Goma, a city of 2 million people, is the command center for the world's second deadliest Ebola outbreak, which is raging some 250 miles away. When the virus briefly spread to the city this summer, the World Health Organization declared it a public health emergency of international concern.
Businessman Charged in Murder Case That Rocked Malta
By Andrew Higgins, Nov. 30, 2019
VALLETTA, Malta — More than two years after a car bomb killed Malta’s best-known investigative journalist, prosecutors in the Mediterranean island nation on Saturday charged a wealthy Maltese businessman with complicity in her murder and other crimes.
The arraignment of the businessman, Yorgen Fenech, a member of one of Malta’s most prominent and richest families, capped a tumultuous week in which a long-stalled investigation into the murder of the journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, suddenly picked up pace, ensnaring senior members of the government and Malta’s business elite.
Mr. Fenech, 38, who is suspected of paying three contract killers to carry out the murder, pleaded not guilty. He was arrested on Nov. 19 while trying to flee Malta aboard his yacht. Maltese military personnel halted the vessel as it set out to sea from a marina built by Mr. Fenech’s family conglomerate, Tumus Group, and forced it to return to port.
The killing in October 2017 caused outrage across Europe, putting a harsh spotlight on Malta, the smallest member of the European Union and a country denounced as a “mafia state” by Matthew Caruana Galizia, the journalist’s oldest son.
Speaking after Mr. Fenech’s arraignment on Saturday evening, Mr. Caruana Galizia said it was “surreal and horrifying” to sit in court just a few feet from a man suspected of ordering and paying for the murder of his mother, who was 53 when she died.
In a statement read outside the courthouse in Malta’s capital, Valletta, family members demanded the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, saying that only his departure would allow a “free and full investigation.”
Maltese news media outlets reported on Friday that Mr. Muscat planned to announce his resignation “imminently,” but by late Saturday night he had not done so despite widespread suspicions that some of his close associates in government may have been involved in the murder plot.
On Nov. 28, 1979, Air New Zealand Flight 901 was on a sightseeing tour of Antarctica. The 11-hour first-class tour from Auckland included a champagne breakfast and premier views of the frozen beauty of Antarctica. Most of the passengers were New Zealanders, but there were also Australians, Americans, Canadians and Japanese on board.
Shortly before 1 p.m., the plane crashed into the side of Mount Erebus, a volcano, killing all 257 people on board. It was New Zealand's worst peacetime disaster.
Building to house world's largest tokamak fusion reactor now complete
But it would be a mistake to think this new citizenship law is only about migration and refugees and nebulous notions of national identity. It is far more immediate and insidious than that, particularly when seen in combination with the other big state project in border areas: a national register of citizens, or NRC, which demands that residents produce extensive documentation, sometimes going back decades, to prove their Indian citizenship. Naturally, this exercise is particularly difficult for some of India’s poorest, who have little or no paperwork. In the border state of Assam, millions were thrown into legal limbo when they were left off the NRC. But this, for the BJP, was a mixed blessing — because many of those whose citizenship might be revoked were Hindus.
The purpose of the Citizenship Amendment Bill is simple: when combined with the NRC, it can protect poor Hindus from the regulations that could render any poor Muslim a non-citizen at the stroke of an official’s pen. The purpose is to create, through law, a permanent threat to hang over every single Muslim head in India: Don’t stand up for yourself, or we will set you the impossible task of proving that you are, in fact, Indian.
Dubai police arrest Netherlands’ most wanted man
Ridouan Taghi was sought on international arrest warrants for murder and drug trafficking
Agence France-Presse in The Hague
Mon 16 Dec 2019 15.12 EST
Police in Dubai have arrested the suspected head of a cocaine trafficking gang described as the most wanted man in the Netherlands.
Ridouan Taghi, 41, who was wanted on international arrest warrants for murder and drug trafficking, was held at a house in the Gulf emirate on Monday.
Taghi , who was born in Morocco, gained international notoriety in September when a Dutch lawyer for a state witness in a case against him was shot dead near his home in Amsterdam.
The Dutch police chief, Erik Akerboom, said Taghi’s arrest was of “great importance for the Netherlands”.
Dubai police said Taghi entered the city through its airport using a passport and a visa with a fake identity.
They said he was living in a residential area in Dubai where he was not engaged in any criminal activity and had assistants from various nationalities.
Dutch media said Taghi was accused of cocaine trafficking. The Netherlands and Dubai have no extradition treaty but authorities were working on transferring him, the broadcaster NOS said.
The killing of the lawyer, Derk Wiersum, in Amsterdam in September raised the pressure on Dutch authorities to act.
Wiersum was the lawyer for a state witness named Nabil B in a case against Taghi and another suspect wanted on similar charges, Said Razzouki.
The Netherlands has long been known for its tolerant attitude towards marijuana but a report commissioned by Amsterdam city council this year said it now had a big problem with drugs and the criminal underworld.
One of the main Dutch police unions said at the time that the lawyer’s shooting was “confirmation that we live in a narco-state”.
French strikes: Flights, trains, Metro and buses cancelled on Tuesday's 'day of protest'
The Local, 17 December 2019, 08:20 CET+01:00
French transport strikes enter their 13th day on Tuesday with another round of street protests planned, including a major demo in Paris. Trains, flights and the Paris Metro are all facing disruption on Tuesday.
The burial structures were looted during antiquity, but beads and a pendant depicting Hathor, an Egyptian goddess, suggest earlier trade links between Pylos, Greece, and Egypt.
Two large tombs have been discovered and excavated at the site of the ancient city of Pylos in southern Greece, suggesting that Pylos played a surprisingly prominent role in early Mycenaean civilization.
Although the tombs had been looted in antiquity, archaeologists reported on Tuesday that they had recovered thousands of pieces of gold foil, remnants of the sheets of gold that once lined the tomb floors and would have lent a spectacular gleam to the darkened chamber.
The larger of the two tombs is 39 feet in diameter and the smaller 28 feet. Both were originally built in a beehive shape known as a tholos but had collapsed.
Both the Griffin Warrior and the two tholos tombs belong on a pottery-based time scale to a period known as Late Helladic IIA, which lasted from 1600 to 1500 B.C.E., although the exact dates are disputed. The period is of critical interest because it saw the formation of the Mycenaean civilization, which lasted from around 1600 to 1200 B.C.E., when many of its major cities were burned in an unknown catastrophe.
The era of Classical Greece did not emerge until after an ensuing dark age of some 700 years.
Last year, Dr. Davis said: “We started the excavation and my goodness we didn’t find anything. It was getting very depressing because we’d paid a fortune for the field and I didn’t want to admit we’d made a mistake.”
When they did find the first tholos tomb, they realized to their horror that another excavator had been at work before them, using a backhoe. They were able to date this event through an unusual artifact — a chocolate croissant wrapper with an expiration date of September 2015.
The nearby Griffin Warrior grave was being excavated at this time, and presumably inspired the digging at the tholos tomb, even though plundering antiquities is a serious offense under Greek law. Fortunately the huge stones of the tholos tomb prevented even the backhoe operator from making much progress or destroying the site’s archaeological value.
On New Year's Eve 2019, it was announced that Chinese tech behemoth Tencent Holdings would lead a consortium of investors to purchase a collective 10% stake in Universal Music, the world's dominant record label group and the parent company to Capitol Records, Blue Note and Republic, among many others. Vivendi, parent company of Universal Music, first announced its intentions to offload a portion of the company in 2018. (The deal has yet to be approved — Vivendi, parent company to Universal Music, expects it to be finalized within the first half of 2020.)