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Researchers find 1,000 yr old Viking-era ship in western Norway



Norwegian researchers said on Friday that they had discovered a Viking-era ship at a burial site in western Norway, estimating it could be more than 1,000 years old.

Ola Elvestuen, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, said in a statement that the ship was important for our common history saying “now we have to investigate how best to preserve it.’’

Ground-penetrating radar was deployed when the remains of the vessel were detected on the island of Edoy off western Norway.

The location is near a historical coastal sea route to the city of Trondheim.

The region has a rich archaeological heritage.

The Kulisteinen, an over 900-year-old runic stone with an inscription featuring the oldest known mention of Norway, was found on a nearby island.

The vessel’s remains were detected in what was a burial mound, and the images suggest the keel is 13-metres long.

Researchers said the vessel was likely several metres longer but ploughing could have damaged the stern and bow.

The discovery was reported by archaeologists with the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU), working with counterparts from the county of More and Romsdal, and Smola municipality.

Knut Paasche of NIKU’s department of digital archaeology, and an expert on Viking ships said in a statement that it was too early to know the exact years of the ship.

“It is too early to say anything certain about the age for the ship, but the ship must be from the Merovingian or Viking Period, which means the ship is more than 1,000 years old.’’

The Merovingian era spans circa 570-800 AD, while the Viking era is circa 800–1050 AD.

(Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed/Emmanuel Yashim)


Pelosi asks House to draft articles of impeachment against Trump



The top Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives announced on Thursday she would ask leaders of the chamber to proceed with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

“Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and our hearts full of love for America, today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

Trump’s actions with regard to military aid to Ukraine were in defiance of “the vision of our founders” and the oath of office he took, she asserted a day after three constitutional scholars told lawmakers they fully believed that Trump had committed actions that rise to the level of impeachable offences under the U.S. constitution.

Pelosi said their testimony left no doubt that the president’s actions “are a profound violation of the public trust” and seriously violated the constitution.

“Our democracy is what is at stake.

“The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt once again the election for his own benefit,” Pelosi said.

A fourth expert, who was called by the Republicans to testify on Wednesday, disputed the claims, saying the evidence was not sufficient.

Trump reacted to Pelosi’s announcement on Twitter, saying the Democrats planned to “impeach me over NOTHING.”

Impeachment is a “seldom used act” and their action could mean that it will be used routinely to attack future presidents, he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump

“That is not what our Founders had in mind.

“The good thing is that the Republicans have NEVER been more united. We will win!,” he tweeted.

Trump is accused of abusing the power of his office by running a “pressure campaign” involving members of his inner circle to coerce Ukraine into digging up dirt on his domestic political rival, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, ahead of elections next year.

He allegedly made the announcement of an investigation into Biden’s son, who served on the board of the energy company Burisma, a condition of granting Ukraine’s newly elected president Volodymyr Zelensky a meeting at the White House and releasing the military aid.

Pelosi appeared on a U.S. news channel CNN “town hall” on Thursday night, taking moderator and audience questions.

She again defended the decision to proceed with articles of impeachment, saying that “this isn’t about politics at all. It’s about patriotism.

“The facts are clear. The constitution is clear. The president violated the constitution.

“If we were not to proceed it would say to any president, any future president, whoever she or he may be, Democratic or Republican, that our democracy is gone,” Pelosi reiterated to the audience.

A House vote on articles of impeachment would send the matter to the Republican-controlled Senate, where a trial of the president would be held with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts officiating. A two-thirds majority would have to vote in favour to remove the president from office.

Republicans say there is insufficient evidence that Trump committed an impeachable offence and that Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry have let their emotions and hatred of Trump cloud their judgement.

Wednesday’s hearing took place as Trump concluded a NATO summit in London.

Earlier on Thursday, he implored Democrats to move forward with impeachment quickly “so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business.”


Edited & Vetted By: Emmanuel Yashim

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29 people die as South Sudan clans clash over Nile Island



At least 29 people were killed in South Sudan on Thursday when two rival clans clashed over the ownership of an island on the Nile river.

An Area coordinator, Joseph Deng Mawaat told dpa that the early-morning clash also left nearly 20 people injured.

The clash involved clans from the states of Eastern Lakes and Jonglei with both claiming ownership of the island, which is strategic as a docking site for boats.

Tribal clashes are common in the East African country, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011.

An ensuing civil war left hundreds of thousands dead and millions of people displaced.

Edited & Vetted By: Hadiza Mohammed/Emmanuel Yashim

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Crowds hit streets as French pension strike stalls transport



 Protesters took to the streets around France on Thursday as a strike against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform plans hit public transport and air traffic.

The Gare de Lyon railway station in Paris was all but deserted in the Monday rush hour, with the departure board showing just seven trains scheduled to leave between then and 6:53 pm (1753 GMT).

State railway company SNCF said only one in 10 long-distance trains would be running, while most of the Paris metro’s 16 lines were either shut down or offering a minimum peak-hour only service.

Many schools have closed, with the Education Ministry saying almost half the country’s teachers had joined the strike.

Junior transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said 20 to 30 per cent of flights had also been cancelled.

Civil aviation authorities said 20 per cent of flights would also have to be cancelled on Friday.

The Eiffel Tower closed for the day, as did the Musee d’Orsay modern art gallery, where an Australian tourist who gave his name as Frank told dpa he’d come there to show his son the museum.

“It’s closed, we’re very disappointed,” he said.

Chinese and Japanese tourists meanwhile struggled to understand the notice about the closure, which was written only in French, English and Spanish.

Outside the closed Opera metro station in central Paris, an Argentinian tourist waiting with a suitcase said she was looking for a bus to the airport.

“I hope my plane will take off,” she added.

With Paris workers encouraged to work from home or use ride-sharing apps and e-scooters, the two working metro lines were not exceptionally busy.

A monitoring site showed road traffic around Paris well below normal.

Paris police ordered shops along the route of a trade union march to close with the march getting under way in the afternoon.

Police chief Didier Lallement said that 6,000 officers would be deployed to secure the protest.

Officers had checked 6,476 people and arrested 65, according to police.

The capital’s last major trade union march, the traditional May Day parade, degenerated into clashes when radical protesters threw missiles at police who responded with charges and copious tear gas.

The hardline CGT trade union accused police at the time of not distinguishing in their response between the radicals and peaceful protesters.

Macron is seeking to implement a campaign promise to replace France’s more than 40 pension schemes with a single universal system that would, he argued, treat all workers equally.

Public transport and public hospital staff are particularly worried about the pension reform plans as they currently benefit from early retirement rights that are likely to be phased out.

Initial proposals suggest that early retirement regimes similar to those currently in place will be kept only for the security forces, firefighters and sailors.

CGT leader Philippe Martinez said that Macron’s pension reform would “worsen inequality,” as the new system would be based on whole-career earnings without making allowances for individual or career-related circumstances.

Where public sector workers enjoy earlier retirement rights than people in similar jobs in the private sector, those rights should be extended to all rather than abolished for all, he told RMC radio.

Djebbari acknowledged that the strike could drag on for days.

The Elysee meanwhile said that Macron was following the situation “closely, with calm and determination.”


Edited & Vetted By: Emmanuel Yashim

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Indian rape victim set on fire on her way to court



Police on Thursday said that a 23-year-old woman, who was allegedly raped was set on fire while going to court in northern India, and is currently battling for her life.

The Police added that the woman in Uttar Pradesh state’s Unnao district was on her way to attend a hearing in the case she filed against two men in March.

State police chief OP Singh said in the regional capital Lucknow that five men, including the alleged rapists, were arrested hours later in connection with the attack.

However, senior police officer SN Sabat said that doctors treating the woman said that her condition was critical as she had suffered 70-per cent burn injuries.

Sabat said she would be flown in an air ambulance to New Delhi for better medical care.

“We saw her coming toward us, screaming for help. She had been set on fire. We were scared.

“She had walked for nearly one kilometre before she reached us,’’ an eye witness said.

The latest incident would only add to outrage in India over violence against women, after a 27-year-old veterinary doctor was raped and set on fire near Hyderabad city on Nov. 27.

Protests were held in Indian cities after her charred remains were found by the police.

Despite stricter laws and measures to increase security since the gang-rape and murder of another young woman on a bus in New Delhi in December 2012, a high number of such crimes continue to be reported in India.

According to the latest government data available, 33,658 women and girls were raped in India in 2017.

Edited & Vetted By: Hadiza Mohammed/Emmanuel Yashim

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Body of Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura given to embassy in Kabul



The body of Tetsu Nakamura, a prominent physician from Japan who was killed in an attack in Afghanistan, has been handed over to the Japanese embassy in Kabul on Thursday.

Many Afghans have called on the government to provide Nakamura a state funeral and asked that the government start awarding an honorary prize in his name.

Nakamura, who headed the NGO Peace Japan Medical Services (PMS), was killed along with five other people when gunmen opened fire on their vehicle in the city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province on Wednesday.

The spokesman for Nangarhar governor Attaullah Khogyani told dpa that Nakamura’s body was first taken by military helicopter to Kabul on Wednesday evening and was later handed over to the embassy.

Following Nakamura’s death, many Afghans expressed guilt for the country being unable to protect the 73-year-old aid worker who dedicated his life toward the well-being of the war-torn country.

They posted Nakamura’s picture on social media with the words `forgive us.’ And in a video now being shared by social media users, Nakamura says `I have tried to make no enemies.’

Nakamura had worked in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province for several decades and focused on resolving food shortages and malnutrition in Afghanistan, considered the main cause of illness in the country, with an emphasis on farm and irrigation initiatives.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani awarded him honorary Afghan citizenship for his years of humanitarian work.

The Taliban denied it was involved in the attack and no other organisation has claimed responsibility.

Edited & Vetted By: Hadiza Mohammed/Donald Ugwu

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Indonesia sacks airline CEO over smuggling allegation



Indonesia’s enterprise minister on Thursday sacked the head of flag carrier Garuda Indonesia for allegedly smuggling high-end motorcycle parts on a delivery flight from France.

Minister Erick Thohir said: “This is disappointing as we are trying to improve state-owned enterprises’ performance and image.

“Therefore I am dismissing Garuda’s president director.’’

According to the flight manifest, the plane was carrying 10 crew and 22 passengers, including chief executive Ari Askhara, when it arrived at Soekarno Hatta international airport in Banten, Indonesia on Nov. 17.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said that the contraband on board included spare parts of Harley Davidson motorcycles and Brompton folding bicycles.

Indrawati said that the smuggled items could have cost the state up to 1.5 billion rupiah (or 106,000 dollars).

Thohir said that the spare parts are believed to be owned by Ashkara who is thought to have transferred the money to a personal bank account of Garuda’s finance manager in Amsterdam to make the purchases back in April.

The company’s board has to approve Ashkara’s firing.

Edited & Vetted By: Hadiza Mohammed/Emmanuel Yashim

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