- 10-inch tall relic is an offering to Egyptian God Osiris, God of the dead
- It has been filmed on a time lapse, seemingly spinning 180 degrees
- TV physicist Brian Cox among the experts being consulted on mystery
- But some now believe there could be ‘spiritual explanation’ for turning statue
THE curse of Tutankhamen is said to have claimed more than 20 lives. By contrast, the curse of Neb-Senu amounts to little more than an occasional inconvenience for museum curators.
Over several days, the ten-inch Egyptian statuette gradually rotates to face the rear of the locked glass cabinet in which it is displayed, and has to be turned around again by hand.
Those who like tales of haunted pyramids and walking mummies may regard the mystery of the 4,000-year-old relic – an offering to Osiris, god of the dead – as the strangest thing to hit Egyptology in decades.
Egyptologist Campbell Price studies an ancient Egyptian statuette at the Manchester Museum, which appears to be moving on its own
You say you want a revolution? Mass protests go global, as nations are rocked by mounting social, economic, and political pressures.
June 24, 2013 – CIVILIZATION – The demonstrations in Brazil began after a small rise in bus fares triggered mass protests. Within days this had become a nationwide movement whose concerns had spread far beyond fares: more than a million people were on the streets shouting about everything from corruption to the cost of living to the amount of money being spent on the World Cup. In Turkey, it was a similar story. A protest over the future of a city park in Istanbul – violently disrupted by police – snowballed too into something bigger, a wider-ranging political confrontation with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which has scarcely been brought to a close by the clearing of Gezi Park. If the scenes have seemed familiar, it is because they shared common features: viral, loosely organized with fractured messages and mostly taking place in urban public locations. Unlike the protest movement of 1968 or even the end of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe in 1989, these are movements with few discernible leaders and with often conflicting ideologies. Their points of reference are not even necessarily ideological but take inspiration from other protests, including those of the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement. The result has been a wave of social movements – sometimes short-lived – from Wall St to Tel Aviv and from Istanbul to Rio de Janeiro, often engaging younger, better educated and wealthier members of society. What is striking for those who, like myself, have covered these protests is how discursive and open-ended they often are.
People go not necessarily to hear a message but to take over a location and discuss their discontents (even if the stunning consequence can be the fall of an autocratic leader such as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak). If the “new protest” can be summed up, it is not in specifics of the complaints but in a wider idea about organization encapsulated on a banner spotted in Brazil last week: “We are the social network.” In Brazil, the varied banners underlined the difficulty of easy categorization as protesters held aloft signs expressing a range of demands from education reforms to free bus fares while denouncing the billions of public dollars spent on stadiums for the 2014 World Cup and the Olympics two years later. “It’s sort of a Catch-22,” Rodrigues da Cunha, a 63-year-old protester, said. “On the one hand we need some sort of leadership, on the other we don’t want this to be compromised by being affiliated with any political party.” As the Economist pointed out last week, while mass movements in Britain, France, Sweden and Turkey have been inspired by a variety of causes, including falling living standards, authoritarian government and worries about immigration, Brazil does not fit the picture, with youth unemployment at a record low and the country enjoying the biggest leap in living standards in its history. Paul Mason, economics editor of BBC2′s Newsnight and author of Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions, has argued that a key factor, largely driven by new communication technologies, is that people have not only a better understanding of power but are more aware of its abuse, both economically and politically. Mason believes we are in the midst of a “revolution caused by the near collapse of free-market capitalism combined with an upswing in technical innovation” – but not everyone is so convinced. What does ring true, however, is his assertion that a driving force from Tahrir Square to Occupy is a redefinition of notions of both what “freedom” means and its relationship to governments that seem ever more distant. –NZ Herald
June 24, 2013 – ECONOMY – The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has warned spiking bond yields across the world threaten trillions of dollars in losses for investors and a fresh crisis for banks unless they are braced for the shock. Swiss-based BIS said losses on US treasuries will reach $1trn if average yields rise by 300 basis points, reports the Telegraph. It warned losses could range from 15% to 35% of GDP in the UK, France, Italy and Japan and even greater damage in a number of other countries. “Such a big upward move can happen relatively fast,” BIS said, referencing the 1994 crash. “Someone must ultimately hold the interest rate risk. As foreign and domestic banks would be among those experiencing the losses, interest rate increases pose risks to the stability of the financial system if not executed with great care.” However, BIS said authorities must still proceed with monetary tightening regardless of these bond worries, warning QE and zero interest rates are already doing more harm than good, according to the Telegraph. The warning from BIS comes after the US Federal Reserve set off the most dramatic spike in US borrowing costs for over a decade by hinting at an early exit from quantitative easing. Yields on 10-year treasuries have jumped 80 basis points since the Fed began to talk about tapering the programme two months ago, closing at 2.51% on Friday. –Investment Week
After weeks of relative calm, rocket attacks threatens to unravel fragile Israeli-Gaza peace truce. Islamic Jihad, the second-largest organization in the Gaza Strip, is riling over the killing of one of its activist by Hamas; escalating tensions along the border is its payback.
June 24, 2013 – ISRAEL – Israeli aircraft pounded targets in the Gaza Strip early Monday after rockets were fired at Israel from the territory, the military said, unsettling a tenuous cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. The military said its aircraft struck two weapons storage facilities and a rocket launch site. No injuries were reported. Rocket fire from Gaza has declined since Israel carried out an eight-day military campaign last November in response to frequent attacks. An Egyptian-brokered cease-fire has largely held, but sporadic fire still persists. No militant group claimed responsibility for the rocket launch, but speaking on Army Radio, Israel’s chief military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai blamed the militant Islamic Jihad group. Islamic Jihad has occasionally fired rockets from Gaza in the past, challenging Hamas’ truce with Israel. Israel said it holds Hamas, which rules the coastal territory, ultimately accountable for the renewed fire. “Last night’s rocket attack is an intolerable act of aggression against Israel and its civilians. Hamas is held accountable for all acts of terrorism deriving from the Gaza Strip,” said another military spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a total of six rockets were fired at Israel overnight, causing no damage or injuries. The military said two rockets were intercepted by the “Iron Dome” missile defense system. The other four landed in open areas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the rocket fire, saying “my policy is to harm whoever tries to harm us … That is how we will work and will continue to act against threats that are close and threats that are far.” In Gaza, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said he would not be intimidated by Israel’s strikes. “Any Israeli aggression does not scare the Palestinian people,” he said. Israel last struck in Gaza in April, when its aircraft hit and killed a top militant in a shadowy al-Qaida-influenced group who had been involved in a rocket attack. The rocket was launched from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, where Gaza militants are believed to operate. A rocket last landed in Israel in May. Meanwhile, Israeli police said that vandals slashed the tires of 21 cars in an Arab neighborhood of east Jerusalem. The vandals also scribbled slogans on nearby walls. It was the latest in a wave of crimes linked to Jewish extremists that has targeted mosques, churches, monasteries, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases to protest what they perceive as the Israeli government’s pro-Palestinian policies in the West Bank. Vandals call the attacks the “price tag” for the policies they oppose. Last week vandals struck an Arab village outside of Jerusalem that has been a model of coexistence in Israel. Rosenfeld said police were investigating. He said no arrests have been made in the recent string of similar crimes. –ABC
Evangelista Anita Fuentes