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Daily News Brief 02.24.12
Posted by Jacob Worrell on February 24

Here are some of today's top stories and happenings at IAVA.  Prefer to receive real-time updates about major stories and legislation that IAVA is tracking? Follow us on Twitter @IAVAPressRoom and click here to get the News Brief delivered to your inbox every morning.

MUST READS

1)Half of Tuition Assistance Money Goes to For-Profit Schools


Nearly half of all taxpayer money spent on tuition assistance for active-duty troops goes to for-profit schools, according to a new Senate report. Of the $563 million the Pentagon spent on voluntary education programs last year, about $280 million went to for-profit schools, mostly those that offer classes online. Planning to go to school using the New GI Bill? Visit IAVA's NewGIBill.org to get the most accurate calculation of the benefits you could be eligible for.

 

2) 78 Service Members to Dine at White House


The Department of Defense announced Thursday the names of 78 service members who have been invited to attend the Feb. 29 White House dinner - "A Nation's Gratitude" -  hosted by President and Mrs. Obama. The dinner will recognize the significant contributions of the men and women in uniform who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation New Dawn, and the families who supported them.

 

3) Bradley Manning Defers Plea in WikiLeaks Case


The Army intelligence analyst accused of the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, Pfc. Bradley Manning, appeared in a small courtroom Thursday for the first day of a court-martial that could put him behind bars for life. Manning is accused of providing hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and military reports — many of them classified — to WikiLeaks.

 

AFGHANISTAN

  • The Taliban took four men to a bazaar in a southern Afghanistan district Sunday, denounced them as government spies because they were carrying satellite phones, and then beheaded them in front of local residents who had been summoned to watch.

IRAQ

  • Al-Qaeda in Iraq unleashed a barrage of coordinated car bombings and small-arms attacks across Iraq on Thursday, killing at least 40 people in what Iraqi officials called a “frantic race” to shatter people’s faith in the government’s strained grip on security.

MILITARY AFFAIRS

  • Doug Wilson, the Pentagon's top public affairs official, announced Thursday that he will step down from his role next month.
  • Since January 2006, the Pentagon has spent more than $18 billion trying to stop insurgent bombs — funding everything from radio frequency jammers to electronic dragnets that hunt bombmakers’ phone calls. But while the military is good at shelling out cash for futuristic bomb stoppers, it’s not as adept at tracking where its money goes.
  • A southwest Ohio VA medical center is investigating allegations of improper conduct by an employee on an anesthesia unit. The allegations at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center say a doctor drew blood from patients under anesthesia without their knowledge or consent.

INSIDE WASHINGTON

    • Spurred by two-high profile military hazing cases, Congress will reportedly hold a hearing next month to examine the problem's scope and what the Pentagon is doing to stop it.
    • Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, is proposing to strip all veterans’ employment and rehabilitation programs from the Labor Department and instead place them in the Veterans Affairs Department, where they might get more attention.
    • Veterans of Foreign Wars said Thursday the Obama administration's plans to cut military pay and benefits could force the return of a military draft.