August 2012 Archives

Looted treasures return to Afghan

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More than 800 historical artifacts have been returned to Afghanistan on Sunday with the help of the British Museum and the UK's Ministry of Defense, the BBC reported. The artifacts were handed over to the museum in Kabul.

Afghanistan's National Museum lost about 70 percent of its artifacts during the civil war in the early 1990s. These items were sold in the black market, AFP reported.

Some were intercepted after they were smuggled to U.K. by the border forces. Others were recovered by the Metropolitan Police in London, the BBC reported.

Some artifacts were acquired by donors on behalf the museum, AFP reported.

" God willing, we will never see days as bad as that again," said Fahim Rahimi, the chief curator of Afghanistan's National Museum about the stolen artifacts, the BBC reported.

"I am happy as an Afghan that all of these pieces that are so important to the history and culture of this country are back with us," Rahimi said, the BBC reported.

UN condemns Syria in a resolution

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The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution that condemns the government of Syria on Friday. The resolution also criticized the Security Council's failure to act, Al Jazeera reported.

The 193 member states passed the Saudi-drafted resolution with 133 votes in favor, 12 against and 31 absentees. The countries voted against the resolution are the permanent members of the Security Council China and Russia, and other countries that criticize West, Reuters reported.

Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, said powerful countries are harming the rebels and the government. "The immediate interests of the Syrian people must be paramount over any larger rivalries of influence," Ban said, Al Jazeera reported.

Kofi Annan resigned as Syria peace envoy. Annan said "finger-pointing and name-calling in the Security Council " was one of many reasons for his resignation, Reuters reported.

Annan resigns as Syria peace envoy

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Kofi Annan announced his resignation as the special peace envoy for Syria on Thursday, the New York Times reported.

Annan said the Security Council was blame to his resignation. He said "finger-pointing and name-calling in the Security Council " was the reason for him to quit, Reuters reported.

"It is clear that President Bashar al-Assad must leave office," Annan said in an opinion article on The Financial Times, Reuters reported. He called the Syrian government's rule as "40 years of dictatorship."

"Kofi Annan deserves our profound admiration for the selfless way in which he has put his formidable skills and prestige to this most difficult and potentially thankless of assignments," Ban said, Reuters reported.

Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, said Annan's successor will be appointed after his mandate expires, the New York Times reported.

A court ordered same-sex couples can inherit each other's assets, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) reported.

The court ruled Minnesota's Defense Marriage Act or DOMA does on prohibit same-sex couples receiving "benefits of marriage," Star Tribune reported.

In 2008, James Morrison and Thomas Propel married in California after being in a committed relationship for nearly 25 years. Proehl died last year due to heart attack without a will, MPR reported.

" What I found was a great deal of sympathy and empathy, but the law just wouldn't allow them to resolve our estate without having to go to court," said Morrison, MPR reported.

Under DOMA, Proehl's parents will inherit their son's $ 250,000 million assets. But, they want Morrison of Minneapolis to inherit the assets. Morrison will inherit his partner's assets, Star Tribune reported.

"The marriage amendment doesn't change any rights or benefits same-sex couples currently have," said Autumn Leva, a spokeswoman for Minnesota for Marriage, Star Tribune reported.

Customers shows support to Chick-fil-A

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Many patrons of Chick-fil-A came to the chain's restaurants across the country to support the company and its president's opposition to same-sex marriage on Wednesday, USA Today reported.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called for " Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" after some criticized Dan Cathy, president of the company, said he opposes same-sex marriage in an interview with the Baptist Press , CNN reported.

"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy said, CNN reported.

General Mills and Starbucks announced their support for gay marriage. The National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage, called for boycott against these companies, USA Today reported.

Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, donated $ 2.5 million to Washington United for Marriage, a group that opposes a ballot that will invalidate gay marriage in Washington, USA Today reported.

Supervalu lays off more workers

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Supervalu Inc. will lay off 85 IT workers in the country, including 50 workers in Eden Prairie, Minneapolis / St.Paul Business Journal reported.

The supermarket has been struggling has fired its CEO Craig Herkert and laid off dozens of employees in the past 18 months, Star Tribune reported.

Jeff Swanson, a spokesman for Supervalu, said the company reorganizing IT workers to be generalist than specialist. The company will hire highly skilled workers for few positions, Star Tribune reported.

The company said it was exploring options to sell all or part of the company. The unions are anxiously waiting for the next move by the company, including United Food & Commercial Workers that has been representing 84,000 of the company's 130,000 employees, Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal reported .

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