D.C.

Defense furloughs cut from 11 to 6 days

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WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. defense officials say they will be able to ease the pain of mandatory, unpaid furloughs that civilian employees have had to bear for a month because of budgetary pressures.

The Associated Press learned that civilians facing 11 unpaid days off will have those cut to six days.

Officials say the Pentagon found sufficient savings in the final months of the current fiscal year to lessen the burden on those who have had to take a day off a week without pay since early July.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved the final numbers this week after meeting with top leaders. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The decision comes as about 650,000 civilian workers began their fifth week of furloughs.

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