Fourteen Americans were killed in Afghanistan on Monday in two separate incidents involving helicopters. Seven soldiers and three civilian employees of the United States embassy — all of them Americans — were killed in a helicopter crash in western Afghanistan, military officials said. And in southern Afghanistan, the midair collision of two coalition helicopters resulted in the deaths of four American soldiers. A spokeswoman said gunfire from insurgents was not to blame for the collision.
Retail gas prices are spiking to levels last seen in the heat of summer driving season, raising fears that consumers could cut back on holiday spending.
The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose for the 13th straight day, adding sixth-tenths of a cent overnight to $2.671, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.
Jan Hommen, the veteran cost-cutter who earlier this year took the reins at ING Group NV, the Dutch bancassurer bailed out by the government, has made the ultimate cut.
ING said on Monday it would split itself in two, disposing of its insurance operations over the next four years and raising 7.5 billion euros ($11.3 billion) in a rights issue.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said that spending is necessary to pull Germany out of its worst recession in modern history, justifying her government’s focus on tax cuts to generate economic growth.
Merkel, in a speech to a convention of her Christian Democratic Union in Berlin today, stood by tax cuts worth 24 billions euros ($36 billion), more than the 15 billion euros she had pledged before the Sept. 27 elections. Delegates approved the coalition’s policy platform for the next four years, after the Free Democrats backed the program yesterday. The Christian Social Union, Merkel’s Bavarian ally, approved it at a meeting in Munich, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.