U.S. faces steep budget cuts
UNITED STATES: Calling them “dumb and arbitrary,” U.S. President Barack Obama has signed $85 billion in federal budget cuts into effect, Al Jazeera reports. The cuts will be made between now and Oct. 1 in a small attempt to attack the country’s $11.7 trillion debt. Democrats and Republicans have been in hot debate at reducing that number, with Obama calling for a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes, the report notes. The Pentagon will be required to slash 13 per cent of its budget, and some 800,000 federal workers are expected to see their workdays reduced. The country’s economic growth could slow by 0.5 of a percentage point this year as a result of the cuts, the International Monetary Fund says.
Australian police make massive meth bust
AUSTRALIA: Three men are in custody after Australian police seized nearly half a billion dollars of methamphetamine, the BBC reports. Australian officers found 585 kilograms of meth inside a shipment of cleaning chemicals from southern China, according to the report. The meth has a street value of about $440 million. It is the country’s largest ever seizure of meth. The bust caps a four-month investigation following a lead regarding suspicious activity at a storage facility in West Ryde, Sydney, the report says. Three men were arrested and are due in court this week. Other arrests in Australia and overseas are possible, police said. If convicted, the suspects face life imprisonment.
Injury interrupts woman’s shot at NFL
UNITED STATES: A woman taking part in NFL combine trials last week made two kicks before injuring herself and bowing out, according to a BBC report. On March 4, Lauren Silberman managed just a 19-yard and 13-yard kick-off before speaking with trainers. According to the report, Silberman injured her quadriceps while practicing for the trials, and aggravated the injury during the combine, held in New Jersey. Silberman was the first woman to take part in the trials after the NFL removed barriers preventing women from trying out in December 2011.
Published in Volume 67, Number 22 of The Uniter (March 6, 2013)