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    Egypt's famed pyramids at Giza have a newcomer in their midst: the largest on-site antiquities laboratory meant to restore the location's second pharaonic boat. The vessel is believed to be the ceremonial boat of Pharaoh Cheops, known for building the largest of Egypt's pyramids. The project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Higashi Nippon International University, is set to complete the initial phase of repairs of the 4,500-year-old vessel by 2020. Once reassembled, the vessel of the ancient Egyptian ruler will be displayed at the Grand Egyptian Museum, currently under construction on Cairo's outskirts and close to the pyramids at Giza. At the lab's inauguration on Wednesday, Eissa Zeidan, head of the project's Egyptian restoration team, told The Associated Press that the lab at the site of the Giza pyramids was necessary for some of the boat's 1,264 pieces, which are too fragile or large to move. According to Zeidan, the Japanese-Egyptian mission has completed the testing of material which will be used to restore the boat, a process that started in 2010. Kanan Yoshimura, a conservator on the Japanese team told the AP that they are using fillers and soft materials, and that the lab's temperature and humidity are adjusted to simulate the atmosphere in the pits where the pieces were stored for centuries. 'We will restore all of it, every piece is important,' Yoshimura said. The pieces of the vessel and its sister boat, recovered first, were found in five pits surrounding the Great Pyramid, which serves as Cheops' tomb, in 1954. Egypt reassembled the first boat with limited capacities which led to the replacement of some of its original parts. The boats are believed to have been buried with the pharaoh to carry him into the afterlife. The first vessel is currently displayed in a special, air-conditioned building where humidity is carefully monitored, on the grounds that includes all the three main pyramids — the Great Pyramid of Giza, which is also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure, all within a few hundred meters (yards of each other. A few steps down a slope from the complex lies the Great Sphinx. The Great Pyramid is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that is still in existence.
  • Sweden's national police said Wednesday it has initiated a murder investigation into the death in Congo of a Swedish expert for the United Nations, two days after the bodies of the woman and an American colleague were found in a shallow grave. The brief police statement said police and prosecutors in Sweden were cooperating with the investigation. It was not immediately clear whether a similar probe had been opened in Congo. Swedish police declined to comment further. Sweden's prime minister urged the U.N. and Congo to investigate after the bodies were found Monday in a central Congo province that in recent months has seen hundreds killed in violence between security forces and local militia fighters. Swedish national Zaida Catalan, American Michael Sharp and their interpreter Betu Tshintela went missing March 12 along with driver Isaac Kabuayi and two motorbike drivers in Central Kasai province while looking into large-scale violence and alleged human rights violations by the Congolese army and local militia groups. Their disappearance was the first time U.N. experts have been reported missing in Congo, Human Rights Watch has said, and it is the first recorded disappearance of international workers in the Kasai provinces. Sharp, from western Pennsylvania, and Catalan were 'killed senselessly,' the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, said in a statement. Congo government spokesman Lambert Mende late Tuesday said investigations will continue to seek the missing Congolese colleagues. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said late Tuesday the world body would conduct an inquiry into what happened to the two experts. He said the cause of their deaths hadn't yet been determined. Parts of Congo, particularly the east, have experienced insecurity for decades, but violence in the Kasai provinces in central Congo represents a new expansion of tensions. The Kamwina Nsapu militia has been fighting security forces since last year, with the violence increasing after government troops killed the militia's leader in August. More than 400 people have been killed and more than 200,000 displaced since then, according to the U.N.
  • A group of Holocaust survivors, historians and others are urging a German court to reopen as soon as possible the trial of an ex-SS medic who served at the Auschwitz death camp. In a letter to the Neubrandenburg state court provided to The Associated Press Wednesday, the group accused the presiding judge of a 'partisan approach' and being more concerned with the physical condition of Hubert Zafke than 'the defendant's responsibility.' The trial has been postponed repeatedly after judges ruled the 96-year-old was unfit. In December, the court rejected a complaint filed by prosecutors and attorneys representing Auschwitz victims and their families to remove the judges for alleged bias. Zafke is charged with 3,681 counts of accessory to murder for allegedly helping the camp function. His attorney says he did nothing criminal.
  • The adult daughter of a Chinese man killed in a police raid in Paris says her father never had a chance against the officers who broke down their door and shot him. The death of 56-year-old Shaoyo Liu on Sunday touched off riots in the northern neighborhood that is home to many of the French capital's Chinese immigrants. Police say Liu tried to stab an officer, and a member of the team fired in response. Liu's daughter on Wednesday disputed that account, saying she heard a loud knocking that quickly turned to pounding before police burst inside. She said her father fell to the ground with a bullet wound. She says he was holding kitchen scissors because he was cooking, but had no time or inclination to harm the officers. ___ This story has been corrected to show that it was a different officer who fired at man, not one claiming self-defense.
  • Across the United Kingdom and throughout Europe, there was joy and sorrow Wednesday as Prime Minister Theresa May formally triggered a two-year process that will end with Britain exiting the European Union. The country voted 52 to 48 percent to leave in a June referendum. ___ Mike Piper, 70, retired, of Dover, England: 'All I want to do before I die is see my country free from the shackles of Europe.' ___ Nigel Dentoom, runs a commodities trading company in London: 'Obviously there will be a couple of difficult years in negotiation but I think the UK and London in particular will end up being the largest financial center because of its time zone and the resource and the intellectual capital and the infrastructure that we have here.' ___ Telecommunications professional Frederic Royer, a Frenchman who works in London: 'We are a little upset. A little disappointed. I hope it will not affect London and that it will continue to grow and be a big city like it was before.' ___ Janet Freeman, 66, a retired secretary in Sunderland, England: 'I voted for Brexit, so it's good it's going to start. I have become a bit concerned about what it might mean for jobs, but I think we will make the best of it. It's not right we were controlled from Europe, we need to control our own destiny.' ___ City of London worker Nicola Gibson: 'No one knows how it's going to go, so it's just a question on keeping an eye on the next few days. Is it going to affect me personally? Probably not. I shall still go about my daily business. I shall still work. I shall still carry on having holidays. And we'll see what happens.' ___ Polish engineer Piotr Wierzbicki, 64, while flying from Poland to England: The British 'shot themselves in the foot and will also lose Scotland now. It will be bad for their economy and it will be bad for the EU.' ___ Anti-Brexit protester Ron Daniel of London: 'I don't accept Brexit. I don't accept the democratic choice of Brexit. It's racist. It's about deporting people.' ___ Charles Goodacre, 62, former taxi driver in Sunderland, England: 'I'm glad this day has finally come. This is what the people voted for. I voted for Brexit and today is the day that vote starts to count. Things have been bad round here for a while and we needed a change. There's been a lot of arguments about what happened but we can now get on with it.' ___ Juergen Clemens of Berlin: 'It doesn't worry me, but it will have an impact on the economy but the German economy as well as the everyday German on the street are strong enough to cope with it.' ___ Adam Koziolek, 53, Polish entrepreneur in Warsaw: 'Poland will be poorer because there will be less funds in the EU. It is very good for Poland that it is in the EU. Without the EU we would not have what we have now. The EU does a very good job overseeing things here.' ___ Ken Gaines, 69, retired merchant seaman in Dover: 'Actually, I'm very disappointed. I find that people were thinking not logically. I think they were thinking more on the racist thing, on the immigration, they concentrated on that too much.
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May says Brexit is an opportunity to build an 'independent, self-governing, global Britain.' European Parliament chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt says it's 'a tragedy, a disaster, a catastrophe.' Britain and the EU see the U.K.'s looming exit from the European Union rather differently. As Britain officially starts the two-year exit process with Wednesday's triggering of Article 50, here's a look at some of the feuds and fault-lines that lie ahead: MONEY, MONEY, MONEY The EU says Britain can't leave without settling its bill, paying up for the U.K.'s share of staff pensions and projects it has already agreed to fund. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has put the figure at around 50 billion euros ($63 billion). Britain doesn't deny that it will have to pay something, but is sure to quibble over the size of the tab. Brexit Secretary David Davis said this week that Britain will no longer be 'paying enormous sums to the EU.' 'We will, of course, meet our international obligations but we expect also our rights to be respected too,' he said. 'I don't think we are going to be seeing that sort of money change hands.' WHAT DO WE TALK ABOUT FIRST? Substantive talks are unlikely to start until May at the earliest — after an April 29 summit of 27 EU leaders to settle their negotiating stance, and after France holds a May 7 presidential election. When Davis and chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier finally sit down face to face, their first decision will be: What do we talk about? Britain and the bloc have very different ideas about how the next two years will unfold. EU officials insist the divorce terms must be settled before talks on a new relationship can begin. That means agreeing on the bill, and ending the uncertainty about the future status of 3 million EU citizens living in the U.K., and 1 million Britons who reside elsewhere in the bloc. Britain hopes the two tracks — divorce terms and future relationship — can run in parallel. 'The first part (is) how are we going to part?' Sweden's EU Minister, Ann Linde, said last month. 'And then we are going to start to see what will our future relations be. I know the U.K. wants this to happen more or less at the same time. And that will be the first discussion that will come up.' WHAT ARE THE RED LINES? One central contradiction looms at the heart of negotiations. The EU says it will not compromise on its core 'four freedoms': free movement of goods, capital, services and workers. The last of those means citizens of EU nations may live and work in other member states. Britain insists that it must regain the right to control immigration and end free movement from the bloc. Concern over the large number of EU nationals who have moved to Britain in recent years was a major factor for many Britons who voted 'leave' in last year's referendum. May says Britain will leave the EU's single market in goods and services and its tariff-free customs union, but nonetheless wants 'frictionless' free trade. It is hard to see how the U.K. can impose immigration restrictions without incurring some barriers. DEAL OR NO DEAL? Britain has invoked Article 50 of the EU's key treaty, setting a countdown clock ticking: In two years, the U.K. will cease to be a member of the bloc. Officials on both sides hope by 2019 either to have a deal, or an agreement to keep talking during a transitional period. But there is a third possibility, in which Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal. Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee has accused the British government of not doing enough to prepare for talks breaking down, ending in no deal and 'mutually assured damage' to both Britain and the EU. For Britain, it would almost certainly mean steep tariffs on trade with the bloc. The British government has sent mixed signals. May has said Britain will walk away rather than accept a bad deal, but Davis, the Brexit secretary, says he considers that outcome highly unlikely. The final deal will have to be approved by both the British and European parliaments — and neither is guaranteed. 'We vote no — that is possible,' Verhofstadt told the BBC recently. 'It has happened in a number of other cases that a big international multilateral agreement was voted down by the European Parliament after it was concluded.' Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless
  • Italy's parliament has given final approval to a law outlining comprehensive standards of care for unaccompanied migrant children arriving in Italy, including a strict prohibition of turning them away at the border. The U.N. children's agency and Save the Children praised the law's passage Wednesday saying it was the first of its kind in Europe. The law covers all aspects of care for minors arriving in Italy alone, reducing the amount of time they can spend in preliminary welcome centers, setting a 10-day window to confirm their identities and guaranteeing access to health care. Save the Children says more than 25,800 unaccompanied minors arrived in Italy by sea last year, more than twice as many as 2015. At least 3,000 unaccompanied minors have arrived so far this year.
  • A bomb planted on a taxi van carrying university students in the Syrian city of Homs exploded Wednesday, killed at least five people and wounding four, the local police chief told state TV. Maj. Gen. Khaled Hilal said the explosion went off in the 14-passenger van around midday in the city's al-Zahra district. Most residents of the neighborhood are Alawites, a minority sect that has traditionally formed the backbone of support for President Bashar Assad. The Syrian opposition is mainly drawn from the country's Sunni Muslim majority. The attack came as Syrian rebels and their families were in the process of evacuating the last opposition-held neighborhood in the central city under a surrender agreement with the government. The opposition has criticized the evacuation of the long-besieged al-Waer area, saying it amounts to the forced displacement of civilians, allegations the government denies. Hilal said initial reports indicate a man placed a plastic bag under one of the van's seats and exited the vehicle before the bomb went off. Footage aired on al-Ikhbariya state TV shows the skeleton of the van after the explosion, with the roof blown off and the back-side shattered. A pool of blood was visible near the wreckage. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition-run monitoring group, said at least two people were killed. Syria's conflict began with peaceful protests against Assad in 2011 but escalated into a civil war after a brutal government crackdown and the rise of an armed insurgency. It became increasingly sectarian with the rise of Sunni insurgent groups and the arrival of Shiite militants from across the region to fight alongside Assad's forces. Assad and his family are Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
  • Japan's embattled Toshiba Corp. said Wednesday that its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co. has filed for bankruptcy protection, marking a key step in its struggles to stop the flow of massive red ink. Toshiba said in a statement that it filed the Chapter 11 petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of New York. The move had been largely expected. Toshiba has said it's expecting a loss of 500 billion yen ($4.3 billion) for April-December of last year, including a 712.5 billion yen ($6.2 billion) hit from its embattled nuclear business. It said Wednesday that it was working out revised numbers, and warned that the loss for the fiscal year may grow to 1 trillion yen ($9 billion). Toshiba acquired Westinghouse in 2006 with much fanfare, making nuclear power an important part of its business strategy. After the March 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, costs of the business have ballooned because of growing safety concerns and regulations, and a souring of sentiment toward nuclear power in some countries, such as Germany. Toshiba has been eager to get Westinghouse off its books to improve its plight, and it said it would do just that from this fiscal year. It has said earlier it wants to sell Westinghouse. Toshiba said Westinghouse had racked up debt of $9.8 billion. Toshiba President Satoshi Tsunakawa said the move was aimed at 'shutting out risks from the overseas nuclear business.' 'We want to make this our first step toward recovering our solid business,' he told reporters after the announcement. Toshiba reiterated its view that at the root of the problem was the acquisition of U.S. nuclear construction company CB&I Stone and Webster. It declined comment on possible future partners in the rehabilitation of Westinghouse. Toshiba, which has been unable to report its financial results as required, postponing it into next month, said it would monitor the rehabilitation proceedings and disclose information as quickly as possible. Its chairman has resigned to take responsibility for the company's troubles. Auditors questioned Toshiba's latest reporting on the acquisition of CB&I Stone & Webster after a whistleblower, an employee at Westinghouse, wrote a letter to the Westinghouse president. The company's reputation has also been tarnished in recent years by a scandal over the doctoring of accounting books to meet unrealistic profit targets. Satoshi Ogasawara, who has written a book about Toshiba's systematically falsifying financial results, says executives knew of the problems for years but kept procrastinating, hoping against hope that things would get better and they would be able to avoid blame. But things just got worse. 'Buying Westinghouse was the beginning of the end,' he said. 'But even before that, there was a dubious corporate culture.' Toshiba already faced problems in its personal computer business amid competition from Dell, Lenovo and HP. The drop of oil prices combined with the Three Mile Island and Fukushima accidents made nuclear power less lucrative, and plant construction kept getting stonewalled, said Ogasawara. He believes many executives responsible for the mess are still at Toshiba, without being held responsible. The company has said it will no longer take on new reactor construction projects and will focus on maintaining the reactors it already has. But it is also involved in the decommissioning of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, which suffered multiple meltdowns after the March 2011 tsunami. Toshiba has sold off so many parts of its once prized operations, such as computer chips and household appliances, it has little left but its infrastructure business. ___ Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/yuri-kageyama
  • The Latest on the Arab summit being held in Jordan (all times local): 4:15 p.m. The head of Libya's U.N.-backed government has called for a dialogue between all political rivals in the North African country to reach a political settlement to the country's crisis. Fayez Serraj told an Arab summit in Jordan on Wednesday that 'everyone knows that no party can achieve a military solution.' Libya descended into chaos with its 2011 civil war. In recent months, rival power centers have been sliding closer to open conflict, with breakaway militias backed by western Libyan factions seizing oil terminals from the east's strongman general, whose forces have vowed to take them back. In his summit speech, Serraj renewed a call to the Arab League to oversee a unified force tasked with the protection of oil terminals. ___ 2:10 p.m. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Saudi Arabia's King Salman slipped out of an Arab summit session for face-to-face talks, signaling an attempt at possible reconciliation. A photo handout by the Egyptian delegation showed the two leaders sitting next to each other in white overstuffed chairs. Relations between the two countries have been tense in recent months. Saudi Arabia is a leading supporter of the Syrian opposition, while Egypt, fearful of Islamic militants among the rebels' ranks, has pushed for a political solution that might keep Syrian President Bashar Assad in power. In October, the Saudis abruptly suspended oil aid to Egypt just days after Cairo backed a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria drafted by Assad's ally Russia. The shipments resumed several days ago. ___ 12:20 p.m. The U.N. secretary-general has warned Arab leaders that their internal divisions have opened the door to foreign intervention and have helped breed sectarianism and terrorism. Antonio Guterres told an Arab summit Wednesday that while fighting terrorism is essential, 'any success will prove ephemeral' without a political solution to Syria's 6-year-old civil war that allows Syrians to decide their own fate. He said efforts to end conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya must 'not distract us from seeking to heal the longest open wound in the region, the plight of the Palestinian people.' Guterres said setting up a Palestinian state alongside Israel is the only solution to the conflict. He says Israeli settlements on war-won land are illegal, and called on Israel to halt construction. ___ 12:15 p.m. Jordan's king has told the opening session of an Arab summit that there can be no peace or stability in the region without setting up a Palestinian state alongside Israel. King Abdullah II, who is hosting Wednesday's gathering of 21 Arab leaders, said the Palestinian quest for statehood remains the central issue in the Middle East. Jordan has a large Palestinian population and also serves as custodian of a major Muslim-run shrine in Jerusalem that is also Judaism's holiest site. The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, has been a scene of frequent Israeli-Palestinian tensions, including clashes. Palestinians fear Israel wants to divide it, a charge Israel denies. Jordan's monarch says 'we will continue to fight any attempts to change the status quo' at the site. ___ 10:15 a.m. Arab leaders are gathering for an annual summit where the call for Palestinian statehood is to take center stage. The summit on Wednesday is expected to endorse key Palestinian positions, signaling to President Donald Trump ahead of White House meetings with the leaders of Egypt and Jordan that a deal on Palestinian statehood must precede any Israeli-Arab normalization. The Palestinian issue also serves as a showcase for Arab unity in a fractured region, where leaders often find themselves on opposite sides of long-running conflicts. From their venue on the shores of Jordan's Dead Sea, leaders from 21 Arab countries have a view of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. President Bashar Assad is absent. He hasn't been invited since Syria's suspension from the Arab League following the 2011 uprising.

News

  • Samsung seems to be playing it safe with its first major smartphone since the embarrassing recall of its fire-prone Note 7. The Galaxy S8 features a larger display than its predecessor, the Galaxy S7, and sports a voice assistant intended to rival Siri and Google Assistant. But there is no increase in battery capacity, providing the battery more breathing room. The Note 7 pushed the engineering envelope with its battery, which contributed to a series of spontaneous smartphone combustions. The Galaxy S8 will come in two sizes, both bigger than last year's models. Both models have screens that curve around the edges and get rid of the physical home button. The Note 7 recall cost Samsung at least $5.3 billion. Though many customers remain loyal, any further misstep could prove fatal for the brand. 'We're in the process of earning back that trust,' said Drew Blackard, a senior director of product marketing for Samsung. In the U.S., Samsung will start taking orders Thursday, with shipments scheduled for April 21. Prices haven't been announced yet. ABOUT THAT BATTERY Samsung has blamed the Note 7 fires on multiple design and manufacturing defects in its batteries. Inspectors concluded that the initial batteries were too small for their capacity, and that their external pouch put pressure on the internal structure, leading to damage and overheating. Samsung recalled the phones and shipped replacements, but the newer batteries had welding defects and a lack of protective tape in some battery cells. Samsung recalled the replacements, too, and scrapped the phone. The company says phones will now go through multiple inspections, including X-rays and stress tests at extreme temperatures. The standard-size S8 phone has as much battery capacity as last year's Galaxy S7, but the phone is 4 percent larger by volume. The larger S8 Plus model has 3 percent less capacity than the Galaxy S7 Edge and the same capacity as the Note 7, but the phone's volume is larger by 12 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Both models have larger displays, meaning more drain on the battery. Samsung says that software and processor efficiencies will let the new phones offer all-day battery life under normal use. BIGGER, WIDER SCREENS The S8 phone's display measures 5.8 inches diagonally, compared with 5.1 inches on the S7. The S8 Plus will be 6.2 inches, compared with S7 Edge's 5.5 inches and the Note 7's 5.7 inches. Both S8 models are taller than their predecessors, but widths are roughly the same to preserve one-handed use. Samsung is getting rid of the 'Edge' distinction and bringing curved sides to all S8 phones. It's also minimizing the frame, or bezel, surrounding the display; gone is a horizontal strip with the home button at the bottom. Instead, Samsung is embedding a virtual home button in the display, leaving Apple's iPhones as among the few to sport a distinct home button. VOICE ASSISTANT Samsung claims its new voice assistant, Bixby, will do much more than rivals from Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon. For one thing, Samsung says Bixby will be able to handle any smartphone task currently managed by touch. Bixby will also offer information on books, wine and other products scanned with the phone's camera. But there's a major caveat: Bixby will work only with selected Samsung apps, including the photo gallery and messages. Not all touch commands will have voice counterparts right away. Other apps will be able to adopt Bixby, but Samsung has had a mixed track record in getting other companies to support its home-brewed functions like Bixby. 'I think the brand will struggle to compete in the longer term with the broader digital ecosystems from Google, Amazon or Apple,' Forrester analyst Thomas Husson said. OTHER FEATURES The front camera is getting a boost to 8 megapixels, from 5 megapixels, while the rear one stays at 12 megapixels. As with previous models, the S8 is water and dust resistant and features a memory card slot to supplement 64 gigabytes of built-in storage. The S8 will get an iris scanner to let people unlock the phone by looking at it ; the feature was new in the ditched Note 7 phone. Samsung will include premium earbuds from AKG, a brand it acquired when it bought Harman International. BEYOND THE S8 Samsung's virtual-reality camera, Gear 360, will now accommodate a higher resolution, known as 4K, and work with iPhones, not just Samsung phones. An optional docking station will turn the S8 phone into a desktop computer when connected to a regular TV. In that mode, people will be able to resize windows and work with several apps at once. It's similar to what Microsoft offers on its Windows 10 phones. Samsung also unveiled a router that doubles as a hub for internet-connected appliances and lights. Samsung said its previously announced Gear VR headset upgrade, which will now include a hand-held controller, will go on sale in April for about $130. Existing owners can buy just the controller for about $40. The company hasn't announced prices and release dates for the other accessories.
  • A hip-hop promoter arrested after a shooting involving hip-hop star Fetty Wap in his New Jersey hometown is also facing an armed robbery charge. Passaic County prosecutors say Raheem Thomas had a handgun and hollow point bullets when he was arrested on the armed robbery charge, so he's also facing weapons charges and a count of receiving stolen property. Thomas is due to appear in court Wednesday. It's unclear if he's retained an attorney. The shooting happened early Sunday on the street outside a Paterson deli. Police say Fetty Wap and several friends had become involved in a heated altercation with another group inside the deli. Three people were wounded, but Fetty Wap was OK. Thomas is also charged with aggravated assault and having a gun after previously being convicted of a felony.
  • Egypt's famed pyramids at Giza have a newcomer in their midst: the largest on-site antiquities laboratory meant to restore the location's second pharaonic boat. The vessel is believed to be the ceremonial boat of Pharaoh Cheops, known for building the largest of Egypt's pyramids. The project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Higashi Nippon International University, is set to complete the initial phase of repairs of the 4,500-year-old vessel by 2020. Once reassembled, the vessel of the ancient Egyptian ruler will be displayed at the Grand Egyptian Museum, currently under construction on Cairo's outskirts and close to the pyramids at Giza. At the lab's inauguration on Wednesday, Eissa Zeidan, head of the project's Egyptian restoration team, told The Associated Press that the lab at the site of the Giza pyramids was necessary for some of the boat's 1,264 pieces, which are too fragile or large to move. According to Zeidan, the Japanese-Egyptian mission has completed the testing of material which will be used to restore the boat, a process that started in 2010. Kanan Yoshimura, a conservator on the Japanese team told the AP that they are using fillers and soft materials, and that the lab's temperature and humidity are adjusted to simulate the atmosphere in the pits where the pieces were stored for centuries. 'We will restore all of it, every piece is important,' Yoshimura said. The pieces of the vessel and its sister boat, recovered first, were found in five pits surrounding the Great Pyramid, which serves as Cheops' tomb, in 1954. Egypt reassembled the first boat with limited capacities which led to the replacement of some of its original parts. The boats are believed to have been buried with the pharaoh to carry him into the afterlife. The first vessel is currently displayed in a special, air-conditioned building where humidity is carefully monitored, on the grounds that includes all the three main pyramids — the Great Pyramid of Giza, which is also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure, all within a few hundred meters (yards of each other. A few steps down a slope from the complex lies the Great Sphinx. The Great Pyramid is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that is still in existence.
  • The Trump administration has asked a federal appeals court to postpone ruling on the merits of President Barack Obama's sweeping plan to address climate change. The request late Tuesday came hours after President Donald Trump signed an executive order that seeks to roll back his predecessor's effort to curb carbon emissions. The regulations — known as the Clean Power Plan — have been the subject of long-running legal challenges by mostly Republican-led states and industry groups that profit from burning coal. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard arguments in the case last year and could issue a ruling any time. Environmental groups oppose any delay. A ruling in favor of the Obama-era rules could help environmental groups battle Trump administration efforts to undo them.