Wikinews Shorts: December 11, 2008

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A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, December 11, 2008.

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British pound falls to new low against euro

£1 coin
£1 coin

The British pound sterling fell to a record low against the euro Wednesday, descending to under 1.14 euros for the first time. It reached new lows against other currencies as well.

One euro was worth 87.79 pence today, compared with the price of 71.91 pence a year ago. The United States dollar was trading at $1.4827 for a pound.

Some currency analysts speculate that the pound might be headed for parity — when one pound will be worth about one euro or dollar.


US retailer Office Depot to close down stores

Office Depot in Durham, NC
Office Depot in Durham, NC

The United States office supplies company Office Depot announced on Wednesday that it will close about 9% or 112 of its stores in North America and slash 2,200 jobs over the next three months.

The plan to close the stores will bring the chain's base to 1,163 stores. 45 stores are to be shut down in the Central US, 40 in the Northeastern US and Canada, 19 in the Western US, and eight in the South.

Six of Office Depot's 33 North American distribution facilities are also to be closed.

Shares of the company rose more than 12% on the news.


Obama calls on Illinois governor to step down

Rod Blagojevich

Barack Obama, the President-elect of the United States, has said that Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich should resign from his post. Obama's statement comes following Blagojevich's arrest on charges that he attempted to "sell" Obama's Senate seat, which the latter vacated to become President.

As governor of the state, Blagojevich has the authority to select Mr. Obama's successor to represent Illinois in the Senate.

Blagojevich has been charged with conspiracy and solicitation to commit bribery, crimes that are punishable by up to 20 and 10 years in jail, respectively.

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