The U.S. will bring home 34,000 troops from Afghanistan by this time next year. President Obama is expected to announce the news tonight in his State of the Union address. That will cut the force in half and set the stage for the pullout of most of the remaining U.S. troops by the end of 2014. The drawdown from Afghanistan is just one of several developments today on Capitol Hill that will have a big impact on the Pentagon.
Something that President Obama is not likely to dwell on tonight is the feeble state of campaign finance laws. It was three years ago that he used the State of the Union to challenge the Supreme Court on its Citizens United decision, which encouraged more corporate money in politics. This year, though, he has his own tax-exempt social welfare group backed with corporate contributions to help advance his agenda. NPR's Peter Overby reports.
It's evident to anyone who's visited New York City that it is a loud place to live. Also, that much of the noise is caused by frustrated drivers.
(SOUNDBITE OF CAR HORNS)
SIEGEL: Well, when it comes to honking, New York is making a U-turn. City officials are removing hundreds of don't honk signs from the streets. They say there is no evidence the signs are working. But as NPR's Joel Rose reports, others say New York is admitting defeat in the war on noise.
Finally this hour, an unexpected announcement from the world of Olympic sport. The International Olympic Committee Executive Board has decided to drop wrestling from the games beginning in 2020. It is a major blow to the sport, which is among the world's oldest. Today, wrestling is represented on every continent. NPR's Mike Pesca reports on fallout from the decision.