Ancient Roman shipwreck discovered undisturbed in Mediterranean

An ancient Roman-era shipwreck has been discovered at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea off the eastern coast of Cyprus.

Divers found it was still loaded with transport amphorae – large clay jars typically used for holding wine and other liquids.

It is thought to be the first well-preserved discovery of its kind in the island nation’s history.

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Cyprus’ Antiquities Department said the ship was most probably from Syria and ancient Cilicia on modern-day Turkey‘s southern coast.

Underwater archaeologists were working to examine the ship, the department added.

The wreck was found by a pair of volunteer divers with the University of Cyprus’ archaeological research unit.

The Antiquities Department said study of the vessel was “expected to shed new light on the breadth and the scale of seaborne trade between Cyprus and the rest of the Roman provinces of the eastern Mediterranean”.

A number of ancient vessels have been found off the island’s coast including one dating back the Greek era in the middle of the 4th century BC which is thought to be one of the region’s best preserved/ 

Archeologists working on that wreck said they had gained insights into the evolution of ancient boat-building in the region.

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Democratic debate – LIVE: Kamala Harris goes after Joe Biden over race comments as candidates get ‘personal’ over healthcare

The second Democratic debate has started, with the ten remaining candidates preparing for tonight’s showdown. 

As with last night, the debate is taking place in Miami, Florida, finishing at 11pm EST (4am UK). 

The candidates taking part tonight are: Marianne Williamson, John Hickenlooper​, Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg​, Joe Biden​, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet and Eric Swalwell.

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Pete Buttigieg’s campaign is claiming victory for the debates, while announcing the candidate will not come to the spin room to meet with reporters: 



Joe Biden is now saying he doesn’t think Kamala Harris “intended” to mis-characterise his position on race: 



Here are my main takeaways from the second night of the 2020 Democratic debates: 



The gloves are off. Here are some of the best moments from day two of the Democratic debates:


Joe Biden’s people reportedly say they’re “not freaking out” about one of Kamala Harris’ moments that clearly stole the show, in which she confronted the former vice president: 



In a moment sure to go down in presidential debate history, Ms Harris expertly laid into her positioning on stage and halted a raucous moment between candidates in a way the night’s moderators were seemingly unable to do. 

“America does not want to witness a food fight,” she said as the candidates went back and forth over her, sparring over policy. “They want to know how we’re going to put food on their table.”

The moment drew cheers from the crowd, which seemingly reacted positively to several zingers Ms Harris employed throughout the night. 


This moment when Joe Biden caught Bernie Sanders’ hand flailing in front of him has gone viral across Twitter –



One thing in the section of foreign policy.

Moments after Mr Biden touted his role in pulling troops out of Iraq during the Obama administration, Nr Sanders reminded the former vice president of his role in the decision to send them there.

“One of the differences Joe and I have in our record is Joe voted for (the Iraq) war,” Mr Sanders said, referencing Mr Biden’s vote to authorise military force when he was in the Senate. “I helped lead the opposition to that war, which is a total disaster.”


The second night of presidential debates among 2020 Democratic hopefuls kicked off on Thursday to a contentious battle among frontrunners — and others who successfully fought their way into the spotlight. 

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were front-and-centre at the second night of debates among the 20-plus leading Democrats vying for a shot at taking on Donald Trump in the general election. 

On their sides were Pete Buttigieg, the Indiana mayor who rose quickly in the polls ahead of the debates but had a seemingly weaker showing than Kamala Harris, the California senator who drew swift praise for confronting Mr Biden “on the issue of race.” 

The second round of debates proved to be more aggressive than the prior night, with higher-polling candidates attacking each other on policy proposals and others like Eric Swallwell, a California congressman, taking direct shots at his counterparts for their apparent shortcomings in office. 


Hickenlooper: As Colorado governor, I brought in progressive policies. Socialism is bad, and will relect Trump.

Gillibrand: Women in America are on fire, but our rights are under attack. I will take on the fights no one else will. Now is not the time to be afraid of first.

Yang: The right candidate to beat Trump will have a vision of a trickle-up economy. I am that candidate, I can build a broad coalition.

Harris: this election is about you. Your hopes, your dreams, your fears. I will lead with dignity, honesty.


Into final statements. Strong from Harris, Sanders and Swalwell.

Williamson’s pitch will get attention, she is certainly not afraid to sound “out there”.


The candidates were asked which foreign relationships they would focus on improving first:  

Williamson: European leaders

Hickenlooper: The entire world

Yang: China

Buttigieg: We need to model values for the rest of the world

Biden: Nato

Sanders: It’s not one country. It’s rebuilding trust in the United Nations

Harris: Nato

Gillibrand: Iran

Bennet: European allies and every Central American country

Swalwell: We need to break up with Russia and make up with Nato


Telling a personal tale will always attract voters.


Kamala Harris is really making the most of that line against Mr Biden.



Here is Biden on guns, calling for smart weapons with biometric data


Kamala Harris is having a great night.



Here is that slightly strange answer from Williamson:


Candidates asked what one issue they would want to focus on.

Swalwell: ending gun violence

Bennet: climate change

Gillibrand: passing a family bill of rights

Harris: working families tax cut, immigration, guns

Sanders: talks of political revolution

Buttigieg: fix our broken political system

Yang: Universal Basic Income, which would help with climate change

Hickenlooper: collaborative approach on climate change

Williamson: call the prime minister of New Zealand and ask for her advice on climate change

Biden: first thing I’d make sure we do is defeat Trump


Although some are not happy with the amount of time it got.


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G20 Summit 2019: All the latest updates

Leaders from the Group of 20 nations are meeting in the Japanese city of Osaka for their annual summit. At the top of the agenda is the ongoing trade war between China and the United States, the world’s two biggest economies.

The G20 is an international leaders’ forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union.

Collectively, the grouping represents more than 80 percent of the world’s economic output and two-thirds of its people. Its primary aim is to promote international financial stability.

Here are the latest updates:

Friday, June 28:

‘A fantastic woman’

After his meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump had a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom he called “a fantastic person, a fantastic woman.”

Subjects discussed included Iran. Libya, supporting the economy of Ukraine, trade negotiations with China, and global trade standards more generally.

After the meeting, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe greeted each of the G20 leaders one-by-one.

Mason Richey, Professor of international relations at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul tells Al Jazeera: 

“I think that Trump is going to be interested in playing up the positive side of the relationships that the US has with allies and strategic partners whether that be Japan, or whether that be NATO or whether that be India.

“And I think in some ways he’s perhaps playing good-cop-bad-cop with himself. He’s played bad cop with Japan and India on security issues and on trade issues. And now he’s a there playing up the positive side of the relationship, talking about how close the US relationship is with India and Japan.”

Trump, Modi and Abe meet

US President Donald Trump arrived at the G20 Summit venue by car and was greeted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the host.

“We’ll be discussing trade, we’ll be discussing military,” Trump told reporters, praising Japanese auto companies building plants in the US.

“The car companies have been terrific. They’re coming in and they’re building magnificent plants. We haven’t had that, and we very much appreciate it.”

North Korea, Iran, and bilateral trade were issues raised in the discussions, though few details were offered.

Later, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined for a trilateral meeting. Abe described the grouping as “the foundation of peace and prosperity in the region.”

As for US-India trade talks, Trump declared, “It’ll be very positive … I think we will just continue to get along with India … I think we are going to have some very big things to announce. Very big trade deal.”

In a tweet on Thursday, Trump said Indian tariffs on US products were “unacceptable.”

Earlier this month, India imposed higher retaliatory tariffs on 28 US goods such as walnuts, almonds and apples.

That was in retaliation for Trump’s move to scrap trade privileges under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for India, the biggest beneficiary of a scheme that allowed duty-free exports of up to $5.6bn a year.

Speaking of Iran, Trump stated, “We have a lot of time – there’s no rush they can take their time. There is absolutely no time pressure. Hopefully in the end it’s going to work out. If it does, great, if it doesn’t, you‘ll be hearing about it.”

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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Copa America: Lionel Messi says ‘now starts another Copa’ for Argentina

Lionel Messi scored a penalty to equalise in Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Paraguay

Lionel Messi says “another Copa America starts” as Argentina face Venezuela in the quarter-finals in Brazil.

Argentina were unconvincing in the group stage, losing to Colombia before drawing 1-1 with Paraguay.

A nervy 2-0 win over Qatar booked a last-eight tie in Rio’s Maracana stadium on Friday (20:00 BST), as Messi, 32, continues his bid for a first senior title with his country.

The Barcelona forward said: “Now starts another Copa, now it’s all or nothing.”

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner added: “We needed a game like that [against Qatar], to gain confidence and to be calm. As the games go by, the team has to grow.”

The 14-time winners are looking to end a 26-year wait to regain the Copa America and have reached four of the last five finals, losing the last two on penalties against Chile.

Besides Ecuador, Venezuela are the only other South American nation yet to win the tournament but reached the quarter-finals after going unbeaten in their group, claiming 0-0 draws with hosts Brazil and Peru before beating Bolivia 3-1.

Players to watch

Lionel Messi has won the Olympics and the Under-20 World Cup with Argentina but no senior title
Lionel Messi
National team: Argentina Position: Forward Club: Barcelona Age: 32

It seems unthinkable that for all the club and individual honours that Lionel Messi has won, he could end his career without winning a senior trophy with Argentina.

He has three runners-up medals from the Copa America and another from the 2014 World Cup, but time is running out for him to claim international glory and have a chance of truly joining national hero Diego Maradona in the hearts of the Argentine people.

His performances in Brazil have so far been underwhelming, although he did score a penalty to equalise against Paraguay, but now Argentina return to the iconic Maracana, the scene of their 2014 World Cup final defeat.

And if that is not enough to inspire Messi to get back to his best, Argentina could set up a semi-final clash with arch-rivals Brazil, who face Paraguay in the last eight (01:30 BST Friday).

Salomon Rondon scored 11 Premier League goals while on loan at Newcastle this season
Salomon Rondon
National team: Venezuela Position: Striker Club: West Brom Age: 29

Salomon Rondon, who is set to return to the Premier League this summer after spending the season on loan with Newcastle, struck twice in Venezuela’s warm-up game with the USA to become their all-time leading scorer with 24 goals and he now has 76 caps.

Argentina, meanwhile, have just five survivors from the last Copa three years ago so – Nicolas Otamendi apart – Rondon will be up against a defence which is relatively inexperienced at international level. It could include Tottenham’s Juan Foyth as the 21-year-old centre-half started the win over Qatar.

Venezuela beat Argentina 3-1 in a friendly in March, with Rondon on target, and after conceding just one goal in the group stage, he and his team-mates have the chance to send La Vinotinto into the semi-finals for just the second time.

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Nearly 250 arrested in Ethiopia after foiled coup: State TV

Nearly 250 people have been arrested in Ethiopia‘s capital Addis Ababa and the city of Bahir Dar since a coup attempt was foiled, the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation reported on Thursday.

The state broadcaster did not give any more details on who was arrested or when. But a party based in the northern region – the National Movement of Amhara (NAMA) – earlier said 56 of its members had been detained in Addis Ababa on Wednesday.

Ethiopia has been on edge since twin attacks at the weekend in Addis Ababa and the city of Bahir Dar killed the army chief of staff, the region’s president and three other senior officials.

The violence, which the government says was part of a plot by a rogue general and his militia to take over Amhara, exposed how ethnic tensions are threatening the reform agenda of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Ethiopia’s 42-year-old prime minister has won praise abroad for opening up one of the continent’s most closed nations, but analysts say the rapid changes have fuelled uncertainty and insecurity.

As a result, ethnocentric parties like NAMA are gaining increasing support and their rhetoric is stoking serious interethnic violence, global think-tank Crisis Group said this week in a briefing note.

Since its founding last year, NAMA has emerged as a rival to the Amhara party in the ruling coalition, which has held power in Ethiopia since 1991. NAMA has condemned the weekend violence and denies any link to it.

Party spokesman Christian Tadele told Reuters he had also received reports of arrests of Amhara people in four towns in the Oromia region. These, and the arrests of the party members, “were perpetrated against the Amharas because of their identity,” he said. He did not elaborate.

‘Anti-terrorism law’

Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The prime minister’s office told Reuters it was collecting information on the arrests and would respond later.

Also on Thursday, prominent journalist Eskinder Nega said that five fellow activists in a pressure group opposed to what it saw as the domination of the Oromo ethnic group in the capital had been arrested.

A judge on Wednesday granted the police 28 days to investigate those detained in connection with the alleged coup plot, Eskinder told Reuters.

A local journalist in the courtroom confirmed his account to Reuters and said that the judge ordered the 28-day detention under the country’s anti-terrorism law.

Police did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

“This is a return to the past, this is exactly what the government was doing before the reforms began a year ago,” said Eskinder. “In that past era, the anti-terror law was used to clamp down against peaceful opposition and the same thing is happening.”

Access to the internet, blocked since Saturday, was restored across Ethiopia on Thursday morning and Ethiopia analysts say the prime minister must tread carefully to restore security.

“It will damage the government’s reputation if it is widely perceived as engaging in anything that looks like a purge of rivals or a crackdown on opponents in the aftermath of these assassinations”, said William Davison, from Crisis Group.

Ethiopia mourning

Ethiopia held a memorial on Tuesday for the army chief of staff who was assassinated along with four other senior officials during a failed coup bid at the weekend [Michael Tewelde/AFP]

Reuters news agency

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Conservatives blast Roberts as turncoat

John Roberts

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ stance on citizenship in the 2020 census has frustrated many on the right. | Mark Humphrey/AP Photo


In 5-4 decisions on federal rules and citizenship question, chief justice joins court liberals and frustrates the right.

Chief Justice John Roberts just keeps on breaking conservatives’ hearts.

On two consecutive days this week, Roberts sided with the court’s liberal wing to deliver 5-4 rulings that deeply disappointed right-leaning lawyers and pundits who had been counting on near-certain victory from a court now stocked with a pair of Trump-appointed justices hand-picked by conservative legal activists.

Story Continued Below

On Thursday, Roberts stunned many courtwatchers by invalidating a Trump administration decision to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 census.

Adding to the sting was the fact that the chief justice wasn’t just along for the ride on the closely-watched ruling: He penned the majority opinion, which essentially accused Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross of lying about his reasons for seeking to add the query on citizenship.

“Altogether, the evidence tells a story that does not match the explanation the Secretary gave for his decision,” Roberts wrote, backed by the court’s four liberals. He goes on to rip the government’s claims in the case as apparently “contrived” and “a distraction.”

A day earlier, Roberts was the sole GOP appointee to side with the liberal wing in a case many legal conservatives were hoping would deal a major blow to the much-loathed administrative state by overturning decades of precedent allowing federal agencies wide leeway to interpret their own regulations.

Among some conservatives close to Trump the sense of anger and betrayal was palpable, with some on the right suffering painful flashbacks to Roberts’ 2012 decision to join with the court’s Democratic appointees and uphold Obamacare’s individual mandate even as all of his Republican-appointed colleagues dissented. The anger seemed especially acute with possible abortion-related cases on the horizon for the next term.

“I’m for impeaching the Chief Justice for lying to all of us about his support of the Constitution. He is responsible for Robertscare and now he is angling for vast numbers of illegal residents to help Dems hold Congress. Enough Deception from GOP judges on the Constitution,” American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp tweeted shortly after the Thursday ruling.

“I want to Impeach Roberts and Trump would get another pick. Sounds good to me,”’ Schlapp added. “Chief Justice John Roberts ‘fixed’ Obamacare and now he found an I significant [sic] excuse to allow those here illegally to help Dems keep the house majority. He lied to all of us and under oath in the Senate. It’s perfectly legal to ask citizenship ? on census.”

Former White House aide Sebastian Gorka also weighed in to express his disgust. “Chief Justice Roberts of the #SCOTUS betrays the US Constitution again,” Gorka said on Twitter.

Conservative pundit and former GOP Senate candidate Dan Bongino echoed recurring conservative complaints that Roberts is looking to curry favor on the Washington dinner party circuit.

“John Roberts is terrified of the liberal op-ed columnists. They know they hold him captive. They can easily sway his opinions by issuing their ‘warnings’ to him through their columns,” Bongino wrote. “He’s not a judge anymore, he’s a politician.”

Not all conservatives were up in arms about Roberts’ perceived defection Thursday on the census case.

Former Reagan White House lawyer and radio host Hugh Hewitt noted that on the same day the census case came down, Roberts joined with the court’s conservatives in a 5-4 decision that decisively rejected any role for courts in remedying political gerrymandering. The chief justice also took the pen for the majority in that fight, flatly dismissing the idea of courts resolving such disputes.

Hewitt declared the gerrymandering decision to be far more consequential.
“Conservatives coiled to condemn Chief Justice over citizenship question need to focus on this incredibly important, far reaching and absolutely correct decision,” Hewitt tweeted. “Would anyone preferring that #SCOTUS clearly uphold census question and at same time continue the decades of absurd ambiguity about the clearly-delegated-to-political-bodies re-districting power please raise their hands? I know you’d like both, but if you had to choose either?”

There is a degree of selective outrage at Roberts. Trump’s newest nominee to the court, Justice Neil Gorsuch, sided with liberals in a series of 5-4, late-term decisions this year, but they were less high-profile. As Gorsuch ruled in favor of criminal defendants—including a child pornography convict—in a pair of cases related to sentencing, there was no outcry from the right that Trump’s pick was abandoning his backers.

Still, Roberts’ tendency to side with liberals in some cases embraced by many Republican activists seems to grate on many conservative lawyers, including some who helped lead the fight to confirm him.

“I still haven’t fully psychologically accepted the truth about Roberts,” said Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice in an interview.

“He may in his heart think he’s a conservative, but he’s not going to be what conservatives want and liberals fear….With each passing year—maybe this doesn’t happen every year, but we’ve seen enough of it, we kind of have to accept he’s roughly another Kennedy,” Levey said, referring to Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Reagan appointee who dismayed conservatives by upholding abortion rights and leading the court to declare a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Levey said the political polarization in the country may be prodding Roberts to go further than he otherwise would in trying to ensure that the court is viewed as moderate and not being buffeted by the political winds. Last November, when President Donald Trump made derisive comments about “Obama judges,” Roberts shot back with a statement declaring “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. . . What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”

“At the end of the day, Roberts wants the court to be well respected,” Levey said, calling the chief justice “a compromiser and people pleaser.”

“I think the hysteria on the left about an ‘arch conservative’ court is having an effect,” the legal activist said. “At the end of the day, [Roberts] wants the court to be well respected and a highly divided nation is a threat to the legitimacy of the court because with every decision the half the public is convinced the court is acting for political reasons.”

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Finally, Presidential Candidates Are Talking About Abortion

By Lauren Rearick

With the continued passage and consideration of legislation that would attempt to ban abortion in states including Ohio, Alabama, and Mississippi, reproductive rights were understandably a focal point during the Democratic Primary debate on Wednesday, June 26.

The mention of abortion, particularly during a presidential debate, is especially significant as the topic has previously been considered something of a lightning rod — and only recently have Democrat lawmakers shifted their views so uniformally towards being pro-choice. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump discussed Roe v. Wade during their third and final debate in 2016, but the topic has historically been an outlier rather than a tentpole for many past candidates. All of that is changing, as reproductive rights — and reproductive justice, as Julián Castro pointed out — is top of mind for many Americans as we reach the 2020 election.

When Washington Governor Jay Inslee tried to take credit for being the only candidate at Wednesday’s debate to pass “a law protecting a woman’s right of reproductive health,” Senator Klobuchar corrected him. “There are three women up here who have fought pretty hard for a woman’s right to choose,” she noted.

Senator Klobuchar’s comment made reference to her fellow contenders for the Democratic presidential nominee: Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressperson Tulsi Gabbard. All three previously shared their opposition to a 20-week abortion ban proposed earlier this year by Senator Lindsay Graham; the bill went unpassed in the Senate.

Castro shared his support for reproductive rights that would extend to members of the transgender community. “I don’t believe in only reproductive freedom, I believe in reproductive justice,” he said. “What that means is that just because a woman—or, let’s not forget someone, in the trans community…is poor, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to exercise that right to choose.”

But he also made an unfortunate mistake when he identified “trans female” people rather than trans men or trans nonbinary people who were assigned female at birth. Twitter was quick to pick up on that misidentification.

Senator Warren pointed to continued statewide attempts at banning abortion as reasoning for Roe v. Wade to become federal law, The New York Times reported. The 1973 ruling from the United States Supreme Court gave someone the constitutional right to choose abortion up until the point of a fetus’s viability, but state lawmakers and the Trump adminstriation have continued to challenge that precedent with bills that propose near-total bans, bans at six or eight weeks gestation, or targeted restrictions on abortion providers (known as TRAP laws), which have significantly limited abortion access to many Americans. Ostensibly, these moves are all being done in an effort to challenge Roe at the Supreme Court level, where a conservative majority may decide to overturn it.

The candidate went on to pledge that if elected, she would ensure everyone had “access to the full range of reproductive healthcare services, and that includes birth control, and it includes abortion. It includes everything.”

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