Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

The most magical place on earth isn't so magical.
Disney factory faces probe into sweatshop suicide claims -- Disney's best-selling Cars toys are being made in a factory in China that uses child labour and forces staff to do three times the amount of overtime allowed by law, according to an investigation. One worker reportedly killed herself after being repeatedly shouted at by bosses. Others cited worries over poisonous chemicals. Disney has now launched its own investigation.

Damages numbers are rolling in.
Tally of Damages Put at $12 Billion, but That Number Could Yet Rise -- The economic damage wrought by Hurricane Irene--everything from washed-out roads to lost hotel bookings--could hit $12 billion or more. That's the initial assessment of economists and insurance-industry officials who are beginning to count what was lost in the storm. Tallying hurricane costs means looking both at the physical damage as well as lost economic output. At this point, insurers are estimating they will pay out between $3 billion to $6 billion in claims. As a rule of thumb, economists figure the total economic losses from such storms are roughly equal to twice the size of the insured losses.

Whee!
US 'wasted $30bn on Afghanistan and Iraq' over decade -- The US government has wasted $30bn (£18bn) in contracts in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last decade, according to a bi-partisan spending commission. The commission on wartime contracting blamed an over-reliance on contractors, poor planning and fraud for the waste. It had evidence of lax accountability and inadequate competition, it said.

Extreme supplies.
Astronauts May Have to Abandon Space Station -- Astronauts will abandon the International Space Station, probably in mid-November, if rocket engine problems that doomed a Russian cargo ship last week are not diagnosed and fixed. Even if unoccupied, the space station can be operated by controllers on the ground indefinitely and would not be in immediate danger of falling out of orbit. Three Russian astronauts, two Americans and a Japanese are living on the space station.

- Sheena Moore

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