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Mon, 21 Aug 2017
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Research shows ancient humans had sex with non humans - 'ghost species'

© Photo / Getty
Ancient humans had sex with other species, research shows
New research shows that ancient humans had sex with non human species.

According to a study conducted by Omer Gokcumen, an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Buffalo, ancient humans had intercourse with a "ghost species" of "proto human".

Gokcumen explains that humans are only one member of a broader species named "hominins".

The research found that humans had sex with other members of the hominins group.

Comment: See also:


Question

Experts flummoxed by Chinese bone carvings offer $15,000 to crack ancient code

© Natalie Behring / Reuters
A museum is offering rewards of up to $15,000 to anybody who can help decipher an ancient Chinese text.

The National Museum of Chinese Writing in Anyang in China's Henan province issued the worldwide appeal after failing to crack more than half of the 5,000 characters found carved into oracle bones - skeletal remains of oxen and turtle shells discovered in the late 19th century.

Speaking to the Chengdu Economic Daily, bone specialist Liu Fenghua of Zhengzhou University, said the majority of the inscriptions were names of people and places.

Info

Newly released tranche of JFK assassination records includes testimony from KGB defector

© JFK Presidential Library / AFP
Nearly 4,000 previously withheld or censored documents about the 1963 assassination of US President John F. Kennedy have been released by the National Archives in Washington DC.

The trove of 3,810 documents and 17 audio files was released on the US National Archives website Monday. It includes information collected by the FBI and CIA in the aftermath of the president's shooting in Dallas, Texas.

Among the release are recordings of KGB defector Yury Nosenko, who was interviewed in 1964 about assassin Lee Harvey Oswald's time in the Soviet Union, the National Archives said.

Of the newly released documents, some 441 have never been allowed in the public domain, while the remaining files had been partially redacted.

Info

Remembering Princess Diana: William and Harry share their memories and regrets

© THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE & PRINCE HARRY
A newly-released photograph of Diana and Prince Harry, taken from from the personal photo album of the late Princess of Wales
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have spoken of their enduring regret over their last conversation with their mother, disclosing they had been desperate to rush off the telephone and get back to playing instead.

The Duke and Prince, who were 15 and 12 when Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash, said they had been busy at Balmoral when she called them, and had no notion that the short phone call would be their last.

The conversation, the Duke said, still weighs on his mind "quite, quite heavily", while Prince Harry admitted he would regret it for the rest of his life.

The brothers spoke as part of a one-off documentary for television, in which they detail their warm memories of their fun-loving mother.

Comment: Diana's death was a huge loss for the world. It seems the best of us are taken too early: Unlawful Killing - The Murder of Princess Diana and Why it Matters.

As Diana's brother, Lord Charles Spencer, notes, Diana was not just a beautiful individual, but a special one. That shows in how many people around the world felt a connection with her and the global reaction of grief to her death:
"Obviously 99.9 percent of the people had never seen her, or met her, but they felt something in her that was fascinating and intriguing, and a force for good"
Lord Spencer has also recently commented to the media about his anger over the Sovereign's decision to force Diana's children to walk behind her funeral cortège. Spencer told BBC Radio 4:
"I was lied to and told that they wanted to do it, which of course they didn't
Prince Harry recently talked about the difficulty of that experience:
"My mother had just died and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television," Harry told Newsweek magazine in an interview published last month. "I don't think any child should be asked to do that under any circumstances. I don't think it would happen today."

Spencer, one of Diana's three siblings, said he is still haunted by her funeral and suffers nightmares from the "harrowing" ordeal.

"It was the worst part of the day by a considerable margin, walking behind my sister's body with two boys who were obviously massively grieving their mother," Spencer told the BBC. "It was a sort of bizarre circumstance where we were told you just have to look straight ahead."



Snakes in Suits

Hitler's Deputy Rudolf Hess: Documents thicken the mystery surrounding his death

© Sputnik/Viktor Kinelovskiy
Nuremberg Tribunal: Hess makes the statement he is not going to continue pleading insanity.
The long awaited release of British government documents on the fate of Nazi No. 2 Rudolf Hess has failed to dispel numerous conspiracy theories about his death in 1987 at Spandau Prison in Berlin. Buried in the 71 files released to the National Archives in London are some intriguing revelations.

Successive British governments dismissed suggestions by historians that Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess undertook his daredevil flight to Scotland on a "peace" mission in the thick of the German bombing blitz of Britain because of an "understanding" between the Nazis and a pro-German party within the British establishment. Many a book has been written about Hitler's desire to strike a peace deal with London to free his hands for the invasion of the Soviet Union — or even sign Britain up for a joint crusade against the Communists, hated by both Hitler and Churchill. Indeed, Hess flew to Britain only six weeks before Germany attacked the Soviet Union. The British always denied he told them about Operation Barbarossa but Stalin believed he did and even invited Britain to join in. Churchill, for all his anti-Communism, didn't accept the offer and took Hess prisoner.

Archaeology

New Tomb may have been discovered; Hawass speculates wildly

© mountainpix/Shutterstock
This shot of the Valley of the Kings shows the tomb entrances at Thebes in Egypt.
Famed archaeologist Zahi Hawass and his team say they've found evidence of a tomb that could belong to King Tut's wife.

The archaeologists eventually plan to excavate the new tomb, which is located near the tomb of the pharaoh Ay (1327-1323 B.C.) in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, Hawass told Live Science.

"We are sure there is a tomb there, but we do not know for sure to whom it belongs," Hawass told Live Science in an email. On July 7, National Geographic Italia published an article in Italian suggesting that a team led by Hawass had found a new tomb in the Valley of the Kings, and Hawass confirmed that discovery to Live Science.

Archaeology

Humans may have arrived in Australia 15K years earlier than previously thought

© Howell Walker / National Geographic Creative
When was north Australia settled?
Humans may have arrived in Australia 15,000 years earlier than we thought. Artefacts found in the north of the country suggest that the region was occupied 65,000 years ago - which raises all sorts of questions about how the country's first inhabitants interacted with wildlife and what became of them.

Until recently, the oldest evidence of human occupation in Australia came from 50,000-year-old stone artefacts found in a rock shelter in the country's north.

Now Chris Clarkson at the University of Queensland and his colleagues have found artefacts dating back 65,000 years in a different rock shelter - this one in Kakadu National Park in the far north of the country. The artefacts include fireplace remains, stone axes, grinding stones, ground plant matter and ground ochre - a type of red pigment commonly found in ancient rock art in northern Australia. Clarkson's team calculated the age of the artefacts by dating charcoal and quartz grains buried in the same layer of sediment (Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature22968).

Comment: Further reading: Aboriginal Australians descended from early migration of modern humans out of Africa


Die

Truth vs Hollywood: Author claims Hitler let British troops escape Dunkirk 'to sue for peace treaty'

© historyvshollywood.com
The Germans dropped flyers over Dunkirk in real life (left), but they weren't quite as menacing looking as the one dropped in the movie (right).
Author Stephen Davis while researching the Second World War for his latest novel, I Spy The Wolf, claims he may have uncovered the reason why Hitler infamously and mysteriously stopped advancing his troops at Dunkirk - a decision some say was a crucial break for the Allied Forces.

On May 24, 1940, the German army appeared to be winning the war as Allied Forces were surrounded by land at Dunkirk.

But instead of continuing the invasion, Hitler ordered his army to halt for three days, a decision that has puzzled historians for over 70 years.

Those three days allowed British troops to evacuate across the English Channel to Dover, in Kent before planning their offensive.

Now Mr Davis, speaking exclusively to the Express.co.uk, reveals what may have been behind the Nazi dictator's decision to halt.

He said: "When German forces began to trap British troops at Dunkirk, Mussolini, the Italian Dictator, informed Hitler that he intended to declare war against France and Britain.

Blackbox

Media mogul Robert Maxwell asked Thatcher govt for $20bn to save Soviet Union

© BBC
Media mogul, 'left' MP, and spy Robert Maxwell
A Labour MP and media mogul, the late Robert Maxwell, attempted to secure a $20 billion loan from the British government to prop up the collapsing USSR, documents show.

A letter released by prime minister of the day Margaret Thatcher's private secretary, Charles Powell, revealed that Maxwell claimed to be acting on behalf of Mikhail Gorbachev's closest advisers when he visited the 'Iron Lady' at 10 Downing Street in March 1990.

In that meeting, the owner of Daily Mirror allegedly asked Thatcher to provide a massive state loan to the Soviet government to ensure that perestroika reforms would continue.

Comment: It's not that he was an agent 'for' the USSR, as such; he was a 'deep stater' who understood the importance of keeping the status quo going. Without the USSR, the Empire had to invent a new 'communist threat' in the form of Islamic terrorism.


Document

Declassified 70 years later: Files reveal Winston Churchill thwarted King Edward VIII's Nazi plot to retake British throne

© Keystone / Getty Images
Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965), left, and the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII).
Britain's wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill desperately tried to suppress documents that showed that the Duke of Windsor was a Nazi sympathizer and Hitler's pick for the head of a puppet regime in Britain.

A cache of newly declassified files released by the National Archives at Kew show that Churchill tried to block the publication of papers on former King Edward VIII's pro-Nazi views and willingness to deal with Adolf Hitler to win back his throne.

The dossier was compiled by the Nazi intelligence agencies, documenting the activities of the Duke and his wife, Wallis Simpson, during World War II.

King Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 as he sought to marry Simpson, an American divorcee, causing a constitutional crisis. He left Britain to tour Nazi Germany later that year.

Comment: Churchill was also deeply involved in the intrigue surrounding Britain's war against Germany in 1914:

Book review: Hidden History, the Secret Origins of the First World War