Europe has long been condemning the communist regime, but none of the countries has gone as far as Poland, where a law was signed allowing people to be fined or imprisoned for keeping and buying communist symbols.
Twenty years after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the Polish government are about to completely erase memories of the Cold War past and make everything from the hammer and sickle and red flag to trendy Che Guevara t-shirts and posters illegal.
On Friday, President Lech Kaczynski approved an amendment to the criminal code which outlaws production, possession, spread and sale of items or recordings containing symbols of communism. Anyone who disobeys the law – for instance, waves a red flag singing The Internationale in the centre of Warsaw – can be fined or even sent to jail for up to two years.
However, communist attributes can still be used for artistic, research and educational purposes. Collectors will not be punished either. The law was put forward by the opposition Law and Justice Party and was passed by the Polish parliament in early November.
“Communism was a genocidal system that led to the murder of tens of millions of people,” Jaroslaw Kaczynski – the president’s twin brother and the head of the party – said back then. “No symbol of communism has a right to exist in Poland, because these are symbols of a genocidal system that should be compared to German Nazism.”
Archive for November, 2009
Swiss voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on minarets on Sunday, barring construction of the iconic mosque towers in a surprise vote that put Switzerland at the forefront of a European backlash against a growing Muslim population.
Muslim groups in Switzerland and abroad condemned the vote as biased and anti-Islamic. Business groups said the decision hurt Switzerland’s international standing and could damage relations with Muslim nations and wealthy investors who bank, travel and shop there.
“The Swiss have failed to give a clear signal for diversity, freedom of religion and human rights,” said Omar Al-Rawi, integration representative of the Islamic Denomination in Austria, which said its reaction was “grief and deep disappointment.”
It’s a disturbing game with devastating consequences, and a new WTHR survey suggests it is rampant in Indiana schools.
“Ball tapping” is the act of intentionally hitting or kicking a male in the genitals. Earlier this month, an Eyewitness News investigation showed the game has become commonplace in some area schools, resulting in serious injuries for students.
As part of the investigation, WTHR also conducted a statewide survey of school nurses. The results are in, and they show the problem of ball tapping is more common and widespread than many school officials had realized.
School nurses from 163 Indiana schools participated in the anonymous survey, and 33% of those nurses said they’re aware of ball tapping happening at their school within the past twelve months. But a closer look at the statistics shows the problem is much more serious in some schools than in others.
23% of school nurses who work at the elementary level say they’ve seen or heard of ball tapping at their school. That number nearly doubles in high schools, where 43% of school nurses say they’ve seen it. And in middle schools, 62% of school nurses said they’re aware of students engaged in ball tapping.
A BOLT of lightning hit three homesteads in a village in the Transkei and killed four people from one family, including two elderly women and two children, on Tuesday evening.
A third elderly woman from the same family miraculously escaped from a burning house, but sustained serious burn wounds in the process.
The incident, which happened at about 5pm, shocked the residents of Ndwana village in Ntabankulu. The deceased are Nomakethe Myolwa, 60, Maphembetshiya Nfeketho, 70, Ntuthuko Myolwa, 8, and her brother Athini Myolwa, 7.
The survivor, Madumeni Myolwa, 70, managed to crawl out of the burning house. She was admitted to hospital in Mount Ayliff to be treated for burn wounds.
According to OR Tambo District Municipality disaster management, Tuesday’s incident has brought the number of deaths caused by lightning to 14 in Ntabankulu since late October.
A creepy string of calf mutilations in southern Colorado has a rancher and sheriff’s officials mystified. Four calves were found dead in a pasture just north of the New Mexico state line in recent weeks.
The dead calves had their skins peeled back and organs cleared from the rib cage. One calf had its tongue removed.
But rancher Manuel Sanchez has found no signs of human attackers, such as footprints or ATV tracks. And there are no signs of an animal attack by a coyote or mountain lion. Usually predators leave pools of blood or drag marks from carrying away the livestock.
You’ll need to be 21 to take a bite out of this Thanksgiving turkey. New York City tavern owner Paul Hurley said he’ll unveil what he is calling the nation’s first 100-proof turkey on Monday. A spokesman for the owner of O’Casey’s Tavern in Midtown Manhattan said that the bird is infused with fruit-flavored and 100-proof Georgi vodka for three days before being cooked. The flavors of vodka include peach, raspberry, cherry and apple.
The gravy is also laced with the distilled liquor.
LIKE many adopted children, Matthew Roberts set about finding his biological parents with a mix of nerves and excitement. In particular, he hoped that discovering his father’s identity would help him to work out what made him the man he had become. But nothing could have prepared him for being told his dad was… serial killer CHARLES MANSON.
Over a five-week period in the summer of 1969, Manson and his Family of commune followers committed a series of nine gruesome murders. Victims included pregnant actress Sharon Tate, wife of film director Roman Polanski. Matthew, 41 – who bears a haunting resemblance to his father – sank into depression after discovering his identity.
He has since been in contact with his dad in a series of letters to his California prison and Manson has replied – each time chillingly signing off with a swastika. Now Matthew, who was given up for adoption as a baby, has told of his horror at finding out he was the son of a monster.
He says: “I didn’t want to believe it. I was frightened and angry. It’s like finding out that Adolf Hitler is your father. “I’m a peaceful person – trapped in the face of a monster.”
Ugandan officials say they are offended that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has praised former dictator Idi Amin.
Officials including President Yoweri Museveni’s secretary Tamale Mirundi say Amin ruled brutally in the 1970s.
Chavez on Friday called the East African dictator a nationalist and a patriot.
Mirundi countered on Sunday with Amin’s record of torturing and killing opponents — including one of his wives.
James Kizza Baliruno said he was offended by the praise as Amin’s soldiers killed both of his parents in front of him when he was 4 years old.
Times are tough, and people are sat at home chewing bellybutton fluff instead of eating out or ordering in. What are restaurant owners doing? Some are not paying staff, and others are sending abusive emails calling them “fucking lazy motherfuckers.”
Vadim Ponorovsky, the owner of Paradou, a restaurant in the Meatpacking district, described on its website as a “light-filled, airy oasis… filled with warmth and charm,” really REALLY wants waitstaff to collect email addresses from customers, presumably so he can spam them.
Here’s the happy, team-building email he sent out, from a tipster.
Please read this email carefully.
This is the last time we will be discussing this. This weekend, saturday and sunday we had 451 customers. Guess how many emails we collected? 60? 80? 40? No. None of those. We, or more acurately you, collected 2 emails. Thats less than half of one percent. 2 fucking emails.
WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU ASSHOLES?!?!?! How many times do we have to tell you how important it is that you collect emails. Everytime we have a slow night and you make no money and you sit there bitching about how you make no money, remember its because youre fucking lazy motherfuckers. YOU SHOULD ALL BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY!!!!! ALL OF YOU, INCLUDING THE HOSTS!!!!
Let me guess, youre probably sitting there saying “Vadim is such a fucking asshole. How dare he speak to me like this. I dont need this.” Youre right, you dont, so why dont you get the fuck out. Any and all of you.
Youre probably sitting there saying “How dare he speak to me like this. How dare he not have respect for me”. Youre right there also. I have absolutely no respect for any of you. Why? Because every fucking day, all of you continue to show that you have absolutely no respect for me or Alex. So if you dont respect us enough to do the little that we ask you to do, then GET THE FUCK OUT YOU FUCKING LAZY DISRESPECTFUL ASSHOLES!!!!!
Effective immediately, any server or host who fails to collect at least 20 emails per week, will be fined $100. Anyone failing to collect at least 20 emails for two weeks in a month will be fired immediately. No matter what. No matter who you are. You dont want to do your job, you dont want to do what we ask, you dont belong at Paradou.
Go find another place to work. How dare you disrespect Alex and me this way. How dare you completely ignore what we ask of you time after time after time. I am sick of all this shit, you bunch of fucking children. This is what I have to deal with at 6AM?!?!? I wouldnt tolerate this from my 13 year old, and Im sure as shit not going to tolerate it from any of you assholes.
You give no respect, you get 10 times back.
Who’s been firebombing all those Italian cafés in Montreal? The answer police have been getting so far: silenzio.
Police are stumped as to why at least five bars in the city have been hit by Molotov cocktails in less than a month, but it’s clear that the victims don’t want to talk.
The head of the Montreal police arson squad said his detectives are mulling a number of theories, but, with merchants remaining mute, all they have are hypotheses.
There’s the possibility that a Mafia war has erupted. Or perhaps a brazen street gang is trying to move in on the Mob’s turf. Or maybe rival gangs are battling among themselves. Police have even considered an arsonist with a particular penchant for putting latté-makers out of business.
“None of the hypotheses have been set aside, but none have been validated for the time being, either,” said Cmdr. Robert Quevillon, who heads the police arson and economic crimes unit.
The title character of Ray Bradbury’s book The Illustrated Man is covered with moving, shifting tattoos. If you look at them, they will tell you a story.
New LED tattoos from the University of Pennsylvania could make the Illustrated Man real (minus the creepy stories, of course). Researchers there are developing silicon-and-silk implantable devices which sit under the skin like a tattoo. Already implanted into mice, these tattoos could carry LEDs, turning your skin into a screen.
The silk substrate onto which the chips are mounted eventually dissolves away inside the body, leaving just the electronics behind. The silicon chips are around the length of a small grain of rice — about 1 millimeter, and just 250 nanometers thick. The sheet of silk will keep them in place, molding to the shape of the skin when saline solution is added.
It’s certainly rather creepy, but we’re sure that the inevitable next stage of playing adult movie clips on your partner’s back will be appealing to some. We, of course, are considering the geekier side of this tech. GPS, with a map readout on the back of the wrist would certainly be useful, as would chips that cover your eyeballs and can darken down when the sun is shining too bright.
And a full-body display will eventually be used for advertising. Combine this with bioluminescent ink, for example, and you could turn yourself into a small, walking version of Times Square. At least, unlike a real tattoo, you can switch this one off.
Police say a gang in the Peruvian jungle has been killing people and draining fat from the corpses to sell on the black market for use in cosmetics, although medical experts say they doubt a major market for fat exists.
Three suspects confessed to killing five people, but the gang may have been involved in dozens more, said Col. Jorge Mejia, chief of Peru’s anti-kidnapping police. He said one suspect claimed the gang wasn’t the only one doing such killings.
Mejia said two of the suspects were arrested carrying bottles of liquid human fat and told police it was worth $60,000 a gallon ($15,000 a liter).
The fat was sold to intermediaries in Peru’s capital, Lima, and police suspect it was then sold to cosmetic companies in Europe, Mejia said Thursday, but he could not confirm any sales.
Hundreds of private emails and documents allegedly exchanged between some of the world’s leading climate scientists over the past 13 years have been stolen by hackers and leaked online.
The computer files were apparently accessed earlier this week from servers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, a world-renowned centre focused on the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change. Climate change sceptics who have studied the emails allege that they provide “smoking gun” evidence that some of the climatologists colluded in manipulating data to support the widely held view among the world’s climatologists that climate change is real and is being largely caused by the actions of mankind.
So far the veracity of the emails has not been confirmed and the scientists involved have declined to comment on the story which broke on a blog called The Air Vent. The files, which in total amount to 61Mb of data, were first uploaded onto a Russian server, before being widely mirrored across the internet.
The emails were accompanied by the anonymous statement, “We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents. Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it.”
A spokesperson for the University of East Anglia said: “We are aware that information from a server used for research information in one area of the university has been made available on public websites. Because of the volume of this information we cannot currently confirm that all of this material is genuine. This information has been obtained and published without our permission and we took immediate action to remove the server in question from operation. We are undertaking a thorough internal investigation and we have involved the police in this enquiry.”
A U.N.-run radio station says a passenger plane overshot a runway in eastern Congo and landed in lava, injuring 20 people. Radio Okapi said the plane was flying from Kinshasa to Goma on Thursday and passengers had warned the crew that there were heavy clouds. One passenger told the station that the plane had landed in lava near Goma’s airport. An official from the U.N. mission in Congo, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he does not have permission to speak with media, said there were 117 passengers aboard. They included the governor of North Kivu province, who was not hurt.
Hat tip to Kara!
Dear Kellogg: Leggo my Eggo!
Kellogg Co. says there will be a nationwide shortage of its popular Eggo frozen waffles until next summer because of interruptions in production at two of the four plants that make them.
The company’s Atlanta plant was shut down for an undisclosed period by a September storm that dumped historic amounts of rain in the area.
Meanwhile, several production lines at its largest bakery in Rossville, Tenn. are closed indefinitely for repairs, company spokeswoman Kris Charles said in an e-mail.
It will take until the middle of 2010 before shelves around the country are stocked at pre-shutdown levels, Charles said. Already customers are noticing near-empty Eggo shelves on the freezer aisle at many grocery stores.
There are questions about how the federal government is spending tax dollars. It appears millions of economic stimulus dollars are being spent in Congressional districts that do not exist.
In Tennessee, federal economic stimulus money is being spent on several projects including the creation of thousands of jobs. The money became available when lawmakers passed the stimulus package earlier this year. President Obama promised government transparency.
Americans would be able to see where every dollar was spent by going to the government website Recovery.gov. People started checking and they’ve found problems.
Ben Cunningham is with Tennessee Tax Revolt, an advocacy group for taxpayers. “It just adds to the stereotype that government can’t find it’s behind with both hands if you’ll excuse the expression,” said Cunningham.
Recovery.gov showed stimulus money spent in imaginary congressional districts, seven districts that are in Tennessee. According to the website nearly $54 million had been spent in the districts, and nearly $41 million in a district called 00. There was an imaginary 47th district where the government had apparently spent $2.3 million.
“Yes, the 47th district in Tennessee. That’s right. Boy, we’re going to have a lot of pull in Congress next in redistricting,” said Cunningham. Tennessee has only nine congressional districts, and they are numbered one through nine.
Washington, D.C., had the dubious distinction of beating all 50 states to post the highest rates in the nation for the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.
The District of Columbia had a Chlamydia rate of 1,177 cases per 100,000 people–almost three times the rate of its neighbors, Virginia (405) and Maryland (439). Mississippi was a distant second, at 728 cases per 100,000 people. By comparison, California’s rate was 407 cases per 100,000; New York came in at 458; New Mexico at 470; Utah at 377 and Maine’s rate was a mere 198 per 100,000.
For gonorrhea, D.C.’s rate was 451.5 cases per 100,000–almost twice that of second-ranking Mississippi (256.8); more than three times the rate of its neighbors Virginia (134) and Maryland (118); more than 13 times the rate of Oregon (32.5) and more than 25 times the rate of Utah (18). Other state rates for gonorrhea include: 160.9 for Illinois; 134 for Texas and 88.7 for New York.
D.C.’s nation-leading syphilis rate of 24.8 cases (including both primary and secondary syphilis) per 100,000 dwarfed second-place Louisiana’s 16.5 per 100,000 rate and third-place Alabama’s rate of 9.7 per 100,000. It and was nearly four times the rate of Maryland (6.7).
The apparent bottom line in a paper published in the South African Journal of Science is that South Africa’s gold industry is on final deathwatch, despite claims of massive existing below-ground reserves. Chris Hartnady, research and technical director of Cape Town earth sciences consultancy Umvoto Africa, has found that South Africa’s Witwatersrand goldfields are around 95% exhausted, and anticipates that production rates should fall permanently below 100 tonnes a year within the coming decade.
Gold production from the Witwatersrand, the biggest known gold field in the world, peaked at around 1,000 tonnes in 1970 and has declined ever since. Hartnady says that while initially (1970-1975) the decline was “quite precipitous”, it has been interrupted by only short periods of slight trend reversal (1982-1984 and 1992-1993).
Leon Esterhuizen, a London-based specialist analyst at RBC Capital Markets, has reacted to the research by saying that “South African gold is dying — this is not new news”, but adds “that it may be dying faster than we currently believe is novel”. On the levels of reserves, Hartnady finds that the South African “residual gold reserve” after production through 2007 is only 2 948 tonnes, a little less than three times the 1970 production figure, and much less than 10% of the officially cited reserve.
The country’s gold reserves are less than half of the current United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimate of 6 000 tonnes, and the country is not first, but fourth in world rankings, after Australia (5,000 tonnes), Peru (3,500 tonnes) and Russia (3,000 tonnes), Hartnady’s research shows. The USGS currently cites South Africa’s gold reserves at around 6,000 tonnes, while SA claims a 36,000 tonnes reserve base figure (or about 40% of the global total). Hartnady’s findings are based on Chamber of Mines figures and mathematical modeling pioneered by the distinguished American geologist M. King Hubbert.
It has been 2 days since I began my countdown to how long it would take Google to FIX their image search result for Michelle Obama.
Just in case you’ve never done a search I’ll save you the time. This is what you will find…
[Please click here to see what's up - karl]
How disturbing is that? What’s even more disturbing is that one of the world’s most powerful search engines, Google, has not officially responded nor have they taken the image down.
A Google employee by the name of Jimmy Deheeger, title unknown, responded to the search result in the Google web search Help Forum…
“I agree that this image is clearly offensive and in very poor taste. Appropriate action will be taken after a speedy review. Thanks for the prompt, detailed reports that brought this issue to my attention!”
The bodies of four alleged gangsters, stuffed into a parked car near President Felipe Calderon’s compound in this capital city, carried a message of divine retribution: “The wicked are denied their light, and the upraised arm is broken,” proclaimed the biblical passage, Job 38:15.
Scrawled with a marker on the backs of three of the bodies, a single word — “Kidnapper.” The discovery of the dead men two weeks ago suggests to many Mexicans that despairing private citizens or even local officials may be exacting their own raw justice amid the unbridled crime sweeping the country.
Lynching and extra-judicial killings are far from unknown in Mexico, whose justice system often has proved woefully insufficient. Rural and poor urban communities beat or execute accused rapists and thieves. Local power brokers, known as caciques, employ private gunmen to deal with nettlesome opponents or criminals.
But the escalating drug turf wars, which have claimed most of the 14,000 people killed by gangland violence since December 2006, have also wrought more kidnapping, extortion and theft. And some in Mexico are pushing back.
Sweeping new U.S. breast cancer guidelines released on Monday recommend against routine mammograms for women in their 40s, but several groups immediately rebelled against the recommendations.
The new guidelines by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an influential panel of independent experts, would sharply curtail the number of breast mammograms done in the United States, sparing women the worry of false alarms and the cost and trouble of extra tests.
The guidelines, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, are based largely on computer projections from six independent research groups in the United States and Europe.
They predicted that screening women 50 to 69 every other year will catch nearly as many breast cancers — 81 percent — while producing half as many false positive results.
“Although the USPSTF recognizes that the benefit of screening seems equivalent for women aged 40 to 49 years and 50 to 59 years, the incidence of breast cancer and the consequences differ,” the task force, sponsored by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, wrote.
The group’s last recommendations in 2002 called for routine mammograms every one to two years for all women older than 40.
Now, they recommend no routine screening for women in their 40s, and instead suggest these women decide for themselves when to start after weighing the risks and benefits.
Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi asked an escort agency to supply 500 ‘beautiful Italian girls’ for a gala evening at which he tried to convert them to Islam, it emerged today.
The 67-year-old leader also requested that they ‘were aged between 18 and 35 years old, did not wear mini skirts or have plunging necklines but high heels were OK.’
The women, all glamorously dressed, were told to meet at a hotel in the centre of Rome, where Gaddafi is attending a summit on world food security, before being taken to the Libyan ambassador’s residence in the city.
The girls, a mixture of blondes and brunettes dressed in heels, stockings and three-quarter length coats, were seen queuing up to go through security checks.
Several of them were turned away after being told they were inappropriately dressed or they were too short.
Once inside – and after an hour’s delay – Gaddafi arrived in a white limousine to lecture the girls on the superiority of Islam.
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez says he will join a team of Cuban scientists on flights to “bomb clouds” to create rain amid a severe drought that has aroused public anger due to water and electricity rationing.
Chavez, who has asked Venezuelans to take three-minute showers to save water, said the Cubans had arrived in Venezuela and were preparing to fly specially equipped aircraft above the Orinoco river.
“I’m going in a plane; any cloud that crosses me, I’ll zap it so that it rains,” Chavez said at a ceremony late on Saturday with family members of five Cubans convicted of spying in the United States.
Russian police have arrested three homeless people suspected of eating a 25-year-old man they had butchered and selling other bits of the corpse to a local kebab house.
Suspicions were raised when dismembered parts of a human body were found near a bus stop in the outskirts of the Russian city of Perm, 1,150 km (720 miles) east of Moscow.
Three homeless men with previous criminal records have been arrested on suspicion of setting upon a foe with knives and a hammer before chopping up his corpse to eat, local investigators said in a statement on their www.susk.perm.ru Web site.
The Lowell High School student newspaper published Friday included an advertisement for a white supremacist Web site, reportedly paid for by a group promoting a “campaign to inform, awaken and radicalize our White American youth.”
The site, www.victoryforever.com, features “white resistance music” as well as T-shirts, stickers and links to similar sites.
The ad in The Lowell said “Free Music Downloads” and included the Web site address in a small box below an Arby’s ad inside the paper.
The school distributes the newspaper, the Lowell, once a month to its 2,600 students as well as subscribers through the mail.
The contents of the online site caught school officials by surprise. They pulled all remaining copies of the paper and won’t be mailing out subscription copies, said district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe.
Skeletal remains found in Death Valley may belong to one or more of the four German tourists who vanished in searing summer heat 13 years ago, authorities said Friday.
Two hikers discovered the bones Thursday in a remote area of the famous Mojave Desert park. The hikers were search-and-rescue workers from Riverside County but they were off duty at the time, Inyo County sheriff’s spokeswoman Carma Roper said.
Identification for one of the missing tourists was found near the bones, she said.
“We’re fairly certain” that the remains are those of one or more of the long-missing visitors, Roper said. However, formally identifying the remains will be a long process, she said. The cause of death also must be determined.
“At this point, it’s being handled like a criminal investigation … but there is no evidence of foul play at this point,” Roper said.
The remains were found southeast of Goler Wash, a rugged area accessible only by 4-wheel-drive vehicles.
The area is several miles south of the spot where an abandoned minivan the tourists had rented was found months after they were reported missing.
A man whose bowel was damaged in a motorcycle crash has been fitted with a bionic bottom that enables him to go to the toilet using a remote control.
Ged Galvin was given just hours to live by doctors when he was ‘ripped in half’ by his motorcycle fuel tank after a car pulled out in front of him at 45mph.
The 55-year-old suffered massive internal injuries and had to be fitted with a colostomy bag until surgeons performed a complex operation to rebuild his bottom.
They took a muscle from above his knee, wrapped it around his sphincter and attached electrodes to the nerves which are operated by remote control.
He carries the palm-sized device in his pocket and simply presses a button to open his bowls when he wants to go to the toilet.
A state trooper has been suspended for 15 days without pay and will be required to attend diversity training after he accidentally sent an e-mail proclaiming white pride to 787 state employees.
The e-mail from Trooper Brent Gobbell states, in part, “You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member … you call him a racist.”
It also includes a list of racist epithets. The message concludes, “There is nothing improper about this e-mail. Let’s see which of you are proud enough to send it on … BE PROUD TO BE WHITE!”
A 5-year-old girl from the U.K. must take a daily cocktail of drugs to avoid the cells in her body from turning to crystal, the Daily Mail reported.
Lillie Sutcliffe from Castleford, West Yorkshire in England suffers from a rare condition called cystinosis. The condition causes an amino acid, cystine, to accumulate in various organs of the body including the kidney, eyes, liver, muscles, pancreas, brain and white blood cells. It primarily affects children and without specific treatment, kids with the disease will develop end stage kidney failure at approximately age 9, according to the Cystinosis Research Network.
The condition is so rare, it is estimated that only about 2,000 people worldwide suffer from it, although the numbers are unclear because the conditions is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Doctors discovered Lillie had cystinosis after scanning her eyes and finding crystals, the Mail reported.
The remains of a mighty Persian army said to have drowned in the sands of the western Egyptian desert 2,500 years ago might have been finally located, solving one of archaeology’s biggest outstanding mysteries, according to Italian researchers.
Bronze weapons, a silver bracelet, an earring and hundreds of human bones found in the vast desolate wilderness of the Sahara desert have raised hopes of finally finding the lost army of Persian King Cambyses II.
The 50,000 warriors were said to be buried by a cataclysmic sandstorm in 525 B.C.
”We have found the first archaeological evidence of a story reported by the Greek historian Herodotus,” Dario Del Bufalo, a member of the expedition from the University of Lecce, told Discovery News.
According to Herodotus (484-425 B.C.), Cambyses, the son of Cyrus the Great, sent 50,000 soldiers from Thebes to attack the Oasis of Siwa and destroy the oracle at the Temple of Amun after the priests there refused to legitimize his claim to Egypt.
After walking for seven days in the desert, the army got to an “oasis,” which historians believe was El-Kharga. After they left, they were never seen again.
“A wind arose from the south, strong and deadly, bringing with it vast columns of whirling sand, which entirely covered up the troops and caused them wholly to disappear,” wrote Herodotus.
A century after Herodotus wrote his account, Alexander the Great made his own pilgrimage to the oracle of Amun, and in 332 B.C. he won the oracle’s confirmation that he was the divine son of Zeus, the Greek god equated with Amun.
The tale of Cambyses’ lost army, however, faded into antiquity. As no trace of the hapless warriors was ever found, scholars began to dismiss the story as a fanciful tale.
TO ANCIENT Romans the Phlegraean Fields hosted the entrance to Hades.
In modern times it is better known as the site of a “supercolossal” volcanic eruption 39,000 years ago. Will we see the next disaster coming?
That’s one of the questions an ambitious drilling project hopes to answer by sinking boreholes into Campi Flegrei, as the giant collapsed volcanic crater is now called.
Starting as early as next month, the Campi Flegrei Deep Drilling Project is planning to drill seven holes in the region.
Though the researchers on this particular project point out that any risk is small, it will begin amid debate about whether such endeavours are safe, given the unknowns of a volcano’s interior.
A few say drilling might even trigger a major eruption. Though the caldera has no visible volcanic cone, it dwarfs nearby Vesuvius.
”Most of the metropolitan area of Naples is located within the caldera,” says Giuseppe De Natale of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology’s (INGV) Vesuvius Observatory in Naples, who is leading the project.
A Canadian teenager has been rescued from an ice floe drifting in the Arctic sea, where he was reportedly stranded with two polar bears.
Search and rescue teams parachuted onto the 15m (40ft) floe after spotting the 17-year-old Inuit youth from the air.
They told the BBC he appeared to have shot and killed a mother polar bear in self-defence, orphaning her two cubs.
The teenager is being treated for mild hypothermia and frostbite in the small town of Coral Harbour, on Hudson Bay.
Jean Pierre Sharp of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, Ontario, told the BBC the teenager had been on a hunting expedition with an older man in the remote area, when one of their snowmobiles broke down.
The teenager set off alone to find help but became stranded when the ice floe broke away and drifted loose, said Mr Sharp, leaving him trapped overnight as temperatures fell to -20C.
An English teacher was suspended for providing his students with a graphic short story about masturbation written by “Fight Club” author Chuck Palahniuk.
Greg Van Voorhis had given the story to read to students preparing for the English Regents exam at The Bronx School of Law and Finance in Marble Hill. The material written for Playboy magazine told the tale of a teenage boy’s use of a carrot in a sex act on himself and autoerotic asphyxiation.
Even though students were made to return the copies of the text at the end of the class, the principal of the school Evan Schwartz came to know about it as the gossip had spread in the school.
The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.
The senior official claims the US has played an influential role in encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves. The allegations raise serious questions about the accuracy of the organisation’s latest World Energy Outlook on oil demand and supply to be published tomorrow – which is used by the British and many other governments to help guide their wider energy and climate change policies.
In particular they question the prediction in the last World Economic Outlook, believed to be repeated again this year, that oil production can be raised from its current level of 83m barrels a day to 105m barrels. External critics have frequently argued that this cannot be substantiated by firm evidence and say the world has already passed its peak in oil production.
Now the “peak oil” theory is gaining support at the heart of the global energy establishment. “The IEA in 2005 was predicting oil supplies could rise as high as 120m barrels a day by 2030 although it was forced to reduce this gradually to 116m and then 105m last year,” said the IEA source, who was unwilling to be identified for fear of reprisals inside the industry. “The 120m figure always was nonsense but even today’s number is much higher than can be justified and the IEA knows this.
At least one Democratic political strategist has gotten a blunt warning from the White House to never appear on Fox News Channel, an outlet that presidential aides have depicted as not so much a news-gathering operation as a political opponent bent on damaging the Obama administration.
Political consultants are a staple of cable television talk shows, analyzing current events based on their own experiences working on campaigns or in government. One Democratic strategist said that shortly after an appearance on Fox he got a phone call from a White House official telling him not to be a guest on the show again.
The call had an intimidating tone, he said. The message was, “We better not see you on again,” said the strategist, who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to run afoul of the White House. An implicit suggestion, he said, was that “clients might stop using you if you continue.” In urging Democratic consultants to spurn Fox, White House officials might be trying to isolate the network and make it appear more partisan.
The Lancashire blacksmith’s son and leader of the Communist Party of Great Britain stood in front of the group of high-flying young Left-wingers at Cambridge University. Harry Pollitt told them: ‘Don’t join us. Work hard, get good degrees, join the Establishment and serve our cause from within.’
It was a few years after World War II and they took Pollitt at his word. Within a decade, the Communist Party foundered (its membership peaked at 60,000 in 1945) as Pollitt’s bright young devotees infiltrated the Establishment. They were soon exercising considerable influence in universities, the state education system, publishing houses, the legal hierarchy and the civil service. But it was in politics that these high-flying members of the Left established their greatest power-base, both in the Labour Party and the trades’ union movement.
Just how deep the tentacles of communism reached into the heart of British government has now been revealed with the emergence of an extraordinary diary by Anatoly Chernyaev, the Soviet Union’s contact man with the West at the icy height of the Cold War. Meticulously detailed and written by hand on lined notepaper, the diary has come to light in the U.S. National Security Archive.
It tells the story of a ’special relationship’ not between Britain and America – but between the British Labour Party and Soviet communists. It was a relationship that lasted more than 30 years, right up to Margaret Thatcher’s arrival as Prime Minister in 1979 and beyond. Indeed, one of the most shocking of the diary’s many revelations is how Labour leaders Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock colluded with the Soviet communists to try to beat their ‘common enemy’, Margaret Thatcher.
But more worrying, perhaps, is the fact that the document shows in stark detail how the political ideology of so many of those who govern us today was shaped by the unspeakable communist creed of the Soviet Union. The unpalatable truth is that many ministers in Government today rose through the ranks of a British socialist movement that was heavily influenced – and even controlled – by the Kremlin in Moscow.
For years, the world has mocked Germany for its love affair with David Hasselhoff. And, for years, Germans have been hoping that the world would forgive and forget. But now that MTV has invited “the Hoff” to perform in Berlin, just like he did 20 years ago when the Berlin Wall came down, their hopes have been dashed.
The Germans have some fairly devastating national trauma to deal with: in addition to the obvious, there were several decades of living in a country divided in half, being stuck in the middle of the Cold War, the non-sale of Opel this week, the controversial Wembley goal of the 1966 World Cup. And then, of course, there’s David Hasselhoff.
Countless embarrassing conversations have started like this: “Hasselhoff is still a star in your country, isn’t he?” It’s not meant as a compliment. The cause of all this, of course, is one of Hasselhoff’s songs, “I’ve Been Looking For Freedom,” which dominated the charts during the period of German reunification. In the 20 years since then, Germany has had plenty of pop stars; bands like the trance-dancing trio Scooter and heavy- metal rockers Rammstein are well known in the country.
But, outside of Germany, everyone still thinks Hasselhoff is Germany’s biggest star. The international success of pop-rockers Tokio Hotel has gone a little way toward improving the situation. But now, thanks to MTV, the legend will live on. On Thursday evening, Hasselhoff will be onstage in Berlin for the Europe Music Awards.
There’s a history to all this: On New Year’s Eve 1989, Hasselhoff took to the stage in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate to sing his hit “I’ve Been Looking For Freedom” to an already enthusiastic crowd. Amateur video footage of his performance still makes for some of the most horrid viewing that YouTube has to offer.
Should Hasselhoff take the stage at the music awards with a bit more irony, he might go a long way toward making up for past misdeeds — such as the jacket bedecked with mini-light bulbs and the piano-keyboard scarf he was wearing in 1989. He might even help change the world’s opinion on Germany’s well-documented humor deficit.
Still, in light of that ghastly video that did the rounds of YouTube which showed Hasselhoff trying to eat a hamburger in a highly inebriated state, perhaps his honor actually needs defending rather than more mocking. Maybe we should all try and see it from the perspective of “the Hoff.” After all, he cannot shoulder all the blame for the destruction of one country’s reputation. Who knows, maybe Germany’s volatile love for his pop songs ruined his life. If that’s the case, it’s probably better to talk about collective blame. The punishment will be meted out onstage in Berlin on Thursday evening.
One in 20 UK schoolchildren thought Adolf Hitler was a coach of the German football team, according to a survey.
And one in six youngsters said they thought Auschwitz was a Second World War theme park while one in 20 said the Holocaust was a celebration at the end of the war.
The survey for a veterans’ charity also found one in 10 thought the SS stood for Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven, and one in 12 believed the Blitz was a European clean-up operation following the Second World War.
Scottish-based charity Erskine, which provides nursing and medical care for veterans, said it would now take part in a nationwide scheme to educate schoolchildren about the two world conflicts.
The charity questioned 2,000 children between the ages of nine and 11 about their knowledge of the key people and events of the two wa
Some 700 million people worldwide, or more than all the adults of North and South America combined, think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence and want to permanently move to another country, a poll showed Tuesday.
Residents of sub-Saharan African countries were the most likely to want to move abroad permanently, the polls conducted in 135 countries between 2007 and this year by Gallup showed.
On average, 38 percent of the adult population in sub-Saharan Africa, or around 165 million people, said they would up stakes and head for another country if they had the chance.
The most popular destination was the United States, where nearly a quarter of the 700 million — around 165 million people — said they would like to settle.
In joint second were Britain, Canada and France, each being named as the preferred destination of around 45 million people.
A bear killed two militants after discovering them in its den in Indian-administered Kashmir, police say.
Two other militants escaped, one of them badly wounded, after the attack in Kulgam district, south of Srinagar.
The militants had assault rifles but were taken by surprise – police found the remains of pudding they had made to eat when the bear attacked.
It is thought to be the first such incident since Muslim separatists took up arms against Indian rule in 1989.
The militants had made their hideout in a cave which was actually the bear’s den, said police officer Farooq Ahmed.
QANTAS has stood down two pilots after a Boeing 767 landing in Sydney came within 700ft of the ground before the flight crew realised they had not lowered the plane’s undercarriage.
The airline and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau have launched investigations into the October 26 incident. The pilots are due to be interviewed by authorities on Friday.
The crew on the Melbourne-Sydney CityFlyer service apparently recognised the problem and had started go-around procedures when they received a “gear too low” aural warning from the aircraft’s enhanced ground proximity warning system.
It is understood investigators are looking at possible human error and a communication breakdown between the first officer and captain about who was lowering the landing gear.
The trawler, the Diasan Shinsho-maru, capsized off Chiba`as its three-man crew was trying to haul in a net containing dozens of huge Nomura’s jellyfish.
Each of the jellyfish can weigh up to 200 kg and waters around Japan have been inundated with the creatures this year. Experts believe weather and water conditions in the breeding grounds, off the coast of China, have been ideal for the jellyfish in recent months. R
The crew of the fishing boat was thrown into the sea when the vessel capsized, but the three men were rescued by another trawler, according to the Mainichi newspaper. The local Coast Guard office reported that the weather was clear and the sea was calm at the time of the accident.
One of the largest jellyfish in the world, the species can grow up to 2 meters in diameter. The last time Japan was invaded on a similar scale, in the summer of 2005, the jellyfish damaged nets, rendered fish inedible with their toxic stings and even caused injuries to fishermen.
Thousands of Icelanders lined up at McDonald’s restaurants to order their last Big Macs before the U.S. fast-food chain abandons the crisis-hit island at midnight Saturday due to soaring costs.
The world’s largest fast-food company said earlier this week that all three of its restaurants in Iceland, operated by franchisee Jon Ogmundsson, would shut down October 31.
The outlets have been packed since the announcement, with lines at one restaurant on the east side of the city backing up out the door and onto the street. At lunchtime Friday the outlet’s parking lot was full and staff inside were working furiously to keep up with the soaring demand.
“It’s my last chance for a while to have a real Big Mac,” Siggi, a 28-year old salesman waiting in line, told Reuters. “With the economy as it is, I won’t be traveling abroad any time soon,” he added. “It’s not that I’m a big fan of McDonald’s, but a Big Mac now and then adds to variety.”
Russia has provoked outrage in Poland by simulating an air and sea attack on the country during military exercises.
The armed forces are said to have carried out “war games” in which nuclear missiles were fired and troops practised an amphibious landing on the country’s coast. Documents obtained by Wprost, one of Poland’s leading news magazines, said the exercise was carried out in conjunction with soldiers from Belarus.
The manoeuvres are thought to have been held in September and involved about 13,000 Russian and Belarusian troops. Poland, which has strained relations with both countries, was cast as the “potential aggressor”.
The documents state the exercises, code-named “West”, were officially classified as “defensive” but many of the operations appeared to have an offensive nature. The Russian air force practised using weapons from its nuclear arsenal, while in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, which neighbours Poland, Red Army forces stormed a “Polish” beach and attacked a gas pipeline.
The operation also involved the simulated suppression of an uprising by a national minority in Belarus – the country has a significant Polish population which has a strained relationship with authoritarian government of Belarus.
Karol Karski, an MP from Poland’s Law and Justice, is to table parliamentary questions on Russia’s war games and has protested to the European Commission. His colleague, Marek Opiola MP, said: “It’s an attempt to put us in our place. Don’t forget all this happened on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland.”
The embarrassing infiltration into the headquarters of the United Nations – to the very podium where President Obama spoke – by an actor portraying KFC founder “Colonel” Harland Sanders has sparked an “investigation.”
The situation developed when Robert Thompson, an actor hired by KFC parent Yum Brands Inc., was spearheading a new campaign to promote KFC grilled chicken.
According to Thompson, a retired mayor of Lawrenceburg, Ky., who has portrayed Sanders on many occasions, he had no plans to “invade” U.N. headquarters. The publicity stunt was set up to offer “UN-fried” chicken to U.N. staff members – as a way of promoting the “Grilled Nation” of chicken.
Said Thompson, “A man wearing a U.N. badge approached me and asked to take a photo.”
Shortly thereafter, the “Colonel” found himself with an armed escort traveling unchallenged into U.N. headquarters. To his surprise, the “Colonel” was given a “personal VIP tour of the United Nations” by his new-found escort. Not only did Thompson mount the General Assembly podium, but he was also given a brief audience with the GA president and an official photo op with him.
Only when the “Colonel” approached the Security Council area and attempted to address some reporters did the U.N.’s security control room react to the apparent security breach.
Since then, the international organization has been trying to assemble an explanation.