Friday the 13th turned out to be very lucky for Michelle Braun and Dolores Hummel, both former employees of the popular Wal-Mart Inc. chain. The two workers sued the chain after they were forced to work during their break times. The jury found in favour of current and former employees in Pennsylvania to the tune of $78 million for wages lost between March of 1998 and May of 2006.
This was a blow to Wal-Mart’s already tarnished image. The chain has been accused of treating and paying employees poorly. Mike Donovan, attorney for the two workers, was thrilled with the outcome: “The message of today’s verdict to large retailers is that they can’t say one thing to their employees and do another.”
This is not the first time Wal-Mart has been in hot water, in December a Wal-Mart branch in Bentonville, Arkansas was ordered to pay $172 million to employees who were denied meal breaks.
Ugandan rebels have agreed to return to peace talks to end the country’s 19 year civil war. The Lord’s Resistance Army left talks recently after they claimed the army was surrounding neutral assembly points where the rebel forces had gathered. The army claimed they had done so after the rebel groups had began to leave the assembly points after a commitment to remain at the points until an agreement had been reached.
The two forces have been involved in one of Africa’s longest wars, both accusing the other of atrocities. The LRA, led by Joseph Kony, has long been supported by Sudan, causing the government to cut ties with this country.
The talks got back on track after rebels returned to the neutral assembly points and military convoys retreated. Said Martin Ojul, head of the rebel group; “The peace talks are on course, and we hope that we will come out with a solution.”
A BA flight from London to Boston made a rather unexpected delivery yesterday as one of its passengers gave birth to a healthy baby mid-flight.
Shortly after take off on Saturday night, one of the BA flight’s female passengers began to experience discomfort and then went into labour. The crew, trained in medical birthing procedures, helped to deliver the baby with the aid of two medical students who were on board.
The flight was diverted to Halifax in Nova Scotia where the woman and baby were taken to a medical centre. The baby was born 6 weeks premature.
Although flight crews are trained to deal with such eventualities, passengers are encouraged to avoid flying after 36 weeks, making this a rare occurrence.
After weeks of protesting following a leaked tape which contained a confession by Hungarian Prime Minister, Ferenc Gyurcsany, Hungarian protesters will have the opportunity to express themselves at the ballots. Sunday’s local elections will give the Hungarians a chance to vote for the Prime Minsiter, who was elected in April, or the opposition leader, Viktor Orban.
Protests are expected to continue into their second week, but perhaps will less ferver than before. The opposition party, Fidesz, claims that more than 50 percent of the vote will mean the current government will be ousted. Fidesz has not identified with the protestors after violent clashes last week. The protestors themselves are not aligned with any political group, and there is much dissent among the group, leading to criticism and an uncertainty about the outcome of the ballot. With protests more peaceful, the people of Hungary are looking forward to Sunday’s vote as a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
Studying at Yale is beyond the means of most, with high admissions standards and a hefty price tag of about $46 000 a year for tuition and board. Now, thanks to a new initiative to make the Ivy League school more accessible and a $755 000 grant, courses will be available for free on the internet.
This facility is already offered by other institutions including the likes of MIT and Princeton, Yale will be the first to offer videos to accompany course notes and transcripts of lectures. The initiative will include 7 first year courses.
The courses will not be counted as credits towards a Yale University Degree, nor will they substitute normal lectures.