Israel displays rare Jewish coins
Israel displayed for the first time Wednesday a collection of rare coins charred and burned from the Roman destruction of the Jewish Temple nearly 2,000 years ago. About 70 coins were found in an excavation at the foot of a key Jerusalem holy site.
They give a rare glimpse into the period of the Jewish revolt that eventually led to the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple in 70 A.D., said Hava Katz, curator of the exhibition.
The Jews rebelled against the Roman Empire and took over Jerusalem in 66 A.D. After laying siege to Jerusalem, the Romans breached the city walls and wiped out the rebellion, demolishing the Jewish Temple, the holiest site in Judaism.
The coins were excavated from an ancient street below the Temple Mount, experts said. Archaeologists had to sift through debris and remove boulders thrown off the Temple Mount during the Roman raid before they found the road and the hoard of coins.
Report on Blackwater bribes prompts inquiry
Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani said Wednesday that he had ordered an investigation into whether top officials of Blackwater Worldwide approved bribes to Iraqi government officials after shootings by Blackwater guards in 2007 left 17 Iraqi civilians dead. The investigation was prompted by a report in the New York Times on Tuesday that top Blackwater officials had approved cash payments intended to silence criticism after the shootings in Nisour Square in Baghdad.
German is sentenced in courtroom killing
A German man who stabbed a pregnant Egyptian woman to death in a Dresden courtroom was found guilty on Wednesday and given a life sentence. The killing of the woman, Marwa al-Sherbini, 31, on July 1 attracted worldwide attention. The man, Alexander Wiens, 28, was convicted of killing Sherbini in front of her 3-year-old son and her husband. Prosecutors accused him of acting out of xenophobia.
Lawyer says Kurdish activist executed
Iran hanged a Kurdish activist, Ehsan Fattahian, on Wednesday in a prison in the Kurdish city of Sanandaj, his lawyer said. Fattahian, 28, was a member of the Party of Free Life in Kurdistan, a militant group outlawed by Iran that has carried out attacks against the government. He had been accused of "armed struggle against the regime."
Somalia: Pirates said Wednesday that they had seized a container ship sailing under a Marshall Islands flag with 22 crew members after a five-hour chase across the Indian Ocean.
Mexico: Monterrey, the third-largest city in Mexico, fired almost a quarter of its traffic police for failing tests designed to detect corruption and ineptitude. Just a quarter were found to be completely fit for the job.
Philippines: The Rev. Michael Sinnott, an Irish Catholic priest kidnapped a month ago, has been freed unharmed, Irish and Filipino authorities announced Wednesday night.