Briefly . . .
NATION/WORLD

ASSOCIATED PRESSOn the fence A man is patted down after he and 68 others were detained by Border Patrol agents yesterday at a field in Edinburg, Texas. Agents took the group, suspected of entering the country illegally, into custody on the same day that saw Senate Republicans split over a bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the United States illegally.
ASSOCIATED PRESSOn the fence A man is patted down after he and 68 others were detained by Border Patrol agents yesterday at a field in Edinburg, Texas. Agents took the group, suspected of entering the country illegally, into custody on the same day that saw Senate Republicans split over a bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the United States illegally.
Posted: June 26, 2013

MOSCOW - Yes, he's at a Moscow airport, and no, you can't have him.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the first official acknowledgment of the whereabouts of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden yesterday and promptly rejected U.S. pleas to turn him over.

Snowden, who is charged with violating American espionage laws, fled Hong Kong over the weekend, touching off a global guessing game over where he went and frustrating U.S. efforts to bring him to justice.

Putin said Snowden is in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo Airport and has not passed through Russian immigration, meaning he technically is not in Russia and thus is free to travel wherever he wants.

Obama urges action on global climate change

WASHINGTON - President Obama declared the debate over climate change and its causes obsolete yesterday as he announced a wide-ranging plan to tackle pollution and prepare communities for global warming.

In a major speech at Georgetown University, Obama warned Americans of the deep and disastrous effects of climate change, urging them to take action before it's too late.

Obama announced he was directing his administration to launch the first-ever federal regulations on heat-trapping gases emitted by new and existing power plants - "to put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution." Other aspects of the plan will boost renewable-energy production on federal lands, increase efficiency standards and prepare communities to deal with higher temperatures.

Egypt's leaders blame corruption for gas bust

CAIRO - Egypt's embattled government yesterday blamed rumors and corruption for an acute fuel shortage that has had drivers waiting in long lines to fill their gas tanks - straining already taught nerves ahead of planned mass demonstrations this weekend demanding the resignation of the president.

Four Cabinet ministers lined up in front of cameras inside the presidential palace yesterday, trying to calm citizens' fears, as the Islamist government appeared desperate to grapple with successive political and economic crises that are hitting the country, adding to public discontent.

Government officials blamed nervous hoarding and black-market diversions for the shortages. People are stocking up on staples, including fuel, ahead of the protests. Heavy subsidies on Egypt's fuel have caused distortions in the economy, encouraging some to make quick profits by illegally reselling gasoline and diesel.

Army tightens belt in response to budget cuts

WASHINGTON - The Army will eliminate at least 12 combat brigades, relocate thousands of soldiers and cancel $400 million in construction projects as the first wave of federal budget cuts takes aim at military communities around the country.

In a massive restructuring, Army leaders said yesterday that they will slash the number of active-duty combat brigades from 45 to 33, as the service moves forward with a longtime plan to cut the size of the service by 80,000. And they warned that more cuts - of as many as 100,000 more active-duty, National Guard and Reserve soldiers - could be coming if Congress allows billions of dollars in automatic budget cuts to continue next year.

The sweeping changes would eliminate brigades - which number from 3,500 to 5,000 troops - at 10 Army bases in the U.S. by 2017, including those in Texas, Kentucky, Georgia, Colorado, North Carolina, New York, Kansas and Washington. The Army will also cut thousands of other jobs across the service, including soldiers in units that support the brigades, and two brigades in Germany have already been scheduled for elimination.

-Associated Press

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