Latest stories
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
April 26, 1:23 AM: The Minute Chernobyl Shook The World

It was the early hours of April 26, 1986 and operators at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Soviet republic of Ukraine were to carry out an electrical power test at reactor number four.

The test, which repeated one carried out the previous year, was to take advantage of a planned shutdown of the reactor for routine maintenance and the lowering of its power had already started the previous afternoon.

W140 Full Story
Cuba readies Festivities For 50 Years of Socialism

Cuba readied a huge military parade Saturday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its victory over the CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion for a Communist Party congress setting new political and economic goals.

Painters, electricians and audio operators put the finishing touches on Plaza de la Revolucion, as troops drove tanks and other military vehicles to their designated locations along the streets.

W140 Full Story
Armenia Makes Chess Compulsory in Schools

Armenia is to make chess a compulsory subject in primary schools in an attempt to turn itself into a global force in the game, the education ministry said on Friday.

"Teaching chess in schools will create a solid basis for the country to become a chess superpower," an official at the ministry, Arman Aivazian, told Agence France Presse.

W140 Full Story
Senegal opens Chinese-built theater

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade on Friday opened the capital city's national Grand Theatre, an imposing building constructed by the public Chinese company Complant, near the capital's station.

Wade thanked China "for this majestic jewel" which cost 16 billion CFA francs (24 million euros/34.6 million dollars) and hailed the "dynamics, pragmatism and efficiency" marking the two countries' cooperation.

W140 Full Story
Six Greek Artifacts Returned From London Gallery

A London gallery has sent back to Greece six stolen icons dated from the 18th and 19th centuries, and six more found in The Netherlands were to be returned, the culture ministry said Thursday.

The pieces returned from Britain were temporarily displayed at a Byzantine museum in Athens where Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos said the finds were a "great success against the forces that want to harm our patrimony".

W140 Full Story
France Returns Rare Korean Books After 145 Years

France Thursday sent back a shipment of ancient Korean royal books, 145 years after its troops looted them during a retaliatory raid on an island west of Seoul.

Two containers carrying 75 volumes of "Uigue", illustrated manuals on royal protocol written during the Chosun Dynasty (1392-1910), arrived at Incheon airport after being released by the National Library of France.

W140 Full Story
Rome's Bloody, Art-Loving Emperor Nero in New Show

It's safe to say that the Emperor Nero -- the subject of a major new exhibition and archaeology trail that opened in the Roman Forum this week -- has always had something of an image problem.

He has gone down in the history books as the man who had his domineering mother Agrippina killed, kicked his pregnant wife Poppaea to death and -- as legend would have it -- played his lyre on a hill while Rome burnt below him.

W140 Full Story