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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senior defense officials say Pentagon chief Leon Panetta is removing the military's ban on women serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war.
The groundbreaking move recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff overturns a 1994 rule prohibiting women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. Panetta's decision gives the military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.
A senior military official says the services will develop plans for allowing women to seek the combat positions. Some jobs may open as soon as this year. Assessments for others, such as special operations forces, including Navy SEALS and the Army's Delta Force, may take longer.
The official said the military chiefs must report back to Panetta with their initial implementation plans by May 15. The announcement on Panetta's decision is not expected until Thursday, so the official spoke on condition of anonymity.
Panetta's move expands the Pentagon's action nearly a year ago to open about 14,500 combat positions to women, nearly all of them in the Army. This decision could open more than 230,000 jobs, many in Army and Marine infantry units, to women.
In recent years the necessities of war propelled women into jobs as medics, military police and intelligence officers that were sometimes attached - but not formally assigned - to units on the front lines.
Women comprise 14 percent of the 1.4 million active military personnel.
Wednesday, January 23 2013, 02:42 PM CST
Court rules against man who lost handgun permit
May 24, 2013 16:15 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Appeals Court has ruled against a man who claimed state law regulating the carrying of firearms was unconstitutional.
Leonard Embody filed suit in 2010 after state officials took away his carry permit, finding a "material likelihood of risk of harm to the public."
The revocation came after Embody was detained by Belle Meade police in 2010 while walking with a .44 caliber black powder revolver in his hand. He was detained in 2009 while walking in Radnor Lake State Park with an AK-47-style pistol. There have been at least three similar incidents, although Embody was never charged with a crime.
Embody claimed in court the Second Amendment gave him a right to carry firearms.
The Appeals Court disagreed, ruling that the right to bear arms is not unrestricted.
Asia stocks extend losses after big sell-off
BANGKOK (AP) -- Asian stocks continued to retreat today after being routed the day before by unexpectedly weak Chinese manufacturing and fears the Federal Reserve will start withdrawing its monetary stimulus.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: RESTAURANT FLAP LEADS TO INTERNET MELTDOWN
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- It isn't exactly to curry favor with your restaurant customers -- even if your specialty isn't curry.