Archive for March, 2005

Harare – A candidate of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has mysteriously disappeared after suspected ruling Zanu PF party militias attacked him as voting started in Zimbabwe’s crucial election. MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube said that the party’s candidate for Insiza constituency in Matabeleland South province Siyabonga Ncube called him last night saying he was under attack by a group of Zanu PF militants. That was the last time word was heard from the candidate and his whereabouts were still unknown this morning. A report on the missing candidate has since been made at Filabusi and Gwanda police stations, the MDC secretary general said. He said: “The candidate called me in a panic and sounded desperate and he advised me that he was being attacked by Zanu PF militia. That was the last time we heard from him and we have been unable to locate him since then. We later advised his polling agents to walk to polling stations some as far as 10 km in time for opening of ballot boxes this morning."
The birth of three Iberian lynx cubs in Spain has given hope to the future of a species on the brink of disappearing.

The cubs were born as part of a special breeding programme in the Donana national park in southern Spain. Road deaths are now the greatest cause of mortality for the lynx.

GUNUNGSITOLI, Indonesia (Reuters) – Strong aftershocks have rattled Indonesia’s earthquake-devastated Nias island as international aid flowed in and rescuers pulled survivors and bodies out of the rubble of collapsed buildings.

At least three tremors rocked the area off the west coast of Sumatra island, one of them measured at 6.3 on the Richter scale by the Hong Kong observatory, causing alarm as rescue efforts and body recovery operations entered a third day on Thursday.

By Danielle Demetriou

31 March 2005

A valuable collection of William Blake watercolours discovered lying in a Glasgow bookshop has been stopped from leaving the country.

The Government has placed a temporary export bar on the set of 19 paintings, which have been valued at £8.8m.

It was five years ago that the highly-finished watercolours by one of Britain’s leading Romantic artists were discovered in the bookshop. They found their way there following the death of their former owner who was unaware of their value.

Experts called it "arguably the most important discovery since Blake [who lived from 1757 to 1827] started to be appreciated in the second half of the 19th century".

The paintings were commissioned in 1804 to illustrate a new edition of The Grave, a meditation on mortality and redemption, written by the Scottish poet Robert Blair in 1743. Seven of the watercolours were unknown to modern scholars.

Wed Mar 30, 2005 10:00 PM BST

CAIRO (Reuters) – Archaeologists have found the remains of boats used by ancient Egyptians for trading trips, the culture minister said in comments published on Wednesday.

The boats were discovered in caves in a pharaonic harbour on Egypt’s Red Sea coast around 300 miles southeast of Cairo, Farouk Hosni said in comments carried by Egypt’s state MENA news agency

They were used to transport goods to and from the Land of Punt, he said. The Land of Punt, mentioned in ancient Egyptian writings, is thought by most archaeologists to be the coast of the Horn of Africa.

"Excavations discovered a group of sail and mast ropes, wooden ship beams and thin planks made of cedars, imported from northern Syria," MENA quoted Zahi Hawas, chairman of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, as saying.

Hawas said a team from Boston University in the United States working with an Italian team had made the discovery.

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