- The Senate confirmed Chuck Hagel as the next Secretary of Defense yesterday by a vote of 58-41.
- Italian politicians are trying to put a government together. The recent election left the left-leaning bloc in control of the lower house but without control of the Senate. Markets did not react well to the election results, and a new election could be called if politicians are not able to form a governing coalition.
- Senior Obama administration officials do not think that automatic spending cuts can be avoided.
- ISAF accepts that their claim that violence committed by the Taliban in 2012 dropped 7 percent is incorrect, saying that a data-entry error is to blame. In fact, there was not any significant drop in “enemy-initiated attacks” in Afghanistan in 2012.
- A medical marijuana bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives. The States’ Medical Marijuana Patients Protection Act would allow patients and dispensary owners to use and sell medical marijuana without interference from the feds.
- Three people are reportedly dead after a shooting at a wood processing plant in Switzerland.
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