Egyptian treasures found in ancient tomb

">
Egyptian treasures found in ancient tomb

Friday, March 13, 2009

A team of archaeologists excavating an Ancient Egyptian tomb have discovered golden jewelry in a recently-discovered lower chamber at the Valley of the Kings burial site in Luxor, Egypt.

Two golden rings and five golden earrings were found in the tomb of Djehuty, an 18th-dynasty official of Queen Hatshepsut, and were probably the property of Djehuty or his family.

The discovery was announced by Farouk Hosni, Egypt’s current Minister of Culture.

Djehuty was overseer of the treasury and overseer of works for the Queen. Hatshepsut reigned approximately 1479–1458 BCE. Djehuty was responsible for managing the huge amounts of precious goods brought in from Egypt’s military expedition to Punt in the Horn of Africa and the vast building projects of Hatshepsut which have made the female pharaoh one of the most-remembered of any from ancient Egypt.

Djehuty died after Hatshepsut did, sometime during the reign of Thutmosis III. Both Hatshepsut’s and Thutmosis’s names are recorded on the tomb. In a fashion typical of ancient Egyptian rivalries, Hatshepsut’s name was partly obscured on the monument over the tomb sometime after the queen’s death.

The team, led by José Manuel Galán of the National Research Center (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC), in Madrid, Spain, had been excavating the tomb, designated TT11 and located in the necropolis of Dra’ Abu el-Naga’, since 2002. While much of Djehuty’s funerary equipment was lost to fire in antiquity, the lower chamber of his tomb was concealed at the end of a three-meter shaft and discovered at the end of 2008.

A superficial description of the tomb itself was recorded almost two hundred years ago by 19th-century French Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion, rubble blocking the entrance hindered excavation until the 21st century. In that time, emphasis in Egyptology has changed from the cataloging of treasures to the investigation of ancient culture, life and religion.

Since excavation began, Djehuty’s tomb has yielded a number of surprises. It was discovered that the tomb was re-used repeatedly up to and during the Greco-Roman period. There is an unusual face-on depiction of pharaoh Thutmosis III hunting ducks, and the mummy of a young, bejewelled, as-yet unidentified woman.

In 2007, 44 preserved bunches of flowers thought to be from Djehuty’s funeral were found in the site. In their 8th season of excavation, which ended on February 22, 2009, the team also found considerable evidence that below Djehuty’s tomb is a network of burial sites from the 11th dynasty, four thousand years old.

The lower chamber also displays passages from the Egyptian funerary text the Book of the Dead on its walls and a colorful mural of the goddess Nut, an embodiment of the heavens, on the ceiling. The names of Djehuty and his parents were also intact in the second chamber; the names were defaced in the previously-known first chamber of the tomb, which had also been looted.

According to a press release from Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Djehuty’s tomb is only the fifth known decorated burial chamber of the 18th dynasty. An additional unusual feature of the tomb is that its upper chamber is decorated in relief, rather than simply paint. When the excavation is completed, Dr Galán’s team plans to open the site to the public as the carved stoneworks will not be destroyed by tourists’ activities as paint would.

The identification of Djehuty is a complicated one, as a number of officials of the 18th dynasty bore the name, including a general and several governors. The name itself is an alternate transliteration of the name of the Egyptian god usually written in English as Thoth.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Shimon Peres discusses the future of Israel

">
Shimon Peres discusses the future of Israel

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

This year Israel turns sixty and it has embarked upon a campaign to celebrate its birthday. Along with technology writers for Slate, PC Magazine, USA Today, BusinessWeek, Aviation Weekly, Wikinews was invited by the America-Israel Friendship League and the Israeli Foreign Ministry to review Israel’s technology sector. It’s part of an effort to ‘re-brand the country’ to show America that there is more to Israel than the Palestinian conflict. On this trip we saw the people who gave us the Pentium processor and Instant Messaging. The schedule was hectic: 12-14 hours a day were spent doing everything from trips to the Weizmann Institute to dinner with Yossi Vardi.

On Thursday, the fifth day of the junket, David Saranga of the foreign ministry was able to arrange an exclusive interview for David Shankbone with the President of Israel, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Shimon Peres. For over an hour they spoke about Iranian politics, whether Israel is in danger of being side-lined in Middle Eastern importance because of Arab oil wealth, and his thoughts against those who say Israeli culture is in a state of decay.

The only crime I committed was to be a little bit ahead of time. And if this is the reason for being controversial, maybe the reason is better than the result.

Shimon Peres spent his early days on kibbutz, a bygone socialist era of Israel. In 1953, at the age of 29, Peres became the youngest ever Director General of the Ministry of Defense. Forty years later it was Peres who secretly gave the green light for dialogue with Yassir Arafat, of the verboten Palestine Liberation Organization. It was still official Israeli policy to not speak with the PLO. Peres shares a Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzak Rabin and Arafat for orchestrating what eventually became the Oslo Accords. The “roadmap” that came out of Oslo remains the official Israeli (and American) policy for peace in the Palestinian conflict. Although the majority of Israeli people supported the plans, land for peace was met with a small but fiery resistance in Israel. For negotiating with Arafat, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shouted at Peres, “You are worse than Chamberlain!” a reference to Hitler’s British appeaser. It was during this time of heated exchanges in the 1990s that Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir, a Jew who thought it against Halakhic law to give up land given by God (Hashem).

Peres is the elder statesman of Israeli politics, but he remembers that he has not always been as popular as he is today. “Popularity is like perfume: nice to smell, dangerous to drink,” said Peres. “You don’t drink it.” The search for popularity, he goes on to say, will kill a person who has an idea against the status quo.

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Shimon Peres, the President of Israel.

Contents

  • 1 Israeli technology
  • 2 The future of the peace process in Israel
  • 3 The waning importance of history
  • 4 Is Israel a united society?
  • 5 Iran: will Israel strike first?
  • 6 The 2006 Lebanon War
  • 7 On American politics
  • 8 Peres on his Presidency and learning from the future, not the past
  • 9 Related news
  • 10 Sources
Filed under: Uncategorized

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

">
Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

Filed under: Uncategorized

American Samoa received eight minutes warning before 2009 tsunami

">
American Samoa received eight minutes warning before 2009 tsunami
Published by
May 07

Friday, September 24, 2010

People in American Samoa were given only eight minutes warning that a tsunami, which killed 32 people in the unincorporated territory, resulting from the 2009 Samoa earthquake, was approaching. A report published by the United States Congress admits that the warning was issued sixteen minutes after the 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck Samoa. The tsunami killed nearly 200 people in American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga.

The report, written by the National Research Council, describes the length of time between the earthquake and the initial tsunami warning being issued as “relatively long”, and states that the standard time for such a warning to be issued to be around two minutes. The study also revealed that one third of tsunami sensors are not working at any given time.

John Orcutt, a [seismologist and head of the committee that wrote the report, described the delay as a “major concern”, but he also said that “a large number of people” in American Samoa “didn’t understand and there were lives that were lost because people simply didn’t take the action to get away from the shore when they felt this huge earthquake. People have to understand the signs of a tsunami and head to higher ground.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, whose purpose is to coordinate the response to a disaster that has occurred in the United States and that overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities, and the Government of American Samoa did not respond to e-mails regarding the news.

The study also notes that people living in other coastal cities around the world are at risk of being unprepared for tsunamis that arrive soon after the earthquake occurs, stating that in many places, warnings might not be issued in time. “If the source were so close to shore that only minutes were available before the tsunami reached the coast, the public would need to recognize natural [signs of a tsunami approaching].” The report states that when they fear a tsunami is imminent, people should know to evacuate even “without official warnings.”

The report warns that because tsunamis are so rare, people living near the coast do not know what to do, but it also criticises authorities for not informing citizens of how to react when a tsunami is approaching. “Everybody thought that the tsunami was a single wave, and once the expected landfall time came and left, they thought it was over,” said Costas Synolakis, who is director of the Tsunami Research Center at the University of Southern California, and one of the report’s authors. He continued, “In fact, tsunamis are a series of waves that can last for three to four hours.”

He said that the United States must take action, training first responders in low-lying coastal areas, and adding more tsunami sensors to give advance warning of approaching waves. Synolakis added that, after receiving warning that there may have been a tsunami on the way after the Chile earthquake earlier this year, the response of firefighters at the Port of Los Angeles was poor because they were unfamiliar with how to deal with such a threat.

In the capital of American Samoa, Pago Pago, the tsunami measured 1.57 meters in height. The superintendent of the National Park of American Samoa Mike Reynolds reported four waves as high as six meters. People who experienced the quake said it was long, lasting from 90 seconds to three minutes. “Pago Pago city streets were strewn with overturned vehicles, cars, and debris. Some buildings located only slightly above sea level were completely destroyed by the waves, and power in some locations is not expected to be restored for up to a month,” Wikinews reported at the time.

Didi Afuafi, 28, who was riding on a bus in American Samoa when the tsunami struck, described her experiences. “I was scared. I was shocked. All the people on the bus were screaming, crying and trying to call their homes. We couldn’t get on cell phones. The phones just died on us. It was just crazy,” she said. “This is going to be talked about for generations.” U.S. President Barack Obama said of the disaster: “My deepest sympathies are with the families who lost loved ones and many people who have been affected by the earthquake and the tsunami.”

The people of American Samoa will, next Wednesday, according to a press release by the government, “hold island-wide services to honor the memories of the 34 loved ones who lost their lives” during the tsunami. Church services will be held at 6:00 a.m., followed at 6:48 a.m.—the time when the earthquake occured—thirty-two bells will be rung in memory of those who perished.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Arctic ice thickness decreasing, suggests satellite data study

">
Arctic ice thickness decreasing, suggests satellite data study
Published by
May 07

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A recent study based on satellite radar altimetry indicates drastic thinning of Arctic ice during the winter of 2007. It was found that the ice thickness had been fairly constant for the five previous winters. The researchers were able to highlight widespread ice thinning in areas covered by both old and young ice. This thinning constitutes the most severe since records started being taken in the early 1990s.

The study by scientists of University College London has been published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The work provides the first definitive proof for overall decrease in Arctic ice volume, claim the authors.

The researchers have found that last winter’s ice thickness represented a decrease of an average of 26 centimeters below the 2002-2008 winter average. The greatest decline of 49 centimeters was in the western Arctic, which could explain the region’s becoming relatively ice-free this summer, allowing it to be open to shipping for the first time in 30 years. The record low of ice thickness during summer happened when the weather was not abnormally warm.

About five years ago, the average projection for the sea ice disappearing was about 2080. But the ice minimums, and this evidence of melting, suggests that we should favor the models that suggest the sea ice will disappear by 2030-2040, but there is still a lot of uncertainty.

Katharine Giles, the lead author, points out that the study used satellite data sets, which had a number of advantages over other methods. Previous studies have used measurements from drilling, or submarine and airborne surveys. These studies could be severely limited by time and space. The present study utilized continuous, all-weather, day-and-night radar altimeter data from the European Space Agency’s Envisat satellite. The study measured ice thickness from October to March, 2007, over more than half of the Arctic.

There has been considerable uncertainty over the causes of ice loss in the Arctic. It has been debated that ice could have been piled up against the coast, thus reducing the sea ice extent. Measurements of the ice thickness, as in the present study, give definite proof for ice melting. “So this means melting; it doesn’t mean that the ice has just been pushed up against the coastline,” remark Seymour Laxon, co-author of the paper.

The conclusions of the study can help predict what could happen with the ice cover in future. Deflection of sunlight by the Arctic ice cap could be reduced, leading to larger areas of water, which can absorb heat. Warmer temperatures will in turn promote more ice melting. “About five years ago, the average projection for the sea ice disappearing was about 2080”, said Dr Laxon. “But the ice minimums, and this evidence of melting, suggests that we should favor the models that suggest the sea ice will disappear by 2030-2040, but there is still a lot of uncertainty.”

Filed under: Uncategorized

18 dead after multiple twisters strike US Midwest

">
18 dead after multiple twisters strike US Midwest
Published by
May 02

Monday, April 3, 2006

High winds and multiple tornadoes caused destruction across the American Midwest yesterday, killing 18 people when they hit five states in the early evening, although that figure is expected to rise.

In Dyer County, Tennessee alone, 12 people were killed, and in Gibson County, Tennessee, a further three were lost, bringing the death toll up to 15 in that state alone. The remaining three lives were lost in Missouri as a result of high winds, although the freak weather also hit the states of Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois.

When asked about the storms which caused chaos in Tennessee, Dyer County Sherriff Jeffrey Holt said, “This hit about 7:40 last night, so the warnings were out. They were being tracked all the way across Arkansas and Missouri as it was coming in. We had plenty of warnings, I think, just the amount of destruction in the area is what caused our fatality count to get so high. Destruction is almost absolute total destruction along some of the path of this. There’s just nothing left of houses but foundation.”

Numerous power failures were reported across the affected areas, with some county authorities reporting that the blackouts may go on for several days.

A dispatcher in Pemiscot County, Missouri informed the press that, as of Monday morning, some people were still trapped in their houses as a result of the storms.

In Illinois, tornadoes touched down across at least seven counties according to local emergency officials, but no-one was severely injured or killed. The Emergency Management spokesperson for Illinois Patti Thompson reported that a large storm front which spanned the breadth of America from Illinois southwards was the cause of last night’s dramatic weather.

In the state of Ohio, a Wilmington-based meteorologist informed members of the Associated Press that “In every county in southwest Ohio there has been some type of damage.”

Repair costs for damage across the affected area are expected to be six-figure sums, and extensive work to replace destroyed segments of the infrastructure such as gas and power supplies is already underway, said officials in all seven of the states hit this morning. The current death toll is expected to rise today, with at least one more unconfirmed death reported in Missouri already.

Filed under: Uncategorized

NHL: Stars advance in eighth-longest playoff game

">
NHL: Stars advance in eighth-longest playoff game
Published by
May 02

Monday, May 5, 2008

Brenden Morrow scored the game-winning goal, 9:03 into the fourth overtime, as the Dallas Stars defeated the San Jose Sharks 2-1. The goal gave the Stars a 4-games-to-2 series win, and they advance to the Western Conference Finals, where they’ll face the Detroit Red Wings.

The game, which took 5 hours and 17 minutes to complete, was marked by the play of goalies Marty Turco and Evgeni Nabokov, who combined for 114 saves.

In the second period, the Stars took a 1-0 lead with an Antti Miettinen goal. However, early in the third period, Ryane Clowe tied the game at 1, with a wrist shot that soared past the outstretched glove of Stars goalie Marty Turco.

As the game went into overtime, both teams fought hard for early chances. Both Turco and Nabokov turned away great chances, including a glove save by Nabokov that appeared to pull his glove above — but not over — the goal line; while the goal light briefly went off, referee Tim Peel waved off the goal immediately. A video review confirmed that the shot was not a goal. The Stars outshot the Sharks 18-11 in the first OT.

In the second overtime period, the Sharks outshot Dallas a staggering 11-2, but Turco continued to keep the puck out of the net. A third OT hooking penalty against Nicklas Grossman gave the Sharks the first power play since the second period of regulation, but they were unable to even get a shot on goal, and did not capitalize on the man advantage

8:14 into the fourth overtime, a tripping penalty to Brian Campbell gave the Stars a power play. 49 seconds into the power play, forward Brenden Morrow redirected a Stephane Robidas shot to the right of Nabokov, his seventh goal of the playoffs.

Turco made 61 saves on 62 shots for the win. Nabokov made 53 saves in the loss.

The game is the eighth-longest playoff game in NHL history, and the third-longest in Stars history. In 2003, the Stars were defeated by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in a five-overtime thriller. A 2007 game saw the Stars defeated in four overtimes by the Vancouver Canucks.

Dallas avoided a deciding Game 7, which would have been held in San Jose. The Stars won the first three games of the series, but strong performances by San Jose, including a Game 5 overtime win, narrowed the series to 3-2.

The Stars advance to face the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals. Game 1 of that series is scheduled for Thursday, at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

The Eastern Conference Finals, meanwhile, is an all-Pennsylvania matchup, as the Pittsburgh Penguins, who clinched their series with a 3-2 overtime victory on Sunday, face off against the rival Philadelphia Flyers. Game 1 will be held at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh on Friday.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Canadian rapper Bad News Brown murdered in Montreal

">
Canadian rapper Bad News Brown murdered in Montreal
Published by
May 02

Monday, February 14, 2011

Canadian rapper Bad News Brown has been found dead in southwestern Montreal. Brown, whose real name was Paul Frappier, was found by some abandoned buildings near the Lachine Canal by a passerby. He was 33 years-old.

Oliver Lapointe, a police spokesman, said Frappier’s upper body had “clear signs of violence”. He added “We do not know the motive and we have no witnesses.”

Henry Gelot, Frappier’s manager, released a statement saying “Bad News Brown’s death is a great loss for the entire hip-hop and music community in Quebec. In addition to being one of the first rappers from Quebec to reach international acclaim, Bad News Brown has certainly left a mark on everyone who knew him.”

Frappier was born on the island of Haiti. He moved to Canada when still young and was adopted by a family from Montreal. He started his career as a street busker and performed in several Montreal Metro stations. According to his Facebook page he later became an opening act for several major stars including 50 Cent, Snoop Dog, and Kanye West. Born 2 Sin, Frappier’s first album, was released a year ago.

Fans have also paid tribute to Frappier through his Facebook page. One person commented “Your sounds will flow for eternity.”

Filed under: Uncategorized

Wikinews interviews Darcy Richardson, Democratic Party presidential challenger to Barack Obama

">
Wikinews interviews Darcy Richardson, Democratic Party presidential challenger to Barack Obama
Published by
May 01

Friday, November 25, 2011

U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate Darcy Richardson of Florida took some time to answer a few questions from Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn.

Richardson, 55, is a political activist that helped form the New Democrats in 1989 and founded the progressive Battleground Blog earlier this year. He is also a political historian, and has authored six books covering third parties and presidential elections, including A Nation Divided: The 1968 Presidential Campaign (2002). His current work, The Spirit of ’76: Eugene McCarthy’s Struggle for Open Politics, chronicles the late Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy’s 1976 presidential campaign for which he volunteered. Richardson admires McCarthy, and served as manager for his 1988 presidential run. Recently, Richardson advised Brian Moore’s Socialist Party USA presidential campaign in 2008.

In addition, Richardson himself has sought political office, albeit unsuccessfully. In 1980, he ran for Pennsylvania Auditor General, and in 1988, vied for one of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seats as a member of the Consumer Party. Last year, he ran for Lieutenant Governor of Florida as the running mate of gubernatorial candidate Farid Khavari.

Richardson has criticized President Barack Obama’s policies for being too similar to those of former President George W. Bush. He hoped to convince several prominent progressives to challenge Obama in the Democratic primaries, but none were available to do so. Last month, Richardson decided to begin a campaign himself and announced through his Battleground Blog that he would challenge Obama in the Democratic Party primaries as a progressive candidate. So far, he has qualified for the New Hampshire primary in January and the Missouri primary in February. In an interview with the Independent Political Report, Richardson proclaimed his campaign slogan as “no fourth term for George W. Bush.”

Contents

  • 1 Background
  • 2 Policy
  • 3 Campaign
  • 4 Related news
  • 5 Sources
  • 6 External links
Filed under: Uncategorized

Bank of England governor warns housing market is biggest threat to UK economy

">
Bank of England governor warns housing market is biggest threat to UK economy
Published by
May 01

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has warned that the state of the housing market in the United Kingdom is the current biggest domestic threat to the country’s economy, due to lack of house building, and regulatory issues.

In an interview to be aired on Sky News today, he said the housing market is the “biggest risk” to the economy and has “deep, deep structural problems”. Of house building he said: “There are not sufficient houses built in the UK. To go back to Canada, there are half as many people in Canada as in the UK, twice as many houses are built every year in Canada as in the UK and we can’t influence that.”

“We’re not going to build a single house at the Bank of England. We can’t influence that. What we can influence […] is whether the banks are strong enough. Do they have enough capital against risk in the housing market?”

Carney also said the Bank of England would look into the procedures used to issue loans and mortgages to see if they were being granted appropriately: “We’d be concerned if there was a rapid increase in high loan-to-value mortgages across the banks. We’ve seen that creeping up and it’s something we’re watching closely.”

Kris Hopkins responded to Carney on behalf of the government, saying the government “inherited a broken housing market, but our efforts to fix it are working”. “We’ve scrapped the failed top-down planning system, built over 170,000 affordable homes and released more surplus brownfield sites for new housing. We’ve also helped homebuyers get on the housing ladder, because if people can buy homes builders will build them. Housebuilding is now at its highest level since 2007 and climbing. Last year councils gave permission for almost 200,000 new homes under the locally-led planning system and more than 1,000 communities have swiftly taken up neighbourhood planning. It’s clear evidence the government’s long-term economic plan is working.”

Earlier this month, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development called on the UK government to “tighten” access to the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme introduced by George Osborne and the coalition government in 2013. ‘Help to Buy’ has also recently been criticised by three former Chancellors of the Exchequer — the Conservatives Norman Lamont and Nigel Lawson, and former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling. Darling said: “Unless supply can be increased substantially, we will exacerbate that situation with schemes like Help to Buy.”

Filed under: Uncategorized