Spending cuts have grounded federal travel

A few items that caught our attention Monday:



Spending cuts have grounded federal travel: Federal agencies have drastically trimmed their travel budgets in order to meet cost-cutting targets under the sequester. That means volcano-monitoring visits to Alaska have been scaled back, the defense secretary has cut his trips to Afghanistan by half, and NASA has pulled out of the National Space Symposium, according to a New York Times article.

NASA’s mission improbable: The space agency has proposed a controversial plan to snag a small asteroid for examination by astronauts who would study the rock near the moon. The mission is indicative of NASA’s “middle-age problems,” according to a Washington Post article by Joel Achenbach.

Head Start cuts services for 57,000 children because of sequester: That number comes from the “reduction plans” of the early education program’s grantees, submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services. It falls short of the 70,000 kids the Obama administration projected to lose access to preschool, according to a Washington Post article.

NSA leaks could cost U.S. its lead in cloud computing: Analysts believe the U.S. could lose $22 billion to $35 billion in cloud-competing revenue over the next three years because of competition from foreign competitors and customers’ concerns about the privacy of their data with U.S. companies, according to a BizJournals.com article.

Oliver Stone says Okinawa bases ‘no longer necessary’: The Academy Award winner and Vietnam war veteran made that assessment during a visit to the region that coincided with the 68th anniversary of Japan’s surrender to allied forces during World War II, according to a Japan Daily Press blog.

Hill staffers could gain abortion coverage under health law: Members of Congress and their staffers could gain access to abortion coverage — currently denied to all federal employees under their government health-insurance plans because of an Obamacare provision that boots those workers onto new insurance exchanges created by the law. Ironically, that amendment came from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), an abortion opponent, according to an Associated Press report.

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