March 4, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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US approves billion-dollar defense budget: Ukraine package temporarily smaller than promised |  Abroad

US approves billion-dollar defense budget: Ukraine package temporarily smaller than promised | Abroad

The US wants to strengthen its position in the Pacific Ocean, where China continues to exert influence. Also, the budget gradually allocates 300 million euros to Ukraine. US President Joe Biden and his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky agreed on 61 billion. That massive package is still being debated in the House of Representatives. Also, the salary of army personnel will be increased by 5 percent.

The law extends international electronic surveillance restrictions by several months. It was about to expire and received a lot of criticism from privacy and libertarian organizations. Henceforth, intelligence services may conduct extensive electronic surveillance, for example by reading emails of even non-US citizens without a court order.

Other proposals, such as banning rainbow flags on military bases, were not adopted. Some Republicans wanted the Pentagon to stop reimbursing military personnel for extended trips to abortion clinics, but that also failed.

The bill, which is more than three thousand pages long, is the result of months of negotiations. Now President Biden still has to sign the document, a formality.

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