WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama moved Monday to complete an overhaul of his national security team, selecting Army Gen. Martin Dempsey as the next Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman amid protracted battle in Afghanistan, U.S. involvement in the NATO-led effort against Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, and a winding down of the war in Iraq.
Marine Gen. James Cartwright had long been rumored to be Obama’s favorite, and the president singled him out for praise at the announcement. But he turned instead to Dempsey, an accomplished veteran of the Iraq war, to succeed Adm. Mike Mullen as his top military adviser, calling Dempsey “one of our nation’s most respected and combat-tested generals.”
The president also announced he has chosen Navy Adm. James Winnefeld to succeed Cartwright as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Army Gen. Ray Odierno as his candidate to replace Dempsey as Army chief of staff.
The nominees have to be approved by the Senate.
Obama announced a new lineup of his top military leadership group in the Rose Garden of the White House just before venturing across the Potomac to pay tribute to America’s war dead at Arlington National Cemetery.
Hackers post phony Tupac story on PBS website
WASHINGTON — PBS officials say hackers cracked the network’s website, posting a phony story claiming dead rapper Tupac Shakur was alive in New Zealand, and a group that claimed responsibility for the hacking complained about a recent “Frontline” investigative news program on WikiLeaks.
PBS confirmed Monday that the website had been hacked. The phony story was taken down Monday morning. It had been posted on the site of the “PBS NewsHour” program, which is produced by WETA-TV in Arlington, Va.
The hackers also posted login information for two internal PBS sites: one that media use to access the PBS press room and an internal communications website for stations, according to Anne Bentley, PBS’ vice president of corporate communications. She said all affected parties were being notified.
Bill urges resident status for immigrant kin of U.S. military personnel
HACKENSACK, N.J. — New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez and seven other Democratic senators reintroduced legislation last week that would grant permanent-resident status to the immigrant relatives of active-duty military personnel.
The Military Families Act would make immigrant parents, spouses and children of anyone who has served in the armed forces since 2001 permanent residents. The bill also would cover the immigrant relatives of those who have died while serving in the military.
The Department of Homeland Security estimates that thousands of active-duty military personnel have immediate family members who are undocumented immigrants. Menendez said he considers the Military Families Act a way to further compensate those who have served in the armed forces.
No Republicans in Congress have expressed support for the measure.
2 workers may have exceeded Japan radiation limit
TOKYO — Two workers at Japan’s crippled nuclear plant might have exceeded a radiation exposure limit amid concerns about the risks the workers face struggling to contain the crisis.
The two control room operators are being tested further and don’t have immediate health problems, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday. If confirmed, they would be the first men to reach the government-set limit.
TEPCO has been criticized for not fully disclosing the extent of radiation exposures by the plant workers or their working conditions, raising suspicion they may not be closely monitored or informed of potential risks.
The conventional limit of 100 millisieverts was raised to 250 millisieverts for male workers — the equivalent of more than 30 CT scans — to confront the problems the March 11 earthquake and tsunami set off at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.
The two men were responsible for central control rooms at the Unit 3 and 4 reactors when the disasters knocked out the plant’s power and cooling functions.