About 1.5 to 2.1 percent of the DNA of anyone outside Africa is Neanderthal in origin. But the DNA is not evenly spread. Your Neanderthal DNA may be different from mine. Scientists have found at least 20% of the Neanderthal DNA in humans. That’s what they’ve found, the toatal may be twice as much.
- Although 20 percent might sound like a lot of mingling happened between Neanderthals and the ancestors of modern humans, it could have resulted from as few as 300 mating events…
The inheritance has been good and bad. Both Europeans and Asians have Neanderthal genes related to skin.
The execution of 47 Saudi prisoners on Saturday is seen as a break with the past. The new man, King Salman, who ascended the throne nearly a year ago, is taking a tough line on internal dissent. The executions included Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, an outspoken Shiite cleric and three other Shiite dissenters. Only four of those executed were convicted of crimes punishable by death under Islamic law.
The move may have been counterproductive internally as well as in relation to regional politics:
- The executions “did not serve the national interest,” according to Fawaz A. Gerges, the director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In addition to the regional turmoil the executions have caused, they “could tear the social fabric” between Sunnis and Shiites in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Gerges said.
Iran said the Saudis faced divine revenge.
3. One punch can kill, and it did
Some-one’s idea of fun, apparently, was to accost total strangers and punch them. The result was that Cole Miller, a young water polo player, heading for a taxi home after a night out In Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, was felled by a single bow and died a couple of days later when life support was turned off.
Family and team mates are doing it tough.
- Accused killers Armstrong Renata and Daniel Maxwell have been charged with unlawful striking causing death, a charge specifically introduced to deal with one punch assaults.
Apparently they are doing it tough too. Their family and friends are in New Zealand.
4. North Korea tests a bomb
North Korea has carried out a ‘successful’ hydrogen bomb test. Most experts disagree, saying the bang simply wasn’t big enough.
North Korea’s only ally, China, who supply 45% of the county’s food and energy, was not pleased. But North Korea’s 32-year-old chief Kim Jong-un, who is said to be mainly concerned with his own survival, clearly thought upsetting China was worth the risk.
Kevin Rudd has now weighed in, blasting world powers over “a possible lost opportunity” in curbing North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. It’s a swipe at both Beijing and Washington.
Rudd of course is now president of the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York and is a possible aspirant to the job of Secretary General of the UN.
Introduction to Saturday salon
Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.
An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.
For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.
The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.
Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.
The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:
The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.