Archaeologists Discover Ancient Greek Royal Tombs Dating Back 3,500 Years : NPR


An aerial view of a 3,500-year-old tomb discovered near the southwestern Greek town of Pylos. Recovered grave goods included a golden seal ring and a golden Egyptian amulet.

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An aerial view of a 3,500-year-old tomb discovered near the southwestern Greek town of Pylos. Recovered grave goods included a golden seal ring and a golden Egyptian amulet.

AP

A team of American archaeologists has discovered two large ancient Greek royal tombs dating back some 3,500 years near the site of the ancient city of Pylos in southern Greece. The findings cast a new light on the role of the ancient city — mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey — in Mediterranean trade patterns of the Late Bronze Age.

Each of the two tombs — one about 39 feet in diameter and the other about 28 feet — was built in a dome-shape structure known as a tholos.

This golden pendant of the Egyptian goddess Hathor was found in one of two 3,500-year-old tombs.

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This golden pendant of the Egyptian goddess Hathor was found in one of two 3,500-year-old tombs.

Greek Culture Ministry/AP

Among the findings inside the tombs were evidence of gold-lined floors, a golden seal ring and a gold pendant with the image of the ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor. The amulet suggests that Pylos traded with Egypt during Greece’s Mycenaean civilization, which lasted roughly between 1650 and 1100 B.C. Homer’s epics are set in the latter stages of this period.

The discovery was made by Jack L. Davis and Sharon R. Stocker, an archaeological team from the University of Cincinnati. They had previously uncovered another burial site nearby in 2015 known as the Griffin Warrior grave. That site yielded significant findings including gold and silver treasure, jewelry and a long bronze sword believed to have possibly belonged to one of the early kings of Pylos.



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PG&E Announces $13.5 Billion Settlement Of Claims Linked To California Wildfires : NPR


Seen in August 2019, the remains of a home destroyed in Northern California’s 2018 Camp Fire.

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Seen in August 2019, the remains of a home destroyed in Northern California’s 2018 Camp Fire.

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Utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric announced a $13.5 billion settlement agreement to resolve all claims associated with several Northern California wildfires that killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of businesses and homes. The wildfires have been tied to the company’s equipment.

“We want to help our customers, our neighbors and our friends in those impacted areas recover and rebuild after these tragic wildfires,” said PG&E Corp. CEO and President Bill Johnson in a statement released late Friday.

The settlement fund, if accepted by a bankruptcy judge, will go to victims who lost loved ones and/or property, as well as government agencies and attorneys who have pressed the claims.

PG&E declared bankruptcy in January, saying it faced potential liabilities of $30 billion. The company hopes that the settlement will improve its prospects for emerging from bankruptcy before a court-imposed deadline in June.

The settlement covers the Camp Fire in 2018; the Tubbs Fire in 2017; the Butte Fire in 2015; and the Ghost Ship Fire in Oakland in 2016.

Victims seeking compensation will have to file claims by the end of the year. The deadline had been extended because tens of thousands of eligible victims had failed to file amid reports that many were still unaware that they could seek payments.



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UAW President Gary Jones Abruptly Resigns Amid Corruption Scandal : NPR


Former United Auto Workers President Gary Jones speaks during the opening of contract talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Auburn Hills, Mich., in July 2019. Jones resigned Wednesday.

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Former United Auto Workers President Gary Jones speaks during the opening of contract talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Auburn Hills, Mich., in July 2019. Jones resigned Wednesday.

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The president of the United Autoworkers Union, Gary Jones, abruptly resigned Wednesday just as union leaders announced they would expel him and another top UAW official in an unfolding corruption scandal.

In a related development, General Motors (GM) filed suit against rival Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) alleging that the company bribed UAW officials in order to get favorable labor contracts and disadvantage GM.

Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek reported that the UAW’s International Executive Board unanimously voted to expel Jones.

“That kickstarted the process to remove Gary Jones and another UAW official, Director Vance Pearson.

“Both men have been implicated in a corruption scheme that involved misusing union funds for personal expenses, then covering it up.

“Both Jones and Pearson had already taken leaves of absence. Pearson already faces federal charges, while Jones has so far not been charged.”

An attorney for Jones, Bruce Maffeo of New York, told The Associated Press that union president decided to resign before learning of the board’s action.

Hours earlier, GM filed its federal racketeering lawsuit alleging that FCA bribed UAW officials in order to get contracts allowing the company to pay some newer employees less money — known as two-tier pay — resulting in lower labor costs.

“This lawsuit is intended to hold FCA accountable for the harm its actions have caused our company and to ensure a level playing field going forward,” Craig Glidden, GM Executive Vice President and General Counsel, said in a statement.

The lawsuit alleges that FCA corrupted bargaining agreements in 2009, 2011 and 2015.

FCA responded with a statement dismissing GM’s lawsuit as “this extraordinary attempt at distraction” with claims that “are nothing more than a meritless attempt to divert attention from that company’s own challenges.”

GM’s lawsuit alleges that FCA’s former CEO Sergio Marchionne authorized bribes of more than $1.5 million paid to UAW officials. Marchionne died in 2018.

It also alleges that Marchionne hoped to force higher labor costs onto GM in hopes of furthering a plan to induce the company to merge with FCA.

As Michigan Radio’s Tracy Samilton reports,

“GM’s lawsuit piggybacks on a federal investigation into UAW corruption that began several years ago – resulting in three Fiat Chrysler executives going to prison, along with six guilty pleas (so far) by union officials.

“Federal authorities says the executives were involved in a bribery scheme meant to keep union officials “fat, dumb and happy,” (quoting one of the convicted FCA executives, Alphons Iacobelli) during contract talks.

“GM says normally, the union’s pattern bargaining results in similar labor costs for all three Detroit automakers.”



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