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Scans of Tutankhamun tomb show ’90 percent chance’ of hidden chambers

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Radar scans of the tomb of pharaoh Tutankhamun in the ancient necropolis of Luxor showed a “90 percent” chance of two hidden chambers, possibly containing organic material, Egypt’s antiquities minister said Thursday.

Experts had scanned the tomb to find what a British archaeologist believes could be the resting place of Queen Nefertiti, the legendary beauty and wife of Tutankhamun’s father whose mummy has never been found.

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Preliminary scans of Tutankhamun’s tomb reveal “two hidden rooms behind the burial chamber” of the boy king, Antiquities Minister Mamduh al-Damati told reporters.

“Yes, we have some empty space, but not total empty, including some organic and metal material,” Damati said in English.

When asked how certain he was, he said there was a “90 percent” chance.

A study by renowned British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves has said that Nefertiti’s tomb could be in a secret chamber adjoining Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of Kings in Luxor in southern Egypt.

Reeves, professor of archaeology at the University of Arizona, believes one door of Tutankhamun’s tomb could conceal the burial place of Nefertiti.

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According to him, Tutankhamun, who died unexpectedly, was buried hurriedly in an underground chamber probably not intended for him.

– New test planned –

His death would have forced priests to reopen Nefertiti’s tomb 10 years after her death because the young pharaoh’s own mausoleum had not yet been built.

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Damati said the two hidden chambers were behind the northern and the western walls of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber.

“What it means, we have two extensions” behind Tutankhamun’s burial chamber, he said.

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When asked if the organic material could be a mummy, Damati said: “I cannot say. I can only say we have here some organic materials.”

Damati and Reeves differ on whose mummy they expect to find, with the minister previously saying that Tutankhamun’s tomb may contain the mummy of Kiya, a wife of Akhenaten.

On Thursday, he said a new radar test would be conducted on March 31.

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“Another radar, more improved, will check and measure for the dimensions of the wall behind and the thickness of the walls,” Damati said, adding that the result of the new test would be announced in Luxor on April 1.

Nefertiti played a major political and religious role in the 14th century BC.

She actively supported her husband Akhenaten — Tutankhamun’s father — who temporarily converted ancient Egypt to monotheism by imposing the cult of sun god Aton.

Tutankhamun died aged 19 in 1324 BC after just nine years on the throne. His final resting place was discovered by another British Egyptologist, Howard Carter, in 1922.

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Experts are also scanning four pyramids to unravel the mysteries of the ancient monuments.

Using infrared technology, a team of researchers have been scanning the pyramids of Khufu, also known as the Great Pyramid, and Khafre at Giza and the Bent and Red pyramids in Dahshur, all south of Cairo.

Operation ScanPyramids, which aims to search for hidden rooms inside those four monuments, is expected to continue until the end of 2016.

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Giuliani’s potential witness tampering in Ukraine is impossible to separate from Trump: Judiciary Democrat

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On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "The Beat," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) broke down how Rudy Giuliani's misconduct in Ukraine is "inseparable" from President Donald Trump's.

"To everyone who asks whether we are moving too quickly, I say the president's lawyer is moving quickly to continue to ask a foreign government to cheat our elections, and doing nothing is completely off the table," said Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, the two most crucial committees in the impeachment inquiry. "We have to secure our elections. We have powerful, uncontradicted evidence now. And now is the time to hold the president accountable and determine just which impeachment articles we should proceed with."

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Financial groups gave $745 billion for 258 new coal power plants: Report

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Financial institutions have chaneled $745 billion over the past three years to new coal power projects worldwide despite effort to reduce fossil fuel use to fight climate change, a report released Thursday said.

The amount was calculated using data covering both lending and underwriting between January 2017 and September 2019 for all 258 coal plant developers identified in the Global Coal Exit List, drawn up by the Urgewald and BankTrack groups.

Altogether, the report cites more than 1,000 new coal power stations or units in the pipeline.

"Most of the top banks providing loans or investment banking services to these companies acknowledge the risks of climate change, but their actions are a slap in the face to the Paris Climate Agreement," said Greig Aitken, climate campaigner at BankTrack.

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‘Why not cooperate?’ CNN’s Wolf Blitzer hammers Pence’s chief of staff over impeachment stonewalling

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," anchor Wolf Blitzer challenged Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff Marc Short to justify the administration's stonewalling of the impeachment inquiry.

"Wolf, the reality is that the last three years, they've been trying to overturn the will of the American people. They're trying to take away the votes of the American people," said Short. "This whole impeachment has been a sham. What they've tried to prove there is no proof of ... I think it sets a dangerous precedent."

"Here's what I don't understand," said Blitzer. "If the president has nothing to hide, it was a perfect phone call with the president of Ukraine, why not cooperate, provide the documents, why not let individuals go before the committees and testify?"

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