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Sun, 27 Nov 2022
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USA

America's Neo-Nazi bedfellows in Ukraine are latest in long line of odious allies

neo-Nazi   US
© Spencer Platt/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO. Members of the National Socialist Movement, one of the largest neo-Nazi groups in the US, hold a swastika burning after a rally on April 21, 2018 in Draketown, Georgia, USA. Washington has used against Russia From pogrom-mongers to Hitlerites to radical Islamists, the US has collaborated with repugnant partners for more than a century.
Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was furious when he found out in March 1945 that his supposed World War II ally, Washington, was negotiating with the German Nazis behind his back. In fact, by the accounts of some historians, American spy and future CIA director Allen Dulles essentially kicked off the Cold War when he held secret talks with Waffen SS General Karl Wolff as Hitler's regime was nearing its collapse.

Stalin, US President Franklin Roosevelt, and UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill had agreed that they would accept only unconditional surrender from the Nazis because of the Hitler regime's monstrous crimes. When the Dulles-Wolff talks came to light, FDR repeatedly and falsely told Stalin that no one was negotiating with the Germans. The Georgian generalissimo was unconvinced and suspected that his Western allies were maneuvering to contain the USSR and occupy territory that might otherwise fall to the Red Army.

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Better Earth

Footprints indicate human presence in Spain in Middle Pleistocene, 200,000 years earlier than previously thought

Matalascañas
© Scientific Reports (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-22524-2
The Matalascañas site (El Pichilín Ranch area). (A) Geographical location and geological setting. (B) Mapping for the hominin footprints (HTS) and animal tracks (MTS) A and B. (C) Aerial view of the drone flight. (D–I) Some relevant footprints from the outcrop. All scale bar: 5 cm. (D) M2020-02. (E) M2020-06. (F) M2020-05. (G) M2020-11. (H) M2020-74. (I) M2020-35. The map in (B) was created using Adobe Photoshop Versión: 9.0 based on the photogrammetric orthomosaic (C) produced using Pix4DMapper (versión PIX 4D Cloud). (C) was obtained by a low-altitude programmed flight using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) on June 6, 2020, 12 AM UTC. A multirotor DJI Phantom 4 + with a 4 k 20 Mpix RGB CMOS camera was collected at an average height of 7 m above the ground photographs over the study area (564 m2).
Researcher and GRS Radioisotopes technician Jorge Rivera, from the University of Seville, has participated in an incredible discovery that is unique in Europe. After applying an optically-stimulated luminescence technique at the Center for Research, Technology and Innovation laboratories at the University of Seville (CITIUS) and at CENIEH to hominin footprints found at Matalascañas in 2020, Rivera helped to determine that the footprints are in fact 200,000 years older than previously suspected.

This would mean that pre-Neanderthals would have lived in the Doñana area during the Middle Pleistocene, around 295,800 years ago. To obtain this result, the team used optically-stimulated luminescence, a method used to find the absolute age of sediments that have been fully exposed to sunlight.

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Colosseum

'Exceptional' trove of 24 ancient statues found immersed in Tuscan spa, sheds light on transition between Etruscan and Roman period

etruscan roman statue
© Jacopo Tabolli/Universita per Stranieri di Siena/EPA
Among the well-preserved statues were five almost a metre in height.
An "exceptional" trove of bronze statues preserved for thousands of years by mud and boiling water have been discovered in a network of baths built by the Etruscans in Tuscany.

The 24 partly submerged statues, which date back 2,300 years and have been hailed as the most significant find of their kind in 50 years, include a sleeping ephebe lying next to Hygeia, the goddess of health, with a snake wrapped around her arm.

Archaeologists came across the statues during excavations at the ancient spa in San Casciano dei Bagni, near Siena. The modern-day spa, which contains 42 hot springs, is close to the ancient site and is one of Italy's most popular spa destinations.

Comment: Excellent footage of the finds can be seen in the following video:



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Blackbox

Getting out the vote in ancient times

voting elections ancient greece
© Fine Art Images/Heritage Images via Getty Images
A depiction of an ancient Greek election using pebbles.
In Athens and Rome, voting could entail shouting contests, secret stone ballots and an election system with built-in bias for the wealthy.

Citizens of modern democracies have used a variety of methods and technologies to cast their votes on election day, but how did people participate in elections in ancient times? Historians have pieced together some intriguing details from Athens, the first and only direct democracy, and the Roman Republic, a quasi-democracy where the wealthiest classes wielded more influence than the workers.

In both Athens and Rome, participation in the democratic process (The Greek word dēmokratia means "people power") was limited to the dēmos, which were free, male citizens. Women and enslaved people did not have a vote.

Info

5,000-year-old ring made in Iraq, with silver from Turkey found in Oman

Ancient Seal
© Muscat Daily
Muscat - A team of international archaeologists working under the auspices of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism has recovered an exceptional collection of silver jewellery from a prehistoric grave of the 3rd millennium BC in Dahwa in North Batinah.

The collection includes parts of necklaces with beads and several rings.

Researchers involved in the study also found a silver ring, likely made in Mesopotamia (Iraq), made of silver from Anatolia (Turkey) for an individual who had links with the Indus Valley Civilisation (Pakistan and western India).

"This shows the complexity of commercial and cultural interactions in Eurasian prehistory, which can definitely be regarded as the prototype for modern global exchanges," said Dr Dennys Frenez, an Italian expert in ancient trade between the Indus Valley and Oman and a collaborator with the ministry.

The international team is led by Prof Kimberly Williams from Temple University, Philadelphia, US, and includes Prof Nasser al Jahwari and Prof Khaled Douglas from Sultan Qaboos University.

Eagle

U.S. Covid response taken over by National Security Council in March 2020 to impose pre-prepared lockdown plan, evidence shows

White House Coronavirus Task Force
In previous articles I discussed the probability that Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator, was not a representative of the public health agencies but, rather, was appointed by the National Security Council. I now have proof that this was, indeed, the case. I have also uncovered documents that show:
  • As of March 13th 2020 the National Security Council (NSC) was officially in charge of the U.S. Government's Covid policy.
  • Starting on March 18th 2020 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was officially in charge of the U.S. Government's Covid response.
On March 11th 2020, at a Heritage Foundation Talk, Trump's National Security Advisor, Robert O'Brien when discussing what the White House and NSC were doing about the virus, confirmed that the Covid Task Force Coordinator was brought in by the NSC. He said:
We brought into the White House Debi Birx, a fantastic physician and ambassador from the State Department. We appreciate Secretary Pompeo immediately moving her over to the White House at our, well at the President's, request. (min. 21:43-21:56)

Russian Flag

The 'Time of Troubles' and the birth of the nation: Why Russia celebrates its 'Unity Day' every November 4

St. Basil's Cathedral
© Getty Images/Francesco Vaninetti Photo
St. Basil's Cathedral and Monument to Minin and Pozharsky in Moscow, Russia.
November 4 marks Unity Day in Russia, which is a fairly new holiday. It was established in order to replace the old October Revolution Day, which was celebrated in the USSR for over 70 years. Many generations grew up loving this holiday; after communism collapsed, it was no longer possible to keep it as a public holiday.

Its replacement goes back to an event that proved to have as much significance for the country's history. In November 1612, Russia was reborn as a state.

End of a dynasty

The early 17th century is known in the history of Russia as 'the Time of Troubles', or 'Smuta'. After the death of Tsar Ivan IV, known as Ivan the Terrible, in 1584, the country found itself sinking slowly into a deep political crisis. The new leader, his son Fyodor I, took little interest in politics, and his court became a place ridden with scheming and plotting by the rival clans of top officials.

Fyodor I ruled for a total of 14 years, and this was a relatively peaceful time, right up to his death in 1598, which created a succession problem since he left no heirs to the throne. Boris Godunov, once Ivan the Terrible's confidante and brother to Fyodor's beloved wife, had managed to consolidate a great deal of power in his hands and had been ruling the tsardom as de facto regent for at least 15 years until then. The only legal contender to the throne would have been Fyodor's brother Dmitry, the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible and his last wife. Dmitry, however, died as a child under mysterious circumstances. Godunov was believed by many to have been involved in his death, since Dmitry was the last heir of the Rurik dynasty.

Comment: The Time of Troubles was one of the central events that shaped Russian security culture. Foreign aggressors and internal traitors have been the main threats shaping this culture for centuries. Now you can see why. If you want to understand modern Russia, you have to understand Russian security culture, and for that, you need to read its history.


Gold Bar

Did Richard Nixon secretly steal 36.5 tons of gold bullion from US Army base while he was telling America, 'I am not a crook'?

Nixon
© abc10.com
Former President Richard Nixon
New evidence suggests he did — and that Lyndon B. Johnson also stole gold from the same base in a separate criminal operation.

On November 17, 1973, in the midst of the Watergate scandal that led to his resignation, President Richard Nixon famously told a group of newspaper editors at Walt Disney World in Florida that he had "never profited from public service. I've earned every cent. I am not a crook."

According to John Clarence, author of The Noss Gold (Soledad Publishing, 2022), days after Nixon made those remarks, over the Thanksgiving holiday, he orchestrated a massive criminal scheme that resulted in the theft of 36.5 tons of gold from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.[1]

On Monday November 26, 1973, a Washington, D.C., lawyer David Austern, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney who taught as an adjunct at Georgetown and American University law schools, called George Brazier at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, to report on the theft of gold from White Sands, which was valued at around $118 million (around $2 billion in 2022).[2]

Info

Ancient DNA analysis unravels the early peopling of South America

Alcobaça archaeological site
© Henry Lavalle, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco and Ana Nascimento, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco
The Alcobaça archaeological site, in which the skeletal remains of Brazil-12 (northeast Brazil) were unearthed.
The Americas were the last continent to be inhabited by humans. An increasing body of archaeological and genomic evidence has hinted to a complex settlement process. This is especially true for South America, where unexpected ancestral signals have raised perplexing scenarios for the early migrations into different regions of the continent.

Many unanswered questions still persist, such as whether the first humans migrated south along the Pacific coast or by some other route. While there is archaeological evidence for a north-to-south migration during the initial peopling of the Americas by ancient Indigenous peoples, where these ancient humans went after they arrived has remained elusive.

Using DNA from two ancient human individuals unearthed in two different archaeological sites in northeast Brazil - Pedra do Tubarão and Alcobaça - and powerful algorithms and genomic analyses, Florida Atlantic University researchers in collaboration with Emory University have unraveled the deep demographic history of South America at the regional level with some unexpected and surprising results.

Not only do researchers provide new genetic evidence supporting existing archaeological data of the north-to-south migration toward South America, they also have discovered migrations in the opposite direction along the Atlantic coast - for the first time. The work provides the most complete genetic evidence to date for complex ancient Central and South American migration routes.

Among the key findings, researchers also have discovered evidence of Neanderthal ancestry within the genomes of ancient individuals from South America. Neanderthals are an extinct population of archaic humans that ranged across Eurasia during the Lower and Middle Paleolithic.

Results of the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. (Biological Sciences), suggest that human movements closer to the Atlantic coast eventually linked ancient Uruguay and Panama in a south-to-north migration route - 5,277 kilometers (3,270 miles) apart. This novel migration pattern is estimated to have occurred approximately 1,000 years ago based on the ages of the ancient individuals.

Better Earth

Neanderthal extinction may have been caused by sex, not fighting

Neanderthals Homo sapiens
© Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London, All Rights Reserved
Neanderthals (left) and Homo sapiens (right) are the closest relatives of each other, and could interbreed.
A new paper proposes that Homo sapiens may have been responsible for the extinction of Neanderthals not by violence, but through sex instead.

Making love, not war, might have been responsible for putting the Neanderthals on a path to extinction.

While about 2% of the genome of all living people from outside Africa is derived from Neanderthals, there is very little evidence that this process went the other way.


A new paper, published in the journal PalaeoAnthropology, raises the prospect that interbreeding with our ancestors would have reduced the number of Neanderthals breeding with each other, leading to their eventual extinction.

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