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Crews work to clear Great Lakes shipping pathways PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by CHARLES D. WILSON, Associated Press JOHN FLESHER, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 05:59

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard crews kept up their battle Monday to clear pathways for vessels hauling vital raw materials on the ice-clogged Great Lakes, where a shipping logjam forced a weeklong shutdown of the nation's largest steel factory.

Traffic remained largely at a crawl after a winter that produced some of the heaviest ice on record across the five inland seas, where more than half the surface area remained solid this week. Icebreaking ships slogging across Lake Superior were still encountering ice layers 2 feet to 3 feet thick. In some areas, wind and wave action created walls of ice up to 14 feet high.

United States Steel Corp.'s plant in Gary, Ind., had resumed limited operations after receiving a shipment over the weekend of iron ore from a company mill near Detroit, which was sending one additional load, spokeswoman Courtney Boone said.

Two ships were scheduled to arrive Tuesday with ore from mines in northern Minnesota following a two-week voyage across Lake Superior, which ordinarily would take three days.

Other companies were hoping their supplies would be adequate to avoid significant disruptions.

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Only two midsize SUVs get top rating in crash tests PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 05:53

DETROIT (AP) — Only two of nine midsize SUVs got the highest rating in crash tests done by an insurance industry group.

The Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, both made by General Motors, received the highest "good" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Toyota Highlander got the second-best "acceptable" rating in tests of 2014 models.

But the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota 4Runner and Ford Explorer got "marginal" ratings, while the Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9 and Honda Pilot all were rated "poor."

The ratings are based on six crash test measurements done by the institute. Only the Equinox and Terrain got "good" ratings in a front overlap crash that mimics what happens when a car's front corner collides with another vehicle or an object like a utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver's side strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph.

The test, instituted in 2012, is more difficult than the U.S. government's frontal crash test, in which a car strikes a rigid barrier head-on at 35 mph. IIHS says hitting only part of the front end makes it harder for cars to manage the energy from a crash. The test "continues to challenge manufacturers more than a year and a half after its introduction," the institute said in a statement.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 05:54
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Getty Museum returns ancient manuscript to Greece PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 05:57

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The J. Paul Getty Museum will return a 12th century New Testament manuscript to a monastery in Greece after museum officials said they only recently learned it was stolen decades before the museum acquired it in 1983.

Getty officials said Monday that although the Byzantine illuminated New Testament was acquired as part of a larger, well documented collection, recently uncovered records from 1960 indicate it was removed from the monastery illegally.

It will remain at the Getty Center until June 22 as part of an exhibition called "Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Illumination at the Cultural Crossroads" before returning to Greece, along with numerous other objects on loan for the show.

The announcement of its return was made a day ahead of Tuesday's scheduled press preview of the exhibition that is to be attended by Greek Minister of Culture Panos Panagiotopoulos.

"We applaud the Getty for their responsiveness to this matter," Panagiotopoulos said in a statement. "Their decision to return this precious Byzantine manuscript honors the spirit of our 2011 Framework for Cultural Cooperation."

In recent years, the museum has returned several artifacts to Greece, Turkey and Italy that the nations complained were taken from their countries illegally.

Museum officials say they have never knowingly acquired any artifacts whose provenance was in dispute.

In the case of the New Testament, officials said its disappearance was never reported to authorities and thus was never listed on any database of stolen art.

"Over the past six weeks, the Getty Museum has worked cooperatively with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports to understand the recent history of this manuscript and to resolve the matter of its rightful ownership in a timely fashion," Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, said in a statement. "Based on new information that came to light through this process, the museum decided that the right course of action was to return the manuscript to the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou from which it disappeared over 50 years ago."

Panagiotopoulos said the manuscript was copied in 1133 by the scribe Theoktistos and is considered a masterpiece of Middle Byzantine art.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Next year's high-skilled visas snapped up in days PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 07 April 2014 14:37

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses seeking highly skilled workers from overseas took less than a week to snap up all 85,000 visas available for next year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Monday.

The agency had been accepting applications just since April 1 for the 2015 fiscal year quota of the highly coveted H-1B visas, which are used for computer programmers, engineers and other skilled workers employed in the Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

It's no surprise that the cap was reached quickly. That's happened repeatedly in recent years and is a key issue that drove business executives to lobby for comprehensive immigration reform.

The far-reaching immigration bill that passed the Senate last year included a major increase in H-1B visas along with other changes making it easier to bring skilled workers to the U.S.

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