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Former US Senator Bob Bennett dies at age 82

Bob Bennet diesRobert F. Bennett — a Utah native, businessman and three-term U.S. Senator turned teacher — died Wednesday evening at age 82.

Greg Hopkins, his partner with the Bennett Group, confirmed that Bennett had died following a long battle with cancer.

Bennett confirmed in February 2015 he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He leaves behind a wife, six children and several grandchildren.

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Pentagon slams Benghazi panel for wasting money with exhaustive probe

DOD slams Benghazi panelThe U.S. Department of Defense this week sent a letter to the House panel still investigating the 2012 attack in Benghazi and expressed frustration with the committee's prolonged probe and exhaustive requests, which have persisted for nearly two years.

The letter was sent to Benghazi panel chair Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., from Stephen Hedger, the assistant secretary of Defense. It is dated April 28.

"I write in response to the Select Committee on Benghazi's recent crescendo of requests of the Department of Defense," Hedger wrote to start the letter, before identifying hundreds of pages of documents, several classified briefings and other cooperation given by the Pentagon over the past year to the Benghazi investigators.

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House committee votes to require women to register for draft

Women and the draft

Women would be required to register for the military draft under a House committee bill that comes just months after the Defense Department lifted all gender-based restrictions on front-line combat units.

A divided Armed Services Committee backed the provision in a sweeping defense policy bill that the full House will consider next month, touching off a provocative debate about the role of women in the military.

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Former House speaker sentenced to more than a year in prison

Denny Hastert sentenced to 15 months- Dennis Hastert, the Republican who for eight years presided over the House and was second in the line of succession to the presidency, was sentenced Wednesday to more than a year in prison in the hush-money case that revealed accusations he sexually abused teenagers while coaching high school wrestling.

The case makes the former speaker one of the highest-ranking American politicians ever sentenced to prison. The visibly angry judge repeatedly rebuked the 74-year-old before issuing the 15-month sentence, telling him that his abuse devastated the lives of victims and would probably make it harder than ever for parents to trust other adults with their children.

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Emergency funding for Flint, Mich., stripped from Senate energy bill

Flint water plantThe U.S. Senate moved past a three-month impasse on a comprehensive energy bill Wednesday after stripping emergency funding to address the Flint, Mich., water crisis from the document.

The bill, which has bipartisan support, is the most comprehensive energy legislation since 2007. It reinforces the nation's energy infrastructure and modernizes government energy policy at time when the United States is the world's leading producer of oil and natural gas, the use wind and solar power is increasing and clean-air regulations are changing power systems across the country.

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Report: Powell, Rice staff received classified emails on private servers

Colin PowellIn a letter obtained by NBC, Inspector General Steve Linick said that a total of 12 classified emails, now classified as "secret" or "confidential," were found to have been sent to the personal email accounts. Ten of them were sent to Rice's aides and two sent to Powell.

Linick added that none of the emails were marked classified at the time, and none were sent from the intelligence community.

In an interview with NBC, Powell downplayed the significance of the emails, saying that the information in the messages, which were sent by ambassadors, should not be classified.

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Obama vetoes anti-climate change measures passed by Congress

obamaPresident Barack Obama has vetoed two measures that would have blocked steps that his administration is taking to address climate change.

One would have nullified carbon pollution standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. The second would have voided a set of national standards designed to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas pollution from existing power plants.

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