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News In Brief

Economic cutbacks force Israel to reduce its Army

Israel's Army plans to fire 2,000 professional soldiers and civilian employees, re-cycle equipment, and cut back on training as part of a national economic austerity program.

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Prime Minister Shimon Peres's Cabinet decided to trim the defense budget, estimated at nearly $6 billion, in a battle to stop the drain on foreign currency and reduce inflation, running at about 600 percent so far this year.