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Sun, 17 Feb 2019
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How Vladimir Putin's favorite remote resort joined Russia... twice!

Putin
© Aleksey Nikolskyi/Sputnik
Vladimir Putin really enjoys his Tuvan vacation - otherwise, why would he go there for two years in a row?
You might have never heard about the Republic of Tuva, but the history of this remote region is really peculiar.

The words "Tuva Republic" don't ring a bell even for many Russians, especially those living in the European part of the country. This region, which is one of Russia's 85 federal subjects, is very remote: 4,600 km east of Moscow, in Southern Siberia, bordering Mongolia.

Even planes from Moscow don't fly directly there, and the region even doesn't have railroads. To get to Tuva's capital of Kyzyl, you have to fly to the Siberian city of Abakan and take a 7.5-hour bus trip. What for, one might wonder...

Tuva, however, is far more interesting than it seems. First, this is the land of shamans, where the once nomadic Tuvans now living in small villages still preserve the mystical art of communication with other worlds (or so they say). Second, Tuva's rugged nature is so spectacular that Vladimir Putin himself enjoys it: in August 2018, he was hiking in the wild for a weekend. A year before, he spent his whole vacation in Tuva, fishing and rafting with the Minister of Defense, Sergey Shoygu, who's an ethnic Tuvan.

Archaeology

Archaeologists discovers 40 mummies in ancient chambers in Minya, Egypt

Mummies
© AP Photo/Roger Anis
An archeologist looks at mummies discovered in the desert province of Minya, south of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. On Saturday Egypt announced that it found a number of ancient burial chambers cut in rock, carrying about 40 mummies that are in good shape, along with pottery, papyri and exquisite mummy cases. Officials told reporters at the site that the chambers, which were cut out of rock, belonged to a middle-class family that probably lived during the Ptolemaic, early Roman or Byzantine period.
Egypt says it has discovered a number of ancient burial chambers containing some 40 mummies in the desert province of Minya, south of Cairo.

Officials told reporters on Saturday at the site that the chambers, which were cut out of rock, belonged to a middle-class family who probably lived during the Ptolemaic, early Roman or Byzantine period.

Info

Handwritten parchments about King Arthur, Merlin and the Holy Grail discovered in university library

Ancient Parchment
© University of Bristol
A close-up of one of the fragments that mentions Merlin.
The librarian hadn't fallen under a magical spell, but he still felt enchanted when he unexpectedly discovered seven handwritten parchments detailing the legendary adventures of Merlin and King Arthur. For years, the documents had lain hidden at the University of Bristol in England.

The parchments were discovered in a book dating to the 16th century, Michael Richardson, the Bristol special collections librarian, said in a statement. He happened across the parchments while seeking materials for students who needed historical documents from medieval times.

Specifically, the parchments were found bound inside a four-volume edition of the writings of French scholar and reformer Jean Gerson (1363-1429). When Richardson recognized several Arthurian names, he contacted his colleagues to help decipher the text.

The team hopes to learn how the fragments came to be bound in the Gerson volumes. They also plan to fully translate the text from Old French to modern English in a new publication, which will explain the writing's history.

Archaeology

Kweneng: 200-year-old lost city discovered under South African foliage

Lost city
© Reuters / Wits University
Archeologists have discovered a lost 200-year-old city on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa, that was once home to more than 10,000 people.

The metropolis, called Kweneng, was previously thought to be a scattering of ancient stone huts, but three decades of intricate research have finally revealed it to have been a city of 800 homesteads.

Comment: See also: Laser technology shines light on South African lost city of Kweneng


Bad Guys

The complete guide to the NY Times' support for US-backed coups in Latin America

nyt new york times
On Friday, The New York Times continued its long, predictable tradition of backing U.S. coups in Latin America by publishing an editorial praising Donald Trump's attempt to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. This will be the 10th such coup the paper has backed since the creation of the CIA over 70 years ago.

A survey of The New York Times archives shows the Times editorial board has supported 10 out of 12 American-backed coups in Latin America, with two editorials-those involving the 1983 Grenada invasion and the 2009 Honduras coup-ranging from ambiguous to reluctant opposition. The survey can be viewed here.

Star of David

Former Carter aide: Barbara Walters boasted of love affairs with Israeli ministers while covering Camp David

Moshe Dayan Barbara Walters
A new book says that Barbara Walters boasted of love affairs with Israel's foreign and defense ministers, Moshe Dayan and Ezer Weizman, in 1978-1979 while she was covering Camp David negotiations for ABC news.

In "Jimmy Carter: The White House Years", Carter's former domestic policy adviser, Stuart Eizenstat, quotes Gerald Rafshoon, Carter's former communications director, as saying that Walters- who was 49 and divorced at the time -bragged to him of having affairs with the ministers, both of them Israeli generals.

Eizenstat reports that on day 3 of the heated negotiations at Camp David in September 1978, a busload of reporters were granted access to the retreat for just 45 minutes, and Walters went missing, hiding in the ladies' room in order to "hang back to interview Dayan and Weizman."

Dig

Siberia's Denisova cave continues to shed light on enigmatic extinct human species

denisova cave

The entrance to Denisova Cave, which contains evidence of previous habitation by extinct human species, in the Anui River valley in the Altai mountains of Siberia, Russia
Scientists using sophisticated techniques to determine the age of bone fragments, teeth and artifacts unearthed in a Siberian cave have provided new insight into a mysterious extinct human species that may have been more advanced than previously known.

Research published on Wednesday shed light on the species called Denisovans, known only from scrappy remains from Denisova Cave in the foothills of the Altai Mountains in Russia.

While still enigmatic, they left a genetic mark on our species, Homo sapiens, particularly among indigenous populations in Papua New Guinea and Australia that retain a small but significant percentage of Denisovan DNA, evidence of past interbreeding between the species.

Comment: In light of numerous studies and discoveries from the archaeological and genetic record, a great many theories about the history of humanity don't stand up to scrutiny: The 'Out of Africa' theory for all human species has been debunked; neanderthals and denisovans were much more sophisticated than presumed; there is burgeoning evidence for multiple episodes of interbreeding between our early human ancestors; and the dating for for all of this is being pushed much further back with each new discovery.

See also:


Info

German archaeologist on the latest research at Gobekli Tepe

Archaeologist Dr. Lee Clare says; As mentioned previously, our scientific research is currently in what I would refer to as a "transitional phase". Freed of its old paradigm, I believe that we will see Göbeklitepe in a completely different light.
Gobekli Tepe_1
© Arkeolojik Haber
Coordinator of research and fieldwork at Göbeklitepe from the German Archaeological Institute, Dr. Lee Clare answered Arkeofili's questions.

Attention

Amnesty International's problematic collaboration with UK and US intelligence

Benenson/Smith
© Uppsala-Bild/Creative Commons
Peter Benenson, left, with George Ivan Smith at a 1966 Nordic Africa Institute Seminar.
Amnesty International, the eminent human-rights non-governmental organization, is widely known for its advocacy in that realm. It produces reports critical of the Israeli occupation in Palestine and the Saudi-led war on Yemen. But it also publishes a steady flow of indictments against countries that don't play ball with Washington - countries like Iran, China, Venezuela, Nicaragua, North Korea and more. Those reports amplify the drumbeat for a "humanitarian" intervention in those nations.

Amnesty's stellar image as a global defender of human rights runs counter to its early days when the British Foreign Office was believed to be censoring reports critical of the British empire. Peter Benenson, the co-founder of Amnesty, had deep ties to the British Foreign Office and Colonial Office while another co-founder, Luis Kutner, informed the FBI of a gun cache at Black Panther leader Fred Hampton's home weeks before he was killed by the Bureau in a gun raid.

These troubling connections contradict Amnesty's image as a benevolent defender of human rights and reveal key figures at the organization during its early years to be less concerned with human dignity and more concerned with the dignity of the United States and United Kingdom's image in the world.

Blackbox

Forgotten history: New documentary explores the Finders conspiracy

finders cult
The Conscious Resistance Network presents:

Who Will Find What The Finders Hide? Pt 1

Researched, Written & Narrated by Derrick Broze
Produced and Edited by Jeremy Martin
Funded by our Patreon supporters

In our last documentary we talked about powerful billionaire and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and showed how Epstein and his co-conspirators, were able to escape punishment for their role in abusing over 40 young girls. We noted that Epstein and people like him do not act alone in their efforts to feed their depraved desires. In Epstein's case, he had an inner circle of people who helped him acquire young girls. In other cases there exist networks of individuals helping to pressure or even kidnap young children and force them into sexual bondage.

This time, we are going to explore the story of a cult that was suspected of international human trafficking in 1987. The Finders cult was a young group of men, women, and children who claimed to be nothing more than former hippies living an alternative lifestyle and practicing alternative parenting. The Finders were founded by a mysterious man with military connections nicknamed "The Game Caller" who believed in turning his life, and the lives of those around him, into a constant game or experiment.