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News Briefs

February 25th

Russia Plans For Massive Military Overhaul

By 2020, the Russian military plans to have nearly $650 billion invested in upgrading its force. Officials are saying this will bring about a new kind of military for Russia.

The featured expenditures will include eight nuclear submarines, 600 jets, and 1,000 helicopters. The submarines will carry the new Bulava missiles, which are still being developed and tested.

One hundred warships and two helicopter carriers will also be added to the military arsenal.

Analysts say that this overhaul will only prove to be productive if the Russian military upgrades its training and recruitment.

In recent years, the Russian military has already made changes to military infrastructure. Nearly 200,000 officers have been released from duty and 90 percent of army units have been disbanded.

Experts are predicting this renewal will make Russia less dependent on the nuclear weaponry it took over after the collapse of the USSR.

Saudi Faces Terror Charges

A 20-year-old Saudi man is facing terror charges after police caught on to his recent activity. Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, who lives in Texas, has been trying to make homemade bombs and has been researching possible targets to attack.

Aldawsari was arrested on Wednesday on the charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. He will appear before a federal court on Friday.

A supplier of toxic chemicals alerted officials after receiving a suspicious order from the suspect. Aldawsari, who was enrolled as a student at South Plains College, had ordered the chemical phenol claiming it was for off-campus research. E-mail records also show that Aldawsari had a recipe for picric acid that he referred to as a "military explosive."

Officials also found that Aldawsari intended to use a cell phone detonation device, and they located a statement claiming "it is time for Jihad" in what is allegedly his diary.

The list of possible targets included George W. Bush's residence in Texas and multiple reservoirs and dams throughout Colorado and California.

Parks May Stay Open With Help From Local Towns

Last year, several New York State-run parks ended up costing the state hundreds of thousands of dollars, prompting their closures. Now, local towns where the parks are located are attempting to keep them up and running.

Woodlawn Beach Park in Hamburg cost the state $360,678 to run, while only bringing in $48,226. Similar outcomes were witnessed with Knox Farm Park in Aurora and Joseph Davis Park in Lewiston.

The state did not run the parks to make money but with the budget crunch, had to cut expenses, which led these parks to lose funding.

However, local residents believe that closing the parks for good will hurt the communities. That is why they are taking the risk of running these parks on their own, without raising taxes for town residents.

The towns will be in charge of maintenance and upkeep of the parks and their facilities. In Aurora, outside help may be needed but none of these towns want the burden to fall on taxpayers. In New York State, the majority of parks are unable to bring in enough revenue to cover annual costs.

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