Ground zero workers in court on 9/11 settlement

Ground zero recovery workers who say they suffered health problems after inhaling the ash and dust left by the collapse of the World Trade Center plan to go before a federal judge Friday who’s considering whether to approve a multimillion-dollar legal settlement.

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The deal would split $575 million to $657 million among 10,000 police officers, firefighters and other laborers involved in the massive cleanup after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. A number of workers have signed up to address U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein on Friday, and the judge has said a select number will get a chance to speak at the hearing.

If Hellerstein OKs the settlement, workers would have three months to accept or reject it. At least 95 percent would have to say yes for it to take effect. The judge is not expected to release his decision immediately.

Hellerstein has indicated that he wants a role in ensuring that the settlement is fair to both sides. [Read the full article]

Aerospace and defense company EADS said Friday it is considering a new bid for a $35 billion Pentagon contract for midair refueling tankers but will only compete if it has a fair chance against rival Boeing Co.

A consortium of EADS and Northrop Grumman pulled out of the bidding for the long-awaited, 179-tanker contract earlier this month. They said the terms of the deal appeared designed to favor a smaller jet offered by Boeing.

But Thursday, the Defense Department “indicated it would welcome a proposal from EADS North America as prime contractor for the KC-X tanker competition,” according to a statement Friday from EADS. [Read the full article]

Remember when everybody blamed short sellers for the demise of Lehman Brothers?

Short sellers were immoral. Their greed brought capitalism to its knees. What they were doing was downright un-American.

Well, a new 2,209-page report goes into excruciating detail about the collapse of the Wall Street firm that helped trigger the financial meltdown.

Want to know who did in Lehman? Lehman, that’s who. Lousy management. Misleading accounting. Faulty oversight. Just like the shorts said all along.

The report is vindication for Lehman investors who bet on its stock price falling. They had questioned Lehman’s finances months before its collapse, claims that were aggressively challenged by the investment bank’s management.

“The shorts were exactly right. Things were far worse than what anyone thought,” says Jim Chanos, a renowned short-seller who was first to warn about Enron before it collapsed in 2001. He did not short Lehman. [Read the full article]

President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders lobbied intensively for historic health care legislation Friday, striving to resolve a last-minute dispute over Medicare while gaining another precious “yes” 48 hours ahead of a climactic vote.

With a showdown set for Sunday on the House floor, Democratic leaders still didn’t command the 216 votes they needed, so every undecided lawmaker was the focus of personal attention from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House, and every “no”-to-“yes” conversion was trumpeted by party leaders.

Obama, who delayed an overseas trip to help ensure passage of the legislation, planned to meet with Democratic lawmakers at the White House Saturday afternoon. [Read the full article]

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