How Bad Can It Get News #1

Ex-officer alleges Iraq cover-ups

British soldiers in Iraq were involved in hundreds of incidents in which civilians died or were seriously injured but which were covered up or inadequately investigated, a former military police officer claimed today.

“If you were to look back at all the serious allegations arising out of operations in Iraq, there’s a catalogue of blunders, mistakes, ineptitude and the course of investigations being bent to serve the real or perceived interests of the chain of command of the army,” the ex-officer said.

He said he had “absolutely no trust and confidence in anyone in the army who is saying that the number of incidents are low”. /snip/

Dollar loses reserve status to yen & euro

Ben Bernanke’s dollar crisis went into a wider mode yesterday as the greenback was shockingly upstaged by the euro and yen, both of which can lay claim to the world title as the currency favored by central banks as their reserve currency.

Over the last three months, banks put 63 percent of their new cash into euros and yen — not the greenbacks — a nearly complete reversal of the dollar’s onetime dominance for reserves, according to Barclays Capital. The dollar’s share of new cash in the central banks was down to 37 percent — compared with two-thirds a decade ago. /snip/

£14.6billion: That’s the record amount Goldman Sachs staff will get in pay and bonuses

City bank Goldman Sachs is expected to confirm tomorrow that bonuses will smash all records in 2009, just a year after the Government rescued the financial system from oblivion.

The Wall Street giant is on course to lavish £14billion on pay and bonuses on staff this year following a surge in profits between July and September, experts said.

Goldman’s 5,500 UK workers are now set to pocket an average of almost £500,000 each for this year – the highest rewards in the firm’s 140-year history. /snip/

Obama approved 13,000 more troops to Afghanistan, over and above the 21,000 he just announced.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – In an unannounced move, President Barack Obama is dispatching an additional 13,000 US troops to Afghanistan beyond the 21,000 he announced publicly in March, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The additional forces are primarily support forces — such as engineers, medical personnel, intelligence experts and military police — the Post said, bringing the total buildup Obama has approved for the war-torn nation to 34,000.

“Obama authorized the whole thing. The only thing you saw announced in a press release was the 21,000,” a defense official familiar with the troop-approval process told the daily. /snip/

Nurses will sue New York over mandatatory vaccinations

The elderly, the young, and the frequently exposed are being advised to get vaccinated against H1N1 flu virus this year, due to predictions of a possible influenza epidemic. A new law in New York requires nurses and doctors to receive the vaccination by the end of November. A band of four nurses in Albany, however, is taking a stand against mandated vaccination. /snip/

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