Archaeologists in Jerusalem have uncovered the stone remains of the biblical Siloam Pool, where the Bible says Jesus restored a blind man's eyesight -- underlining the link between the works of Jesus and ancient Jewish rituals. \nTucked away in what is now the Arab neighborhood of Silwan, archaeologists are slowly digging out the pool, where water still runs in the channel that brought water from a nearby spring. \nThe Siloam Pool was used by Jews for ritual immersions for about 120 years until the year 70AD, when the Romans destroyed the Jewish Temple. \nMany of Jesus' acts are directly linked to Jewish rituals, and the miracle of the blind man is an example. Jesus put clay in the blind man's eyes and then told him to wash them out in the pure waters of the Siloam Pool, restoring his eyesight (John 9: 1-7). \nIn the last four months, archaeologists have revealed the pool's 50m length and a channel that brought water from the Silwan Spring to the pool. In the past week, a section of stone road that led from the pool to the Jewish Temple was uncovered. \n"The moment that we revealed and discovered this four months ago, we were 100 percent sure it was the Siloam Pool," said Eli Shukron, one of the archeologists on the dig. \n"We know today that the Siloam Pool is connected to the Temple Mount. There is a road that connects between the two elements. The entire system is clearer today," Shukron said. \nStephen Pfann, a Bible scholar, said that the pool's waters were considered so pure that they could purify even a healed leper. \nPfann said Jesus likely chose to cure the blind man using the purest water available, because people with any disabilities were barred from the Temple. \nThe stone-lined pool has steps leading into it from all sides, said Ronny Reich, a University of Haifa archaeologist. One side of the pool, two corners, a part of the esplanade around it and the water channel leading to it have been uncovered, he said. \nJews, who traditionally made three pilgrimages a year to Jerusalem, would immerse themselves in the Siloam Pool before heading down the stone pathway to the Temple. They also used the pool for drinking water and camped around it. \nThe Israeli Antiquities Authority is negotiating with the Greek Orthodox Church, which owns the land, to continue the dig.
‘LIKE A CASSANDRA’: Chinese residents of Prato went into self-imposed lockdown and warned their Italian neighbors about what was coming, but were ignored In the storm of infection and death sweeping Italy, one big community stands out to health officials as remarkably unscathed — the 50,000 ethnic Chinese who live in the town of Prato. Two months ago, the country’s Chinese residents were the target of what Amnesty International described as shameful discrimination, the butt of insults and violent attacks by people who feared that they would spread the coronavirus through Italy. However, in the Tuscan town of Prato, home to Italy’s single biggest Chinese community, the opposite has been true. Once scapegoats, they are now held up by authorities as a model for early,
Reporters Without Borders has accused the Algerian government of taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to “settle scores” with independent journalists, including those covering long-running anti-government protests. In a statement signed with Algerian non-governmental organizations, the watchdog on Thursday called for the immediate release of its correspondent, Khaled Drareni, who has been in pretrial detention since Sunday after being charged with inciting an unarmed gathering and endangering national unity. Drareni has been arrested several times for covering the “Hirak” anti-government protests held in the capital, Algiers, every Friday since February last year. Imprisoning people during a pandemic is “an act of physical endangerment,”
Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat that it said had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near islands in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese fishing vessel, with eight fishermen onboard, was fishing near the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) on Thursday when it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on a government Web site yesterday. All of the fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel alive and were transferred to two other Vietnamese fishing vessels
DIVIDED YOUTH: There is a belief that overseas students see themselves as superior, which is compounded by perceptions of their extreme wealth and multiple nationalities Chinese students flying home from overseas to escape the COVID-19 pandemic face a frosty reception from sections of the public who view them as wealthy, spoiled — and potentially contaminated. The number of officially reported cases in China has dwindled dramatically over the last month, but the country is now taking drastic steps to try and stem a second wave of infections brought in from abroad. With most international flights canceled and nearly all foreigners barred from entering the country, the vast majority of returnees are Chinese nationals, including many students. The situation has exposed animosities over class and privilege in Chinese society,