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Today’s Top Stories: Nation

TODAY’S TOP STORIES

WASHINGTON

Romney to use app for VP choice

WASHINGTON — Want to be among the first to know who Mitt Romney picks for a running mate? There’s an app for that. Romney’s campaign on Tuesday announced an iPhone and Android application to alert supporters when Romney makes his vice presidential pick. The campaign promises they can find out who Romney chooses “before the press and just about everyone else (except maybe Ann).” Users who download the free app are directed to enter their name, email, address, ZIP code and smartphone number. The app also allows Romney’s team to see users’ locations, which could be used to target voters in battleground states.

Defense bill moves forward

WASHINGTON — A Senate panel has approved a $604 billion defense spending bill that reverses proposed Pentagon cuts in Air Force personnel and equipment. The Appropriations defense subcommittee approved the bill by voice vote Tuesday. he measure would provide $511 billion for the base budget and $93.3 billion for the war in Afghanistan in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. The bill is nearly $29 billion less than current spending.

Commander to be reinstated

WASHINGTON — The Army is reinstating the head of a West Coast medical center and changing its screening system after an investigation into whether officials reversed soldiers’ post-traumatic stress diagnoses to save money. The Army says the review found that Col. Dallas Homas, commander at Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington state, “did not inappropriately influence PTSD diagnoses” but that the system being used to diagnose soldiers was inappropriate.

COURT

Law ruled unconstitutional

HARTFORD, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut has ruled that part of a federal law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman and denies federal benefits to married gay couples is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant, in Hartford, ruled Tuesday that the provision in the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act violates the Fifth Amendment right to equal protection. The ruling came in the case of six married same-sex couples and a widower who sued after being denied federal benefits.

Army sergeant is sentenced

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Army Sgt. Adam Holcomb was sentenced to 30 days in prison Tuesday and was reduced in rank for assaulting and maltreating Pvt. Danny Chen, 19, a Chinese American who endured abuse and ethnic slurs before committing suicide in Afghanistan on Oct. 3. A court-martial panel could have sentenced Holcomb, 30, to a maximum of two years in prison with a dishonorable discharge. He was convicted at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Monday of assault and maltreatment.

RELIGION

Southern Baptist official retires

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Richard Land, the highly visible top ethics official for the Southern Baptist Convention, announced Tuesday that he would retire next year. Land said he will step down as the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission in October 2013 on his 25th anniversary with the SBC.

MUSIC

The Who honors old tickets

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A group of hardcore fans of British rock band The Who will finally redeem tickets for a canceled 1979 Rhode Island show. The Who’s 1979 concert in Providence was canceled Now, the band plans to end its Quadrophenia tour in February in Providence. The Dunkin Donuts Center is honoring tickets for that canceled show. A handful of fans came forward Tuesday to trade in their old tickets.

From Wire Services

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