October 2021

Mummies found buried in boats in a China desert have unexpected origins

New techniques in ancient DNA analysis are providing more and more tantalizing details about prehistory, including some of the latest scientific discoveries in the past week. I’m Katie Hunt, standing in for Ashley Strickland, who’s on vacation. In an inhospitable desert in northwestern China, hundreds of stunningly intact mummies, buried in boats, were discovered in the 1990s. The Bronze Age mummies date back as far as 4,000 years ago. Their identity has long stumped archaeologists. In a new study, scientists sequenced the genomes of 13 of the bodies and found they were descendants of ice age hunter-gatherers. While this population…


Exclusive: Putin is strangling journalism with ‘foreign agents’ law, says Nobel-winning Russian editor

Independent journalists see this as an indelible smear. Russian President Vladimir Putin insists it is not intended to muzzle or censor — but to merely inform readers and viewers that some of the media they’re consuming has foreign funding. “This law does not ban anyone from having one’s own opinion on an issue. It is about receiving financial aid from abroad during domestic political activities,” Putin said recently. “While in the 1990s and in the early 2000s journalists were killed by hired assassins, as it happened with our journalist Anna Politkovskaya, for example — now it is a policy of…


Sudan protests: Massive crowds demonstrate against military takeover

The streets of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, were packed with protesters on Saturday morning, with demonstrators chanting anti-military slogans and waving anti-coup banners. “No for military rule, yes for civilian rule,” protesters shouted in videos posted to social media. At least two people were shot dead by the military according to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD), which is aligned with the civil component of the now-dissolved Sovereign Council. “Two demonstrators were killed in the city of Omdurman by the putschist military council,” the CCSD said in a post to Twitter, adding that one person had been shot in…


Partisanship, employee dissent and ‘dead bodies’: Inside Facebook’s struggle to combat misinformation and hate speech in India

The fact-finding mission, which was described by one of the researchers in an internal document seen by CNN, took place at an important moment for the country, and for Facebook’s operations within it. India’s national elections, the biggest in the world, were just months away — and Facebook was already bracing for potential trouble. Against that backdrop, Facebook’s researchers interviewed over two dozen users and found some underlying issues potentially complicating efforts to rein in misinformation in India. “Users were explicit about their motivations to support their political parties,” the researchers wrote in an internal research report seen by CNN….


Here to stay or gone in 30 years? Inside the fight over the future of the oil industry

There’s a growing movement in Aberdeen for the region to lead the transition from Big Oil to Big Energy, using its deep-sea expertise to construct floating wind farms alongside offshore rigs. “I think 2015 was the wake-up call that Aberdeen actually needed to say, ‘This ain’t going to be around forever,’” said Russell Borthwick, the local chamber of commerce’s chief executive. “When the oil price comes back, you [can] go back to just cigar smoking, wine drinking — ‘life’s great in Aberdeen isn’t it’ — but one day you’re going to wake up and there’s going to be nothing left.”…


Analysis: The duchesses stepping up in Queen’s absence

As such, she will be missed by the VIPs gathering in Glasgow for the crucial COP26 climate talks. They surely would have been looking forward to their moment with the ageing monarch, and perhaps a treasured photo. Now that she’s canceled her visit on medical advice, her ministers have lost their most valuable diplomat too. For those still worried about the 95-year-old, the palace has continued to say this week that she is in “good spirits,” with sources telling us she was undertaking “light duties” at Windsor. On Thursday, the palace released a snippet from a video call earlier in…


President Xi Jinping’s pledge to redistribute wealth brings back bad memories for luxury brands in China

Many analysts believe the campaign could actually be good for business. While Xi’s plans are still taking shape, his government has made clear that it ultimately wants to raise the incomes of more households and expand the middle class. That, in turn, could help increase purchasing power and consumption. But experts haven’t ruled out the possibility of the government clamping down on signs of perceived extravagance or raising taxes on the rich, which could darken the outlook for makers of high-end handbags, shoes and jewelry. “Initially when it was announced, people panicked,” Zuzanna Pusz, a UBS analyst, said of the…


Everest’s 100 years of destiny and death on the roof of the world

(CNN) — It’s a fact every school child knows: Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. It’s a truth that feels ancient and inevitable, an unassailable certainty that draws hundreds of climbers to attempt the summit each year — because, in the words of George Mallory, one of the first mountaineers to conquer it, “it’s there.” However, this fascination with the mountain whose historic Tibetan name is Qomolangma (“Holy Mother”) is a modern phenomenon and the first reconnaissance mission to its slopes was completed just a century ago, on October 25, 1921. This is the story of how…


Thai authorities indict company over sale of second-hand medical gloves after CNN investigation

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Jurin Laksanavisit, chair of a special government committee set up to probe CNN’s report, said Paddy the Room Trading Company faced eight charges related to selling medical supplies without a permit from Thai regulators. The company brokered deals with American firms to provide millions of dollars of medical grade nitrile gloves, but instead sent lower-quality vinyl or latex gloves hand-packed into boxes claiming they were medical grade. Some were even soiled and clearly second-hand. Paddy the Room did not respond to multiple requests for comment over several months. Thai authorities have also ordered an investigation into…


Missing hiker ignored calls from rescuers because it was an unknown number

(CNN) — A Colorado rescue team has some simple advice for lost hikers or anyone else who might find themselves stranded in the mountains — answer your phone. Lake County Search and Rescue says it got a report last week that a hiker hadn’t returned from a hike on Mount Elbert. The hiker had set out at 9 a.m. on October 18 and wasn’t back at 8 p.m., LCSAR said in a post on its Facebook page. Rescuers tried to call the person’s cell phone multiple times, but weren’t able to reach them. Five LCSAR team members looked for the…


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