Infuriating. What can be done? I’m quite curious of the techniques on how to protect newly discovered cultural and historic resources. Key passage: “Looting of archaeological sites is significant not so much for the loss of the artifacts themselves, but for the loss of information about the civilizations or human settlements they represent, as the real value of the looted items actually rests with what they say about the context, or ancient site, in which they were found.”
Based on the results of a recently conducted global survey, pervasive looting at archaeological sites is broad based and frequent. The numbers suggest serious implications for the preservation of the world’s cultural heritage and in understanding or rediscovering human history.
The survey, conducted by Blythe Bowman Proulx, assistant professor of criminal justice in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, collected information through a structured questionnaire sent electronically to more than 14,400 field archaeologists throughout the world. The survey was designed to collect information about their personal experiences with looting at archaeological sites, with the objective of developing a picture of the nature, geographic scope, and frequency of looting and site destruction within local and global contexts. Read more.
Archeologists offered a $1,000 reward Tuesday for information leading to the arrest of vandals who stole four priceless ancient rock carvings, and damaged others in the California desert.
A Filipino wildlife official shows seized elephant tusks and dried sea turtles estimated to be worth more than $2m from a shipment that came from Tanzania in 2009. The Philippines has launched an investigation into the alleged involvement of Catholic priests in the illegal trade of African ivory in the country, officials said. Elephant tusks are commonly used in the manufacture of statues, figurines and image replicas of saints
Photograph: Dennis M. Sabangan/EPA
Two suspected wildlife smugglers are pictured standing next to their car, along with two plastic crates containing four tiger cubs, and endangered pangolins, after they were arrested, at a police station in the central province of Ha Tinh, Vietnam. TheIUCN-SSC PangolinSG was re-established in February 2012 in recognition of widespread global threats to pangolins and to address the lack of understanding of the species and their conservation needs
Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images
Norwegian court rules Anders Behring Breivik sane, sentences him to prison
The New York Times: A court on Friday sentenced Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian extremist who admitted killing 77 people, to at least 21 years in prison after ruling that he was sane when he carried out his country’s worst peacetime atrocity. The sentence was the most severe permitted under Norwegian law, but it can be extended at a later date if he is still deemed to be a danger to society.
Photo: Anders Behring Breivik listens to the judge in the courtroom, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in Oslo, Norway (Frank Augstein / AP)
Seized ivory ready for the burn in Libreville, Gabon, in a ceremony to symbolise Gabon’s commitment to ending poaching and other wildlife crimes. An estimated 5,000 to 12,000 elephants are killed each year for their ivory. Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba last year created an elite military unit whose mission is to secure Gabon’s parks and to protect wildlife, especially against poaching and illegal trade of ivory and the confiscated ivory was a product of this crackdown
Photograph: James Morgan/WWF-CANON VIA AP IMAGES
The recent story of a Miami man, 31-year-old Rudy Eugene, who went on a naked rampage, attacking a homeless man and chewing off his face before being shot dead by police, has caught national attention because of the horrific nature of the crime. The news has also brought to light a drug that has since mostly escaped national attention, a narcotic that apparently goes by the street name, “bath salts.”
Given the grisly and bizarre nature of the events that unfolded on May 26, it’s almost certain that this drug will merit a closer look by police and public health authorities.
Don’t do (hard) drugs.
U.S. - home to 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners.
NPR - Prisons (retroactive “correction”) funded at the expense of education. [Listen Here]
Afghan War News of the Day: A US soldier reportedly carried out a brutal slaying of at least 16 Afghan civilians early this morning in two small villages near his base in the country’s southern Kandahar Province.
“It appears he walked off post and later returned and turned himself in,” military spokesman Lt. Cmdr. James Williams said of the unidentified staff sergeant who is currently in custody.
According to eyewitnesses, the soldier walked into at least three homes in the villages of Balandi and Alkozai and fired at their occupants. Nine children and three women were among the dead, per the latest report.
The deputy commander of Afghanistan’s international troop coalition, Lt. Gen. Adrian J. Bradshaw, stressed that this was “in no way part of authorized military activity.” US officials further denied earlier reports that the shooting was perpetrated by more than one assailant.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai released a statement demanding an explanation for the attack, which he referred to as “an intentional killing of innocent civilians [that] cannot be forgiven.”
The Taliban issued a similar statement, admonishing “the so called American peace keepers” for “once again quench[ing] their thirst with the blood of innocent Afghan civilians.”
The US Embassy in Kabul attempted to diffuse the tension by releasing a statement expressing “deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” but experts say today’s incident may be the “fatal hammer blow on the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan.”
President Obama’s drawdown plan has US soldiers transferring full security control to their Afghan counterparts by the end of 2014.
[photo: afp/getty via msnbc.]
That’s it. We’re done. Get us out of there. Pull us out immediately - I don’t care about withdrawal complications. It’s over.