- - Tuesday, October 11, 2011

DEFENSE

Panetta: Pentagon cuts to hit lawmakers at home

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta says the Pentagon will need to make difficult budget cuts to find more than $450 billion in savings, and the cuts may include lawmakers’ pet projects or weapons programs in their regions.

He says the budget-cutting on military equipment and personnel costs will prove politically sensitive. The Pentagon chief says Congress must be a responsible partner in that process.

Mr. Panetta says he hopes to find $60 billion in savings through efficiencies across the department.

He says the military of the 21st century will be smaller and more agile, but must be ready for the possibility of fighting more than one war at a time. Military leaders say that will be tough, given the shrinking armed forces.

Mr. Panetta made his remarks Tuesday at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

VERMONT

Leahy to seek maple syrup protection law

MONTPELIER — Vermont Sen. Patrick J. Leahy says he’s planning to introduce legislation to make it a federal crime for people to mislabel products as containing maple syrup.

Mr. Leahy said Tuesday the legislation is needed to protect Vermont’s maple crop from fraud.

The move came in the aftermath of a recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation that found a man who had been selling fake Vermont maple syrup when the product contained no syrup.

Mr. Leahy’s proposal would create a new federal felony offense and increase the sentences that prosecutors can seek for people who defraud consumers and farmers by intentionally mislabeling maple products.

Mr. Leahy, a Democrat, announced his plan at the same time he was announcing the state had received a $70,000 federal grant to help market Vermont maple syrup.

NEW YORK

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