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People gather around part of a statue, the head of King Psamtek 1, after a press conference at the Egyptian museum in Cairo, Thursday, March 16, 2017. The three-ton torso of the massive statue King Psamtek 1 was lifted on Monday from mud and groundwater where it was recently discovered in a Cairo slum. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

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People gather around part of a statue, the head of King Psamtek 1, after a press conference at the Egyptian museum in Cairo, Thursday, March 16, 2017. The three-ton torso of the massive statue King Psamtek 1 was lifted on Monday from mud and groundwater where it was recently discovered in a Cairo slum. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

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Ancient statue found in pit in Cairo

A team of archaeologists have discovered a 3,000 year old, giant statue which has been thought to depict an ancient Egyptian king and is described by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities as “one of [its] most important archaeological discoveries.” Archaeologists from Egypt and Germany began removing the quartz statue, which is estimated to stand 30 feet tall tall from the ground in Matariya, greater Cairo, in front of state representatives and media crews on Thursday. The find concludes a dig that began in 2012 says Dietrich Raue from the University of Leipzig. He heads the German team of archaeologists involved in the excavation. “It was an area that was almost completely investigated,” Raue explains. “We thought [the pit] would be empty without any features… so that was a great surprise.”

For more information:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/10/africa/ramses-ii-ozymandias-statue-cairo/index.html

 

British Parliament backs Brexit

The British Parliament has passed a bill that will allow Prime Minister Theresa May to start talks to leave the European Union. The Queen will now sign it into law, which will clear the way for May to trigger Article 50. This will begin the process by which Britain will give up its EU membership. May could begin the process as early as Tuesday, but it is expected to be postponed until the end of the month to avoid a clash with the Dutch elections happening on Wednesday. The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, also threw the timetable into question earlier on Monday by saying she’d ask the Scottish Parliament next week to grant her power to call a new independence referendum, which is a move Downing Street said would be “divisive.” This prospect of an independence vote could potentially end Scotland’s 310 year link to Great Britain.

For more information:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/13/europe/brexit-article-50-parliament/index.html

 

20 million at risk of starvation in Somalia and three other countries

In desperate need of aid to save more than 20 million people, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria have been relentlessly plagued by starvation and disease. “We stand at a critical point in history. Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the UN,” says UN humanitarian Stephen O’Brien on Friday. In Somalia, more than half of its population is in need of food assistance. Drought, impending famine, and the presence of the terrorist group Al-Shabaab have left the country and its people in a desperate situation. “The situation is critical in Somalia. People are dying of hunger and there is no water,” says Mogadishu resident Noor Ibrahim, who fled his home to seek help at a camp. “Al-Shabaab blocks the roads, there is no access for food aid, the Shabaab steal food as well.”

For more information:  

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/11/africa/un-famine-starvation-aid/index.html

The Dutch elections

Dutch voters go to the polls on March 15 for an election that will be watched closely as a bellwether for populism in Europe. The campaign, which is dominated by immigration and the Netherland’s membership of the European Union, has pitted two party leaders against each other, liberal incumbent Mark Rutte and populist far-right figure Geert Wilders. Rutte’s Party for Freedom and Democracy has a small lead over Wilders’ Freedom Party, according to the latest Peilingwijzer poll of polls by Leiden University. Wilders, nicknamed a “Dutch Trump”, has enjoyed a meteoric rise from the political fringes to frontrunner. Rutte, 50, is seeking a third term in power, his party won a second term in 2012 after forming a coalition with the center-left Labour Party, which has lost significant support this time around.

For more information:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/10/europe/netherlands-dutch-elections-wilders-rutte/index.html

 

Son’s DNA used to identify Kim Jong Nam’s body

The body of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un who was killed last month, was identified using a DNA sample from his son. The sample was obtained  by Malaysian authorities who went overseas to get it, Malaysia Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said. Kim Jong Nam was killed February 14 in what Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has called an assassination attempt. Kim was at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on his way to Macau when two women wiped a high lethal VX nerve agent on his face, killing him in a mere 20 minutes. Malaysian authorities didn’t publicly identify Kim’s body until last week after the DNA sample was obtained from “the child of the deceased.” Zahid declined to elaborate on how the DNA sample was obtained.

For more information:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/15/asia/kim-jong-nam-dna/index.html

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