- Treasure trove of Palaeolithic jewellery, made at least 45,000 years ago, found in the Denisova Cave. Archeologists discovered a new stone bracelet, two sharp pins, a marble ring and fox tooth pendants. Two sharp pins, made of marmot bone, were also discovered – the first ever for the Denisova Cave, and this area of Siberia. The pins were used either to stick together pieces of clothing, or possibly to hold up hair, the researchers said. They are still sharp, and look polished and ready to be used more than 40,000 years after they were made.
- Since their rise to power in August, Afghanistan’s new rulers have considerably limited women’s rights. While, back in the 1990s, the Taliban gained notoriety for stripping women of almost all their freedoms, the group now claims it has changed tack and will respect women’s rights, as long as these are compatible with Islam’s sharia law, that is. However, as evidenced by a slew of new regulations put in place since mid-August, it is predominantly Afghan women who are finding themselves forced into a more conservative mold, in more ways than one.
- According to prophesies by Nostradamus, next year promises more food shortages and inflation, while many will seek financial stability by turning away from traditional money. Astrologer Reda Wigle saw a few particularly interesting verses in the batch which appear to speak of next year’s economy. In one passage for next year, Nostradamus wrote: “So high the price of wheat/That man is stirred/His fellow man to eat in his despair,” Wigle even goes as far as to claim that the prophecy predicts cannibalism. Perhaps, though, Nostradamus merely speaks of the better-off ones profiting from the suffering of others, which can be considered cannibalism of a sort, according to Wigle. Wigle claims Nostradamus “nods to the rise of cryptocurrency in the year ahead.” “The copies of gold and silver” can, indeed, be taken for crypto tokens that copy the precious metals’ status as a reserve asset. And crypto is indeed spreading at the speed of a Formula-1 race-car, with new tokens emergence, NFTs and investors flocking to the Metaverse. The “all is exhausted” bit may speak of the demise of the fiat money, “exhausted and dissipated by the debt.”
- Ethiopian Airlines announced on Monday it plans to resume flying Boeing 737 MAX planes in its fleet in February 2022, saying it was satisfied with their safety. “Safety is our topmost priority… and it guides every decision we make and all actions we take,” the company’s chairman, Tewolde Gebremariam, said in a statement. “We have taken enough time to monitor the design modification work and the more than 20 months of rigorous rectification process… our pilots, engineers, aircraft technicians, cabin crew are confident on the safety of the fleet,” he added.
- At the height of its operations, Washington had some 170,000 soldiers stationed on Iraqi soil. Now the number of troops is estimated to be around 2,500, and are said to be in the country to “advise, assist, and enable” Iraqi security forces. “There is no pullout whatsoever. There is only a change of status instead, and these soldiers will now be serving as trainers and advisers”, Saad Al Mutalibi, a Baghdad-based independent politician says.
- A paper that problematises the use of white milk in black coffee as racist, has been accepted by Stockholm University and even received some praise. The essay called “Black and white drinks” was written by 27-year-old Arvid Haag and framed as an “account of what happened from the early 20th century in the struggle between coffee and milk”. In the essay, Haag described how the marketing of coffee has been characterised by highlighting the “black and exotic elements” of the drink. With milk, however, “the local and the white” was emphasised, the news outlet Fria Tider reported.
- Russia scrambled its Il-114LL reconnaissance aircraft to shadow a US Air Force Boeing P-8A Poseidon surveillance plane over the Black Sea near Crimea, the Russian Telegram channel Voennyi Obozrevatel reports. The Il-114LL, also known as “the flying laboratory”, “is conducting counter-surveillance” of the P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft, which “carries out reconnaissance off the Crimean coast”, according to the Telegram post.
- An operative from the banned separatist group, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), has been arrested in Germany over his alleged role in plotting a bomb blast in a courtroom in the northern Indian city of Ludhiana last week, the Indian media has reported, citing Indian officials. The blast, which took place at the District and Sessions Court in Ludhiana, Punjab, last 23 December, caused injuries to five persons, killing the person who had planted the bomb. Indian investigators later reportedly found out that the blast had been plotted with the help of Jaswinder Singh Multani as well as another militant currently based in Pakistan. Multani is allegedly a close associate of SFJ’s US-based founder Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who reportedly works as a legal adviser.
- Judge Alison Nathan, presiding over the case of Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged accomplice of Jeffrey Epstein, has asked jurors to work for an additional hour until the end of the trial as yet another day of deliberations has ended without a verdict. On Monday, jurors asked to see the transcripts of testimonies of Jeffrey Epstein’s former pilot David Rodgers, police officer Gregory Parkinson, who took part in the 2005 raid on Epstein’s house, as well as the boyfriend of the accuser named Jane. The latter reportedly could corroborate her account that Ghislaine Maxwell gave her work at Epstein’s house so that the late financier could sexually abuse her when she was 14. The jury, consisting of six men and six men, also asked the court for a definition of enticement, one of the charges Maxwell is facing. Judge Alison Nathan said that it could mean “attracting, inducing, or luring using hope or desire”.
- Last week, the FDA authorized two much-hyped antiviral treatments for COVID (just in time for Christmas): Merck’s Molnupiravir and Pfizer’s Paxlovid. NBC News reports that these medications will require “careful monitoring” by prescribing doctors. Many people prescribed Pfizer’s or Merck’s new medications will require careful monitoring by doctors and pharmacists, and the antivirals may not be safe for everyone, experts caution. As a reminder, the FDA only authorized Paxlovid – the Pfizer drug – to treat “mild to moderate” COVID in people as young as 12 who have underlying conditions that raise the risk of hospitalization and death. Unfortunately, both Pfizer’s and Merck’s drugs come with some serious drawbacks, the biggest being that they can cause life-threatening reactions with widely used medications like statins – taken by people with high blood pressure – blood thinners, and even some antidepressants.
- In an appearance Sunday Anthony Fauci admitted that vaccine mandates are merely a “mechanism” to coerce more Americans to take shots. Appearing on ABC Sunday, Fauci noted “A vaccine requirement for a person getting on the plane is just another level of getting people to have a mechanism that would spur them to get vaccinated.” Far from following any ‘science’, Fauci admitted that “anything that could get people more vaccinated would be welcome.”
News Burst 29 December 2021