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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