Egyptian treasures found in ancient tomb

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 18-10-2019

Friday, March 13, 2009

A team of archaeologists excavating an Ancient Egyptian tomb have discovered golden jewelry in a recently-discovered lower chamber at the Valley of the Kings burial site in Luxor, Egypt.

Two golden rings and five golden earrings were found in the tomb of Djehuty, an 18th-dynasty official of Queen Hatshepsut, and were probably the property of Djehuty or his family.

The discovery was announced by Farouk Hosni, Egypt’s current Minister of Culture.

Djehuty was overseer of the treasury and overseer of works for the Queen. Hatshepsut reigned approximately 1479–1458 BCE. Djehuty was responsible for managing the huge amounts of precious goods brought in from Egypt’s military expedition to Punt in the Horn of Africa and the vast building projects of Hatshepsut which have made the female pharaoh one of the most-remembered of any from ancient Egypt.

Djehuty died after Hatshepsut did, sometime during the reign of Thutmosis III. Both Hatshepsut’s and Thutmosis’s names are recorded on the tomb. In a fashion typical of ancient Egyptian rivalries, Hatshepsut’s name was partly obscured on the monument over the tomb sometime after the queen’s death.

The team, led by José Manuel Galán of the National Research Center (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC), in Madrid, Spain, had been excavating the tomb, designated TT11 and located in the necropolis of Dra’ Abu el-Naga’, since 2002. While much of Djehuty’s funerary equipment was lost to fire in antiquity, the lower chamber of his tomb was concealed at the end of a three-meter shaft and discovered at the end of 2008.

A superficial description of the tomb itself was recorded almost two hundred years ago by 19th-century French Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion, rubble blocking the entrance hindered excavation until the 21st century. In that time, emphasis in Egyptology has changed from the cataloging of treasures to the investigation of ancient culture, life and religion.

Since excavation began, Djehuty’s tomb has yielded a number of surprises. It was discovered that the tomb was re-used repeatedly up to and during the Greco-Roman period. There is an unusual face-on depiction of pharaoh Thutmosis III hunting ducks, and the mummy of a young, bejewelled, as-yet unidentified woman.

In 2007, 44 preserved bunches of flowers thought to be from Djehuty’s funeral were found in the site. In their 8th season of excavation, which ended on February 22, 2009, the team also found considerable evidence that below Djehuty’s tomb is a network of burial sites from the 11th dynasty, four thousand years old.

The lower chamber also displays passages from the Egyptian funerary text the Book of the Dead on its walls and a colorful mural of the goddess Nut, an embodiment of the heavens, on the ceiling. The names of Djehuty and his parents were also intact in the second chamber; the names were defaced in the previously-known first chamber of the tomb, which had also been looted.

According to a press release from Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Djehuty’s tomb is only the fifth known decorated burial chamber of the 18th dynasty. An additional unusual feature of the tomb is that its upper chamber is decorated in relief, rather than simply paint. When the excavation is completed, Dr Galán’s team plans to open the site to the public as the carved stoneworks will not be destroyed by tourists’ activities as paint would.

The identification of Djehuty is a complicated one, as a number of officials of the 18th dynasty bore the name, including a general and several governors. The name itself is an alternate transliteration of the name of the Egyptian god usually written in English as Thoth.

Doctor diagnoses Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s infertility

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 15-10-2019

Monday, April 23, 2012

File:Frida Kahlo by Artist René Romero Schuler.jpg

According to a new diagnosis by a surgical pathologist, Frida Kahlo most likely suffered uterine damage during a streetcar accident as a teenager and this led to a rare condition known as Asherman’s syndrome, and that would explain the Mexican artist’s infertility.

Dr. Fernando Antelo, from the Harbor–UCLA Medical Center, said, “Her survival defied the grim prognostication by her physicians; however, complications from this physical trauma would emerge in her adulthood.” He presented his diagnosis yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Association of Anatomists in San Diego.

Asherman’s syndrome is normally caused by a trauma to the uterus that results in internal scar tissue. For example, it can occur after multiple procedures to clear the uterus after a miscarriage or abortion, which is known as a “D & C” procedure. Antelo said Kahlo tried to have children many times and her miscarriages, as well as three therapeutic abortions, could have further aggravated the scarring.

At present the condition could be diagnosed and treated after advancements in medical imaging and hysteroscopy, but in Kahlo’s time, Dr. Antelo said, the technology had not advanced far enough to diagnose and treat her. Asherman’s syndrome has been known since 1894 when it was first reported. Kahlo died at age 47 in 1954.

“She kept attempting to have children with a uterus that wasn’t in any condition to do that,” Antelo said.

Antelo, who has been working on connections between art and medicine, says that Kahlo brought her infertility to the canvas and this can be seen in her many paintings of reproductive organs or in her depiction of her own bleeding body in the 1932 painting Henry Ford Hospital. In that image, Kahlo is shown lying on a hospital bed with multiple umbilical cords extending from her body and each one holds an object or body part, except one holding a baby.

Building partially collapses in New York City’s Upper West Side

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 15-10-2019

Thursday, July 14, 2005

A building being prepared for demolition collapsed this morning in New York‘s Upper West Side around 9 a.m. EDT. Five people are known to be injured from the accident, as well as one rescue worker who was injured in the aftermath. None of the injuries were life-threatening.

The building was a supermarket, which was being taken down to make room for a high-rise building, something that residents took issue with. The roof, front wall, and scaffolding all fell to the ground, as stated by Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta.

Soon after the incident at least 100 police and fire department personnel combed the wreckage for more victims, using search and rescue dogs to find people by scent. They quickly accounted for the twenty-five construction workers who were working on the supermarket. Most of the victims’ injuries were broken bones, including one person who broke all four extremities.

Subway lines 1, 2, and 3 have been closed or redirected in response, along with the M104 bus.

Japan’s National Diet passes law allowing Emperor Akihito to abdicate within three years

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 10-10-2019

Monday, June 12, 2017

On Friday, Japan’s parliament, the National Diet, passed a law to allow Emperor Akihito to abdicate. The law gives Akihito three years to become the first emperor to abdicate since Emperor Kokaku in 1817, two hundred years ago.

The newly passed law, made in response to the country’s Imperial Household Law’s lack of abdication provisions, applies to only Akihito, aged 83. It prohibits Akihito’s successors from abdicating.

Akihito ascended to the 2,000-year-old Chrysanthemum Throne when his father Emperor Hirohito died in 1989. Having a cardiac surgery and treatment for prostate cancer, Akihito in a televised address last year said age and health were interfering with his duties. Per Japan’s current constitution, an emperor cannot make political statements, so Akihito did not explicitly mention abdication.

When abdication happens, under new law, Akihito’s son and heir apparent Naruhito will ascend the throne, becoming the country’s 126th emperor. Besides Naruhito, Akihito has another son and a daughter.

Emperor Akihito’s heir apparent Naruhito, born in 1960, graduated from Oxford University and married a Harvard University graduate Masako Owada in 1993. Portland State University professor Kenneth Ruoff told the BBC that, while Akihito and his wife have been active in social causes, Naruhito and Masako have done little in this regard. A Kyoto Sangyo University emeritus professor Isao Tokoro said Naruhito “has been educated,” is born, and is qualified “to be emperor[.]”

In 2006, the National Diet debated on allowing female ascendance, as the emperor lacked grandsons at the time, due to the current male-only royal ascendance laws. Then Hisahito, now 10, was born, and the debate lapsed.

Naruhito has only one child Aiki, 15, while his brother Prince Akishino, 51, has three children, including his only son Hisahito. Per current law, Hisahito is qualified to ascend after his uncle Naruhito and his father.

The royal family has 19 living members, including seven unmarried princesses and five males. Female royals, if marrying a commoner, would have to give up their royal status, leaving the royal family, while males would still be allowed to retain their royal status after marrying a commoner. Akishino’s daughter Princess Mako announced her plans last month to relinquish her royal status and leave the royal family in order marry a commoner Kei Komuro, a graduate student and law firm worker, both of them aged 25. In 2005, Mako’s aunt and Naruhito’s sister Sayako, formerly Princess Nori, married a commoner Yoshiki Kuroda, a town planner, and was forced to relinquish her status and leave the family.

A Temple University Japan professor Jeff Kingston said a national succession crisis has people raising concerns about female princesses leaving the royal family when getting married. Kingston added the family “[has] a shortage of male heirs.” Kingston also said ousting a female royal for marrying a commoner is “a very old-fashioned approach, totally out of sync with 21st-century norms” to many people around the world, including in Japan.

In a survey by Kyodo News conducted in May of about 3000 people at least 18 years old, 68 percent said the Imperial Household Law should be amended to allow future emperors to abdicate. 25 percent favored separately legislating each abdication. Four percent said abdication of emperors should never be allowed.

On questions involving female royals, 86 percent said to allow empresses; 59 percent supported both empresses and established branches of female lineages. 62 percent supported establishment of separate branches for princesses retaining their roles while marrying commoners; 35 percent opposed. 61 percent said female ascendance should be debated only after the abdication, while 28 percent said it shouldn’t wait for the abdication.

Early this year, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe considered giving imperial status to branches of those who left the royal family. In the survey, 22 percent supported the idea; 72 percent opposed.

The Abe government has avoided the debate of female ascendance but recently passed a non-binding resolution attached to the newly passed abdication law to consider how to strengthen female royal status, possibly including allowing them to retain their royal titles and continue their duties, to compensate for the declining royal population.

Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of PETA, on animal rights and the film about her life

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 10-10-2019

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Last night HBO premiered I Am An Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA. Since its inception, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has made headlines and raised eyebrows. They are almost single-handedly responsible for the movement against animal testing and their efforts have raised the suffering animals experience in a broad spectrum of consumer goods production and food processing into a cause célèbre.

PETA first made headlines in the Silver Spring monkeys case, when Alex Pacheco, then a student at George Washington University, volunteered at a lab run by Edward Taub, who was testing neuroplasticity on live monkeys. Taub had cut sensory ganglia that supplied nerves to the monkeys’ fingers, hands, arms, legs; with some of the monkeys, he had severed the entire spinal column. He then tried to force the monkeys to use their limbs by exposing them to persistent electric shock, prolonged physical restraint of an intact arm or leg, and by withholding food. With footage obtained by Pacheco, Taub was convicted of six counts of animal cruelty—largely as a result of the monkeys’ reported living conditions—making them “the most famous lab animals in history,” according to psychiatrist Norman Doidge. Taub’s conviction was later overturned on appeal and the monkeys were eventually euthanized.

PETA was born.

In the subsequent decades they ran the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty against Europe’s largest animal-testing facility (footage showed staff punching beagle puppies in the face, shouting at them, and simulating sex acts while taking blood samples); against Covance, the United State’s largest importer of primates for laboratory research (evidence was found that they were dissecting monkeys at its Vienna, Virginia laboratory while the animals were still alive); against General Motors for using live animals in crash tests; against L’Oreal for testing cosmetics on animals; against the use of fur for fashion and fur farms; against Smithfield Foods for torturing Butterball turkeys; and against fast food chains, most recently against KFC through the launch of their website kentuckyfriedcruelty.com.

They have launched campaigns and engaged in stunts that are designed for media attention. In 1996, PETA activists famously threw a dead raccoon onto the table of Anna Wintour, the fur supporting editor-in-chief of Vogue, while she was dining at the Four Seasons in New York, and left bloody paw prints and the words “Fur Hag” on the steps of her home. They ran a campaign entitled Holocaust on your Plate that consisted of eight 60-square-foot panels, each juxtaposing images of the Holocaust with images of factory farming. Photographs of concentration camp inmates in wooden bunks were shown next to photographs of caged chickens, and piled bodies of Holocaust victims next to a pile of pig carcasses. In 2003 in Jerusalem, after a donkey was loaded with explosives and blown up in a terrorist attack, Newkirk sent a letter to then-PLO leader Yasser Arafat to keep animals out of the conflict. As the film shows, they also took over Jean-Paul Gaultier‘s Paris boutique and smeared blood on the windows to protest his use of fur in his clothing.

The group’s tactics have been criticized. Co-founder Pacheco, who is no longer with PETA, called them “stupid human tricks.” Some feminists criticize their campaigns featuring the Lettuce Ladies and “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” ads as objectifying women. Of their Holocaust on a Plate campaign, Anti-Defamation League Chairman Abraham Foxman said “The effort by PETA to compare the deliberate systematic murder of millions of Jews to the issue of animal rights is abhorrent.” (Newkirk later issued an apology for any hurt it caused). Perhaps most controversial amongst politicians, the public and even other animal rights organizations is PETA’s refusal to condemn the actions of the Animal Liberation Front, which in January 2005 was named as a terrorist threat by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

David Shankbone attended the pre-release screening of I Am An Animal at HBO’s offices in New York City on November 12, and the following day he sat down with Ingrid Newkirk to discuss her perspectives on PETA, animal rights, her responses to criticism lodged against her and to discuss her on-going life’s work to raise human awareness of animal suffering. Below is her interview.

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Contents

  • 1 The HBO film about her life
  • 2 PETA, animal rights groups and the Animal Liberation Front
  • 3 Newkirk on humans and other animals
  • 4 Religion and animals
  • 5 Fashion and animals
  • 6 Newkirk on the worst corporate animal abusers
  • 7 Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act
  • 8 Ingrid Newkirk on Ingrid Newkirk
  • 9 External links
  • 10 Sources

Canada’s Don Valley West (Ward 25) city council candidates speak

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 04-10-2019

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley West (Ward 25). Three candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include John Blair, Robertson Boyle, Tony Dickins, Cliff Jenkins (incumbent), and Peter Kapsalis.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

New Zealand study finds circumcision cuts STD infection rate

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 30-09-2019

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

A new study released by Christchurch researcher from the Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, David Fergusson, shows that “substantional benefits” come from a circumcision, a baby boy having his foreskin removed.

Mr Fergusson said that the rate of sexually transmitted diseases is halved due to circumcision, even after accounting for the amount of sex partners, unprotected sex and their family background. “Circumcision also reduces the risk of transmitting HIV and the incidence of urinary tract infections.”

The report, which was published in the international scientific journal Pediatrics, took 25-years to complete as it followed 510 males from birth until they were 25-years-old.

“The public health issues raised by these findings clearly involve weighing the longer-term benefits of routine neonatal circumcision in terms of reducing risks of infection within the population, against the perceived costs of the procedure,” Mr Fergusson said.

However the American Academy of Pediatrics has described the current study as “complex and conflicting.” The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes the practice, which is why in the US the circumcision rate has been falling since 1999.

In New Zealand, only between ten and twenty percent of all males are circumcised, which is one of the lowest rates in the world. Circumcision is the normal practice in Samoa and Tonga and also among Jewish and Muslim men.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians said in 2004, “There is no medical reason for routine circumcision of newborn boys.”

The current study has made some health specialists reconsider their stance on the issue. “People feel passionate on both sides, but I’m going to recommend that we take another careful look at this,” said Jay Berkelhamer, US Academy of Pediatrics president and professor of pediatrics at the University of Florida.

Edgar Schoen, who has reconsidered his stance on the issue, he said: “The academy’s opposition is irresponsible. The benefits of circumcision far outweigh risks, and doctors should be telling parents that.”

“Even if it does bring down sexually transmitted disease, cutting normal tissue of an unconsenting minor is a human rights violation,” said Marilyn Milos, from anti-circumcision group, National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC).

AMD files antitrust lawsuit against Intel in US federal district court

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 18-09-2019

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

AMD filed an antitrust complaint against Intel Corporation two days ago in U.S. federal district court for the district of Delaware under Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, Sections 4 and 16 of the Clayton Act, and the California Business and Professions Code.

According to the complaint, Intel has unlawfully maintained its monopoly by, among other things:

  • Forcing major customers such as Dell, Sony, Toshiba, Gateway, and Hitachi into Intel-exclusive deals in return for outright cash payments, discriminatory pricing or marketing subsidies conditioned on the exclusion of AMD;
  • According to industry reports, and as confirmed by the JFTC in Japan, Intel has paid Dell and Toshiba huge sums not to do business with AMD.
  • Intel paid Sony millions for exclusivity. AMD’s share of Sony’s business went from 23 percent in ‘02 to 8% in ‘03, to 0%, where it remains today.
  • Forcing other major customers such as NEC, Acer, and Fujitsu into partial exclusivity agreements by conditioning rebates, allowances and market development funds (MDF) on customers’ agreement to severely limit or forego entirely purchases from AMD;
  • Intel paid NEC several million dollars for caps on NEC’s purchases from AMD. Those caps assured Intel at least 90% of NEC’s business in Japan and imposed a worldwide cap on the amount of AMD business NEC could do.
  • Establishing a system of discriminatory and retroactive incentives triggered by purchases at such high levels as to have the intended effect of denying customers the freedom to purchase any significant volume of processors from AMD;
  • When AMD succeeded in getting on the HP retail roadmap for mobile computers, and its products sold well, Intel responded by withholding HP’s fourth quarter 2004 rebate check and refusing to waive HP’s failure to achieve its targeted rebate goal; it allowed HP to make up the shortfall in succeeding quarters by promising Intel at least 90% of HP’s mainstream retail business.
  • Threatening retaliation against customers for introducing AMD computer platforms, particularly in strategic market segments such as commercial desktop;
  • Then-Compaq CEO Michael Capellas said in 2000 that because of the volume of business given to AMD, Intel withheld delivery of critical server chips. Saying “he had a gun to his head,” he told AMD he had to stop buying.
  • According to Gateway executives, their company has paid a high price for even its limited AMD dealings. They claim that Intel has “beaten them into ‘guacamole’” in retaliation.
  • Establishing and enforcing quotas among key retailers such as Best Buy and Circuit City, effectively requiring them to stock overwhelmingly or exclusively, Intel computers, artificially limiting consumer choice;
  • AMD has been entirely shut out from Media Markt, Europe’s largest computer retailer, which accounts for 35 percent of Germany’s retail sales.
  • Office Depot declined to stock AMD-powered notebooks regardless of the amount of financial support AMD offered, citing the risk of retaliation.
  • Forcing PC makers and tech partners to boycott AMD product launches or promotions;
  • Then-Intel CEO Craig Barrett threatened Acer’s Chairman with “severe consequences” for supporting the AMD Athlon 64 launch. This coincided with an unexplained delay by Intel in providing $15-20M in market development funds owed to Acer. Acer withdrew from the launch in September 2003.
  • Abusing its market power by forcing on the industry technical standards and products that have as their main purpose the handicapping of AMD in the marketplace.
  • Intel denied AMD access to the highest level of membership for the Advanced DRAM technology consortium to limit AMD’s participation in critical industry standard decisions that would affect its business.
  • Intel designed its compilers, which translate software programs into machine-readable language, to degrade a program’s performance if operated on a computer powered by an AMD microprocessor.

Wikinews interviews Jim Babka, chair of Libertarian organization Downsize DC

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 10-09-2019

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A reporter from Wikinews recently interviewed Jim Babka, chair of Libertarian organization Downsize DC. The organization claims to have arranged for 22,158 people to send a message regarding the “American Freedom Agenda Act” proposed by Ron Paul, in addition to supporting many other laws. The full text of the interview can be found below.

Puerto Rico power company cancels US$300 million Whitefish contract

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by XpvB79 on 07-09-2019

Monday, October 30, 2017

At the request of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló, the Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority (PREPA) yesterday announced it has cancelled a US$300 million contract with a Montana-based company called Whitefish Energy Holdings amid concerns it may have been awarded improperly and the prices may be unusually high. Whitefish was to have rebuilt parts of the United States commonwealth’s energy infrastructure, which was recently destroyed when Hurricane Maria struck the island.

According to Whitefish spokesperson Chris Chiames, Whitefish was “very disappointed” and may consider a lawsuit. He also said about 350 Whitefish employees have been working on Puerto Rico for the past month, and their efforts will restore power to much of San Juan soon. He noted, “We will certainly finish any work that [PREPA] wants us to complete and stand by our commitments.” According to Governor Rosselló, Whitefish has already been paid eight million dollars.

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) questioned whether the prices negotiated were reasonable and how Whitefish came to be awarded the contract. Whitefish is two years old, when the contract was signed only two people worked for it full-time, and it has connections to the current U.S. Secretary of the Interior. According to PREPA head Ricardo Ramos, FEMA approved the Whitefish deal, but FEMA officials said they did not.

Whitefish is based in the town of Whitefish, Montana, the hometown of Ryan Zinke, who is currently serving as U.S. Secretary of the Interior in the administration of the US President Donald Trump. Zinke and Andy Techmanski, Whitefish’s chief executive, are acquaintances, and Zinke’s son worked for Whitefish one summer. The founder of one of Whitefish’s financial backers, HBC Investments, has made nontrivial campaign contributions to Republicans and specifically to Trump.

Zinke told the public, “I had absolutely nothing to do with Whitefish Energy receiving a contract in Puerto Rico[…] Any attempts by the dishonest media or political operatives to tie me to awarding or influencing any contract involving Whitefish are completely baseless.”

Zinke also posted online, “Only in elitist Washington DC would being from a small town be considered a crime.”

The head of the U.S. House of Representatives natural resource committee, Republican Rob Bishop, has sent PREPA a letter requesting documentation of the deal and an explanation of the means by which it was made.

Maria Cantwell, a Democrat serving on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources called for “an investigation to determine how we got into this situation in the first place,” saying “taxpayers should pay a fair rate for the emergency repairs Puerto Rico desperately needs, […] not be gouged by Whitefish Energy or anyone else.”

According to the Associated Press, in one copy of the Whitefish contract, each employee would be paid a US$80 food allowance each day, and US$1000 each time they fly to or from the mainland U.S., with hourly pay rates for foremen, linemen and mechanics in the hundreds of dollars.

The federal control board in charge of Puerto Rico’s finances recently said they had appointed retired Air Force Colonel Noel Zamot to oversee the restoration of Puerto Rico’s power infrastructure, but Governor Rosselló said Puerto Rico’s own government is responsible for the power company, which has debts in the billions.

The category 4 Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico several weeks ago with high winds and intense rain. About 70% of Puerto Rico still has no electricity.

Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain and came under U.S. control in the Spanish-American War in 1898, along with Guam and the Philippines. Every person born in Puerto Rico is a United States citizen by birth. Puerto Rican residents do not participate in national elections, and have a non-voting representative in the U.S. congress. Mostly, they are exempt from federal income tax but not other federal taxes.