Ancient City Discovered Beneath Mound in Northern Iraq

The ancient city of Idu, which dates back more than 3,000 years, is one of the largest archeological discoveries in Iraq’s Kurdish region

Archeologists from Germany’s University of Leipzig have discovered an ancient city called Idu hidden beneath a mound in northern Iraq.

According to the archeological findings, Idu was under the control of the Assyrian Empire about 3,300 years ago, then later gained its independence as the empire declined. The Assyrians reconquered the city roughly 140 years later. Researchers have found artwork, including a bearded sphinx with a human head and the body of a winged lion, and a cylinder seal dating back roughly 2,600 years depicting a man crouching before a griffon, according to NBC News.

Researchers discovered the name of the city during a survey of the area in 2008. A resident from a nearby village brought them an inscription with the name carved in it, and they spent 2010 and 2011 excavating the area. Archeologists plan to continue excavating the site once they reach a settlement between villagers and the Kurdistan regional government.

Iraq is home to several archeological treasures, including Babylon, an ancient Mesopotamian city-state dating to the 3rd millennium BC, which was discovered south of Baghdad by British scholars in the 19th century. During the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, American forces built landing areas for helicopters and parking lots for vehicles, causing irreparable damage to part of the site.

[NBC News]

Οι ακραίοι της Χρυσής Αυγής είναι υπόλογοι και υπόδικοι”

Πέντε ώρες διήρκησε η απολογία Μιχαλολιάκου Απολογείται ο Γ. Πατέλης Πιθανόν μετά να ζητηθούν διευκρινήσεις από τον γ.γ. της Χρυσής Αυγής.

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«Οι ακραίοι της Χρυσής Αυγής είναι υπόλογοι και υπόδικοι, κάποιοι είναι ήδη προφυλακισμένοι, κάτι τέτοιο δεν είχε γίνει ποτέ ως τώρα» δήλωσε ο πρωθυπουργός Αντώνης Σαμαράς από την Ουάσινγκτον όπου είχε σήμερα συνάντηση με τον αντιπρόεδρο των ΗΠΑ Τζο Μπάιντεν.

Συνεχίζοντας ανέφερε: «Η εικόνα της χώρας δεν έχει καμία σχέση με εκείνη πριν από δύο εβδομάδες. Είμαστε Δημοκρατία και η Δημοκρατία λειτουργεί. Η Δικαιοσύνη κάνει τη δουλειά της. Όσοι υπονομεύουν τη Δημοκρατία αντιμετωπίζουν τις συνέπειες. Όσοι παραβιάζουν το νόμο αντιμετωπίζουν τη δικαιοσύνη. Όλα γίνονται με βάση το νόμο. Η δικαιοσύνη έχει την πρωτοβουλία. Αυτό σημαίνει δημοκρατική νομιμότητα».

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Συνεχίζεται μέχρι από αυτή την ώρα η μαραθώνια απολογία του γενικού γραμματέα της Χρυσής Αυγής, Νίκου Μιχαλολιάκου ενώπιον δύο ανακριτών, των κ.κ. Γεωργουλέα και Παπακώστα και δύο εισαγγελέων.

ο κ. Μιχαλολιάκος, στην απολογία του, η οποία ξεκίνησε στις 19:30, αναμένεται να κινηθεί στην ίδια γραμμή που κινήθηκαν και οι βουλευτές της Χρυσής Αυγής και να υποστηρίξει ότι η δίωξή του είναι πολιτική.

Επίσης, ο Ν. Μιχαλολιάκος αναμένεται να πει ότι αποκηρύσσει τη βία και ότι η μόνη δράση της Χρυσής Αυγής είναι κοινοβουλευτική.

Australias first computer

Source: TheAge

The first computer to arrive at Melbourne University was so big it had to be delivered in pieces by truck.
In 1955, it was Jurij Semkiw’s job to help assemble the massive, two-tonne machine, known as CSIRAC, and which is one of the oldest computers in the world.

It is now on display at Melbourne Museum, taking up the space of a large bedroom. A Heritage Council of Victoria plaque describes CSIRAC as Australia’s first computer.

”You had to do everything from scratch: write your program, test your program, run your program,” Mr Semkiw said. ”It is very important. It’s the fourth or fifth computer in the world and the only one that is preserved in its original form.”
Banks of dotted lights flash beside the jungle of multicoloured wires and coils. A typewriter with white tape, which fed primitive programs into the computer, sits atop a metal desk.

Mr Semkiw officially retired in 1994, but volunteers at the university every Tuesday, compiling a history of the computing department. Next week, the university will award him a gold medal for his years of service.

During his time at the university Mr Semkiw rode successive waves of technology. He designed and built early photocopying equipment and helped double CSIRAC’s storage capacity.
Born in Ukraine in 1929, his family travelled across Europe, displaced by the Second World War. He worked chopping timber near Bacchus Marsh and moved on to study electronics at RMIT before he was recruited to work at Melbourne University’s computation laboratory.
Mr Semkiw knew little about computers when he began working with CSIRAC, which was originally built to do calculations for the CSIRO. Later, the computer produced music and helped calculate weather forecasts.
But it demanded patience from its operator.
”After you switched it on each morning, you had to run specific tests on the machine to make sure everything was working,” he said.

Bondi beach will shrink to a thin ribbon of sand, research commissioned by the local council shows

Source: SMH

Bondi beach will shrink to a thin ribbon of sand and extreme storm surges would reach the top of its concrete sea wall, research commissioned by the local council shows.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released on Friday, found the sea level would rise and could be expected to be up to 80 centimetres higher by the end of the century.
As scientists warned of dire global consequences from climate change at the report’s release in Stockholm, residents in Sydney are grappling with the practical implications.

Climate changes link to disasters
In the case of an 80-centimetre rise in sea levels, high tides would regularly flood parts of many Sydney suburbs that are close to water, including sections of Annandale, Mosman, Marrickville, Brighton-le-Sands, Sylvania Waters, Five Dock and Narrabeen.

In Bondi, critics say local authorities are ignoring rising sea levels that threaten millions of dollars’ worth of planned waterfront works – a claim strongly contested by the council.

The beach, which pulls 1.8 million visitors a year, is poised for its biggest overhaul in decades after the council proposed an underground car park, beachfront parks and a new waterfront promenade. It follows the unveiling last week of the $7 million North Bondi surf lifesaving clubhouse.

But NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said the plans ignored the council’s own research, which shows Bondi beach is set to recede dramatically – by about 20 metres in 2050 and 45 metres in 2100. The research is contained in a 2011 report, commissioned by the council, by consultancy WorleyParsons.

Council figures show the north and south ends of the beach presently measure about 60 metres, widening to 120 metres at the centre.

They also show the ocean would surge over the sea wall during a one in 100-year storm event, swamping waterfront parks and coming within metres of the proposed car park entrance.

”This kind of wilful blindness on planning for climate change is simply unacceptable … and the public [is] not being told the truth,” Mr Shoebridge said.

He said the sea wall should be moved back to allow the beach to retreat.
A draft 10-year plan for Bondi concedes the shrinking sand ”will decrease the overall amenity” of the beach and erosion may undermine the sea walls and risk their stability during storms.
Rob Brander, a senior lecturer at the University of NSW specialising in coastal geomorphology, said Sydney’s coastal regions faced significant impacts from rising sea levels.
”If a beach shifts landward, it hasn’t got many places to go,” Dr Brander said. ”Beaches will get narrower and low-lying coastal properties will face damage.”

Major storms in 1974 are an indication of what the future will look like.
”It’s not the sea-level rise that’s going to damage all the properties,” he said. ”It’s those storms superimposed on the higher sea levels that’s really going to do the damage.”

But Waverley’s Liberal mayor, Sally Betts, said the risk to Waverley’s coastline remained ”low”.

”The sea wall currently protects the promenade and park from any wave impact or flooding and is expected to continue to do so in the future,” she said.

The 2011 WorleyParsons report was ”widely circulated” and the council had plans to adapt buildings and landscapes to future climate conditions and reinforce infrastructure where necessary, Cr Betts said.

”Waverley Council … has always taken climate change extremely seriously and will monitor any reductions in beach width and take action accordingly,” she said.

Sydney Coastal Councils Group chief executive Geoff Withycombe said Bondi was far less vulnerable to sea-level rise than other parts of Sydney, such as the northern beaches or low-lying areas around Botany Bay. The impacts of sea-level rise on groundwater and stormwater infrastructure was a far more pressing concern for councils, he said.

But Mr Withycombe said that a state government decision last year to scrap specific statewide sea-level rise projections for use by councils had created uncertainty around local planning and public works decisions.
A member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, Bruce Thom, said Bondi was ”very resilient” because its sand remained inside the bay during storms and was not lost to the sea.
Potential measures such as ”nourishment”, which replaces sand that has been washed away, meant forecasts about the loss of sand were ”hypothetical”, he said.

Damaging winds expected to hit NSW

Source: News

A cold front is expected to bring damaging 100-kilometre winds across NSW on the first day of the official storm season.

However the warning has also raised fire concerns with total bans in place in some parts of the state.

Gusts of up to 100km/h and average winds of 65km/h are expected for metropolitan Sydney, the Illawarra, the south coast, the southern tablelands, central tablelands, the Snowy Mountains and Australia Capital Territory districts around midday on Tuesday.

In the alpine peaks, winds may average up to 85km/h and gusts up to 130km/h.

Blizzard conditions are expected for Snowy Mountain areas above 1500 metres from the middle of the day with winds easing in the evening.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Chris Webb said some parts of the state could also experience thunder storms.

“It’s quite likely there’ll be some isolated thunderstorms in the north-east of the state,” he told AAP.

“There’s a small risk of a thunderstorm in Sydney also but it’s much more uncertain.”

Total fire bans have been issued for the greater Hunter, northern slopes and north western areas.

Inspector Ben Shepard from the NSW Rural Fire Service said some of the wind warnings were for areas outside those under total fire bans.

“We just need the public to be vigilant, be very careful for the use of fire outside those total fire ban areas,” he said.

All fires should be reported to triple-0 immediately, he said.