Powerful message? President Barack Obama addressed the UN General Assembly this morning in a 50-minute speech that touched on recent attacks in Kenya, Syria’s chemical weapons stash, and his desire for better relations with Iran. On Syria and other international conflicts, the president called on other UN member states to do more to help resolve disputes. He urged the UN Security Council to pass a resolution promising to enforce the Russian-brokered deal requiring Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government to give up its chemical weapons stockpile. To Obama, enforcement equals military action. But the Russians aren’t willing to go that far, the same disagreement that’s kept the international body stymied for the last few years. “If we cannot agree even on this, then it will show that the UN is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws,” Obama said. “On the other hand, if we succeed, it will send a powerful message that the use of chemical weapons has no place in the 21st century, and that this body means what it says.”
Going home. The Oklahoma Supreme Court cleared the last hurdle between “Baby Veronica” and her adoptive parents late last night, allowing the girl to return to Matt and Melanie Capobianco. The couple, from Charleston, S.C., plan to take the girl home in the next few days, according to a family spokeswoman. The Capobiancos’ adoption battle began in 2009 and went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled earlier this year the South Carolina high court erred in giving the girl to her biological father, Dusten Brown. The state court based its 2011 ruling on the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, which dictates Native American families should be kept together, if at all possible. Although the South Carolina court eventually gave custody back to the Capobiancos, Brown refused to give Veronica up. After a months-long battle that included Brown’s extradition to South Carolina to face charges of interfering with a court order, he finally agreed to stop fighting the adoption.
Violating God’s commands. Vandals in Washington, D.C., toppled a Ten Commandments monument that sits near the U.S. Supreme Court building, leaving the 850-pound granite statue face down in the dirt sometime between Friday and Saturday nights. The vandals also left a “For Rent” sign next to the monument, which is owned by the advocacy group Faith and Action. The organization bought and installed the monument at its Washington headquarters in 2006, purposely pointing it in the direction of the Supreme Court building. The monument is not damaged, but the vandals bent a steel rod holding it in place. Once crews have it upright again, Faith and Action plans to install security cameras to help monitor the site. The Rev. Robert Schenck, who heads the organization, said the incident helped convey an important message: “We all violate the Ten Commandments.”
Snail G-mail. Google mail users are back on track today after a widespread glitch left them with delayed messages and attachments that wouldn’t download for most of Monday. Tech analysts estimate it was the largest Google service outage ever, affecting about 200 million users. Google reps at first said the outage hit fewer than a quarter of 1 percent of users but later acknowledged the glitch struck about half of its customers, including businesses that pay for the service.