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AP Exclusive: Accusations dog Russian copter deal PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by RICHARD LARDNER, Associated Press   
Monday, 09 December 2013 07:46

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. military officials insisted a top-secret Pentagon study proved the need to buy Russian helicopters for Afghanistan's security forces. But the study actually recommended an American-made rotorcraft, according to unclassified excerpts obtained by The Associated Press.

The excerpts show the U.S. Army's workhorse Chinook, built by Boeing Co. in Pennsylvania, was "the most cost-effective single platform type fleet for the Afghan Air Force over a 20-year" period.

The finding has triggered allegations the Defense Department misled members of Congress and improperly cut U.S. companies out of competing for a contract that has swelled to more than $1 billion.

More than two years since DOD announced it was acquiring Russian Mi-17 helicopters, a veil of secrecy still obscures the pact despite its high-dollar value, the potential for fraud and waste, and accusations the Pentagon muffled important information.

The unprecedented arms deal also serves as a reminder to a war-weary American public that Afghanistan will remain heavily dependent on U.S. financial support even after its combat troops depart.

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Rising riches: 1 in 5 in U.S. reaches affluence PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by HOPE YEN, Associated Press   
Monday, 09 December 2013 07:16

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's not just the wealthiest 1 percent.

Fully 20 percent of U.S. adults become rich for parts of their lives, wielding outsize influence on America's economy and politics. This little-known group may pose the biggest barrier to reducing the nation's income inequality.

The growing numbers of the U.S. poor have been well documented, but survey data provided to The Associated Press detail the flip side of the record income gap — the rise of the "new rich."

Made up largely of older professionals, working married couples and more educated singles, the new rich are those with household income of $250,000 or more at some point during their working lives. That puts them, if sometimes temporarily, in the top 2 percent of earners.

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EU warns Nokia not to become 'patent troll' PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 09 December 2013 07:44

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Europe's top regulator has warned Nokia not to try to become a "patent troll" after the Finnish company sold most of its cellphone-making business to Microsoft Corp. this year but retained its patent portfolio.

Joaquin Almunia said in a speech in Paris on Monday he had approved the $7.2 billion sale as not presenting problems on Microsoft's side, but there is a danger Nokia will now attempt to "extract higher returns" from its patent portfolio. "In other words...behave like a patent troll, or to use a more polite phrase, a patent assertion entity."

Almunia, in charge of competition at the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, warned he will open an antitrust case against the company if it attempts to take "illegal advantage" of its patents.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
New American Airlines CEO vows to make merger work PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DAVID KOENIG, AP Airlines Writer   
Monday, 09 December 2013 07:15

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines and US Airways seem an unlikely couple, even to the man who will lead the combined company after their merger on Monday.

Doug Parker says, however, that American's buttoned-down, corporate culture will be the perfect complement to his scrappy US Airways, where "we sometimes fire before we're ready."

At his spartan, temporary office in American's Fort Worth headquarters, the longtime US Airways CEO sat down for a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press.

Parker talked about the merger, the government's attempt to block the deal, looming competition from foreign airlines, and the public's perception of air travel. The answers have been edited for length and clarity.

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