World’s biggest flooded cave found in Mexico; explorers opine it could give insights into ancient Mayan civilisation

Two underwater caverns in eastern Mexico were connected by a group of divers to divulge what is believed to be the world’s biggest flooded cave. This discovery could help shed new light on the ancient Maya civilisation.  

The Gran Acuifero Maya (GAM), a project designed for in-depth study and preservation of the subterranean waters of the Yucatan peninsula, stated the 347-km (216-mile) cave was identified post months of exploring a maze of underwater channels. 

Fourteen years ago, when the cavern was rediscovered it was thought to match the tunnel network of Ox Bel Ha, which measured 167.9 miles. But the GAM team has now found that the cave connects two underwater systems – Sac Actun and Dos Ojos – making it the longest in the world at 216 miles. 

Inside, remnants of thousands of years of Mayan culture, preserved due to the fresh water, have been found by the researchers. 

Based on a statement given by GAM, near the beach resort of Tulum, the cave system known as Sac Actun, once measured at 263 km, communicated with the 83-km Dos Ojos system. Consequently, Sac Actun now absorbs Dos Ojos.  

GAM director and underwater archaeologist Guillermo de Anda said the “amazing” find would aid in comprehending the development of the rich culture of the region, which was dominated by the Maya civilization prior to the Spanish conquest. 

“It allows us to appreciate much more clearly how the rituals, the pilgrimage sites and ultimately the great pre-Hispanic settlements that we know emerged,” he told Reuters. Guillermo added that the cave’s origins can in all probability be traced back to somewhere between the Pleistocene period and the era of the ancient Mayans, indicating it could be over 12,000 years old. 

The Yucatan peninsula is studded with monumental relics of the Mayans, whose cities drew upon an extensive network of sinkholes linked to subterranean waters known as cenotes. Some cenotes acquired particular religious significance to the Mayans, whose descendants continue to inhabit the region. 

Intact human skulls, bones from elephants, bears, tigers along with now-extinct plants were also found. 

Sources –Daily StarIndian Express 

Donald Trump denies border wall changes

John Kelly told Fox News that President Trump’s views on the construction of the Mexico Border wall have changed from the original deal he had made. The statement he made was “Campaigning is very different from governing”. He was appointed by Trump in July as the chief of staff who these comments to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The Retired General, John Kelly told openly that the there were many more facts the President was yet to know.”He was not fully informed” Kelly says.  

 

It was minutes later that Donald Trump had tweeted denying the fact. He expressed his view informing that he may directly or indirectly pay for the border wall. Trump’s moves are supposedly going as per the plan is what was portrayed in his tweet. “The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it,” informs Donald Trump.  

 

During the election campaign, Trump said he is expecting that Mexico would pay entirely for the border wall. The New York Times had published a piece which said that Mr Kelly appears to be saying he thinks “that it is his job to tutor a sometimes-ill-informed president who has never served in public office before”. 

 

Sources – BBC, The Telegraph  

Germany puts 4 past toothless Mexico to reach Confed Cup final

Leon Goretzka has been a revelation for Germany in Russia, and two goals from the FC Schalke midfielder within the first ten minutes killed off the game in its early stages.

A ruthless Germany exploited Mexico when the latter lost the ball at the centre of the park, igniting a vicious counter attack. It was Goretzka who initiated the move by pushing it right to Benjamin Henrichs. At an opportune moment, the ball was slipped back to Goretzka, who then sniped it into the back of the net.

The German onslaught was incessant, and once again, it was Goretzka who latched on to a through ball from Timo Werner, and completed an unerring finish, slotting it past an advancing Guillermo Ochoa.

Germany manager Joachim Lowe took a bold decision of leaving out the core of the World Cup winning team and the young guns were given a chance to fire in Russia. Marc Ter Stegen, who was culpable in goal against Cameroon pulled off a fantastic save from a Hector Herrera free-kick to keep Mexico at bay.

The world champions put on a third on the 59th minute when Werner was fed by Jonas Hector from the left.

Mexico found their consolation goal when Fabian struck a thunder-ball from 35 yards out, beating Ter Stegen who had looked quite invincible under the sticks until that point, before Ajax’s Younes put another past Mexico in injury time.

Germany will now take on Chile in the final on Sunday at St. Petersburg.

Sources: The Guardian, ESPN

Donald Trump Proposes a ‘Solar Wall’ along the Mexican Border

President Donald Trump touted the idea to attach solar panels to his controversial wall along the US-Mexican border, while addressing a campaign-style rally in Iowa on Wednesday, June 21. “We’re thinking about building the wall as a solar wall. Pretty good imagination, right? It’s my idea”, he said, according to a report by BBC.

Speaking before a cheering crowd at Cedar Rapids, Trump categorically stated that he would deliver on his poll promise of building the wall along the US-Mexican border which would stop the flow of drugs and illegal immigration from Mexico. He further went on to say that the solar wall would pay for itself and also provide cheap energy. Earlier, Trump insisted that Mexico pay for the wall but the Mexican President Enrique Nieto had disregarded the idea. Suggesting that the plan was his own idea, he said that he said that he would “give you an idea that nobody has heard about yet.”

In February 2017, the Department of Homeland Security invited companies to submit designs for the wall. The invitation received responses from over 200 companies. Among them, Gleason Partners in Las Vegas proposed the idea of a wall of steel, cement and solar panels.

The Trump administration is yet to make a move on the president’s expensive campaign promise to construct a wall along the Mexican border. Owing to pressure from the Democrats, the US Congress has not committed to funding the project.

The developments will be interesting to note once the funding battle plays out when the 2018 budget negotiations begin.

 

Sources: BBC News, Telegraph, Times of India, The Daily Caller

Anti-Trump Riot in Mexico City Attended by Thousands

Thousands held a march in Mexico City protesting against the US President Donald Trump. The former real estate mogul turned president proposed to build a wall along the American-Mexican border during his campaigns and to build the wall, he plans to charge the American citizens in the their taxes.

Placards, posters and banners saying “Mexico must be respected, Mr Trump,” were seen in the protest along with numerous others waving the red, white and green Mexican flag. In what is touted as the largest mobilisation so far, protestors were seen burning Trump effigies.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Garcia, a former resident of Chicago said “The United States and Mexico are natural friends and allies, but Trump is destroying this,”. She then added, “The United States and Mexico are natural friends and allies, but Trump is destroying this”.

More than 20,000 people attended the march according to a city estimate. While this was seen as a massive gathering, reports said that the protest was small compared to other rallies and protests which took place in the city. Along with anti-Trump protest, rioters also chanted slogans and carried signs against Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Protest marches also took place Sunday in other Mexican cities, including Tijuana, Monterrey, Merida and Morelia.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, CNN

Image source: iNews24

Christmas turns bloody in Mexico, six decapitated heads found

Christmas turned bloody in Mexico when a drug-related violence claimed a number of lives in the western part of the country, with gunmen attacking a family celebration, and decapitated heads found in another part.

A statement released from Michoacan state prosecutor’s office intimated that six heads were found in the Jiquilpan, near the state of Jalisco, which has been a battleground between competing drug gangs in the recent years. The office added that the six men have not yet been identified and their bodies have not been found.

While this seemed to be a drug cartel activity; in the western region of the country, in the state of Guerrero a gunman shot a family of five, which looks like to be an act of revenge. Investigators believe that the primary motive must have been to kill one target which turned out into multiple homicides substantially.

Guerrero has been one of the hot areas of a plague of violence. which has been going on around in Mexico in recent years?

The plague of violence has claimed a large number of lives since its inception in 2006, and 28000 people have been missing till date as reported by Vatican Radio.

Radio Vatican

Mexico despite spending billions of dollars on counter drug cartel has failed to curb violence in its country. An astonishing statistic compiled by Forbes tell that the country has spent $17.2 billion till 2013 which accounts for almost 10 percent of the country’s GDP and accounts for almost twice Mexico’s international debt.

Forbes

Source – The Guardian, Fox32 Chicago

Image source – Reuters

Firework explosion in Mexico claims 29 lives

A huge explosion caused due to fireworks in Mexico City claimed 29 lives and injured many. The accident took place in Tultepe- the best-known fireworks market of Mexico. The entire market consisting of more than 300 stands wiped out in the explosion.

Governor of the state, Eruviel Avila stated that 72 people have been injured in the whole incident. The Mexican red cross society said that it has sent 10 ambulances with 50 paramedics to help out the people. It took fire tenders more than 3 hours to bring the situation under control.

People were able to feel the ground tremble due to the explosions in the vicinity. The explosion seemed to be a festive celebration initially but later turned out to be a major accident. Several homes and nearby vehicles were also damaged as a result of the fire. The military was deployed in order to rescue the people who were trapped in the marketplace.

The charred bodies of the dead are unrecognisable, so forensic experts are working on their medical analysis. Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto tweeted his condolences for those who died in the fire. He also wished for a speedy recovery for those who were hurt in the fire.

Tutlepec is famous for its pyrotechnics industry. As Christmas and New Year is approaching, the whole industry was full of fireworks. A similar incident occurred in 2005 where many people lost their lives, just ahead of the Mexican Independence Day.

 

Sources- The Telegraph, The New Indian ExpressIndependent

ImageSource- AP