Archives for FUBAR

Pentagon riddled with conflicts of interest

Pentagon employees have received millions of dollars in free travel and lodging from foreign countries, trade groups and companies with an interest in shaping policies or doing business with the U.S. military.

Defense officials say the arrangement is legal, saves taxpayers money and is carefully monitored to ensure there are no conflicts of interest. But government watchdogs say it allows donors to subtly exert influence for a small investment compared with the potential gain.


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Obama plans new curbs on Wall Street pay

An up and coming Wall Street executive might want to hold off on buying that condo in Aspen. The Obama administration is ready to issue broad new guidelines that would rein in pay at financial institutions.

Eager to remove incentives that they say contributed to last year's financial crisis, President Barack Obama's economic team plans to unfurl broad executive pay principles, possibly as early as Wednesday, that put a premium on long-term performance over short-term gain.


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With hurdles cleared, Chrysler ready for sale

Chrysler was a step closer to emerging from bankruptcy protection Wednesday, a day after opponents of the automaker's planned partnership with Italy's Fiat exhausted their appeals in an effort to halt the Obama administration-backed sale.

Late on Tuesday, the Supreme Court cleared the way for the sale of the bulk of Chrysler LLC's assets to Fiat Group SpA, rejecting an appeal by a trio of Indiana pension and construction funds, consumer groups and others to block the transaction.


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Banks set to repay government

Ten big US banks got approval Tuesday to repay 68 billion dollars in capital from the Treasury, in the latest sign the ailing financial sector is standing on its own without government aid.

President Barack Obama welcomed the news but warned that the troubles of the sector were far from over.

Obama said that "it is worth noting that in the first round of repayments from these companies, the government has actually turned a profit."

But the president warned "this is not a sign that our troubles are over -- far from it."

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First Gitmo detainee in U.S. for trial

U.S. authorities have brought the first Guantanamo Bay detainee to the United States, flying him into New York to face trial for bombing U.S. embassies, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

The department said Ahmed Ghailani arrived in the early morning hours Tuesday. U.S. Marshals took custody of Ghailani from his military jailers and brought him to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. Ghailani is scheduled to appear in Manhattan federal court later Tuesday.


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Court to judges: Avoid appearance of bias

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that elected judges must step aside from cases when large campaign contributions from interested parties create the appearance of bias.

By a 5-4 vote in a case from West Virginia, the court said that a judge who remained involved in a lawsuit filed against the company of the most generous supporter of his election deprived the other side of the constitutional right to a fair hearing.


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Supremes slap freeze on Chrysler deal

Italian auto maker Fiat has vowed to stick with plans to forge an alliance with distressed US group Chrysler after a US Supreme Court decision put a temporary freeze on the transaction.

"Fiat is committed (to a tie-up with Chrysler) even after June 15," a Fiat spokesman told AFP. The company is entitled to pull out of the deal after that date if Chrysler's recovery plan has not been fully approved.


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Report finds billions of waste in Iraq, Afghanistan

The Defense Department has failed to provide adequate oversight over tens of billions of dollars in contracts to support military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, says a new report by an independent commission investigating waste and fraud in wartime spending.

U.S. reliance on private sector employees has grown to "unprecedented proportions," yet the government has no central database of who all these contractors are, what they do or how much they're paid, the bipartisan commission found.


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Justice official warned torture would backfire

Senior Justice Department lawyers in 2005 sought to limit tough interrogation tactics against terror suspects, but were overruled.

James Comey, then the No. 2 official at the Justice Department, tried to convince Attorney General Alberto Gonzales that some of the tactics were wrong and would eventually damage the reputation of the department.

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