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News Brief Feb. 5-9


Controversy has sparked in Cairo as Mostafa Waziry, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced a plan to renovate one of the Giza pyramids. 

The plan to cover the ancient wonder of the world with granite cladding will likely not succeed given the texture of the original structure. Uproar has ensued on social media and among the archeological community, dismissing the plan as “tiling the pyramid.” 

“Egypt’s antiquities ministry said the restoration aims to reinstall hundreds of granite blocks that used to form the outer casing of the Pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest of the three main pyramids of Giza,” ABC reported. 

“The blocks around the pyramid are all unpolished and incomplete. They are totally unsuitable to be reconstructed on the surface of the pyramid,” Egyptologist and former antiquities minister Zahy Hawas said. “No one will touch the Pyramid. The Pyramids are sacred.” 

Hawas said officials were “rushed” in their presentation to the public. 

“It’s too early now to discuss the reinstallation. Study results will be put forward to the international committee before any next steps are taken,” Waziry said.


The First National Bank (FNB) of Pennsylvania has been redlining Black and Latino homebuyers for at least four years in North Carolina according to the Department of Justice

FNB is settling the redlining charges with $13.5 million to aid in subsidizing loans for those affected by discrimination. 

The DOJ said FNB closed branches in majority-minority neighborhoods, declined to provide mortgage services to Black and Latino customers and ignored entire neighborhoods. In comparison to lenders of similar size and scope, the DOJ found competitors lent 2 to 4 times more to minority communities than First National.

 “The playing field isn’t level, and that is not what we want for the people of North Carolina,” Josh Stein, North Carolina’s Attorney General, said. 

“Under Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Justice Department has created a Redlining Taskforce to focus on racial discrimination in financial services,” ABC reported. 

This is the Biden Administration’s 13th redlining statement since 2021. 

“Modern-day redlining is a stain on our economy and underscores the need to keep pushing for equal economic opportunity and racial justice in our country,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, in the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, said. 


The Oklahoma City Zoo announced two of their elephants are expecting. Two endangered Asian elephants will give birth to calves in 2025. 

“We’re elated about this anticipated baby boom and the excitement of two calves joining our herd,” Rachel Emory, OKC Zoo’s curator of elephants said. “Every elephant pregnancy is cause for celebration, but this is a monumental occasion as Achara welcomes her first calf, beginning a second generation of elephants at the Zoo. This growth is invaluable for our herd. Not only are we improving our elephants’ lives, wellbeing and social interactions, but we are helping sustain a future for their wild counterparts in their native habitats.”

Asha will give birth to her fifth calf at the OKC Zoo. It will be her fourth fathered by Rex, a 56-year-old bull elephant.

Achara will give birth for the first time with Bowie, the zoo’s youngest bull elephant at 10-years-old, being the father. 

Elephants hold the longest gestation period for mammals at 22 months. When the calves are born, they will be between 200-300 lbs. and able to stand on their own.

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