Latest stories
Turkey Dismantles Armenia Friendship Statue

Turkey began Tuesday to demolish a 100 foot monument near its eastern border dedicated to friendship with Armenia after the prime minister called it a "monstrosity", Anatolia news agency reported.

Overriding widespread protests, the company tasked with demolition by the local authorities in Kars city took apart the first piece, which is one of two heads of the statue, depicting two figures emerging from one human shape, a witness told Agence France Presse.

W140 Full Story
Bitter Herbs of Passover Are Sweet for Poland's Jews

The Passover herbs are bitter, but the symbolism is sweet for Poland's Jews, a community which has emerged from the shadow of Nazi German genocide and communist-era anti-Semitism.

As Jews worldwide commemorate the ancient Exodus from Egypt with traditional fare from dry matzoh crackers to herbs in saltwater recalling their forebears' tears, those in Poland say they are grounded confidently in their faith and culture.

W140 Full Story
Grotto Galleries Show Early Somali Life

A galaxy of colorful animal and human sketches adorn the caves in the rocky hills of this arid wilderness in northern Somalia, home to Africa's earliest known and most pristine rock art.

But in a region ravaged by two decades of relentless civil unrest and lawlessness, the archeological site is at risk of destruction, looting and clandestine excavation.

W140 Full Story
Poland Lets Da Vinci Gem Travel

The "Lady with an Ermine", a rare painting of a woman by Leonardo da Vinci and Poland's greatest art treasure, was set to hit the road Wednesday after a year of heated debate by officials and experts.

Fearing it could be damaged, Poland's culture ministry was initially hostile to the idea of the masterpiece painted on wood leaving the country.

W140 Full Story
U.S. Embassy Celebrates Earth Day with the AFDC in Aley

Representatives of the U.S. Embassy, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the U.S. Forest Service joined the Association for Forest Development and Conservation (AFDC) at the Aley Cultural Secondary School on Thursday to celebrate the 41st annual Earth Day with an event that included a theatrical play about forest fire prevention and a training demonstration with a fire truck donated by the U.S. Government.

Earth Day, established in 1970 by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, is observed annually to bring together individuals, private organizations and governments to promote environmental conservation and natural resource management. Preventing forest fires is vital to promoting and preserving Lebanon’s natural environment.

W140 Full Story
Austrian Museum To Return Nazi-Stolen Klimt Painting

An Austrian modern art museum said Thursday it would return a Gustav Klimt painting stolen by Nazis and worth millions of euros to the Canadian descendant of the previous Jewish owner.

Expert reports backed Georges Jorisch's claim to the 1915 painting "Litzlberg am Attersee" ("Litzlberg on the Attersee"), which had belonged to his Jewish grandmother Amalie Redlich, Salzburg's Museum of Modern Art said.

W140 Full Story
Moment of Truth for Germany's Lush Wine Country

Axel Pauly's family has been making wine in Germany's stunning Mosel Valley for 13 generations but he warns his livelihood is riding on decisions likely to be taken in the coming weeks.

Pauly and many producers of the region's famed Rieslings have joined forces to battle a massive motorway and bridge project that would straddle the river Mosel and gouge a sizable chunk out of the breathtaking local landscape.

W140 Full Story
Roman Tomb Found Under Illegal Dump in Italy

Police raiding an illegal dumping ground in southern Italy this week made a startling discovery -- a richly-decorated and well-preserved ancient Roman tomb dating back to the second century.

The underground entrance to the tomb was found beneath a huge pile of truck tyres near Pozzuoli -- a working-class port town just west of Naples in a region that has struggled with a waste disposal problem for years.

W140 Full Story
Ambassador Connelly Visits Jbeil with Minister of Culture Salim Wardy

On April 19, 2011, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly and Minister of Culture Salim Wardy visited Jbeil to tour the archeological site of ancient Byblos. Ambassador Connelly was also accompanied by Jbeil Mayor Ziad Hawwat as they toured the Byblos castle, the Houssami Heritage House, and the ancient port of Byblos. The tour highlighted the importance of preserving Lebanon’s unique heritage sites for future generations. The United States has demonstrated a long-standing commitment toward preserving Lebanon’s heritage, providing over $400,000 since 2003 toward projects ranging from conserving the Umayyad-era baths of Anjar to restoring the Islamic manuscripts at the Lebanese National Library.

Ambassador Connelly also met with municipal leaders in Jbeil to discuss the recently completed $28 million Municipal Governance Assistance Program that included the Jbeil-Byblos Municipality. The program streamlined and digitized administrative processes, while improving customer service for the citizens of Jbeil. The program, which is sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the State University of New York/Center for Legislative Development (SUNY/CLD), has also provided new public lighting, renovated the entrance to the Old Souk and beautified the central public square.

W140 Full Story
Westminster Abbey: From Diana's Funeral to William's Wedding

Westminster Abbey, where Prince William will marry Kate Middleton, has been paramount to Britain's royal family through the centuries and was the scene of his mother princess Diana's funeral.

Construction began on the imposing Gothic church near the Houses of Parliament in central London in 1245 under the orders of king Henry III, but a church has been on the site for more than a thousand years.

W140 Full Story