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Hundreds of tourists evacuated from Egypt hotel after two deaths

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Tour operator Thomas Cook is evacuating all of its customers from a hotel in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Hurghada after two Britons died there this week under unclear circumstances.

The move came after John and Susan Cooper, from Burnley, England, died while staying at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel. They were on a holiday with other family members.

Their daughter, Kelly Ormerod, was with her parents and her three children when tragedy struck.

John Cooper, 69, died in his hotel room while her 63-year-old mother, a Thomas Cook employee, was taken to hospital, Ormerod said from Egypt.

“As a family we are devastated. Mum and Dad meant the world to me and the children, and we are in utter shock over what has happened and what is happening,” Ormerod told the Lancashire-based radio station 2BR. “Prior to going on holiday, Mum and Dad were fit and healthy. They had no health problems at all.”

Read Also: South Africa named the world’s top adventure destination for 2018

Thomas Cook said in a statement on Thursday that the “circumstances of their deaths are still unclear” and that it has “also received further reports of a raised level of illness among guests.”

The decision to evacuate 301 holiday makers from the Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel is a “precautionary measure,” the company said, adding that the guests, of various nationalities, will be offered alternative hotels or the option to return home.

“We continue to work closely with the hotel and are supporting the authorities with their investigations,” it said. Customers due to arrive in the hotel in the next four weeks will be offered alternative options.

The Steigenberger Aqua Magic was last audited by Thomas Cook in July and received an overall score of 96 percent.

Culture

Egypt discovers Greco-Roman funeral building dating back centuries

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The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has announced the discovery of a massive Greco-Roman massive funeral building in Fayoum Province, south of the capital Cairo, dating back several centuries.

In a statement on Friday, the Ministry said the discovery was made in an Egyptian archaeological mission at the site of Garza Cemetery in Fayoum which started in 2016.

“Several portraits, a statute of Isis-Aphrodite, a combination of the Egyptian Goddess Isis and the Greek Aphrodite, a wooden coffin, human-shaped coffins and papyrus-made records that refer to the social, economic, and religious conditions of the inhabitants of that period, were found inside the building,” the Ministry said.

“The funeral building‘s floor is made of colorful and decorated limestone tiles leading to a narrow street, with remains of four columns found inside the funeral house,” the statement added.

According to history, Garza village which was known as Philadelphia in the Greek era, was established in the third century BC as a central area for a desert reclamation project by King Ptolemy II Philadelphus, also known posthumously as Ptolemy the Great, for securing food resources, according to the statement.

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Africa mourns as legendary Gambian musician, Oussou Njie Senior, dies

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The entertainment industry in Africa has been thrown into mourning following the death of Gambia’s legendary musician, composer and producer, Oussou Njie Senior, who passed away on Tuesday night.

Gambia’s authoritative media platform, The Point Newspaper reported on Friday that Njie who made music for over 50 years, died after a brief illness.

“He was the founder of Super Eagles, one of the most successful Gambian music groups of all time,” the paper wrote in a tribute to the late Njie.

“The group inspired a generation of musicians from the Senegambia region including Youssou Ndour.

“Oussou Njie Senior wrote many songs including hits like ‘Mandally’ ‘Gambia Sunu Rew’, ‘Viva Super Eagles’ and ‘Haleli Africa’.

“He was certainly a renowned music star and trailblazer during his hey days. Ismail Oussou Njie Senio, was one legend that many Gambians, especially upcoming artistes looked up to in their respective careers.

“An ex-member of the Super Eagles band, Oussou Njie Senior as he was fondly called, was upbeat about Gambian music. He thus called on them to work for the betterment of the country’s music industry,” the newspaper said.

A top Gambian entertainment writer, Oko Drammeh, in a tribute to the late Oussou Njie, described him as “a learned man and music teacher.”

“Ousou Njie was a God gift to Gambia and he was true to The Gambia. He released the most popular songs from the Gambia including “Bada Touray”, “Dawda Serge”, “Mandal Ly”, “Gambia Sunu Rew”, “Gambia Zambia”, “Fiesta Vous”, “Haleli Africa”, “Viva Super Eagles” and many, many more.

“We would never forget you, Oussou Njie; your good heart, your wisdom, your kindness, your fun and laughter, your kind gifts and charity, your love,” Drammeh wrote.

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