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PBC News & Comment: Obama Nominates Ashton Carter as Defense Secretary

–Obama names new Pentagon chief, Ashton B. Carter, to manage the war machine; he’s considered hawkish on  Syria, Iraq war….

–House passes budget for Defense, including money for Syria war without any authorization to fight it

–military sex assault cases increased by 8% last year

–Yemen fighters threaten to kill American journalist after failed US commando raid

–imprisonment extended in Iran for American reporter Jason Rezaian

–are Democrats irrelevant? Here’s an excerpt from our in-depth interview with Dave Johnson, a fellow at the Campaign for America’s future

–DEA continues “stash house stings” as federal appeals court in San Francisco overturns lower court decision that called them “outrageous government conduct”

–Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduces bill to prevent government from forcing tech companies to open “back doors”

–mystery surrounds deployment of NASA high-altitude research plane in Africa