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Photos: Dozens of Mammoth Remains Found Near Mexico City Construction Site

Archaeologists working in Santa Lucia, a town located roughly 30 miles from Mexico City, Mexico, recently came upon quite the discovery after managing to dig up more than 60 remains belonging to the long-extinct Columbian mammoth.

The team, which consists of some 31 archaeologists and three restorers, made their grand discovery at a vast construction site that is in the progress of turning the defunct Santa Lucia Air Force Base into the Felipe Angeles International Airport. Excavators have been working at the site since April 2019, according to Mexican news outlet Excelsior

Researchers have indicated that nearly all the unearthed bones belong to the Columbian mammoth, and archaeologists estimate they date back 15,000 years. The remains were reportedly dug up in the area where the airport’s tower and runways are meant to be constructed.

Images shared on social media of the find offer a peek at the massive tusks of one mammoth, whereas other images show the intricate designs of a vessel discovered at the site.

Durante los trabajos para construir el nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional “General Felipe Ángeles”, en Santa Lucía, Estado…

Posted by Vagando con Mafedien on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Aside from mammoth bones, officials found the remains of a bison, a camel, a horse and a canid, a carnivorous member of the canine family. Additionally, excavators were able to unearth more than a dozen human burial sites that included vessels.

Pedro Francisco Sanchez Nava, an archaeologist associated with Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, told Excelsior that the greatest challenge the team encountered was the site itself, as the “wealth of the fauna and vestiges has been more than what [the team] had considered.”

Posted by Patricia Ruiz Anchondo on Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Nava further explained that he believed the site would be rich in remains from the Pleistocene Era because it was the grounds for the Xaltocan Lake, which was later used as a trapping site for mammoths once the lakebed dried up. 

In fact, the team reported in December 2019 that they had discovered a variety of animal bones at the site. It’s speculated that the animals ultimately died after becoming stuck in the ancient lake’s muddy remains. 

Moving forward, Nava indicated that researchers would continue to work in coordination with officials who are building the new civilian airport.

“To say that we have not influenced the performance of the work is to lie, but we are working in coordination with those responsible for the work,” he told Excelsior. “We are able to continue at our own pace without having much influence on the [airport] work.”

As for the new fossils, additional examinations will be conducted by the team.

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Tomb of jewelry-clad Iron Age ‘PRINCESS’ unearthed in France (PHOTOS) — RT World News

An ancient tomb, dating back to the early Iron age, has been unearthed in France, revealing the resting place of an upper-class woman buried with a treasure trove of jewelry and other fancy trinkets.

Stumbled upon by accident during construction works at a burial site near Saint-Vulbas – some 32km (20 miles) from Lyon – one of the tombs contained remains of an evidently upper-crust woman who lived in the 8th century BC. She was found inside an oak coffin, carved from a log, along with other signs of her high status – perhaps royalty, even – according to researchers from the National Institute of Preventive Archaeology (INRAP).

“Inside the coffin, the deceased, a middle-aged woman, was laid on her back, arms beside her body, dressed and adorned with her jewelry,” the institute said in a press release.

The bracelets found in the long-forgotten tomb were made of blue glass and copper beads – a high-tech fashion choice in the 8th century BC. Over the ages, the copper elements were coated with a greenish patina, making them quite hard to distinguish from the glass beads.

The woman also wore a belt with a large copper buckle. Leather or fabric pieces on the belt did not survive the centuries in storage and decayed to dust, while the buckle itself also aged quite poorly, so worn by time that its ornamental design is now barely visible.

Burial practices have drastically changed over the last three centuries, as another nearby mound dating back to the 5th century BC suggests. The grave, which had a four-post covering, was split in half and contained cremated remains of two people. One was buried in a wooden box lined with limestone and another one in a basket-like container, all in stark contrast to the well-to-do woman.

While the condition of the remains made it near-impossible to tell who was buried in the second mound, fragments of bracelets in the cremated ashes suggest the deceased were also women, the researchers believe.

All of the buried people belonged to the Halstatt culture, which was dominant during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age across much of Europe. While the culture was largely agricultural, it also developed advanced metalworking techniques and maintained active long-distance trade with peoples in the Mediterranean.

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10,000+ residents flee Michigan county after TWO dams fail in a single day, unleashing massive flood (PHOTOS & VIDEOS) — RT USA News

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared a state of emergency for one county after two dams breached on the same day, warning that downtown Midland could be under nine feet of water in just 12 hours as thousands evacuate.

Both the Edenville and Sanford dams near Midland breached on Tuesday after several days of heavy rainfall, sending a torrent of water downstream along the Tittabawassee River and prompting the governor to issue an evacuation order for the area’s 10,000 or so residents.

“If you have not evacuated the area, do so now and get somewhere safe,” Whitmer said in a statement, noting the state’s National Guard had been activated and warning the city of Midland could be devastated by flooding as soon as Wednesday.

This is unlike anything we’ve seen in Midland County. If you have a family member or loved one who lives in another part of the state, go there now.

Several images and videos have emerged on social media showing the progress of the flooding and some of the damage caused, while one clip captured the moment the Edenville dam failed.

Local officials have urged residents to get as far away from the Tittabawassee River as possible and to seek high ground. The surrounding area contains several densely populated communities and a number of chemical plants that could fall in the path of the massive flood.

In addition to the Tittabawassee River, the Rifle River near Sterling has also reached a stage of major flooding, prompting the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue emergency flash flood warnings in locations near the failed dams.

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MMA starlet Pearl Gonzalez posts inspiring message while awaiting next fight (PHOTOS) — RT Sport News

Former UFC women’s strawweight Pearl Gonzalez is keeping her legion of fans entertained on Instagram while maintaining her social distancing during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Gonzalez, who fought twice in the UFC back in 2017, was famously denied the opportunity to fight in her debut at UFC 210 after commission officials felt her breast implants were too unsafe.

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Eventually, she was cleared to fight, but fell to defeat to Cynthia Calvillo. She was later released by the UFC after losing her second octagon bout to Poliana Botelho at UFC 216.

Since being released by the UFC, Gonzalez signed for all-female fight promotion Invicta Fighting Championships, where she has won four of six bouts.

But with the promotion currently not hosting fights due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gonzalez is stuck at home San Diego, California, where she posts regular updates to her 157,000 fans on Instagram.

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Gonzalez was recently drawn into a heated online debate with UFC heavyweight Curtis Blaydes, who said some female fighters, including Paige VanZant and Rachael Ostovich, only kept their places on the UFC roster because of their looks, and criticized Gonzalez for using her Instagram to build her fame using her looks, rather than her fighting skills.

But after shutting down Blaydes’ comments, Gonzalez has continued with her style of posting to the social media channel, with her most recent post, a shot of her performing a side kick in front of the San Diego Museum of Art, captioned, “Be eye candy, soul food & a side of kick ass. Happy Sunday morning #teamgonzalez”

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Gonzalez’s career record reads 10 wins, 5 losses, with half of her victories coming by way of submission.

And, after showing her ability to hold her own in the face of direct criticism, her fans will be even more keen to see her return to the cage in winning style once Invicta FC starts hosting events again.

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The People vs. The Pandemic in New York City, Unforgettable Photos by Peter Turnley

The moment came on Mother’s Day, as it happened, in front of Lenox Hill Hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Once again New Yorkers were cheering for essential workers on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Four young men stopped their car. They set up an electric organ and an amp, and one climbed on the hood. He started to sing “America the Beautiful.” 

Erika, a traveling nurse who immigrated from Brazil more than 35 years ago, and who had come to New York from her home in the Carolinas to try to help, put her hand over her heart. And on her face and in her eyes at that moment was all the emotion—the hope and the fear, the weariness and determination—that defines the suffering of these times.

That Peter Turnley was the photographer who caught that moment outside Lenox Hill Hospital should not come as a surprise. Turnley has spent decades in war zones and refugee camps around the world on assignment for many publications. When he found himself locked down in New York City on March 21, nobody told him to go out on the streets. He just knew he had to. And ever since then he has posted almost daily on Facebook and on a dedicated Web page his stunning black and white images of life and death in locked down New York.

The Daily Beast is publishing just a handful of the photographs here, but among them are images that should live on as icons of these times, not only for New Yorkers, but for anyone who has survived this plague: 30-year-old Yanan (from Wuhan, no less) running across the Brooklyn Bridge in March; an MTA bus driver, hands clasped as if in prayer; paramedics in their dress uniforms around the casket of one Anthony Thomas, who had worked saving lives for 36 years before COVID-19 took his; Joel And Moshe, masked, waiting for their 83-year-old father to get out of the hospital after five weeks; and that scene on Mother’s Day, when Erika put her hand to her heart as she listened to the song.

“America the Beautiful.” 

And so it is.

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Meet WWE’s TRIPLE THREAT Charly Caruso (PHOTOS) — RT Sport News

With WWE currently one of the only forms of sports entertainment available on TV, WWE’s backstage reporter Charly Caruso is picking up fans with her combination of stunning looks and media savvy.

Caruso, real name Charly Arnolt, has more than 690,000 followers on Instagram, where her bio pretty much says it all.

“WWE. ESPN. In the gym.”

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Arnolt somehow manages to balance her life as backstage reporter for the WWE with her role as a presenter for ESPN, where she hosts hot-take discussion show First Take.

Arnolt headed into media straight out of college and after an unhappy stint working in crime journalist, she switched her attention to entertainment, then sports and became a sports journalist in Indianapolis, USA.

A longtime WWE fan, she was invited by a friend to a WWE SmackDown event and took the chance to hand WWE backstage execs her resume. Eventually, it paid off as she earned herself an audition that saw her land her current gig with the WWE.

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Arnolt started out as a ring announcer for NXT, then transitioned to backstage reporter duties and eventually joined the WWE’s big brands, Raw and SmackDown.

Then, just as fans were falling in love with her as “Charly Caruso,” Arnolt revealed she was set to appear on ESPN, sparking fears that she would leave her legion of new fans behind. But she assured fans that she would be working for both brands, dubbing them a “killer combo!”

Somehow, despite balancing two high-profile media careers at the same time, Arnolt also manages to stay in shape with multiple gym sessions, including a punishing weight lifting regimen. Indeed, she showcased her fitness when she competed in Ms. Health and Fitness 2019.

Her career seems to be skyrocketing, both for ESPN and the WWE, and whether you know her best as Charly Caruso or Charly Arnolt, the future certainly looks bright for the 32-year-old.

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Promoter Eddie Hearn reveals plans to stage boxing events in his BACK GARDEN (PHOTOS) — RT Sport News

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has unveiled ambitious plans to get around the COVID-19 restrictions currently decimating the global sporting calendar – by holding large-scale boxing events in his back garden.

Hearn has revealed plans to stage successive boxing events on the grounds of his 15-acre mansion in Brentwood, Essex.

The plan is understood to be in advanced stages and will cost in the region of £1 million ($1.2 million) to get off the ground.

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No more than 90 people will be permitted on site in accordance with the United Kingdom’s coronavirus guidelines.

Per reports in UK media, the ambitious plan is set to begin in mid-July with a world title fight between Terri Harper and Natasha Jonas. A heavyweight clash between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin is due to follow in August.

Financially this will be painful for us, but after the momentum we have worked so hard to build over the past 10 years, I’m not going to let boxing just dribble back,” said Hearn.

While other guys go with arenas and empty studios, ours will look very different.

Just imagine it. It is summer, the house is all lit up, you can see Canary Wharf in the distance and fireworks are going off. Then over the hill walk Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin for a massive tear up on my lawn.

We cannot just bring boxing back with a dark studio. We have built our product on the razzmatazz, the sexiness and the drama. It has all been about building that moment for a fight, so we cannot afford to just bring people out like a game show.

We want to create a gladiatorial environment that will not only ensure compelling viewing, but will also ensure fighters can perform at the highest level.

The plan – which has been dubbed Matchroom Fight Camp – aims to have four fight cards with five boxing matches on each, with the fighters being allowed to have a maximum of three cornermen each.

Around 12 Matchroom staff will also be present. Others required to attend will be the relevant health and safety personnel and representatives from the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC).

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Health and safety guidelines will also dictate that spit buckets must have a closed lid, while the ropes will be sanitized prior to each bout. Face masks will be worn at all times by cornermen and officials alike.

The plan has yet to be signed off by the British Boxing Board of Control, but Hearn remains optimistic and says that he wants to open the fight series with a bang.

We are in discussions with the Board at the moment,” he said.

All of this has been done in dialogue with them. Obviously we want to start with a world title contest.”

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20 Fire Crews Tackle Large Blaze in Barking, East London – Photos


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Fire crews from Barking, East Ham, Dagenham, Plaistow, Ilford, and other nearby stations in East London were sent to tackle the incident in Barking, reports say.

20 fire engines and more than 120 firefighters responded to a fire at an industrial estate on Alfreds Way in Barking, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) has said in a statement. 

According to the LFB, a single-storey warehouse and part of an adjoining warehouse were on fire when the firefighters arrived at the scene. 

​The firefighters received the call at 18:33 local time (17:33 GMT) and the blaze was under control by 00:57 on 16 May (23:57 GMT, 15 May).

​Photos of the incident have been posted on the LFB’s official account on Twitter.

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‘Is it Kylie Jenner?’ Mexico star accidentally posts NAKED snaps with topless model (PHOTOS) — RT Sport News

LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos posted a naked photo of himself and 21-year-old Greek-Ecuadorian model Amanda Trivizas on Instagram, swiftly deleting the racy shot from his story after fans had captured the evidence.

Trivizas kissed Dos Santos’s shoulder between the sheets in the saucy photo seen by some of the former Barcelona player’s following of more than 2.3 million on the site, where Trivizas leaves little to the imagination for her audience of more than 823,000.

The Los Angeles-based model has been linked to American playboy Dan Bilzerian but said she could not talk about her relationship with the entrepreneur and claimed that he had treated her badly on her YouTube channel recently.

She has made no public mention of Dos Santos, who spent five years at Spanish giants Barcelona and switched to Villarreal before joining Galaxy in 2017.

The 30-year-old usually uses his social media account to highlight his taste for high fashion and post photos alongside footballer friends.

Dos Santos had spent the day wishing former teammate Giovani dos Santos a happy birthday before his apparent mistake, including a photo of the pair together with actor and former wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Trivizas has said the “connections” she has made since moving from Miami have been her favourite thing about Los Angeles, where the 21-year-old likes to visit the mountains.

She has named 56-year-old actor as her celebrity crush, explaining: “He’s so hot.”

“Right now I just smoke the occasional weed or eat edibles,” Trivizas admitted in response to a fan who asked her if she takes drugs, adding that she has had problems with becoming addicted to benzodiazepine Xanax in the past.

In her most recent video, Trivizas gave advice on cooking during quarantine while wearing a low-cut top and shorts in her kitchen.

Dos Santos supporters responded by suggesting that the hook-up increased the chances of the international staying at Galaxy long-term, as well as confusing Trivizas with celebrity lookalike Kylie Jenner.

“If Jonathan Dos Santos really slept with Kylie Jenner, he should be named captain of the Mexican team, a national hero and his face in the photo should appear on the 500 peso bill,” wrote one, who may be disappointed to learn the true identity of his date.

The midfielder was left out of the Copa America for disciplinary reasons in 2011 but played at the 2018 World Cup and scored his first three goals for his country last year.

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Photos: Wreckage of World War II US Battleship Found Near Pearl Harbor

The wreck of the World War II battleship USS Nevada has been discovered off the coast of Hawaii more than 15,000 feet down in the Pacific Ocean by underwater archaeological specialist company SEARCH Inc. and marine robotics firm Ocean Infinity.

In a statement Monday, the two private firms said they discovered the battleship wreck about 65 nautical miles southwest of Pearl Harbor. Photos of the wreck show that parts of the ship, including the anti-aircraft gun, hull and hatch for a 5-inch gun room, remain intact.

​The search for the Nevada was completed using an Ocean Infinity research vessel, the Pacific Constructor. Ocean Infinity also used autonomous underwater vehicles, which can explore depths greater than 19,600 feet, to discover the wreckage.

“Nevada is an iconic ship that speaks to American resilience and stubbornness,” James Delgado, SEARCH’s senior vice president, said. “Rising from its watery grave after being sunk at Pearl Harbor, it survived torpedoes, bombs, shells and two atomic blasts. The physical reality of the ship, resting in the darkness of the great museum of the sea, reminds us not only of past events, but of those who took up the challenge of defending the United States in two global wars.”

​The USS Nevada was built in Quincy, Massachusetts, and was first commissioned in March 1916 and operated in the British Isles during World War I, after which it operated in the western Atlantic and the Caribbean. Decades later, it was the only battleship to “get underway during the December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor Raid,” according to the Naval History and Heritage Command.

“Left in a sinking condition after receiving one torpedo and several bomb hits, she had to be beached. Vigorous salvage work and temporary repairs enabled her to steam to the US west coast in April 1942. She spent the rest of the year receiving permanent repairs and improvements, including a greatly enhanced anti-aircraft gun battery,” the Naval History and Heritage Command explains. The ship would go on to participate in World War II battles in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

The Nevada was later used as a target ship for atomic bomb tests in July 1946 in the Marshall Islands. The vessel finally sank on July 31, 1948, following days of target practice by the US Navy off the Hawaiian Islands culminating in an aerial torpedo strike.

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Iranians Bid Farewell to Sailors Killed in Naval Friendly Fire Incident – Photos, Video

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19 Iranian Navy personnel were killed and 15 others injured after the Jamaran frigate accidentally struck the Konarak support ship with an anti-ship missile during live fire exercises in the Gulf of Oman on Sunday. Iran’s military is investigating the incident.

Iranians held a funeral ceremony for the 19 Navy sailors who were killed in Sunday’s live fire incident, with soldiers carrying coffins draped in print patterns of the Iranian flag and sailors’ portraits in a military procession in the southwestern port city of Chabahar.

The ceremony, which took place Tuesday, was attended by mourning family members, senior military officials and members of the government.

A team of investigators has been dispatched to the site where the incident took place, off the port city of Jask in the Gulf of Oman, with the Navy urging Iranians against speculation on what happened before a thorough probe is carried out.

19 sailors were killed and over a dozen others injured after the Jamaran Moudge (‘Wave’)-class frigate accidentally fired at the friendly general-purpose vessel the Konarak on Sunday. On Monday, footage of the Konarak released by Iranian media showed the vessel to have been almost completely destroyed in the incident.

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‘It’s fun!’ Russian figure skating ace Elizaveta Tuktamysheva uses FACETIME for lingerie photoshoot (PHOTOS) — RT Sport News

Known for her racy “striptease” routine, newly-single Elizaveta Tuktamysheva has taken a novel approach to modeling during lockdown by holding a glamorous quarantine photoshoot in her home with a photographer via FaceTime.

The 23-year-old has frequently set pulses racing during among her Instagram following of more than 182,000 during lockdown, covering her torso with a pair of cushions and offering makeup tips while wearing lacy lingerie at her St. Petersburg home.

Now she has met a request from a photojournalist by sitting on her sofa in a tiny pair of shorts while lifting a leg to tie up one of a pair of white skates on her feet as a teddy bear watches on.

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She also used the video calling app to portray herself reading on her bed while stroking a dog and appearing to gaze out of a window.

Her fluffy pet remained inside as she headed onto a balcony dressed in a feathered top hat, leather jacket and black bra for a more revealing follow-up shot.

Tuktamysheva then revealed her eye for interior design by looking upwards towards a wall adorned with an abstract painting of film icon Audrey Hepburn, whose smoldering style the former world number one clearly yearns to replicate.

“I came up with the whole design of the apartment,” the 2015 World and European Champion told Sport Express.

“I decided to dilute the interior with a bright color spot, so I have a portrait of actress Audrey Hepburn on my wall.

“When I found out that the World Figure Skating Championship was being canceled and the Olympics were being rescheduled for next year, my first thought was, ‘right – you shouldn’t joke with health.’

“First of all, after quarantine, I’ll go to the ice rink. I miss being on the ice.”

In February, Tuktamysheva declared her “heart is free” after confirming she had split from her boyfriend, giving her time to turn her passions to preparing for exams and reading “usually 50 pages a day” of a work by 19th century French short story writer Guy de Maupassant.

Admitting that she longed for a return to her preferred slippery surface, she said the socially-distanced photoshoot reflected a “new reality” with “new rules”.

“Training without ice is very bad,” she said.

“But the whole world is living under the same conditions.

“We must live in the hope that the epidemic will end soon and not lose heart.”

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‘My heart is free’: Russian figure skating ‘striptease’ star Elizaveta Tuktamysheva says she’s single

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Freak V-Day glitch? Facebook engine CENSORS iconic photo with Soviet flag raised over Reichstag (PHOTOS) — RT World News

Social media feeds are filled with historic shots marking Victory Day, but Facebook seems to have taken issue with one that symbolizes the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany, and it keeps deleting a recently-colorized version of it.

Taken during the Battle of Berlin on May 2, 1945, Yevgeny Khaldei’s ‘Raising a Flag over the Reichstag’ commonly springs to mind when it comes to the subject of World War II and Victory Day celebrations. It universally appears in literature, documentaries and, indeed, in social media posts. RT has even reenacted the iconic moment as part of its V-Day project.

All the more puzzled, then, were social media users who tried posting the iconic shot on Facebook on May 9, as Russia marked 75 years since the defeat of Nazi Germany. While the vintage black-and-white versions of the famous photo seemed to pass FB algorithms with flying colors, the version skilfully colorized by Olga Shirnina (aka Klimbim) –showing the Soviet flag in its original bright red– set off alarm bells.

“Your post goes against our Community Standards on dangerous individuals and organisations,” was the message shown to several RT employees who’d set out to verify the reports and tried to post the picture. The warning appeared minutes after posts were completed, after which the image just vanished altogether.

Details provided in the warning only broadly outline the topics banned on FB, such as terrorism and incitement of hate and violence. There is no indication that FB has ever consistently associated the Soviet symbols with any on the list, although the network does have a history of erroneously censoring certain historic shots.

RT has sent a request to Facebook, seeking clarification.


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How VE Day is Celebrated in Europe Despite Coronavirus Pandemic – Photos, Videos

The global pandemic has forced people in most of the countries that were involved in the defeat of Nazi Germany to stay home and skip the celebrations. Sadly, the few remaining war veterans are among the most vulnerable to the disease and thus will not be able to gather together to mark the occasion in 2020.

COVID-19 outbreak or not, Europeans are not planning to forget or skip a date as important as Victory in Europe Day. It’s true that the 75th anniversary of the victory is being held with much less fanfare than previous VE Days, but most countries have still found a way to mark the occasion and pay their respects to those who fell defending their homelands against Nazi aggression.


The British government chose to commemorate its war heroes by sending nine of the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows to fly over London, painting the skies in the colours of the Union Jack. Modern RAF fighter jets also roared through the skies across the country, flying by Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast. The Royal Navy joined the celebrations by sounding the sirens on warships the very minute Winston Churchill announced the surrender of Nazi Germany on 8 May.

REUTERS / Frank Augstein

People applaud as a WWII veteran walks past after two minutes of silence was observed in Whitehall in London, Friday, May 8, 2020 on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe

The famous speech was also broadcast by British TV as part of a larger VE Day programme, which included two minutes of silence in commemoration of the fallen soldiers that were commenced by Prince Charles and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, and will conclude with a speech given by Queen Elizabeth II.

While large gatherings are still forbidden in the UK due to the pandemic, a smaller wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey was led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Instead of going outside for celebrations, 10 Downing Street urged people to stay at home or go out to their doorsteps to jointly sing “We’ll Meet Again”, an iconic wartime song.


While the country has also kept the pandemic restrictions in place on VE Day, the government has still allowed small ceremonies that follow social distancing rules at local memorials to war heroes.

AP Photo / Michel Spingler

A veteran holds a French flag before a ceremony at a WWI and WWII monument in Lille, northern France, Friday May 8, 2020

Government officials adhered to the rules themselves, as President Emmanuel Macron, accompanied by his predecessors François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as a small military choir singing the French national anthem, laid wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and a statute of Charles de Gaulle, the general who led the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation.


Although VE Day for Germany is somewhat of a different occasion and is not a public holiday, with the exception of in Berlin this year, it’s still celebrated as the day of liberation from Nazi tyranny. The pandemic has forced all celebrations to be held at a minimum as the quarantine measures remain in place, but the country’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and a few other politicians visited a memorial to the victims of war and violence in Berlin known as Neue Wache.


A man with a Soviet flag attends a celebration to mark Victory Day and the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two at the Soviet War Memorial at Tiergarten Park in Berlin, Germany, May 8, 2020


Poland was one of the first countries to fall victim to Nazi aggression in 1939, losing six million people as a result. President Andrzej Duda attended a small wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw, calling the VE Day this year a “bittersweet anniversary” in his speech.


A woman mourns at a grave of a Russian soldier at the Olsany cemetery to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Prague, Czech Republic, May 8, 2020

Similar Holidays, Different Days

However, not all European countries commemorate the fall of Nazi Germany on 8 May – for some, VE Day is earlier or even later. Italy celebrated its equivalent marking the liberation from the Benito Mussolini regime on 25 April, with people singing the anthem of the anti-fascist resistance, Bella Ciao, from their balconies while adhering to social distancing rules.


Queen Mathilde of Belgium (L), King Philippe – Filip of Belgium (C) and Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes (R) attend during a ceremony to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier monument in Brussels, on May 8, 2020

Denmark and the Netherlands celebrated their VE Day on 5 May. In the Netherlands, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima laid a wreath at the National Monument, with the monarch later addressing the nation.

Ukraine, which was previously a republic in the USSR, celebrates quite a different holiday on 8 May – for them, it is the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, something that appeared as part of the country’s policy to eradicate all links with its Soviet past. The country also celebrates the victory over Nazi Germany on 9 May, but this year neither of the dates will see major events due to the quarantine, with only minor wreath-laying ceremonies taking place.

AP Photo / Mindaugas Kulbis

Lithuanian soldiers of the honour guard, wearing face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus, attend a memorial ceremony marking the 75nd anniversary of the end of World War II at the Paneriai memorial, Vilnius, Lithuania, Friday, May 8, 2020

Russia, in turn, is celebrating Victory Day on 9 May, although this year the streets of Moscow will not see the traditional massive military parade marking the event. The parade has been postponed to a later date in anticipation of the end of the quarantine, with only an aerial programme being held on the anniversary day.

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Panic in Indian village after major toxic gas leak kills at least 5, dozens hospitalized (GRAPHIC PHOTOS & VIDEO) — RT World News

A gas leak at a chemical plant in India has killed several people and put nearly 200 in hospital with breathing difficulties. Chilling images have emerged showing victims lying motionless on the ground in the wake of the tragedy.

Two elderly residents and a seven-year-old girl have reportedly perished in the gas leak, which emitted from the LG Polymers plant near Visakhapatnam in the eastern state of Andhra Pradesh early on Thursday morning, according to local reports. The gas, believed to be Styrene, is highly toxic when inhaled in high enough concentrations. There have been conflicting reports as to the number of victims, which continues to rise. AFP reported that the accident claimed the lives of at least 5 people, citing police, while some Indian outlets have put the figure even higher, at 8 deaths and some 5,000 sickened.

“People have passed out after inhaling the gas. Even our [police personnel] eyes are still burning and we feel nauseous,” Gopalapatnam Sub-Inspector Venkat Rao told the media.

The aftermath of the leak was captured in photos and videos that have circulated on social media, some of them highly graphic, showing a number of victims laying on the ground apparently struggling to breathe. It is unclear whether they are merely unconscious or succumbed to the gas.

Other harrowing images showed what appeared to be lifeless bodies in a nearby canal, as well as dead livestock with a white foamy substance around their mouths strewn about the area, while some local reports published images of children affected in the massive leak.

Some 1,000 people have been admitted to nearby hospitals, AFP reported, citing sources, while local media said that between 1,500 and 2,000 beds had been prepared in total. A municipal official also took to Twitter on Thursday morning saying the leak occurred around 2:30am, and that “hundreds” had either fallen unconscious or experienced trouble breathing after inhaling the toxic chemical. Some victims also developed headaches, bouts of vomiting and a burning sensation in their eyes.

The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) issued a warning for residents, stating “There is gas leakage identified at LG Polymers … Requesting citizens around these locations not to come out of houses for the sake of safety precautions.” The GVMC also advised villagers to use a “wet mask” or cloth to avoid inhaling the gas.

Nearly eight hours after the leak was first reported, India’s National Disaster Response Force said the gas had been “neutralized,” adding that the toxic vapors could be detected up to 1.5 kilometers away from the plant and the smell wafted for some 2.5 kilometers. The agency has launched an investigation.

The exact cause of the leak at the facility – owned by South Korean battery manufacturer LG Chemical Ltd. – has yet to be determined, but rescue teams have been deployed to the area to assist residents. LG Chemical has so far offered no comment on the incident.


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Skies over Niger’s capital dyed BLOOD RED as massive sandstorm engulfs city (PHOTOS & VIDEOS) — RT World News

An enormous sandstorm over Niger’s capital turned the skies a deep crimson red as a towering wall of dust swept the city, creating an impressive and menacing spectacle that was captured on film by eyewitnesses.

The immense storm swept through Niamey on Monday, shrouding the city in an eerie reddish darkness, aptly summed up by an onlooker as “Kind of cool, kind of weird, kind of scary” in footage obtained by Ruptly.

Standing hundreds of meters tall, a vast dust cloud could also be seen as it swallowed the city, turning day to night for anyone standing in its path.

While no reports of damage or injuries have emerged from Niamey after Monday’s sand squall, dust storms are thought to drive surges in some illnesses – such as bacterial meningitis – in the Sahel region, which stretches across North Africa from Eritrea to Senegal. According to research published in 2016, the high winds can carry particles, including infectious bacteria, deep into the respiratory tract, suggesting sandstorms could play a role in outbreaks of some diseases.

Sandstorms are somewhat common across the Sahara Desert – where burts of warm winds frequently kick up large clouds of dust and debris – especially in arid regions of West Africa during its dry season, known as the “Harmattan,” which typically runs from January to April.

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