‘Leaping out of the grave’: Rare Iron Age chariot with horses is an ‘unparalleled’ find

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Archaeologists have uncovered a “spectacular” Iron Age chariot, two horses, and man buried as though they were ready to take off, in an area in Yorkshire where a different chariot was discovered last year.

The amazing discovery was found in an Iron Age grave in a building site in Pocklington by MAP Archaeological Practice. “This is a new burial rite which has never been seen before,” Paula Ware from MAP Archaeological Practice told the Yorkshire Post.

The two horses buried with the chariot look as though they are “leaping upwards out of the grave,” and archaeologists believe they may be have been buried standing up, with their heads potentially left above ground. They were positioned in the grave with their hooves off the ground and back legs bent.




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“It looked as though their skulls were removed centuries ago,” Ware explained.

“Possibly the heads were coming out of the graves. Did they go in alive, who knows? There’s no evidence of a ramp.”

Inside the chariot, a man in his late 40s was buried, and his remains were found in the fetal position. His head was surrounded by the bones of six piglets, likely an offering, and he was buried with a shield and brooch.




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Pig bones aren’t an unusual find in a grave like this, but the large amount suggests the man was extremely important. “Normally there would be a quarter of a [pig] jaw,” Ware said. “He was someone so significant.”

Another man’s body was found nearby, which had nine spears through its chest and evidence of blunt force trauma. The significance of this is unknown, but, while some have speculated it was a kind of vampire-like ritual to ensure the man is dead, it may also have been a way to release his spirit.

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It’s official: Excessive screen time irreversibly affects kids’ brains, study finds

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Parents’ worst suspicions about the effects of too much screen time on their offspring have been partially confirmed by the preliminary results of a new study – and the effects may be further-reaching than they suspected.

Kids who spend more than two hours in front of a screen every day score lower on language and thinking tests, according to the earliest results of a study from the National Institutes of Health. The first batch of data from the study will be published next year, but as a preliminary finding, these results are worrying, given that the average tweenager spends up to 6 hours a day on their phone or tablet.

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© Reuters / Brian Snyder

The NIH’s ambitious $300 million Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study has enrolled 11,874 children, ages 9-10, including 2,100 twins or triplets. They will be followed through young adulthood at 21 research sites across the US.

Not all of the early results can be fully understood until researchers have more data. For example, children who spend upwards of seven hours a day in front of a screen have been found to experience a premature thinning of the cortex compared to their low-tech peers. The cortex is the outermost layer of the brain, the site of sensory input and the higher-order functions that arguably make us human. At first glance, this premature thinning would seem like another reason to panic.

But researchers cautioned that we cannot draw definitive conclusions from this finding – correlation does not imply causation, meaning the thinning could be caused by something other than prolonged screen time. “We don’t know if it’s a bad thing,” study director Gaya Dowling points out, explaining that such thinning is usually associated with a more mature brain than those of the 9 and 10-year-old experimental subjects, and it’s unknown what it signifies in a younger brain.

Not all scientists are waiting for the results to issue guidelines for parents of small children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents avoid digital media use altogether, except video chatting, in children under 18 to 24 months. Dr. Dimitri Christakis, the lead author of those guidelines, explains that babies don’t transfer what they do on a screen to the real world.

According to a national survey by Common Sense Media, teens spend an avg. of 4.5 hours a day on their phones. Facebook and Instagram recently introduced features allowing users to monitor time spent on the apps. Apple’s new OS enables time restriction. https://t.co/FglrmpowT3pic.twitter.com/blIrfqG6hv

— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) December 10, 2018

If you give a child an app where they play with virtual blocks and stack them, and then put real blocks in front of them, they start all over,” he told 60 Minutes. “They don’t transfer the knowledge from two dimensions to three.”

In many ways, the concern that investigators like I have is that we’re sort of in the midst of a natural kind of uncontrolled experiment on the next generation of children.

Pen-pal of Charleston church shooter arrested in pipeline bomb plot sting in Ohio

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An Ohio woman with a fetish for mass murderers was arrested after buying bomb-making materials as part of an alleged plot to blow up a pipeline – the second FBI bust in one weekend in otherwise-sleepy Toledo.

Elizabeth Lecron purchased two pounds of gunpowder and 665 screws “that she expected would be used to build a bomb,” according to a Justice Department press release. The 23-year-old allegedly planned to blow up a natural gas pipeline she believed was polluting the environment.

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© Pixabay / meketrefe

Lecron had only recently become interested in environmental activism, having previously sought to “attack a farm that raises pigs or cows” with a “team” of other anarchists (who were actually FBI agents, an arrest warrant reveals) but gave up after a few weeks when she was unable to locate such a farm. Still, she “definitely want[ed] to make a statement up here,” according to the FBI.

Lecron faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. She was charged on Monday with transportation of explosives and explosive material for the purposes of harming others and property.

Authorities began investigating Lecron after one of her friends reported her plans to conduct a “violent attack.” Her social media profiles glorified mass murderers like the Columbine killers, who she described as “God-like,” and Dylann Roof, currently on death row in Indiana for murdering nine black parishioners in a Charleston church in 2015. She maintained a letter-writing friendship with Roof for several months, sending him Nazi literature in the mail.

In August, authorities searched Lecron’s residence and found an AK-47, a shotgun, several handguns, ammunition, and a bag of end caps used to build pipe bombs. She was out of town on a pilgrimage to Littleton, Colorado, where the Columbine massacre took place, giving police time to conduct a detailed search, turning up a journal with detailed plans to commit an “upscale mass murder” at a Toledo bar. It’s unclear why they chose not to arrest her then, instead sending an informant to befriend her. One informant became many. By the time she was arrested, it appears all her friends were working for law enforcement.

While Lecron was obsessed with violence and seemed to hold human life in low regard – innocent bystanders, she said, were “probably a part of the problem” – transcripts of conversations with the informants show them taking the lead in the plot. After she buys the materials, she turns them over to an informant, bidding them farewell with “I guess I’ll talk to you when the deed is done.”

The FBI, however, is relieved to have taken a dangerous criminal off the streets. “Removing Elizabeth Lecron from the ranks of civilized society by virtue of arrest and prosecution thwarts her explicitly stated desire to engage in acts of death and destruction,” said FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeff Fortunato, adding a tribute to Lecron’s friend who reported her in the first place: “This case is a testament to the value of an ever vigilant public, which had the courage to alert law enforcement as to the evil goals and intentions of this suspect.”

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WATCH Ultra-Orthodox Jews clash with police over military draft (VIDEOS)

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At least 28 Jewish activists protesting against the military draft have been arrested by police in Bnei Brak after protesters disrupted traffic on the main road of the city considered the center of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism.

Scuffles broke out between police and ultra-Orthodox Jews in Bnei Brak as Haredi men tried to disrupt traffic in the city. “We will die and not be drafted,” activist shouted as they staged a massive sit in the middle of Jabotinsky Road. The police would hear none of it, as they proceeded to drag the protesters off the street, footage from the encounter shows. Police on horseback and motorcycles did their best to clear the main road from demonstrators who just refused to leave. At the end of the day, 28 arrests were made.

The rally organized by Yerushalmi Faction movement on Monday afternoon protested over the extension of the arrest of Yitzhak Aryeh, who was detained two weeks ago after failing to appear before the IDF draft board.

BNEI BRAK: Hundreds of Orthodox Jews came out today to protest the continued arrest of a Yeshiva Student, being held in prison for refusing to join the Zionist @IDF.

The @IL_police responded with excessive force and arrested 28 peaceful protesters. pic.twitter.com/pPgPDOFEhU

— Jews Vs. Israel (@JewsVsIsrael) December 10, 2018

Rallying for their traditional right to be exempt from the military service, the activists also slammed the government’s proposed legislation that could change the army enlistment criteria for ultra-Orthodox Jews. Currently they can delay their conscription while they study at rabbinical institutions called ‘yeshivas’. While in school they must still, however, register at the recruitment office or face arrests.

The legislation, now being debated by the Israeli lawmakers, could allow the government to set targets for enlistment from the Haredi Jews in accordance with the recommendation of the defense minister. If the Ultra-Orthodox community fails to provide enough servicemen, the government could be allowed to introduce financial penalties on rabbinical schools. Ultra-Orthodox Jews, who make up around 10 percent of the Israeli population, fervently oppose the changes to the legislation that could pass as early as January.




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‘White people are the best!’ Columbia probes student’s viral racial rant (VIDEO)

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A Columbia physics student has become famous overnight, not for his research, but for his racially charged rant in front of a group of multi-ethnic students, prompting the university to respond and launch an investigation.

Although it is not yet clear what prompted the white student, who has since been identified as Julian von Abele, to engage in the confrontation caught on camera, the video has already been viewed over a million and half times, resulting in international media coverage and extreme social media backlash.

In the minute-long video, Von Abele, a physicist and published author, is seen shouting that “Europeans built the modern world”, “saved billions of people from starvation” and that “white people are the best thing that ever happened to the world”, at a group of multi-ethnic students outside the school’s library, who responded by yelling back and giving him the middle finger.

The clip ends with Von Abele making hysteric gestures and screaming “We are so amazing. I love myself, and I love white people”, and “F*ck yeah white people!

Although initially keeping cautious in its response, the university tweeted on Monday that the student’s statements “conflict with the University’s core value of inclusivity”, and stating that such events “have made many in our community feel less secure”.

Statements of white racial superiority conflict with the University’s core value of inclusivity as well as the educational work and research that take place on our campuses. https://t.co/DBSmre984N

— Columbia University (@Columbia) December 10, 2018

The school initially responded in a statement entitled “denouncing racism on campus” on Sunday, carefully calling Von Abele’s words “painful language” and stating that the circumstances leading to the incident are not yet clear. The university also pledged to carry out an investigation of the incident pending further action.  

While some are skeptical of calling the incident “racist”, claiming that the student was engaged in free speech and simply expressing his opinion, particularly given that at one moment in the rant he exclaims “I don’t hate other people, I just love white men!” Others believe his level of aggression constitutes verbal harassment or assault. University Senator Alfredo Dominguez says that he has received an email from a group calling itself “Justice for Julian” who deny the comments were racist or aggressive.

Von Abele has yet to respond to any requests for comments on the conflict.

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Mobile phones are insecure as ‘walls have ears’ but TV is OK, Russia intel chief says

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Spies are tremendously tech-savvy today, according to the Russian intelligence chief, who said he doesn’t use mobile phones or internet while at the office. Guess which (old-school) gadget is the only exception?

Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), went public to unmask some little-known details of modern spycraft. “Today, it’s hard to do anything without a mobile phone, social media or cashless payments – we do use all forms and instruments of intelligence activities,” Naryshkin told Rossiya 1.




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But forewarned is forearmed, the intelligence chief said, explaining why he’s wary of those gadgets. “Once I’m at the office, I switch my [mobile] phone off and take it away to a remote room,” Naryshkin revealed.

You know, even walls have ears. Well, the walls are secure, but electronic communications – you have to be very, very careful about it in terms of intelligence activities.

Although Naryshkin noted his working space “doesn’t have ears,” he said he goes online only outside the office. That said, high-ranking intelligence officials are immune from internet addiction for security reasons, but what about watching TV?

The television is the only device allowed in the top-tier office, according to Rossiya 1. “It’s secure [against wiretapping]. It doesn’t matter, it’s secure.”

That aside, Naryshkin, a career intelligence officer, provided another glimpse into SVR activities. Rossiya 1 visited the training of the agency’s elite Special Operations team, probably marking the first time a media outlet was allowed to film the clandestine unit.

The SVR succeeded the KGB’s First Main Directorate back in 1991, when the powerful Soviet agency was dissolved. It is now in charge of collecting foreign intelligence and reporting it to the president.

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Money for bombs but not for aid? Millions of Iraqis destitute 1yr after victory over ISIS (VIDEO)

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Millions of Iraqis are still struggling to rebuild their lives one year after Baghdad declared victory against Islamic State, a Norwegian NGO has warned, stressing that many Iraqis feel “abandoned” by the international community.

More than 1.8 million Iraqis are currently displaced and an astonishing 8 million require some form of humanitarian aid, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said in a statement. It followed the first anniversary of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s announcement that Iraq had achieved final victory over Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).




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Regrettably, the international community seems less interested in the fate of Iraq now that IS has been pushed out of the country, Tom Peyre-Costa, NRC’s Iraq Media coordinator, told RT.

“It is essential that the international community invests as much in the reconstruction and stabilization of the country as they did in the fight against Islamic State,” Peyre-Costa said.

It’s unacceptable to think that millions can be spent on bombs but not on humanitarian aid and reconstruction.

He added that many of the displaced Iraqis that he’s spoken with say they feel “abandoned” by the world. While IS may have lost its foothold in Iraq, the work to restore the war-torn lives of millions of Iraqis is “far from being done,” Peyre-Costa noted.

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VIDEO of Russian Foreign Intel Spetsnaz training shown for the 1st time on TV

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Russian TV has offered a glimpse into the training of an elite special unit of the country’s Foreign Intelligence Service. The clip shows them storm a mock-up building, engage ‘terrorists’ in near darkness with sirens blaring.

The footage of the SVR’s Spetsnaz unit training was run on Rossiya-1 as part of an extensive interview with the SVR’s chief, Sergei Naryshkin. The latter referred to the unit as unique, explaining that it is tasked with the protection of Russian missions and citizens abroad. The members of the unit must hone their weapons skills to perfection, he said.

The clip shows armed Spetsnaz servicemen wearing gas masks storming a mock-up building and shooting at moving targets. For some added challenge, sirens are blaring while red and blue lights flash, putting the soldiers under additional stress to ensure they will be able to maintain calm and precision in a real-life emergency.

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‘The thing is done’: Khashoggi killing tape indicates hit squad was briefing Riyadh, report says

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The full transcript of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in a Saudi consulate in Turkey reportedly shows that one of the assassins was briefing someone on the phone as the journalist’s dismembering progressed.

According to a CNN report citing a source who has reviewed the full transcript of the audio recording translated from Arabic, a man, identified as Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a former Saudi diplomat and intelligence official, made at least three phone calls to someone who was apparently a superior.

“Tell yours, the thing is done, it’s done,” Mutreb allegedly said as Khashoggi drew his last breath at the hands of a 15-man hit team.




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It’s unclear from the transcript who was on the other end of the line. According to the CNN source, it is believed that Mutreb was updating Saud al-Qahtani, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s former communications chief.

Al-Qahtani was fired from his post as the kingdom’s royal court adviser as Riyadh was facing the fallout from Khashoggi’s killing, which has strained relations with its allies in the West.

The transcript cited by CNN also contains the last words ever uttered by the slain journalist and a chilling description of his dismembering.

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“I can’t breathe,” Khashoggi cried. The plea was followed by muffled noises and several voices talking overhead, but nothing more could be discerned, according to the source.

The transcript then meticulously describes the sounds that followed.

“Scream. Scream. Gasping, Saw. Cutting,” it reads, only confirming the previous reports that the journalist was suffocated and then cut into pieces.

One of the two hitmen identified in the transcript, Dr. Salah Muhammad al-Tubaiqi, is cited as advising other members of the team to put earphones on “or listen to music like me” to dull the disconcerting bone saw noises.

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© Reuters / Leah Millis

Saudi officials denied that any calls were placed during what they earlier described as a rogue operation.

“The relevant Saudi security officials have reviewed the transcript and tape materials through Turkish security channels and nowhere in them is there any reference or indication of a call being made,” an unnamed Saudi official told CNN.

The chilling details of Khashoggi’s murder on October 2, including his last moments, have been leaked to the media in the past. In November, the Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper reported that it took the killers about seven minutes to choke the journalist to death with a plastic bag placed over his head. The journalist pled in vain with the attackers to take the bag off, saying he was short of breath and claustrophobic.

The newspaper also reported that traces of acid were found in the drains in the Saudi consulate, prompting the investigators to suggest that Khashoggi’s body was dissolved and poured down the drains.

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Meanwhile, pressure is mounting for US President Donald Trump to place the blame on bin Salman for the killing, which he has so far been reluctant to do, defying his own intelligence service. Following a secret briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel, several senators said they were confident that the Crown Prince, otherwise known as MBS, ordered the killing.

“It is zero chance, zero, that this happened in such an organized fashion without the [Saudi] crown prince,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said, while Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) said there is “zero question” that the heir apparent was fully aware of the plot.

Riyadh denies that bin Salman had any prior knowledge of the murder. Five members of the hit squad are facing the death sentence in Saudi Arabia, while several senior officials, including Al-Qahtani, have been fired.

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Pregnant woman among 7 Israelis injured in drive-by shooting in West Bank

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Seven people, including a 21-year-old heavily pregnant woman, were injured after unidentified attackers opened fire at a bus stop from a car at the Ofra settlement in the northern West Bank, Israeli media reports. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said the shots were fired at civilians from a “passing Palestinian vehicle.” Israeli soldiers returned fire, but the alleged assailants managed to flee, sparking a manhunt. The pregnant woman was in a critical condition when she was rushed to the hospital, where the doctors induced labor and delivered her baby prematurely. The woman’s husband also suffered light injuries. Two 16-year-old girls and another two people were also lightly injured in the incident. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack, vowing to bring the “murderous criminals” to justice. Netanyahu said that newly-born baby is “saved” wishing its mother “a speedy recovery.”

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