Floods engulf Venice
High tides have flooded Venice, leading Venetians and tourists to don high boots and use wooden walkways to cross St Mark’s Square and other areas under water. Flooding is common this time of year and Thursday’s level that reached a peak of 140cm was below the 160cm recorded four years ago in the worst flooding in decades. Still some shops and ground floor apartments were flooded. Moveable barriers that would rise from the sea bed to protect Venice from high tides have been in the works for years, but will not be operational before 2014.
Astronauts take space walk
Two astronauts spacewalked outside the International Space Station in an attempt to find an ammonia leak in a critical radiator system. Station commander Sunita Williams and Japanese crewmate Akihiko Hoshide ventured out on Thursday morning in a bid to isolate plumbing to help flight controllers locate the leak and open a spare radiator.
Prehistoric town unearthed
An archeologist says a prehistoric town unearthed in the east of the country is the oldest urban settlement found to date in Europe. According to Vasil Nikolov, a professor from the country’s National Institute of Archeology, the stone walls excavated by his team near the town of Provadia are estimated to date between 4,700 BC and 4,200 BC. He says the walls, which are 3m high and 2m thick, are believed to be the earliest and most massive fortifications from Europe’s prehistory. According to Nikolov, the settlement was home to some 350 people who likely mined salt at the nearby rock-salt deposits. Samples of the excavations have been sent to scientific centers abroad for further evaluation.