @ WWW.THEMONITOR.COM/APNEWS: TAKE A LOOK AT STATES’ ATTEMPTS TO RESIST HEALTHCARE REFORM
THEY SAID IT
“After 10 years of war with an all-volunteer force, you’re goingto have problems that no one could have forecasted before thisbegan.” |
GEN. PETER CHIARELLI
, U.S. Army vice chief of staff, left, on a new reportsaying the number of suicides among soldiers is down but there’s been a dramatic jump indomestic violence, sex crimes and other destructive behavior.
See story below
“We are not making any special steps at this point in orderto deal with the situation. Why? Because, frankly, weare fully prepared to deal with that situation now.”|
, U.S. defense secretary, responding to Iran’s threat toclose the Strait of Hormuz, a vital Persian Gulf avenue for international oilshipments in retaliation for stronger international economic sanctions.
THE DAY’S BIGGESTNEWSMAKERS
Compiled from Associated Press reports
6. FEDS SHUT DOWNFILE-SHARING WEBSITE
McLEAN, Va. — One of theworld’s largest ﬁle-sharing siteswas shut down Thursday, andseveral company executives werecharged with violating piracylaws, federal prosecutors said. Anindictment accuses Megaupload.com of costing copyright holdersmore than $500M in lost revenuefrom pirated ﬁlms and othercontent. The indictment wasunsealed one day after websitesincluding Wikipedia and Craigslistshut down in protest of twocongressional proposals intendedto thwart online piracy.
1. WASH. MONUMENT GETS$7.5M FOR QUAKE REPAIRS
WASHINGTON — Business-man David Rubenstein said hewas inspired to help fund the re-pairs to the Washington Monu-ment when it became clear howseverely damaged it was by a5.8-magnitude earthquakeAug. 23. The National ParkService and Trust for theNational Mall announcedThursday Rubenstein’s donated$7.5M. It is the largest giftto the nonproﬁt group that’sworking to restore the mall.
2. MURDOCH TO PAY37 PEOPLE FOR HACKING
LONDON — Rupert Murdoch’smedia empire apologized andagreed to cash payouts Thurs-day to 37 people who wereharassed and phone-hackedby his tabloid press. Financialdetails of 15 of the payouts,totaling more than $1 million,were made public at a courthearing Thursday.
4. SCIENTISTS: WORLDNOT QUITE AS HOT IN 2011
WASHINGTON — The world lastyear wasn’t quite as warm as ithas been for most of the past de-cade, government scientists saidThursday, but it continues a gen-eral trend of rising temperatures.The average global temperaturewas 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit,making 2011 the 11th hottest onrecord, the National Oceanic andAtmospheric Administration said.
3. POPE HITS OUT AT‘RADICAL SECULARISM’
VATICAN CITY — Pope Bene-dict XVI says Roman Catholicsin the United States need tounderstand the “grave threats”to their faith posed by what hecalls radical secularism in thepolitical and cultural arenas. Headdressed visiting U.S. bishopsThursday and used the samelanguage in warning that at-tempts are being made to erodetheir religious freedom.
5. WOMAN WITH SHIPCAPTAIN DEFENDS HIM
ROME — A Moldovan womanwho translated evacuation instruc-tions from the bridge after the
ran into a reef,defended Capt. Francesco Schet-tino, who has been viliﬁed for leav-ing his ship before everyone wasevacuated safely. “He did a greatthing, he saved over 3,000 lives,”she told Moldova’s Jurnal TV.
Food stamp families seek comprehension
Some have advanced de-grees and remember mid-dle-class lives. Some work selling lingerie or building ebsites. They are white,lack and Hispanic, young nd old, homeowners andomeless. What they haven common: They’re all onood stamps. As the food stamp pro-ram has become an issuen the Republican presi-dential primary, with can-didates seeking to tie Presi-dent Barack Obama to theprogram’s record numbers,The Associated Press inter-viewed recipients across thecountry and found many who wished that critics would spend some time intheir shoes.Most said they never ex-pected to need food stamps,but the Great Recession, which wiped out millionsof jobs, left them no choice.Some struggled with the ideaof taking a handout; otherssaw it as their due, earnedthrough years of working steady jobs. They yearnto get back to receiving apaycheck that will makefood stampsunnecessary.“I couldnever havecomprehend-ed being onfood stamps,”said Christo-pher Jenks, who becamehomeless in his hometownof Minneapolis-St. Paul aftera successful career in salesand marketing.He refused to apply forseveral years, even pan-handling on a freeway exitramp before ﬁnally giving in. A few months ago, whileliving in his car, he beganreceiving $200 per month.“It’s either that or I die,”said Jenks, who grew up ina white, middle-class family and lost his job in the reces-sion. “I want a job. So do alot of other Americans thathave been caught up in thistragedy.”In 2011, more than45 million people — aboutone in seven Americans —received beneﬁts from thefederal Supplemental Nu-trition Assistance Program,the most ever.Fewer than 31 millionpeople collected the ben-efits about three yearsearlier.Forty-nine percentof recipients are white,26 percent are black and20 percent are Hispanic, ac-cording to Census data.Food assistance emergedas a campaign issue afterstatements by GOP can-didates Newt Gingrichand Rick Santorum about African-Americans, thepoor and Obama, whom
>>More than 45 million people receivedbeneﬁts from the federal program in 2011.
Army reportssuicidesdown, butviolentcrimes up
WASHINGTON — Thenumber of suicides among soldiers has been leveling off but there’s been a dramaticump in domestic violence, sex crimes and other destructivebehavior in a force that hasbeen stressed by a decade of ar, a new Army report saidThursday.“There’s a lot of good newsin this report, but there’s alsosome bad news,” Army ViceChief of Staff Gen. Peter Chi-arelli told a Pentagon newsconference. “We know we’vegot still a lot of work to do.”Suicides among soldiersin the active duty, Guard andReserve totaled 278 last year,down 9 percent from 2010.“I think we’ve at least arrest-ed this problem and hopefully ill start to push it down,” Chi-arelli said.But violent sex crimes anddomestic violence have in-creased more than 30 percentsince 2006 and child abuse by 43 percent.“After 10 years of war withan all-volunteer force, you’regoing to have problems thatno one could have forecastedbefore this began,” he said.Chiarelli was releasing a200-page report for com-manders, healthcare providersand other military leaders andmeant to assess the physicaland mental health conditionof the force, disciplinary prob-lems, and any gaps in how thermy deals with them.It follows up on a 2010 reportthat said the Army was fail-ing some soldiers by missing signs of trouble or by looking the other way as command-ers tried to keep up with tightdeployment schedules need-ed to ﬁght in both Iraq andfghanistan.Chiarelli said command-ers are now getting moretroops into substance abuseprograms; are kicking moreout of the service for miscon-duct, and are barring othersith alcohol and drug con-victions from joining in thefirst place.
Campaign workers Ryan Vise, left, andLucas Baiano remove a sign followinga news conference Thursday in NorthCharleston, S.C., where Republicanpresidential candidate Texas Gov. RickPerry announced he is suspending hiscampaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich.
ov. Rick Perry droppedout of the presidentialrace on Thursday, en-dorsed his old friendNewt Gingrich and re-turned home to Texas, where thefailed White House candidate hasthree years left to serve as the chief executive.“I have come to the conclusionthat there is no viable path to victo-ry for my candidacy in 2012,” Perry said in North Charleston, S.C., justtwo days before the primary there.“I believe Newt is a conservativevisionary who can transform ourcountry.”Money also was a factor, withspokesman Ray Sullivan say-ing: “We have spent the bulk of our funds.” He added that Perry hasn’t ruled out running again forgovernor or the White House in2016 if President Barack Obamais re-elected.Perry ended his campaign wherehe launched it last August, whentea party and evangelical Christianleaders hailed him as a charismaticconservative and some early pollsshowed him as a front-runner forthe Republican nomination. Butsoon after, Perry’s verbal gaffes andpoor debate performances senthis campaign into a tailspin from which it never recovered.It was too soon to tell whetherPerry’s rocky turn on the nationalstage had damaged him politically at home. But already there weresigns of his diminished clout.Several Texas donors who fu-eled his bid indicated they werelikely to back Mitt Romney, the for-mer Massachusetts governor whois considered the more moderatecandidate in the race. And SouthCarolina House Speaker David Wilkins, who had supported Perry,ignored the governor’s recommen-dation and shifted his support toRomney, too.Short of a Gingrich victory lead-ing to a job for Perry in Washing-ton, D.C. Perry will most likely stay in Austin where he’s still consideredthe most powerful politician in thestate. He has appointed more than1,000 people to key governmentpositions since becoming gover-nor in 2000. State lawmakers alsodepend on his support.Democrats insist the failedpresidential run has diminishedhis power and embarrassed Tex-ans. Top Republicans, meanwhile,have been positioning themselvesto replace him whether he won thepresidency or retired in 2014.
PERRY IS OUT
>>TEXAS GOVERNOR’S POLITICALFUTURE REMAINS OPEN