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Pentagon's Base-Closing Plan Dealt Two Setbacks


A U.S. Defense Department plan to cut military bases across the United States has suffered two setbacks.

A federal base-closing panel voted Friday to keep open South Dakota's Ellsworth Air Base. It was a major political victory for the state's new Republican senator, John Thune, who defeated last year the Senate's top Democrat, former Minority Leader Tom Daschle.

During campaigning, Mr. Thune argued he would be in a better position to save Ellsworth - South Dakota's second-largest employer and home to a fleet of B-1 bombers.

In another decision, a federal judge threw out plans to close down a Pennsylvania Air National Guard division. The judge said the Pentagon does not have the power to dissolve the 111th Fighter Wing without the approval of Governor Ed Rendell.

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