What's News: Thursday, Feb. 7

...CIA hearings...drones...spending cuts

The White House in Winter. (Photo: Paul Brandus/West Wing Reports)
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West Wing Reports and NewsRoomAmerica
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Confirmation hearings for the President's CIA nominee...the White House shares information on its secretive drone program with lawmakers...and the stakes rise in the battle over coming spending cuts. Here's a look at these stories and other news that happened while you were sleeping ...from Newsroom America and West Wing Reports:

BRENNAN CONFIRMATION HEARINGS BEGIN 

Reuters: President Obama's nominee to head the CIA, John Brennan, is expected to face tough questioning about leaks of sensitive information and U.S. spy activities from waterboarding to the use of drones when he appears at a Senate confirmation hearing...

TARGETING DRONE KILLINGS

New York Times: The White House’s order to release classified documents backing drone attacks on Americans comes two days after 11 Senators joined a growing chorus of calls for more information about the justification for targeted killings, especially of United States citizens...

HAGEL NOMINATION VOTE POSTPONED

Fox News: A Senate committee has postponed a vote on former Sen. Chuck Hagel's nomination to be defense secretary after Republicans accused him in a letter of withholding financial disclosure information from his time in the Senate.

$5.7 BILLION SAVED ON DRUGS

USA Today: Seniors have saved about $5.7 billion on prescription drugs since January 2011 because of provisions in the 2010 health care law meant to close the Medicare "doughnut hole," the government plans to announce today...

INTERIOR NOMINEE SALLY JEWELL

Washington Post: President Obama’s unconventional pick to lead the Interior Department — a former oil engineer and commercial banker who heads the consumer co-op Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) — represents an effort by the administration to defuse the partisan fight over conservation and energy...

MILITARY PAY POKER

CNN: The showdown over who will bear the brunt of deep cuts to government spending has become a game of political poker with the nation's troops caught in the middle, political experts and members of the military say...

IRAN SANCTIONS

BBC News: The U.S. has tightened existing sanctions on Iran, in an effort to push Tehran to abandon its alleged nuclear weapons programme.

AIRLINE MERGER

CBS News: A deal for American Airlines and US Airways to merge is likely to be agreed on early next week, according to sources.

STATE OF THE UNION

NBC News: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will deliver Republicans' response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.

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