Egyptian priest’s sarcophagus discovery


This 9 April 2019 video says about itself:

Egypt uncovers the remains of a powerful ancient priest

Archeologists on Sunday streamed live the discovery of the 2,500-year-old remains of a powerful ancient Egyptian high priest at Al-Ghorifa, a remote site about 165 miles south of the capital, Cairo.

Inside the priest’s stone sarcophagus covered in gold banding was a very well preserved mummy. Within the inner chambers of the burial site experts also discovered two other mummies. One seeming to be a female inside a “family tomb” and the other is believed to be a singer in the temple of Thoth, an ancient Egyptian god.

Archeologists recently uncovered a network of ancient tunnels and tombs containing 40 mummies “believed to be part of the noble elite.”

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Libya, yet more bloodbaths threaten


This 25 November 2017 video says about itself:

Sweden: Thousands decry Libyan slavery in Stockholm

Thousands of people gathered in Stockholm’s Sergels Torg square on Saturday, to demonstrate against slavery in Libya.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

Libya on the brink of all-out civil war

9 April 2019

As troops and tanks of the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) of “Field Marshal” Khalifa Hifter [also spelled: Hsaftar] advance on the capital of Libya, Tripoli, the internal conflicts that have been ripping the North African country apart are dramatically intensifying.

Advancing from its base in the east, the LNA has captured the abandoned international airport south of the capital. On Monday, it carried out bombing raids against the country’s sole functioning airport in Tripoli’s eastern suburbs.

The Pentagon responded on Sunday to the threatened siege of the city of 1.2 million people by withdrawing its military personnel by sea. The chief of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, said that the “security realities on the ground in Libya are growing increasingly complex and unpredictable.” He added that the US military command in Africa would “continue to remain agile in support of existing US strategy.”

Whether the withdrawal signals US acquiescence to Hifter’s offensive or the preparations for American airstrikes against his forces remains to be seen.

Hifter, a former general in the Libyan army, turned against the government of Muammar Gaddafi in the late 1980s after becoming a prisoner of war during a conflict with neighboring Chad. He was quickly picked up by the US Central Intelligence Agency and remained a CIA “asset” for decades, taking up residence near the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia and becoming a US citizen.

Sent back to Libya in advance of the 2011 regime-change operation mounted by Washington, Paris and London, he was overshadowed by the Islamist Al Qaeda-linked forces that served as ground troops for the US-NATO air war, which ended up claiming the lives of as many as 50,000 Libyan civilians.

Unable to find a path to power, Hifter went back to the US, returning to Libya to mount a bloody campaign in 2014 to seize control of the eastern city of Benghazi from Islamist militias. He formed a military force comprised of various militias, which became the backbone of a regime based in the eastern city of Tobruk. His government has rivaled the US- and UN-recognized Government of National Accord in Tripoli, chaired by wealthy businessman Fayez al-Sarraj. A third rival for state power is the Islamist-dominated General National Congress, which proclaimed itself a Salvation Government and rejected Sarraj’s authority.

Before his advance on Tripoli, Hifter managed to establish control in the summer of 2018 over oil facilities in central Libya, and, earlier this year, over a swathe of southern Libya that includes one of the country’s major oil fields.

Casualties in the latest fighting reportedly include nearly 50 dead and over 80 wounded, while thousands of civilians have been forced to flee their homes. If Hifter’s forces enter the city, there is danger of a bloodbath and massive destruction, as disparate militia groups have vowed to resist Tripoli’s takeover.

Humanitarian aid groups have warned of the threat to civilian lives and called particular attention to the fate of thousands of refugees being held against their will under appalling conditions in detention camps run by the militias that back Sarraj’s regime. The Libyan Coast Guard is lavishly funded and advised by the European imperialist powers, who utilize it in their efforts to halt the flow of refugees to Europe. It turns migrants over to the militias, which subject them to torture, rape, abuse and summary execution, while attempting to extract ransoms from their relatives.

Hifter has enjoyed open support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, while France has provided covert backing, including military advisers. Italy and Qatar have backed the Tripoli-based regime.

While US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement declaring that “we oppose the military offensive of Khalifa Hifter’s forces and urge the immediate halt to these military operations against the Libyan capital,” Washington has established the closest alliance with the general’s principal backers in the Arab world, Saudi Arabiaand Egypt. The latter’s dictator, Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, is to receive a red-carpet welcome at the White House today.

On Friday, the United Nations Security Council, following a closed-door meeting, issued a statement to the press calling for Hifter’s LNA to “halt its military activity” near Tripoli. When Britain proposed a formal resolution along these lines, however, Russia opposed it, no doubt fearing that it could become the pretext for a fresh Western intervention in Libya.

The British draft included a passage calling “for those who undermine Libya’s peace and security to be held to account.”

What hypocrisy! There was no such call when the UK joined with France and the United States to overthrow the country’s government and inflict death upon its population and destruction upon its infrastructure. No one, from Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron on down, was ever held accountable for a criminal war of aggression that turned the country into a living hell.

Launched under the pretext of a UN resolution authorizing the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya to halt the supposed (but non-existent) threat of a massacre in the eastern city of Benghazi, the war saw money and arms poured into Islamist militias and lavished on Al Qaeda operatives, who were backed by a relentless bombing campaign, which included nearly 30,000 sorties in the course of seven months.

A war launched on the pretext of protecting civilians culminated in the carpet bombing of Sirte, a bastion of popular support for Gaddafi, and the lynch-mob torture and murder of the Libyan leader, over which then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laughingly gloated, “We came, we saw, he died.”

In the intervening eight years, the attempts to install a pro-Western puppet regime in a devastated country controlled by clashing Islamist, tribal and other militias have failed miserably. The regime headed up by Sarraj, recognized as Libya’s “legitimate” government, barely controls even Tripoli. Under its supposed rule, the country’s education and health systems have collapsed, while inflation is ravaging living standards, the unemployment rate has reached 30 percent, and fully a third of the population lives below the poverty line. Conditions of life for masses of Libyans have deteriorated dramatically since the overthrow of Gaddafi.

In addition to the leaders of the major imperialist powers, which intervened to assert control over the largest oil reserves on the African continent, those who should be held to account include a whole layer of pseudo-left parties and spokesmen who echoed and amplified the imperialist pretexts of intervening to save lives (code-named R2P: Responsibility to Protect) and even to defend a “Libyan revolution”.

Thus, Gilbert Achcar, the academic and prominent member of the French New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA), insisted that the defense of the “Libyan revolution” was the paramount issue, and declared that “You can’t in the name of anti-imperialist principles oppose an action that will prevent the massacre of civilians.”

Similarly, the University of Michigan professor Juan Cole, whose “left” credentials stemmed from his limited opposition to the Iraq war, declared, “To make ‘anti-imperialism’ trump all other values in a mindless way leads to frankly absurd positions.” He added, “If NATO needs me, I’m there.”

Similar arguments were advanced by, among others, the recently dissolved International Socialist Organization (ISO) [in the USA] in support of the even more bloody US regime change-operation in Syria.

These forces, expressing the interests of privileged layers of the middle class, are totally exposed by the reality of Libya eight years after an intervention that was supposed to protect lives and promote “revolution”.

As the World Socialist Web Site wrote at the time: “Far from a ‘revolution’ or struggle for ‘liberation,’ what the world is witnessing is the rape of Libya by a syndicate of imperialist powers determined to lay hold of its oil wealth and turn its territory into a neo-colonial base of operations for further interventions throughout the Middle East and North Africa.”

With the latest escalation of Libya’s protracted civil war—between rival forces that are all the products of CIA conspiracies and imperialist interventions—the consequences of this rape and the political criminality of those who justified and promoted it have become all the more evident.

The anti-war movement has been utterly vindicated over Libya. There has not been a single day of peace in Libya since Cameron and co proclaimed the overthrow of tyranny, says KEVIN OVENDEN.

Buffalo saved by colleagues from lions, crocodiles


This 9 April 2019 video from South Africa says about itself:

Herd Rescues Buffalo from Lions and Crocodiles

Over a decade ago, there was an epic battle between lions, buffaloes and a crocodile at a waterhole called Transport dam. That video was aptly named Battle at Kruger.

Well, 10 years later, the next generations of lions at Transport Dam recently faced their own failed hunt due to a huge herd of buffalo and crocodiles interfering!

Thuli Khumalo, head of Atamela Tours, captured this heart-pumping sighting while on a tour to the Kruger National Park. After lunch at Skukuza Rest Camp, Atamela’s game drive full of tourists arrived at the world-famous Transport Dam, in the hopes of seeing some action. Little did they know what they were actually in for.

They spotted a pride of lions lying in the shade, overlooking the water. If you spot lions hiding in the shade at a waterhole, it is often a good idea to stick around. Lions are opportunistic, so they will often try and hunt any animal that comes close enough.

Surely enough, a large herd of impala went down to the water and the lions gave chase! The impalas were too fast for the lions, but at the edge of the water, they spotted an old buffalo bull. The lions chased that buffalo and it ran into the water where out of nowhere, a crocodile starts taking a go at the already targeted buffalo. The buffalo decides that the water is probably more dangerous than on land, where it can potentially outrun the pride of lions that are now waiting for him to re-emerge from the water.

As soon as the buffalo hit the surface, he makes a run for it, with the lions following close on its tail. When buffaloes are under threat, they will call for help. Luckily, for this buffalo, his calls were answered! A massive herd of buffalo that was on its way to the dam saw the commotion and chased the lions away, saving the life of a fellow buffalo, unbeknown to us if it is from the same herd.

Woolly mammoths’, Neanderthals’ Ice Age adaptations


This 2013 video is called A group of Neanderthals attack a herd of woolly mammoths.

From the American Friends of Tel Aviv University:

Woolly mammoths and Neanderthals may have shared genetic traits

Findings point to molecular resemblance in climate adaptation traits of the two species

April 8, 2019

A new Tel Aviv University study suggests that the genetic profiles of two extinct mammals with African ancestry — woolly mammoths, elephant-like animals that evolved in the Arctic peninsula of Eurasia around 600,000 years ago, and Neanderthals, highly skilled early humans who evolved in Europe around 400,000 years ago — shared molecular characteristics of adaptation to cold environments.

The research attributes the human-elephant relationship during the Pleistocene epoch to their mutual ecology and shared living environments, in addition to other possible interactions between the two species. The study was led by Prof. Ran Barkai and Meidad Kislev of TAU’s Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures and published on April 8 in Human Biology.

“Neanderthals and mammoths lived together in Europe during the Ice Age. The evidence suggests that Neanderthals hunted and ate mammoths for tens of thousands of years and were actually physically dependent on calories extracted from mammoths for their successful adaptation,” says Prof. Barkai. “Neanderthals depended on mammoths for their very existence.

“They say you are what you eat. This was especially true of Neanderthals; they ate mammoths but were apparently also genetically similar to mammoths.”

To assess the degree of resemblance between mammoth and Neanderthal genetic components, the archaeologists reviewed three case studies of relevant gene variants and alleles — alternative forms of a gene that arise by mutation and are found at the same place on a chromosome — associated with cold-climate adaptation found in the genomes of both woolly mammoths and Neanderthals.

The first case study outlined the mutual appearance of the LEPR gene, related to thermogenesis and the regulation of adipose tissue and fat storage throughout the body. The second case study engaged genes related to keratin protein activity in both species. The third case study focused on skin and hair pigmentation variants in the genes MC1R and SLC7A11.

“Our observations present the likelihood of resemblance between numerous molecular variants that resulted in similar cold-adapted epigenetic traits of two species, both of which evolved in Eurasia from an African ancestor,” Kislev explains. “These remarkable findings offer supporting evidence for the contention regarding the nature of convergent evolution through molecular resemblance, in which similarities in genetic variants between adapted species are present.

“We believe these types of connections can be valuable for future evolutionary research. They’re especially interesting when they involve other large-brained mammals, with long life spans, complex social behavior and their interactions in shared habitats with early humans.”

According to the study, both species likely hailed from ancestors that came to Europe from Africa and adapted to living conditions in Ice Age Europe. The species also both became extinct more or less at the same time.

“It is now possible to try to answer a question no one has asked before: Are there genetic similarities between evolutionary adaptation paths in Neanderthals and mammoths?” Prof. Barkai says. “The answer seems to be yes. This idea alone opens endless avenues for new research in evolution, archaeology and other disciplines.

“At a time when proboscideans are under threat of disappearance from the world due to the ugly human greed for ivory, highlighting our shared history and similarities with elephants and mammoths might be a point worth taking into consideration.”