BruNews: Monday, February 24

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Life on College Hill can be pretty all-consuming and although we are constantly inundated with educational material, we Brown students sometimes forget what’s happening in the outside world. BruNews, a new experiment and potential daily column, is intended to give a very truncated report of what’s going on in the world and is equipped with hyper-links galore so you can read more about whatever piques your interest. Now, you’re ready to take on any dinner party ever–and impress your parents, friends and professors alike. 

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel released a proposal today to cut the U.S.armed forces to its pre-World War II size, including eliminating an entire class of Air Force attack jets. The result, according to the New York Times: a military capable of defeating any adversary, but too small for protracted foreign occupations.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed an anti-gay bill that imposes a 14-year sentence on “first time offenders” and up to life imprisonment for offenders of “aggravated homosexuality.” The White House released a statement urging Ugandan lawmakers to “repeal this abhorrent law.”

Ukraine issued an arrest warrant for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych for the “mass killings” of civilians. Yanukovych’s last public appearance was on Saturday, when he delivered a televised speech in which he claimed he was still the legitimate leader of Ukraine and vowed not to leave the country. Ukrainian protestors demand new officials “who can say no to the oligarchs” in parliament.

Alec Baldwin announced his abandonment of public life in a 5,000 word rant in New York Magazine, citing New York City as uninhabitable for celebrities and calling out those who claim he’s a homophobe.

Jason Collins, after not having played since the end of the 2012-2013 season, signed a ten-day contract with the Nets on Saturday, becoming the first openly gay NBA player. He made his debut last night in a 108 to 102 Nets’ win over the Lakers.

In other LGBT sports news, Washington lobbyist Jack Burkman announced his plans to draft a bill to ban gay athletes from the NFL. In his statement, he pointed to political support for the bill but did not name any legislator specifically.

After 25 years, Moviefone’s 777-FILM hotline is being discontinued, although their app will go on. At it’s peak in the mid-1990s, 777-FILM received more than three million calls per week. 

Egypt’s prime minister Hazem el-Beblawi and the military-backed government abruptly resigned today. The Prime Minister did not divulge his reasoning for his decision or its timing. Some speculate he resigned to clear the field for the nation’s military chief, Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, to run in the upcoming election.

CNN’s Piers Morgan Live will be cancelled as early as next month, having suffered from poor ratings during its three year career. 

Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his plans to run for reelection despite suffering a stroke last year, ending months of speculation over Algeria’s leadership. Although independent candidates have announced intent to run, the election is not expected to be free or fair. Bouteflika has been in power for the last 15 years.

Representative John Dingell (D) of Michigan, the longest-serving member of Congress in history, announced today that he would not seek reelection. His career in the House of Representatives began in 1955. 

The Supreme Court declined to review two gun-rights appeals today, one regarding the right to bear arms in public for 18- to 20-year-olds, the other regarding the current ban on the same age group to purchase handguns.  

Alice Herz-Sommer, 110, the oldest known Holocaust survivor, died yesterday. Harold Ramis, 69, actor, writer and director whose films include “Stripes,” “Ghostbusters,” “Groundhog Day” and “Analyze This,” died this morning

Gunmen killed a top leader of Pakistani Taliban near the Afghan border today. It is unclear whether his death was attributable to militant infighting or Pakistani security forces.

Mark Zuckerberg, responding to accusations of overpaying, said WhatsApp was “worth more than $19 billion.”

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