World News at a Glance
Posted September 25, 2018 9:56 p.m. EDT
The Newest Curse of the Mummy: Poor Drainage
Since Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamen’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings nearly a century ago, pop culture and folklore have invoked the curse of the mummy, said to plague those who unearth the hidden treasures of ancient Egypt with bad luck, disease or death. But at the ancient temple of Kom Ombo, peril takes a more prosaic form: waterlogged foundations. Decades of flood irrigation in the surrounding fields have soaked the soil beneath the temple. Water has penetrated the sandstone foundations, combining with salt and heat to scrub some hieroglyphs from the temple walls. The symbols and figures are fading to dust.
A Convent in Florence, Home to Many Frescoes but Few Friars, Is Closing
For nearly 600 years, Dominican friars in Florence, Italy, have inhabited the Convent of San Marco, one of the city’s great spiritual and cultural hubs, renowned for its frescoes by Fra Angelico. But at the end of September, this storied occupation will end, a victim of the dwindling ranks of the Dominican order. The convent’s only remaining residents — four aging friars — have been told to pack their bags and move across town to the convent of Santa Maria Novella. The Roman Catholic Church is making difficult choices around the world, although rarely in a place with such a historical and artistic legacy.
Greece’s Biggest Migrant Camp Is a Mental Health Crisis, Aid Groups Say
Aid groups are warning of a growing safety and mental health crisis in Greece’s largest migrant camp, a combustible place where violence, attempted suicide, untreated psychological trauma, and unsanitary conditions are commonplace. At the camp, called Moria, on the island of Lesbos, “more than 8,500 people are crammed into a site which only has the capacity to host 3,100,” the International Rescue Committee stated in a report released Tuesday. There is one shower for every 84 people and one toilet for every 72 people, and “the sewage system is so overwhelmed that raw sewage has been known to reach the mattresses where children sleep.”
Gay Courtship on Vietnam’s ‘The Bachelor’ Turned Heads Abroad. Back Home? Meh.
The contestant approached the man she had been publicly courting on live television and confessed that the object of her affections had shifted. “It’s someone else,” she said, then walked off the set with a fellow female contestant. That plot twist, revealed in a trailer for the Vietnamese-language adaptation of “The Bachelor,” has set the internet ablaze. But in Vietnam, the response has been muted. One apparent reason: Acceptance of gay and lesbian relationships has become so commonplace in the country that they are no longer all that surprising.
Trump Boasts and Scorns Globalism to Skeptical U.N. Crowd
President Donald Trump thrust his commitment to an “America First” foreign policy back onto the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. But in his second address on this diplomatic stage, he sounded as eager to claim credit for his achievements after 20 months in office, as he was to disrupt the world order. If Trump had changed, so had his audience — no longer as daunted by the insurgent figure who left them slack-jawed last year. When Trump declared, “In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” the crowd broke into murmurs and laughter.
Second Philippine Senator Who Defied Duterte Is Arrested
A Philippine senator who defied President Rodrigo Duterte was arrested Tuesday, ending a dramatic, weekslong standoff with authorities after the president revoked an amnesty the senator had received over his role in two military rebellions. Antonio Trillanes, 47, has been one of the Senate’s most prominent critics of Duterte’s anti-drug crackdown, which has left thousands of dealers, users and, rights advocates say, innocent people dead. He is the second opposition senator to be jailed by the Duterte government. He was arrested at his Senate office. With him were several opposition senators who protested the police action as an abuse of presidential power.
Swiss Denied Russian Oligarch Residency Over Suspected Criminality
Already spurned by Britain, the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has suffered another blow in his search for residency in Western Europe, this time with a court ruling in Switzerland. The decision, handed down Monday by a federal court in Lausanne, lifted a ban on the publication of a Swiss police report declaring him a threat to security. It ended a seven-month legal battle by Abramovich, a Russian billionaire, to prevent news media outlets from publishing confidential police information that led Swiss authorities to reject his application for residency. Abramovich has long sought a secure shelter for himself and his money outside his home country.