Sen. Kerry holding hearings on Afghanistan endgame
U.S. Sen. John Kerry is turning his attention to how the United States should end the war in Afghanistan in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden.
The Massachusetts Democrat is holding two hearings in Washington this week that he says will help articulate a policy of how the war in Afghanistan should end “in a way that makes America stronger.”
Kerry, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said a second hearing this week will examine the United States’ strategic relationship with Afghanistan’s neighbor, Pakistan.
Kerry said that while bin Laden’s death closes an important chapter in the country’s war against extremists, the threat from Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups remains.
The Committee has already conducted 14 oversight hearings on the war in Afghanistan.
Sen. Brown going to Afghanistan for Guard training
U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is heading to Afghanistan for his annual training as a member of the Massachusetts Army National Guard.
Brown, who serves as a lieutenant colonel, says he requested to conduct his training overseas in keeping with the tradition of other lawmakers.
The Massachusetts Republican says training in Afghanistan will help him better understand the United States’ ongoing mission in that country, and provide him with firsthand experience that will help him as a lawmaker.
Brown serves on the Senate Armed Services, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs committees.
Brown’s staff says they don’t have specific information on when he plans to leave for Afghanistan and how long his training will last.
Brown serves as an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
Mass. gas prices up another 12 cents
Massachusetts residents are dealing with another double-digit increase in the price of gasoline, pushing it close to $4 per gallon.
AAA Southern New England reports Monday that self-serve regular rose another 12 cents in the past week and is now averaging $3.94 per gallon.
That’s up 88 cents since the start of the year and $1.08 more than at the same time last year, but still a penny below the national average.
AAA found self-serve regular as low as $3.89 and as high as $4.09 per gallon.
Logan steps up vigilance after bin Laden's death
Security at Logan Airport has been beefed up in response to the death of Osama bin Laden even though there is no known threat to the airport.
An airport spokesman says Homeland Security and state police are boosting patrols in the terminals and curbside, while also paying close attention to airport employee identification badges.
Spokesman Phil Orlandella says staff has been told to be extra vigilant and to report anything suspicious.
Logan Airport was the launching point for the two jets that struck the World Trade Center towers in New York on Sept. 11, 2001.
The MBTA’s security chief says the transit agency is also remaining alert and urging passengers to report anything unusual. The T has had no specific threats.
Bin Laden was killed by U.S. troops early Monday.
Report: Many Mass. schools too big
A new state report has found that about one-quarter of the state’s public school buildings are larger than needed because of poor planning based in part of poor predictions of future enrollment.
The study by the Massachusetts School Building Authority, a quasi-public agency chaired by the state treasurer, found that many of the underutilized schools are in Boston, Cape Cod and western Massachusetts.
Some districts built schools that were too big or expanded existing ones too much as they rushed to secure funding from state education officials before oversight switched in 2004 to the newly created building authority. The authority set more stringent funding requirements.
The authority decided to examine capacity after visiting some new schools in the last few years and finding enrollment was hundreds of students below projections.
Material compiled from Associated Press