US military leaders: cause for firings


US military leaders: cause for firings

washington

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, fired from his command in Afghanistan last May and now facing a court-martial on charges of sodomy, adultery and pornography and more, is just one in a long line of commanders whose careers were ended because of possible sexual misconduct.

Sex has proved to be the downfall of presidents, members of Congress and other notables. It’s also among the chief reasons that senior military officers are fired.

At least 30 percent of military commanders fired over the past eight years lost their jobs because of sexually related offenses, including harassment, adultery, and improper relationships, according to statistics compiled by The Associated Press.

The figures bear out growing concerns by Defense Department and military leaders over declining ethical values among U.S. forces.

Merkel’s coalition loses state vote

berlin

Germany’s center-left opposition won a wafer-thin victory over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition in a major state election Sunday, dealing a setback as she seeks a third term at the helm of Europe’s biggest economy later this year.

The opposition Social Democrats and Greens won a single-seat majority in the state legislature in Lower Saxony, ousting the coalition of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union and the pro-market Free Democrats that has run the northwestern region for 10 years. The same parties form the national government.

Schumer: Senate Dems to pass budget

washington

Senate Democrats intend to approve a budget for the first time in almost four years, a prominent lawmaker said Sunday, but he said it will call for higher tax revenues that Republicans are sure to oppose.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said an announcement by House Republicans that they plan to approve a short-term increase in the nation’s borrowing limit without demanding spending cuts was “positive step.” He added, though, the extension should be longer than the three months they have outlined.

UN: Prisoners still tortured by Afghans

kabul, afghanistan

Afghan authorities are still torturing prisoners, such as hanging them by their wrists and beating them with cables, the United Nations said, a year after it first documented the abuse and won government promises of detention reform.

The latest report shows little progress in curbing abuse in Afghan prisons despite efforts by the U.N. and international military forces in Afghanistan. The report released Sunday also cites instances where Afghan authorities tried to hide mistreatment from U.N. monitors.

2nd chemist accused

northampton, mass.

A chemist at a state crime lab tampered with drug evidence, authorities said Sunday in Massachusetts, where a chemist at another lab was accused last year of faking test results in a scandal that threw thousands of criminal cases into question.

Sonja Farak, who works at a lab in Amherst, Mass., removed from a case file a substance that tested positive for cocaine and replaced it with one that didn’t, state Attorney General Martha Coakley said. Evidence suggests Farak stole drugs that already had been tested, prosecutors said.

Farak, of Northampton, was arrested Saturday.

Associated Press

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