HUMANS ADAPTED TO LIVING IN RAINFORESTS MUCH EARLIER
The researchers from Oxford University working with a team from Sri Lanka and the University of Bradford analysed the carbon and oxygen isotopes in the teeth of 26 individuals with the oldest dating back to 20,000 years. They found that nearly all the teeth analysed suggested a diet largely sourced from the rainforest. The team studied the fossilised teeth of 26 humans ranging from 20,000 to 3,000 years ago.
"This is the first time scientists have investigated ancient human fossils in a tropical forest context to see how our earliest ancestors survived in such a habitat," said study co-author professor Julia Lee-Thorp from Oxford University. The study showed that early modern humans adapted to living in the rainforests for long periods of time. Previously it was thought that humans did not occupy tropical forests for any length of time until 12,000 years after that date, and that the tropical forests were largely "pristine" - human-free environments until the Early Holocene, 8,000 years ago.
UNITED NATIONS CONDEMN BOKO HARAM ATTACKS
The UN Security Council has strongly condemned the recent increase in Boko Haram attacks, and demanded that the Islamist extremist group immediately cease all hostilities, media reported Tuesday. The council in a statement said, "The Security Council demands that Boko Haram immediately and unequivocally cease all hostilities and all abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law and disarm and demobilize.”
The UN demanded "the immediate and unconditional release" of all those abducted by the group, including 276 schoolgirls kidnapped in the town of Chibok in northern Nigeria April last year. It also emphasised Boko Haram's regional impact by expressing serious concern over the large scale civilian displacement of Nigerians who swarmed into neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
MESSENGER OF GOD’ SCREENING BANNED IN PUNJAB
Following the release of controversial film ‘Messenger of God’, featuring Dera Sacha Sauda sect head Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said that the screening of the movie has been banned on the advisory of the Government of India. Assembly of people has been banned at few places in Sirsa to maintain law and order in the wake of protests by Sikh organizations against the film. Sirsa is the place where the headquarter of Dera Sacha Sauda is located.
Interacting with the media persons on the sidelines of the Sangat Darshan programme of Lambi Assembly segment in Muktsar district, the CM said that the reports of intelligence agencies of both the State and Centre governments had clearly said that the release of this movie could have led to serious repercussions in terms of law and order problem in the state. CM Badal said, “We have received advisory from the Central government to ban this movie and thus the state government acted accordingly in the larger public interest.”
CABINET GIVES NOD TO ORDINANCE ON COAL, INSURANCE BILL
The Union Cabinet has approved ordinance on Insurance Bill and Coal. With Coal Mines Bill yet to be cleared by the Parliament, the government re-promulgated the ordinance. Earlier, an ordinance on coal was introduced on October 20 after the Top Court scrapped over 200 coal block allocations.
It was valid till the January 4 as the life-span of an ordinance is only six weeks since the inception of a Parliament session. The bills could not be taken up in the Rajya Sabha, whose functioning was paralyzed in the just-concluded winter session. An indication about the insurance sector was given by Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha when he said government has to consider "all possibilities". The Insurance Laws Amendment Bill, 2008 could not be taken up for discussion despite being approved by the Select Committee of the Upper House because of the uproar over the conversion and other issues.
GHOST PARTICLE FOUND IN SPACE PROVES ALIEN LIFE EXISTENCE
Researchers have discovered an oddly microscopic structure in the outer reaches of the Earth's atmosphere, which hints at the existence of alien life. The living balloon that supposedly carried microscopic alien organisms has been tagged as "ghost particle". A never-before seen picture, revealing a spectral-like 'ghost particle' discovered in debris gathered from outer space, hints at existence of aliens.
Researchers claim that the particle resembles a chiffon scarf with the width of a human hair and a ghostly appearance. The particle was found in dust and particulate matter 27 kilometers above in the Earth’s stratosphere. The particle is biological in nature, and is made of carbon and oxygen. They appear on the sampling stubs in an absolutely pristine condition with no contamination like pollen, grass or pollution particles.