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WASHINGTON: Some benefits for military gays

The Pentagon has agreed to expand benefits for gay and lesbian couples serving in the military, but continued to withhold equal access to base housing, health care and educational services. Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed an order Monday that permits same-sex partners and their dependents to use numerous family-oriented facilities and services on U.S. military bases, including recreation areas, counseling programs, school buses, child care and shopping exchanges.


Vote on Hagel to proceed

Senate Democrats are pushing ahead with a vote Tuesday on Chuck Hagel's nomination to be defense secretary, rejecting Republican demands for more financial information from Hagel. Sen. John McCain of Arizona was one Republican who backed the plan for a vote.


ILLINOIS: 2 held in Hadiya's slaying

Two Chicago men were charged in the shooting death of Hadiya Pendleton, 15, prosecutors said Monday. Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, are charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, and aggravated battery with a firearm in an attack during which two other teenagers were wounded. The two were picked up over the weekend, hours after Michelle Obama attended the funeral for the teenager, who died a little more than a week after she performed with the King College Prep band in Washington during inauguration festivities.


PENNSYLVANIA: Review of Paterno report urged

A Penn State trustee called on the university governing board to re-examine the findings of former FBI director Louis Freeh's school-sanctioned investigation into the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Trustee Alvin Clemens said Monday the critique issued this weekend by Joe Paterno's family raised questions about Freeh's findings. The family's critique, by former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, said claims that Paterno participated in covering up allegations against Sandusky were inaccurate and unfounded.

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