Adventurers start journey in reed boat to test ancient trade routes | AFP

A group of experimental archeologists and volunteers embark in Bulgaria on a 700-nautical-mile journey with a reed boat to test a hypothesis that ancient Egyptians were able to trade over the high seas.

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Egyptians vote on final day of referendum to extend Sisi’s rule

Polls open in Egypt for the third and final day of voting as Egyptians vote on constitutional changes that could keep President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in power until 2030. Sisi, who handily won to become president in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018 after eliminating all serious political competitors, is widely expected to garner a comfortable win in the three-day referendum.

AP Top Stories April 20 P

Here’s the latest for Thursday, April 20th: President Trump’s legal team takes victory lap; Protesters and riot police clash in Paris; Egyptians begin voting on constitutional amendments; A miniature guide horse trained on Tyne and Wear Metro system.

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Egyptians facing soaring prices not seeing fruit of reforms

Traders at the textile market in Cairo’s Al-Azhar district were once used to seeing their shops filled with customers, but soaring prices have driven many away. The reason for the spiralling costs — drastic reforms that the government pledged would bring benefits to the turmoil-hit nation.

Here’s How The Christmas Tree Tradition Started

Today, Christmas trees can be found all over the world, but medieval Germans were the first to fully embrace the tradition. Even before that, many cultures, including ancient Egyptians, worshipped evergreen trees and branches as a symbol of eternal life. Following is the text of the video.

Trees have long been used to decorate homes. Ancient Chinese, Hebrews, and Egyptians viewed evergreens as symbols of eternal life. European pagans “decked the halls” with evergreen branches to bring in life during the dark days of winter. But, medieval Germans are credited with starting the Xmas tree tradition. They brought fir trees inside on December 24. The trees were decorated with wafers, candles, and red apples. These “paradise trees” symbolized the Garden of Eden.

17th-century German settlers brought the tradition to North America. The tradition didn’t catch on with most Americans until Queen Victoria popularized it. In 1846, Victoria and her German husband, Prince Albert, put up a Xmas tree. They decorated it with toys, candy, popcorn, and cakes.

Once word spread, the popularity of Christmas trees took off. It became a tradition throughout England and North America. Now, they can be found all over the world.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – September 24, 2014

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The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Syrians inspect damage of first U.S.-led airstrikes against the Islamic State, Ukrainian troops fight pro-Russia separatists around Donetsk airport, journalist freed in Somalia after being held captive for almost three years, and dozens of Egyptians go on hunger strike in support of political prisoners.

SYRIA (annotate to: https://news.vice.com/article/us-leads-airstrikes-against-islamic-state-in-syria)
Beginnings of Air Campaign Against the Islamic State
Monitoring group says dozens of militants were killed in the first round of airstrikes carried out by a U.S.-led coalition.

UKRAINE (annotate to Russian Roulette 44: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtdVVFhjdqA)
Ongoing Fighting in Donetsk Casts Doubt on Truce
The city’s airport has become a flashpoint ever since soldiers recaptured it from rebels in May.

SOMALIA (https://news.vice.com/article/journalist-michael-scott-moore-released-in-somalia-after-nearly-three-years-as-a-hostage)
Journalist Released After Nearly Three Years in Captivity
Michael Scott Moore was abducted in January 2012 while he was conducting research on piracy.

EGYPT
Dozens Begin Hunger Strike in Support of Imprisoned Activists
​​The trial of hundreds of people charged with breaking a protest law has been postponed to October 1st.

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Hamas Defiant: Rockets and Revenge (Dispatch 11)

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As the 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire entered it’s second and third days last week, the people of Gaza used the lull in fighting to take stock of the destruction, flee the fighting, and demonstrate their defiance.

VICE News correspondent Henry Langston traveled to the Rafah border gate with Egypt, where hundreds of Gazans and Egyptians alike attempted to flee. With only two bus loads making the trip each day, however, many left disappointed and were forced to return the following day.

Meanwhile, in the towns of Shejaiya and Khuza’a, residents returned to neighborhoods completely devastated by the fighting.

As the ceasefire entered it’s last 24 hours, Hamas organized a demonstration in the center of Gaza City. Thousands converged from different mosques across the city, waving Hamas flags as kids with toy guns and grenades rode on their dad’s shoulders.

The spokesman for Hamas’ military wing, Abu Ubaida, made clear in a speech that evening that if Israel refused to re-open Gaza’s port, then rockets would once again threaten the people of Israel.

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Egyptian Election Amid Political Crisis and Insurgency

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Just three and half years after the popular revolution which overthrew longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak, Egyptians returned to the polls in May to participate in their second presidential election in 23 months.

Former President Mohamed Morsi was deposed by army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in July 2013. The months following Morsi’s ouster have been marked by violence, regular anti-regime demonstrations, a crackdown on opposition groups, and insurgency against the country’s security forces.

All the while, Sisi’s popularity grew immensely as he prepared to stand in this election. His lone competitor was Hamdeen Sabahi, who finished third to Morsi in 2012.

VICE News reporter Seif Khirfan spoke to supporters of both candidates and those boycotting the election, discussed military rule, and attended a Sabahi campaign event. He then visited Cairo’s Tahrir Square on results night, focal point of the revolution that removed Mubarak in 2011 and anti-Morsi protests in 2013.

Al Jazeera Journalists Jailed for Seven Years After Bizarre Egyptian Trial: http://bit.ly/1maPDkf

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