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In brief: Huntsman joins Republican race

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is joining the fast-growing pack of Republicans battling to take on President Barack Obama.

Huntsman, who was Obama’s ambassador to China until a month ago, will make his formal announcement Tuesday – with the Statue of Liberty as the backdrop, his campaign team said. Though he served in Washington for three Republican presidents, he faces a challenge in making himself known nationally and winning over GOP primary voters.

“I intend to announce my candidacy for the presidency of the United States of America a week from today,” Huntsman said during a discussion about China policy in New York with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

N.C. House overrides governor’s veto

RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina House has voted to cancel out Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue’s historic veto of the two-year state budget.

The vote today just after midnight was 73-46. That’s just enough to meet the three-fifths majority required to override a veto.

When she vetoed the measure on Sunday, she became the first governor to veto a budget plan since being given the power in 1997.

The margin clears the path for the Republican-penned budget bill to be enacted later over Perdue’s repeated and harsh objections.

The Senate is expected to hold its override vote later in the day. Its Republican majority is veto-proof.

The House GOP majority is a few votes short, but five Democrats joined Republicans in passing the final budget earlier this month.

Army ditches berets, switches to caps

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Army is ditching the hot, ill-fitting black wool berets that soldiers have worn for years and allowing them to go back to their old, brimmed patrol caps.

Army Secretary John McHugh ordered the change to take effect Tuesday.

“It’s the military equivalent of being able to wear a baseball cap to work,” said Col. Pete Brooks of the S.C. Army National Guard. “Wearing the beret in 100-degree South Carolina heat was like wearing a wet piece of black wool on your head.”

The change is one of several uniform adjustments, including allowing soldiers to either sew or use Velcro to attach uniform insignia, rank and name tags.

In the past, badges had to be pinned on, a lengthy process that meant a ruler had to be used to keep them in line.

It affects all active duty, National Guard and Reserve forces. Soldiers will still wear berets with their dress uniforms, which they don for special occasions such as change-of-command ceremonies. But the caps can be worn for everyday duties.


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