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April 19, 2009

Egyptian archaeologist finds artifacts which may lead to Cleopatra\’s tomb

Egyptian archaeologist finds artifacts which may lead to Cleopatra’s tomb

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

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Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s pre-eminent archaeologist, revealed the first ancient artifacts which may lead to the discovery of Cleopatra and Marc Antony‘s resting place.

The expedition has found amulets, 22 bronze coins cast with Cleopatra’s image and her name, a royal statue, an alabaster mask resembling Marc Antony, and a statue bust of Cleopatra. “If you look at the face of Mark Antony, many believed he had this cleft on his chin and that’s why I thought this could be Mark Antony,” said Hawass.

“In my opinion, if this tomb is found, it will be one of the most important discoveries of the 21st century because of the love between Cleopatra and Mark Antony, and because of the sad story of their death. This is the perfect place for them to be hidden,” said Hawass.

Recently, outside the temple colourful mummies of nobles were excavated at a neighbouring necropolis. These discoveries have lead the archaeologists to believe that a ruler or person of royalty is interred within the temple itself. It was the practice of the Greco-Roman era to assemble the tombs of persons of status and other high ranking officials near their rulers.

“The discovery of the cemetery this week really convinced me that there is someone important buried inside this temple. No one would be buried outside a temple without a reason. We saw that in the pharaonic days, they were always buried beside pyramids,” explained Hawass.

“She needed a place to be protected in the afterlife. If she had used the other burial site, she would have disappeared forever,” said Kathleen Martinez, a Dominican archaeologist. She feels that “it could be Taposiris Magna because it was the most sacred temple of its time.”

Dr. Roger Vickers team used radar to locate three chambers within the rocky hill atop of which is the Temple of Taposiris Magna dedicated to the goddess Isis. The temple was constructed about 300 BC by Ptolemy II.

The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) expedition led by Hawass has yet to excavate the burial chambers 40 feet (12 meters) underground where they hope to find a crown or Egyptian hieroglyph {{w|cartouche]]s revealing the names of royalty. The team will employ radar again on April 22.

The Supreme Council of Antiquities expedition consists of Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, and Martinez who has extensively researched the life of Cleopatra.

Zahi Hawass
Image: Hajor.

According to Plutarch who studied Roman history, Caesar allowed Marc Antony and Cleopatra to be buried in the same tomb.

Alexandria is located about 30 miles (48 km) from the Temple of Taposiris Magna. The archaeological site is on a hill along the Mediterranean Sea overlooking the summer home of Hosni Mubarak, president of Egypt. The archaeologists fear they may have to postpone work for security reasons over the summer months.



Related news

  • “30 brightly coloured mummies discovered in Egyptian necropolis” — Wikinews, April 13, 2009
  • “Egyptian treasures found in ancient tomb” — Wikinews, March 13, 2009

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February 4, 2009

Report: Man tries to hang himself on an American Airlines flight

Report: Man tries to hang himself on an American Airlines flight

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

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According to the newly formed BNO News Agency, an unnamed man tried to hang himself on an American Airlines flight which took off from Cibao International Airport in the Dominican Republic and was traveling to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City located in the state of New York.

American Airlines flight 834 was en-route to New York when the pilot reported that there was a medical emergency on board the plane. BNO says that a man had attempted to hang himself while the plane was in mid-flight. When the plane landed, the man was taken off the plane by emergency services who were on standby at JFK Airport.

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Despite the report, American Airlines previously refused to comment on the incident because of the passengers privacy, but an unnamed official said that they had heard about the incident, “but [believed] it is not true.” The airline later stated to BNO that “the passenger did not try to commit suicide, however the passenger did have a medical condition that prompted our crew to call the tower and request assistance.” Even though the airline insists there was no suicide attempt, BNO states that the FBI was called and put on standby at the airport along with emergency services. Their involvement in the situation is not yet known, but BNO says the FBI is investigating.

On February 10, 2006, a man died after hanging himself in a bathroom aboard a United Airlines flight traveling from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, California.



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December 15, 2007

Tropical Storm Olga causes many deaths in Caribbean

Tropical Storm Olga causes many deaths in Caribbean

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tropical Storm Olga passes over the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.

The death toll for Tropical Storm Olga reached 38 on Friday. The rare December tropical storm, which disintegrated into a mass of thunderstorms late on Wednesday, killed two people, a woman and a 3-year-old boy, in Haiti. In the Dominican Republic, 12 Hatians drowned. Olga’s torrential rains were also blamed for mudslides that killed a man in Puerto Rico. 4,000 hetchacres of crops and $40 million in revenues have been destroyed. The highest winds recorded were 60 miles per hour. This storm was the fifteenth in the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season.

On December 10, the Tropical Prediction Center issued a gale warning for waters north of the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, in association with the precursor disturbance to Olga. Upon it being classified as a subtropical cyclone, the government of the Dominican Republic issued a tropical storm warning from Cabo Engaño along the north coast to its border with Haiti; a tropical storm watch was also issued along the southern coastline to near Santo Domingo. Because winds were well to the north of its center, a tropical storm warning was not issued for Puerto Rico. Prior to it moving ashore, the government of Haiti issued a tropical storm warning for its northern coastline, and later a tropical storm warning was issued for the Turks and Caicos Islands, as well as the southeastern Bahamas.



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July 28, 2005

U.S. Congress passes CAFTA with 2 vote House margin

U.S. Congress passes CAFTA with 2 vote House margin

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) early morning Thursday, with a narrow vote of 217 in favor, 215 against. Voting was held open for an hour, 45 minutes past the House’s 15-minute voting rule as the President along with other supporters lobbied into the night.

The vote was so close, if one House member changed a “Yea” vote to a “Nay” vote, CAFTA would have failed in a 216-216 tie.

Republican vote breakdown

In tallying the votes, 25 Republicans, mostly from Midwest Corn Belt and Rust Belt states and the Southeast United States’s textile industrial belt, broke party line to vote against the measure. Two Republicans were present, but refused to vote.

Democrat and Independent vote breakdown

The Democrats presented a more united front. All but 15 Democrats present voted against the treaty. Independent House members, who usually vote with the Democrats also voted against the measure.

Supporters of the measure include President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez. Opponents included most House Democrats.

The trade agreement already passed the Senate in June. President Bush has said he will sign it into law.

Provisions

DR-CAFTA encompasses the following components:

  • Services: all public services are to be open to private investment.
  • Investment: governments promise to grant ironclad guarantees to foreign investment.
  • Government procurement: All government purchases must be open to transnational bids.
  • Market access: governments pledge to reduce and eventually to eliminate tariffs and other measures that protect domestic products.
  • Agriculture: duty-free import and elimination of subsidies on agricultural products.
  • Intellectual property rights: privatization of and monopoly over technological know-how.
  • Antidumping rules, subsidies and countervailing rights: governments commit to phase out protectionist barriers in all sectors.
  • Competition policy: the dismantling of national monopolies.
  • Dispute resolution: the right of transnationals to sue countries in private international courts.
  • Environmental protection: the enforcement of environmental laws and improvement of the environment.
  • Labor standards: the enforcement of the International Labour Organization’s core labor standards.
  • Transparency: the reduction of government corruption.
  • Test-Data Exclusivity for pharmaceutical corporations

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July 27, 2005

CAFTA faces tough vote in U.S. House

CAFTA faces tough vote in U.S. House – Wikinews, the free news source

CAFTA faces tough vote in U.S. House

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

File photo of President George W. Bush delivering his State of the Union address to the nation and a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2003.
Image: Susan Sterner.

President Bush is lobbying the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), which is scheduled for a vote Wednesday night. The U.S. Senate passed the treaty in June.

Similar to the existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, CAFTA would create a free trade zone putting an end to most trade barriers between the United States and six additional countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.

The free trade agreement faces stiff opposition among Democrats. Many Republicans who represent agricultural Corn Belt or industrial Rust Belt and southern textile states in Congress also have stated opposition to the bill. But with a Republican majority in the House large enough to ensure passage of CAFTA, party leaders are trying to shore up enough votes to ensure CAFTA’s passage.

This has prompted last minute action by the President to lobby individual members of the House, reminding them that Central American countries have committed troops and other resources to fight the U.S. War on Terror. Other Republican leaders have been using the party’s traditional pro-business message and linking it to homeland security issues.

“Trade creates jobs and lifts people out of poverty and there’s nothing like a stable society to fight terrorism and strengthen democracy, freedom and rule of law,” Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House, reportedly said at a news conference Tuesday.

But the opposition disagrees. CAFTA is “a bad deal for Central Americans and also for Latinos in this community… (with CAFTA) the exploitation of workers will continue in Central America,” Democrat Representative Hilda Solis of Los Angeles said. Her views are common among Democrats, who are overwhelmingly against the treaty.

According to opponents of CAFTA, the current trend of American jobs being sent to foreign countries, particularly in the information technology sector, would greatly expand under the treaty.

“This will be a vote in the middle of the night. They’ll keep the vote open for several hours, in violation of the rules. If it passes, it will be by fewer than five votes,” predicted Rep. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, according to a Washington Post report.

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March 10, 2005

United Nations passes Declaration on human cloning

United Nations passes Declaration on human cloning

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

The declaration was passed at the UN general assembly

A divided UN General Assembly has voted to approve a nonbinding statement against all forms of human cloning.

The vote, held Tuesday, came after four years of debate and an end to attempts for an international ban.

In the 191-nation assembly, there were 84 votes in favor of a nonbinding statement, 34 against and 37 abstentions.

Proposed by Honduras, the statement was largely supported by Roman Catholic countries and opposed by countries with active embryonic stem cell research programs. Many Islamic nations abstained.

The UN Declaration on Human Cloning, as it is named, calls for all member states to adopt a ban on human cloning, which it says is “incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life.”

The US, which has long pushed for a complete ban, voted in favor of the statement while traditional ally Britain, where therapeutic cloning is legal and regulated, voted against it.

The statement should have no impact on countries that allow therapeutic cloning, such as Britain and South Korea, as it is not legally binding.

“The foes of therapeutic cloning are trying to portray this as a victory for their ideology,” Bernard Siegel, a Florida attorney who lobbies to defend therapeutic cloning, said in a Reuters report. “But this confusing declaration is an effort to mask their failure last November to impose a treaty on the world banning therapeutic cloning.”

Breakdown of the vote

Of the 191 countries eligible to vote:

In favor

84 countries voted in favor of the declaration against cloning:

Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Burundi, Chile, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Morocco, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Suriname, Switzerland, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uzbekistan, Zambia.

Against

34 countries voted against the declaration:

Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People`s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Iceland, India, Jamaica, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Tonga, United Kingdom.

Abstention

37 countries abstained from voting on the declaration against cloning:

Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Absent

36 countries were absent from and during the vote on the declaration against cloning:

Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bhutan, Botswana, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russian Federation, Senegal, Seychelles, Swaziland, Togo, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam.

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