Under the Dome

Defense Department reviewing which civilian employees are covered by new law

Rep. Renee Ellmers, a Republican from Dunn, has been accusing President Barack Obama this week of ignoring a new law that guarantees military pay despite the shutdown.

About 7,000 civilian workers at Fort Bragg, in Ellmers’ district, reportedly have been furloughed.

Congress passed the Pay Our Military Act on Monday, and the president signed it into law. The measure was meant to make sure that soldiers would be paid without interruption.

“This was signed into law by President Obama and has been in effect since Monday, yet the president is refusing to enforce it. Therefore, these Fort Bragg furloughs should not be occurring,” Ellmers said in a statement. “Fort Bragg employees across my district are suffering because the president wants to inflict pain and play political games with people’s lives.”

Ellmers said that the bill should ensure payments to troops and civilian defense employees. The Defense Department, however, said that it was conducting a legal review into who is covered by the law.

The review would determine whether more civilian employees can be taken off furlough, said Navy Cmdr. William Urban, a Defense Department spokesman. As of Friday afternoon, the review had not been completed.

About 800,000 civilians work for the Department of Defense, and about half of them have been furloughed, Urban said.

Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., introduced a bill on Thursday that — if it became law — would amend the Pay Our Military Act to guarantee that all civilian defense workers, along with military reserve troops in training, would receive pay and benefits during the shutdown.
— Renee Schoof, McClatchy Washington Bureau


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Coach Bags Outlet

Shezanne Cassim, the American jailed in the United Arab Emirates after posting a video parody, was sentenced Monday to one year in prison and a fine of 10,000 UAE dirhams (approximately $2,700).
The young American living in the UAE has been imprisoned since April, his family says, for posting what was intended to be a funny video on the Internet.
He was accused of defaming the UAE's image abroad, according to The National, the country's main English-language newspaper.
The video in question is a 19-minute short that pokes fun at a clique of Dubai teens who are influenced by hip-hop culture. In the 1990s, the label "Satwa G" was coined for a group of suburban teens who were known to talk tougher than they really were.
The video depicts a look at a "combat school" in the suburb of Satwa, where these "gangsters" are trained. The training includes how to throw sandals at targets, using clothing accessories as whips, and how to call on the phone for backup.Cassim's family says the 29-year-old has been charged with endangering national security.The charges were not read out in court. UAE officials would only say "Mr. Cassim was charged under the UAE's penal code. Anyone charged with a crime under the laws of the UAE is entitled to the fair trial protections contained in the UAE's constitution."
Cassim, from Woodbury, Minnesota, moved to Dubai in 2006 after graduating from college to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
He and some friends made and posted the video online in 2012. He was arrested in April. He was interrogated and arrested in Dubai before being transferred to a maximum security prison in Abu Dhabi. His family says it was five months before he was notified of the charges against him.

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