SOURCE: LA Times
The budget ax has fallen on a CIA office that focused on declassifying historical materials, a move scholars say will mean fewer public disclosures about long-buried intelligence secrets and scandals.The Historical Collections Division, which has declassified documents on top Soviet spies, a secret CIA airline in the Vietnam War, the Cuban missile crisis and other major operations, has been disbanded. The office that handles Freedom of Information Act requests will take over the work.
by Lawrence S. Wittner
Nuclear explosion from Operation Dominic -- Shot Questa on May 4, 1962. Credit: U.S. Government.Dear House Republicans:In the heated debates over the federal deficit, you have said repeatedly that you want to cut it without raising taxes and, therefore, that you must reduce government spending.If that is the case, I have a suggestion for you: Why not start by cutting the nuclear weapons budget?
SOURCE: National Endowment for the Humanities
WASHINGTON (February 28, 2013) — NEH Chairman Jim Leach today issued the following statement about the implications of sequestration on the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).“On Friday, March 1, nearly all federal agencies will have a portion of their funds reduced via a mechanism known as sequestration. By background, this situation arises from the terms of prior legislation that required Congress and the White House to agree on a balanced deficit reduction plan of a given magnitude. If an agreement could not be reached, an automatic, across-the-board reduction of funds —sequestration— was required to be implemented during this fiscal year. The President was expected to issue the sequestration order by January 2, 2013, but over the New Year’s holiday, Congress approved and the President signed legislation that postponed the automatic reductions until March 1.Preliminary estimates by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) indicate that sequestration will require a 5 percent reduction in funding for NEH during this fiscal year, which commenced last October 1 and ends this September 30th. Concerned for the prospect of sequestration, NEH has put in place since last fall constraints on program commitments and administrative costs. Further uncertainty, however, exists with the looming mid-year budget negotiations.
GETTYSBURG, Pa. — The National Park Service says federal budget cuts won’t derail the events planned for the Battle of Gettysburg’s 150th anniversary.Bob Kirby, the superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park, says Friday that an extensive series of special programs will take place as planned this summer, though the budget cuts will have some impacts.Kirby says the non-profit Gettysburg Foundation is also providing some extra support this year....
The world's largest museum complex is bracing for a $40 million cut in funding due to the budget stalemate in Congress, but the Smithsonian Institution vows to keep the doors open at its museums and National Zoo.Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas says the attractions will maintain normal visiting hours.Instead, the Smithsonian is preparing to absorb the funding cut in other ways. Maintenance and new construction will be delayed. Hiring will be frozen. Use of outside contractors will be reduced, as well as training, research and travel...
The towering giant sequoias at Yosemite National Park would go unprotected from visitors who might trample their shallow roots. At Cape Cod National Seashore, large sections of the Great Beach would close to keep eggs from being destroyed if natural resource managers are cut.Gettysburg would decrease by one-fifth the numbers of school children who learn about the historic Pennsylvania battle that was a turning point in the Civil War.As America's financial clock ticks toward forced spending cuts to countless government agencies, The Associated Press has obtained a National Park Service memo that compiles a list of potential effects at the nation's most beautiful and historic places just as spring vacation season begins......Even Declaration House in Pennsylvania, the place where Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, wouldn't be spared. Nor would comfort stations on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi...
SOURCE: Time Magazine
When archaeologists announced the discovery of the tomb of Marcus Nonius Macrinus in Rome in 2008, the find was heralded as the most important in decades. Built in the shape of a temple, with tall fluted columns and an intricately carved sarcophagus, it was the final resting place for the Roman general who served as inspiration for Russell Crowe‘s character in the movie Gladiator, unearthed a the site of a planned housing project some 1,800 years after its construction.In contrast, the December 2012 announcement regarding the tomb was much more muted. Italy’s cash-strapped ministry of culture declared it was unable to find the several million euros that would be required to protect the ruins and turn them into a tourist attraction. Instead, the Gladiator’s Tomb, as the site has come to be known, would likely have to be buried once again....
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