Contrary to the depiction of Viking raiders in popular culture as mostly fair-haired warriors, many of them were not blond, and their genetic makeup was far more diverse, a new study has revealed.
A team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen has studied the remains of 442 humans found in archeological sites across Europe and Greenland. The majority of the materials analyzed were from the so-called Viking Age, which stretched from around 750 AD to 1050 AD.
The scientists compared the genetic data with more than a thousand individuals living in other historical periods and with 3,855 people living today.
They found that Vikings were more diverse than was previously thought. In particular, “the Viking period involved gene flow into Scandinavia from the south and east,” the scientists wrote in a paper published in the Nature magazine.
It was also found that, contrary to their depiction in movies and art, dark hair was relatively common among the raiders from the north. “Vikings were not genetically pure Scandinavians. From the end of the Iron Age and into the Viking Age, there was a large influx of DNA from Southern Europe and Asia. This also probably means that very few of them were fair-haired,” Eske Willerslev, one of the geneticists behind the study, told the Danish media.
Willerslev told the Guardian that being a Viking was “not
‘US can impose neither negotiations nor war’ on Iran, Rouhani tells UN General Assembly
Addressing a session of the UN General Assembly, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said his country will not give in to US pressure and Washington will not bully Tehran, into neither “negotiations nor war.”
Speaking on Tuesday at the UNGA – held this year in a virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic – Rouhani blasted the recent US decision to unilaterally re-impose now-defunct international sanctions against Iran.
“The US can impose neither negotiations nor war on us,” Rouhani said, insisting that “today is the time to say ‘no’ to bullying and arrogance.”
Life is hard under sanctions. However, harder is life without independence.
He expressed Iran’s gratitude to the nations who rejected Washington’s move. The US measure has not been particularly well-received, as 13 out of 15 UN Security Council members firmly opposed it.
“I should express our appreciation to the presidents of the Security Council for the months of August and September 2020, as well as to 13 of its members–especially Russia and China–who twice said a decisive and resounding ‘no’ to the unlawful US attempt to exploit the Council and its Resolution 2231,” the president said.
The most recent package of US sanctions against Tehran was unveiled by Washington on Monday, targeting Iran’s defense ministry. The announcement came just a few days after the US declared “snapback” UN sanctions on Iran t
Pascale Ferrier: White House ricin package suspect in court
A Canadian woman has been charged in US federal court for allegedly posting a letter with deadly ricin poison to President Donald Trump.
Pascale Ferrier, of Quebec, was arrested at a border crossing in Buffalo, New York, on Sunday. She was reportedly carrying a gun.
She has pleaded not guilty to making threats against the president.
The letter she allegedly sent last week was discovered before it reached the White House.
In it, she called on Mr Trump to drop out of the US presidential race. The envelop contained ricin, a poison found naturally in castor beans.
“I found a new name for you: ‘The Ugly Tyrant Clown’,” she wrote in the letter to Mr Trump, according to FBI charging documents filed ahead of her first court appearance in New York on Tuesday.
“I hope you like it. You ruin USA and lead them to disaster. I have US cousins, then I don’t want the next 4 years with you as president. Give up and remove your application for this election.”
The letter, which the FBI says had her fingerprints on it, referred to the poisoned note as “a special gift”, adding: “If it doesn’t work, I’ll find better recipe for another poison, or I might use my gun when I’ll be able to come. “
The suspect may have also sent ricin to five addresses in Texas, including a jail and a sheriff’s office, according to the court documents.
Ms Ferrier appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon in Buffalo, New York, with the aid of a French-speaking translator, according to local media.
Who is Pascale Ferrier?
Pascale Cecile Veronique Ferrier, 53, is a computer programmer who is originally from France, but became a Canadian citizen in 2015, according to Canadian media. Sources tell Reuters she retains dual French-Canadian citizenship. She was living in the Canadian province of Quebec.
In March 2019, she was arrested in Texas for unlawfully carrying a weapon and using a fake driver’s licence, according to jail records. She was deported to Canada after officials found she had overstayed her visa and committed a crime while in the US, according to the New York Times.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Secret Service are investigating the package, which was discovered at a processing facility for mail sent to the White House.
The presence of ricin was confirmed after several tests by the FBI, authorities said.
A spokesman for the Mission, Texas, police departmen
Climate change: China aims for ‘carbon neutrality by 2060’
China will aim to hit peak emissions before 2030 and for carbon neutrality by 2060, President Xi Jinping has announced.
Mr Xi outlined the steps when speaking via videolink to the UN General Assembly in New York.
The announcement is being seen as a significant step in the fight against climate change.
China is the world’s biggest source of carbon dioxide, responsible for around 28% of global emissions.
With global climate negotiations stalled and this year’s conference of the parties (COP26) postponed until 2021, there had been little expectation of progress on the issue at the UN General Assembly.
However China’s president surprised the UN gathering by making a bold statement about his country’s plans for tackling emissions.
He called on all countries to achieve a green recovery for the world economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the official translation, Mr Xi went on to say:
“We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.”
Until now China has said it would peak its emissions by 2030 at the latest, but it has avoided committing to a long-term goal.
Emissions from China continued to rise in 2018 and 2019 even as much of the world began to shift away from fossil fuels.
While the Covid-19 crisis this spring saw the country’s emissions plunge by 25%, by June they had bounced back again as coal-fired plants, cement and other heavy industries went back to work.
Observers believe that in making this statement at this time, the Chinese leader is taking advantage of US reluctance to address the climate question.
“Xi Jinping’s climate pledge at the UN, minutes after President Donald Trump’s speech, is clearly a bold and well calculated move,” said Li Shuo, an expert on Chinese climate policy from Greenpeace Asia.
“It demonstrates Xi’s consistent interest in leveraging the climate agenda for geopolitical purposes.”
Back in 2014 Mr Xi and then US-President Barack Obama came to a surprise agreement on climate change, which became a key building block of the Paris agreement signed in D
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