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Nearly 60 archeological sites unearthed near Rio

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Nearly 60 archeological sites dating back 6,000 years have been unearthed during construction of a road near Rio, an archaeologist said Thursday.

“Last week, we found a small stone well dating back to the (Portuguese) colonial period with clear water and we stopped work,” said Jandira Neto, who led the 40-member team of the Brazilian Archaeology Institute (IAB) that made the discovery.

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The archeologists unearthed very old vestiges such as “sambaquis” (shell mounds) of the various population groups who were scattered along the coast of the Americas 8,000 to 6,000 years ago, 2,000-year-old burial urns and ceramic pipes of Tupi-Guarani indigenous people as well as 19th century European crockery.

“The relics pointed to overlapping habitation. This shows that the European settlers occupied the same areas as the indigenous people. They thought that since people lived there, the land had to be good. They just seized indigenous lands and settled there,” she added.

The history of the region — crossed by the 70-kilometer (45 mile) road nicknamed “Metropolitan Arc” which runs from the industrial park in the northern Fluminense lowland to the western port of Itaguai — had until now been known based on travel accounts from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

Now, archeologists scour the area and when they find something, the work stops.

“We began (in 2008) hoping to find very few sites and in one year we went from 36 to 58 sites and we will find others,” Neto said.

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“The construction of the road was very useful in helping preserve the region’s historical heritage,” she added.

But the archeological bonanza is causing a major headache for engineers of Rio state’s public works secretariat.

The road project initially was scheduled to be completed in 2011 at a cost of $511 million, but it has been delayed to 2013 because of the work stoppages.

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The new road is meant to relieve bottlenecks on Rio’s Avenida Brasil on which more than 250,000 vehicles transit daily, ahead of the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics which the city will host.


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WATCH: Franklin Graham tells Jeanine Pirro coronavirus pandemic is because of people sinning

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Franklin Graham blamed sinners for the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic during a Saturday night appearance on Fox News.

Host Jeanine Pirro noted the growing death toll and wondered how God could let that happen.

"Well, I don't think it's God's plan for this to happen," Graham said.

"It's because of the sin that's in the world, judge," he argued.

"Man has turned his back on God, we have sinned against him, and we need to ask for God's forgiveness and that's what Easter's all about," he continued.

"This pandemic, this is the result of a fallen world that has turned its back on God," he added.

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Drought causing water shortage amid coronavirus crisis in Chile

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With historically low river flows and reservoirs running dry due to drought, people in central Chile have found themselves particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic.

Years of resource exploitation and lax legislation have allowed most reservoirs in that part of the country to run dry.

"There are now 400,000 families, nearly 1.5 million people approximately, whose supply of 50 liters of water a day depends on tankers," Rodrigo Mundaca, spokesman for the Movement for the Defense of Water, the Earth and the Protection of the Environment, told AFP.

One of the main pieces of advice to protect people against coronavirus is to wash your hands regularly.

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Trump warns of ‘tough week’ ahead — after the United States surpassed 300,000 coronavirus victims

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US President Donald Trump warned Americans on Saturday to brace for a "very horrendous" number of coronavirus deaths in the coming days as the total number of global fatalities from the pandemic soared past 60,000.

As confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States surpassed 300,000 with more than 8,300 deaths, there was some encouraging news in Italy and Spain.

Europe continues to bear the brunt of the epidemic, however, accounting for over 45,000 of the worldwide deaths, and Britain reported a new daily high in fatalities.

There are now more than 1.17 million confirmed coronavirus cases around the world and there have been 63,437 deaths since the virus emerged in China late last year.

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