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Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta recently outlined the new national security strategy that reflects an end to decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The administration is proposing a budget of $525 billion for next year that’s $6 billion less than the current level.

Democrats as well as Republicans are resisting, looking to protect their home turf.


County says Santorum remains off state ballot

INDIANAPOLIS — An elections official in Indiana is saying GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum still lacks the signatures needed to make it on the state’s ballot.

Mr. Santorum has questioned Marion County’s decision to throw out 49 signatures. But Marion County voter-registration official Cindy Mowery said Monday that the signatures are still invalid.

The number would be enough to put the former senator from Pennsylvania on Indiana’s ballot.

Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley said the campaign thinks the signatures were wrongly disqualified and will keep fighting through Indiana’s ballot process. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney all qualified to compete in Indiana’s May 8 primary.

From wire dispatches and staff reports