Excavation Exposes 1,500 Year-Old Road in Jerusalem
The main ancient thoroughfare of Jerusalem has been exposed for the first time in 1,500 years, through the work of archeologists. The discovery confirms schematics of an ancient mosaic map of the city, known as the Madaba map, that resided in a church in Jordan from the sixth-to-seventh century. According to a press release from the Israeli Antiquities Authority. The map depicts the land of Israel in the Byzantine period, and explicitly shows the entrance to Jerusalem from the west via a very large gate that led to a single, central thoroughfare on that side of the city. The excavations are connected to an infrastructure rehabilitation project.
Delhi Officials Under Investigation for Corruption
A corruption investigation could be launched into whether city officials in Delhi have been paying salaries to tens of thousands of “ghost workers.” The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has been accused of paying salaries to around 22,000 gardeners and sweepers who existed only on paper. On Wednesday, Delhi High Court heard a petition from the NGO, Jagrook Welfare Society, for a formal inquiry into the allegations by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Two judges from the court have contacted the Corporation for a formal statement, IANS news agency reported.
Estimated 230,000 People Dead From Earthquake
The government of Haiti released on Wednesday their latest death toll for the earthquake which took place on Jan. 12. Approximately, 230,000 people were killed from the disaster, they said via a BBC report. In addition, an estimated 1.2 million people are displaced, living in makeshift shelters. Another 500,000 people left the capital, Port-au-Prince to live in smaller communities. According to officials in the Haitian government, the number of injured is at 300,000. In 2004, the Asian tsunami killed nearly 250,000 people. Prayer vigils as well as fasting are scheduled across Haiti for the one-month anniversary of the quake. A major concern in the interim is that the rainy season in Haiti is about to begin and relief workers are rushing to get refugees into shelters across the tattered country.
Iranian Police Arrest Activists Before Protests
Iranian activists were arrested by authorities due to suspicion they will participate in Thursday protests marking the anniversary of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Many anti-government groups called for protests, which prompted the Iranian police to sweep the country, rounding up potential protesters. According to AFP, many protest Web sites requested a large amount of people to turn up to protest. Officials in the country said they will swiftly suppress any protest movements on Thursday. Protest marches held last December resulted in a clash with police. Eight people were confirmed dead as a result of the incident.
Venezuela Undergoing Energy Crisis
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told business owners and residents that there is an energy shortfall in the Latin American country. The power supply throughout the country has been infrequent. Chavez threatened anyone who goes over their limit on energy consumption will face hefty fines. He then called on his allies to help remedy the problem. Critics of the regime say that Venezuela has not put enough emphasis into the country's energy infrastructure, citing failings in his socialist-leaning policies. Chavez said that people who use less energy will get a smaller bill. In the area surrounding Caracas, Venezuela's capital city, Chavez's energy rationing policies resulted in numerous problems due to off-schedule energy cutoffs.
U.K. Forced to Reveal Documents About CIA Torture
The United Kingdom lost a legal battle to keep secret U.S. intelligence material about a detainee who was tortured, according to a Reuters report. On Wednesday, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office released a document that the CIA tortured former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Binyam Mohamed in 2002. Mohamed was subject to sleep deprivation, shackling, and threats, according to the report. The Foreign Office challenged the Court of Appeals over the withheld information, saying that the information would jeopardize future exchange of intelligence between the U.K. and the U.S. However, the Court of Appeals says the information will serve the public good when released.
Greek Civil Servants Strike Due to 'Austerity Measures'
Many thousands of Greek civil servants protested on Wednesday over austerity measures, or the reduced availability of consumer goods, brought on by the government. The protests caused flights to be delayed, schools to be shut down, and hospital workers to end their shifts early, according to an Associated Press article. The austerity measures come as the Greek government grapples over a debt crisis. The crisis has caused the Greek government to cut their spending drastically. However, the turnout was not extremely high, as only 10,000 protesters showed up. A much larger protest is planned on Feb. 24. Currently, the European Union is trying to help the Mediterranean nation handle its financial problems.