With Syria's civil war raging, and a U.N.-backed peace plan essentially ignored by President Bashar al-Assad and the rebels he's battling, Kofi Annan, the United Nation's special envoy to Syria, is stepping down from his post. Annan's mandate was set to expire at month's end, and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced Thursday that Annan would not be renewing his post. Annan, who used to be U.N. secretary general, deserves "our profound admiration for the selfless way in which he put his formidable skills and prestige to this most difficult and potentially thankless of assignments," Ban Ki-moon said.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
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