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Roman remains unearthed near famous Lisbon restaurant

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A view of findings from an ancient Roman cemetery with 2000-year-old skeletons and various artefacts, found below a restaurant in Lisbon, Portugal, January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

LISBON (Reuters) – Portuguese archaeologists digging near one of Lisbon’s most iconic restaurants, the Solar dos Presuntos (Manor of Hams), have discovered a large Roman cemetery holding 2,000-year-old skeletons and various ancient artifacts.

The necropolis was found after the restaurant owners decided to expand their establishment, founded in 1974 in Lisbon’s historical center.

To get the expansion project approved, city authorities required that a team of archaeologists first survey the land.

“What we found was a big surprise,” said Nuno Neto, an archaeologist at Neoepica, the company that carried out the digging at a depth of around six meters (20 ft). “The level of preservation is excellent, and the set of artifacts is fabulous.”

The necropolis was found to hold 25 skeletons, 35 sets of cremated remains, pottery and coins used in ancient burial rituals. All have been moved to Neoepica’s research laboratory, which will eventually transfer them to the city council.

The findings were only made public last month, but archaeologists have been working on the site since 2016.

Work on expanding the restaurant has already started, and despite the delays, the owners see the discovery of the Roman cemetery as something positive and hope to have some of the ancient items on display in the future.

Roman armies occupied Olissipo, as Lisbon used to be known, around 200 BC and it remained under Roman control for several centuries.

Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Hugh Lawson

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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We’ve got this mountain of trash – why don’t we ski down it?

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COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – What to do with the mountain of garbage a major metropolitan area produces is an age-old question. Copenhagen has come up with a brand-new answer: ski down the mountain.

Well, not exactly. The waste is actually inside Copenhill, a waste-treatment plant 10 minutes from downtown Copenhagen. Its main facility is a futuristic building with a sloping roof 85 meters high that’s covered in a material called neveplast. It looks just like a ski slope, except it’s green.

“I think everybody is surprised to start with when they look at it and it’s not snow,” said Christian Ingels, the director at Copenhill. “It’s green dry-slope material. After one or two runs, your mind is automatically adjusting so you feel exactly like skiing.”

Designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, the plant is an important step in Copenhagen’s ambition to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital. It’s an attempt to build a waste-treatment plant that local residents are happy to see come to their neighborhood. It seems to be working.

“It’s a fantastic experience in the middle of a city to be able to do what you do like the most,” said visiting skier Pelle Hansen. “Instead of having to go six, seven, eight or ten hours to a ski destination, you can be here in ten minutes.”

The plant will also burn waste from around 600,000 residents and 68,000 businesses to produce electricity and district heating, will be sent back to the resident. It will also recycle some of the waste.

The plant began operating in 2017, and the recreational part will open permanently this spring. The slope will open year-round.

“It’s fantastic that one can ski without snow,” said ski slope visitor Tommy Christensen. “It’s a slightly different experience than to skiing in real snow, but it’s my second run and I’ll try it again. It looks promising.”

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, editing by Larry King

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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'Tinder for cows' matches livestock in the mood for love

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A Tinder-inspired app is helping farmers match up potential partners for their cattle.

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Toronto police probe hurling of chair from high-rise balcony

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TORONTO (Reuters) – Toronto police said on Monday they are investigating an incident of a woman hurling a chair from the balcony of a high-rise condominium that was captured on a video that went viral.

The video, captioned “Good morning,” shows a woman with long, blond hair and dressed in black picking up a chair on the balcony and then looking over the balcony while holding the chair. She then stands up straight and looks into the camera as she appears to speak briefly before turning and throwing the chair off the balcony.

The video shows the chair falling toward a busy highway seen below, though police said the chair landed on the condo building’s entrance. No one was injured or killed in the incident, which occurred on Saturday, Toronto Police Service media relations officer David Hopkinson said.

It caught the attention of users of Reddit who expressed safety concerns and sparked the police investigation.

Hopkinson said he first noticed the video on Sunday and was “outraged” by the incident. He said the woman also threw multiple other objects from the balcony, though only the chair was shown on the video.

Hopkinson said the woman in the video could be charged with common nuisance and mischief, endangering life, which is an extreme level of “mischief.” He said the police are seeking the public’s help in identifying the woman.

Incidents involving objects from high-rise building have come to police attention before, Hopkinson said. “There’s quite a number of things investigated thrown from bridges, condos, towers, other high places,” he said. “People do foolish things.”

Reporting by Tyler Choi; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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