Twenty-seven people, most of them returning from a wedding, were killed in Egypt when a train ploughed into a mini-bus and a truck at a railway crossing early Monday, the health ministry said. The head of the Egyptian Railway Authority said the drivers of the vehicles had ignored warning lights and chains blocking entry to the crossing, and tried to go across the tracks. "The bus stormed the crossing, according to initial reports," Hussein Zakaria told state television. Egypt's rail network has a poor safety record stemming largely from lack of maintenance and poor management.
The royal mummies of ancient Egypt apparently did, as a new study finds that "meat mummies" left in Egyptian tombs as sustenance for the afterlife were treated with elaborate balms to preserve them. Mummified cuts of meat are common finds in ancient Egyptian burials, with the oldest dating back to at least 3300 B.C. The tradition extended into the latest periods of mummification in the fourth century A.D. The famous pharaoh King Tutankhamun went to his final resting place accompanied by 48 cases of beef and poultry. University of Bristol biogeochemist Richard Evershed and his colleagues were curious about how these cuts were prepared. The oldest was a rack of cattle ribs from the tomb of Tjuiu, an Egyptian noblewoman, and her courtier Yuya.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA launched its newest Mars probe toward the Red Planet Monday (Nov. 18) on a mission to determine how the Martian atmosphere transformed the world into the desolate wasteland it is today. The robotic spacecraft, called the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution probe (MAVEN), launched atop an Atlas 5 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here at 1:28 p.m. EST (1828 GMT), beginning a 10-month journey to Mars. "Liftoff of the Atlas 5 with MAVEN, looking for clues about the evolution of Mars through its atmosphere," NASA launch commentator George Diller said as the rocket climbed into a cloudy Florida sky. If all goes well, MAVEN should arrive at Mars on Sept. 22, 2014, mission scientists have said.
BERLIN (AP) — A retired Minnesota carpenter, shown in a June investigation to be a former commander in a Nazi SS-led unit, ordered his men to attack a Polish village that was razed to the ground, according to testimony newly uncovered by The Associated Press. The account of the massacre that killed dozens of women and children contradicts statements by the man's family that he was never at the scene of the 1944 bloodshed.