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‘Huge Rise’ in hospital payout packages for staff

The cost of exit packages paid out by hospitals in the East of England in a bid to cut staff numbers has increased significantly, the BBC has learned.

Figures from 16 hospital trusts, which provided information for the current financial year, revealed the combined spending on staff exit packages had risen more than eight-fold since 2010.

More than £5m has been paid out by the trusts so far in 2011-12, compared with £1.65m the year before and £605,000 the year before that, according to figures obtained from a Freedom of Information request.

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Australia warned of handing prisoners over to Iraq

Previously-secret intelligence shows that Australian military leaders were concerned about handing over individuals captured by Australian forces during the Iraq war to the administration, ABC reports.

A declassified letter written in late 2004 to the then-prime minister, John Howard, warned that Australia may be in breach of its international legal obligations in handing over individuals who might be subject to the death penalty.

In June 2005, The Public Interest Advocacy Centre lodged a freedom of information (FOI) request with the Department of Defence for documents on Australia’s Defence Force operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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