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 Congress & DoD

  1. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., , speaks to reporters in the Capitol on Wednesday. J. Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press

    Sen. Sanders seeks new VA funding compromise

    A push by Veterans Affairs Department officials for billions in new funding to hire more doctors may upend congressional efforts for a wide-reaching VA reform package that appeared all but finished just a few weeks ago.

    • Jul. 23, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill. T.J. Kirkpatrick / Getty Images

    College's recruiting practices draw congressional fire

    Senators and student veteran leaders are working to dissuade would-be college students from using GI Bill funds to enroll at WyoTech and Heald, criticizing the schools' recent recruiting actions as irresponsible and predatory.

    • Jul. 23, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
  2. Memorial honoring injured veterans under way in D.C.

    Army Lt. Dawn Halfaker was on patrol 10 years ago in Baqubah, Iraq, when a rocket-propelled grenade tore through her military vehicle and exploded inside.

    • Jul. 23, 2014
  3. Happy Human symbol Wikimedia Commons

    Atheist group urges Congress to allow humanist military chaplains

    More than one in five service members do not identify with a particular religion, according to Defense Department statistics. To better serve them, an organization is working to expand the Chaplain Corps to include clergy who don't believe in a god.

    • Jul. 22, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    If confirmed by the Senate to be the next secretary of veterans affairs, former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald promised dramatic moves within his first 90 days on the job. Getty Images

    VA nominee: 'Change can be achieved'

    At Bob McDonald's confirmation hearing Tuesday on his nomination to become the next Veterans Affairs Secretary, Sen.

    • Jul. 22, 2014
  4. A Malaysian air crash investigator on July 22 takes pictures of wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, Ukraine. Vadim Ghirda / AP

    U.S.: Russia 'created the conditions' for shoot-down of airliner

    Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for 'creating the conditions' that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement.

    • Jul. 22, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD

    Military suicides declined slightly in 2013, Pentagon says

    Suicides in the military dropped by 6 percent last year, a decline that Pentagon officials hope signals a reversal in a tragic trend — but that some advocates say does not reflect the true scope of the issue in the military and veterans' community.

    • Jul. 22, 2014
  5. Report: Open-air burn pits still in use in Afghanistan

    Two incinerators at a joint Afghan-U.S. airbase have been underused, needlessly exposing troops to toxic pollution generated from open-air burn pits still in operation, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has found.

    • Jul. 22, 2014
  6. President Obama presents the Medal of Honor to former Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts during a July 21 ceremony at the White House. Alex Wong / Getty Images

    Ryan Pitts receives Medal of Honor for Battle of Wanat

    Former Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts received the Medal of Honor on Monday for his heroism during the Battle of Wanat in 2008, one of deadliest clashes of the Afghanistan War.

    • Jul. 21, 2014
  7. President Obama speaks to the press on Ukraine Monday outside the Oval Office at the White House in Washington. Jewel Samad / AFP via Getty Images

    Obama urges immediate access to Ukraine crash site

    President Barack Obama sternly called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to compel Kremlin-backed separatists to stop hampering the probe at the Ukraine site of a downed passenger jet and allow international investigators unfettered access.

    • Jul. 21, 2014
  8. President Obama makes a statement July 21 on the situation in Ukraine and Gaza. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

    Obama voices concern about casualties in Mideast

    President Obama called Monday for the international community to focus on ending the fighting in the Gaza Strip, as Secretary of State John Kerry headed to the Middle East to make a renewed push for a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel.

    • Jul. 21, 2014
  9. President Obama shakes hands with former Procter & Gamble executive Robert McDonald, his nominee as the next Veterans Affairs secretary, at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington. Charles Dharapak / AP

    Report: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA

    A pharmacy supervisor at the VA was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients at a hospital in Palo Alto, California.

    • Jul. 21, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Ukrainian rescue servicemen inspect part of the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 20 in Rassipnoye, Ukraine. Rob Stothard / Getty Images

    Kerry: Mounting evidence of Russian involvement in crash

    Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday there was mounting evidence Russia assisted separatists in Ukraine in shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

    • Jul. 20, 2014
  10. Spc. Lynndie England is one of 13 people banned in response to the July 2 U.S. ban on Russian parliament member Adam Delimkhanov. England is a former soldier convicted of abusing prisoners in Abu Ghraib, Iraq. AP

    Russia bans congressman, 12 other Americans

    Russia has placed a U.S. lawmaker and 12 other people connected with the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq on its list of those banned from entering the country.

    • Jul. 20, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD

    DoD still hasn't released final 2013 suicide numbers

    In 2012, the U.S. military hit a record for the number of suicides among troops on active duty — 319 — since the Pentagon began closely tracking the numbers in 2001.

    • Jul. 18, 2014
  11. Colleges are for sale but they continue to recruit on bases

    Their college campuses are for sale and they're under attack from federal regulators, but that hasn't stopped a pair of for-profit schools from recruiting new students at military bases.

    • Jul. 18, 2014
  12. The sheriff's office in Johnson County, Ind., used a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle tor eplace its 22-year-old armored 'Peacekeeper' vehicle (left). Kelly Wilkinson/Indianapolis Star

    DOD resumes transferring military vehicles to first responders

    The Defense Department has resumed transferring excess military vehicles to civilian emergency personnel after reaching an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, said Jeffrey Curtis, executive director, logistics operations support for the De

    • Jul. 18, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    People walk amongst the debris at the crash site of a passenger plane July 17 near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine. Ukraine said a passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down as it flew over the country, and both the government and the pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied any responsibility for downing the plane. Dmitry Lovetsky / AP

    Source: Missile took down Malaysian airliner in Ukraine

    American intelligence authorities believe a surface-to-air missile took down a passenger jet in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, a U.S.

    • Jul. 17, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
     Lauren Victoria Burke / AP

    Dunford: More ambiguous Afghanistan timeline preferred

    Afghanistan's future was the most popular discussion point during Thursday's confirmation hearing on Gen. Joseph Dunford's nomination to become the next Marine Corps commandant.

    • Jul. 17, 2014
  13. Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson talks to reporters July 17 at the Albuquerque, N.M., VA hospital. Roberto E. Rosales / AP

    VA secretary: Albuquerque staff acted properly in vet's death

    Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson said Thursday that staffers at Albuquerque's VA hospital responded properly when a veteran died after collapsing in the medical center's cafeteria.

    • Jul. 17, 2014
  14. Black smoke billows following a July 14 mortar attack during fighting between Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russian fighters in Luhansk, Ukraine. Yuri Snegirev / AP

    For U.S. and Europe, divisions over Russia penalties

    The United States and Europe are seeking to maintain a united front against Russia with coordinated announcements of new economic sanctions, but divisions persist over how aggressive the West should be in punishing Moscow for its threatening moves in Ukra

    • Jul. 17, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Civilian attorney Eugene Fidell, right, speaks to the media with Capt. James Yee in 2004. Yee, an accused spy who was exonerated, was a big legal victory for Fidell. Adele Starr/The Associated Press

    Bergdahl's attorney also fought for Army captain in espionage case

    Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has retained a high-profile attorney — the same lawyer who defended Capt. James Yee, a Muslim Army chaplain cleared in an espionage probe a decade ago.

    • Jul. 16, 2014
  15. In his first formal appearance on Capitol Hill, Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson, left, told senators July 16 that he wants to hire 10,000 more clinicians and take other bold steps to restore veterans' faith in the VA. J. Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press

    VA asks for $18B to hire medical staff, lease space

    Veterans Affairs Department officials want nearly $18 billion more in funding over the next three years to hire more clinicians, lease more space and cut down on wait times for medical appointments.

    • Jul. 16, 2014
  16. Pro-Russia militants march on a road July 16 after exchanging fire with the Ukranian army near the town of Marynivka. Dominique Faget / AFP

    Pentagon: More Russian troops on Ukraine border

    Russian combat troops are again building up along the border with Ukraine, and U.S. officials believe Moscow may be sending heavy weapons into the country to aid the separatists, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

    • Jul. 16, 2014

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