Tombs hold animal statues, cat mummies
SAQQARA — A top Egyptian antiquities official says local archaeologists have discovered seven Pharaonic Age tombs near the capital Cairo containing dozens of cat mummies along with wooden statues depicting other animals and birds.
Mostafa Waziri told reporters Saturday that the discovery at Saqqara also includes mummies of scarabs, the first-ever to be found in the area.
Of the statues found, those depicting cats were the majority, reflecting the reverence ancient Egyptians showed the felines, whose God Bastet was worshipped. Other statues depicted a lion, a cow and a falcon.
Egypt has been whipping up publicity for its new historical discoveries in the hopes of reviving a devastated tourism sector still recovering from the turmoil following a 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Shelters open as flash flood death toll hits 12
PETRA — The death toll from flash floods in Jordan rose to 12 on Saturday, and the kingdom’s main tourist attraction, the ancient city of Petra, was closed for cleanup after what local officials said was the biggest deluge in the area in decades.
Friday’s floods struck several areas of Jordan. Rescuers continued the search for missing people around the Wala reservoir in central Jordan on Saturday. In the southern town of Maan, authorities opened a shelter for dozens of people whose homes were surrounded by water.
In all, 12 people were killed, including two children and a diver who had been involved in rescue efforts, according to state media and Jordanian government spokeswoman Jumana Ghuneimat. Two of the bodies were found Saturday.
The torrents came two weeks after 21 people, most of them children, were killed in flash floods near the Dead Sea. The tourism and education ministers resigned over the Dead Sea flooding.
Leaders, nationalists set to walk together
WARSAW — The Polish government and the organizers of a yearly march organized by nationalist groups have agreed to hold a joint march on the 100th anniversary of Poland’s rebirth as a state on Sunday.
The announcement late Friday means President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and other state officials will march in the capital with groups whose Nov. 11 march last year included racist banners and white supremacist symbols.
Michal Dworczyk, the head of Morawiecki’s chancellery, tweeted that both sides reached an agreement, adding: “Poland won. On Nov. 11 there will be a great communal march to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Independence!”
The deal was also announced by the top march organizer, Robert Bakiewicz. He is a leader of the National Radical Camp, which traces its roots to an anti-Semitic movement of the 1930s.
Pop star politician holds first concert since jail
KAMPALA — Ugandan pop star and opposition politician Bobi Wine staged his first concert since being charged with treason for his alleged role in a stone attack on the president’s convoy.
Thousands of Ugandans attended the lakeside event Saturday.
Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, performed at a private beach outside the capital, Kampala, after he was denied permission to hold the event at the national stadium.
He has been relatively quiet since returning from the U.S., where he sought specialist care for injuries he sustained during alleged torture by state agents in August.
Parliament dissolved; president seeks election
COLOMBO — Sri Lanka’s president has dissolved Parliament and called for elections on Jan. 5 in a bid to stave off a deepening political crisis over his dismissal of the prime minister that opponents say is unconstitutional.
An official notification signed by President Maithripala Sirisena announced the dissolution of Parliament effective midnight Friday. It said the names of candidates will be called before Nov. 26, and the new Parliament is to convene Jan. 17.
Sri Lanka has been in a crisis since Oct. 26, when Sirisena fired his prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and replaced him with former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa. Both say they command a majority in Parliament and had been expected to face the 225-member body on Wednesday after it was suspended for about 19 days.