Author: Ximena Santiago
United Kingdom. A historian found the possible first use of the word f*** in an English court case dated 1310. The discovery occurred on accident while the honorary research fellow at Keele University was studying Chester County Court documents during the rule of Edward II. Booth found the earliest record of the word was used in a sexual connotation, referring to a man named Roger Fuckebythenavele. At first, he thought the name was a moniker written as a joke by the court clerk, but the same name appears in two other court documents dated in 1311.
South Africa. A team of scientists led by University of the Witwatersrand Professor Lee Berger recently announced the discovery of a new species of human ancestors. They named the species Homo naledi after uncovering fossil bones from limestone tunnels outside Johannesburg, South Africa, in November 2013 and March 2014. The specimens of 15 cadavers show no signs of predatory attack or an otherwise violent death. Instead, the scientists came to the conclusion that the non-human homonid species likely buried their dead. “We have just encountered another species that perhaps thought about its own mortality, and went to great risk and effort to dispose of its dead in a deep, remote, chamber right behind us,” Berger said.
Iran. Iranian judge Qasem Naqizadeh sentenced criminals to buying and reading books as an alternative to imprisonment. The ruling occurred in Gonbad-e Kavus, a city in northeast Iran. Naqizadeh stated he wishes to protect individuals convicted of minor offences with no criminal record from “irreversible physical and psychological impact on convicts and their families.” Offenders that are given this sentence must read five books and submit a written report to the judge. After this, the books will be donated to prisons. The ruling abides by a new Iranian law that allows judges to determine alternative punishments to prison for crimes they deem appropriate.
Japan. The Ueno Zoo in Tokyo sent an endangered lemur to the Channel Islands off the coast of California in hopes that she will find a mate. Ala, the female aye-aye lemur, will be on “an extended romantic vacation” at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Aye-aye lemurs are a threatened species because of heavy deforestation in their natural habitat. There are only 51 aye-aye lemurs living in zoos across the world, the Ueno Zoo reported.
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