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Hand-holding skeletons dubbed Lovers of Modena ‘were both men’ | World News

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Two ancient skeletons known as the Lovers of Modena, who were buried hand-in-hand, were both men, according to new research.

The pair, who are believed to have died between the 4th and 6th centuries, had previously been thought to be a male and a female.

But researchers from the University of Bologna in Italy used a new technique to determine their gender by analysing proteins in their tooth enamel.

“Upon discovery, mass media had immediately assumed they were a male-female couple, even if bad preservation of the bones did not allow an effective sex classification,” according to the paper, which was published in the Nature research journal.

The way the pair were laid to rest “represents a voluntary expression of commitment between two individuals” and was not a common burial practice, it added.

They were discovered in 2009 in the Ciro Menotti necropolis in Modena alongside 11 other skeletons, some of which showed signs of injuries that were likely to have been sustained during war.

Researchers believe the two “lovers” could therefore have been “war comrades or friends who died together during a skirmish and thus, buried within the same grave”.

They added the burial was a “unique representation of commitment between two men” during the period.

They could also have been family members, the researchers said.

And while it could not be ruled out that the pair were lovers, it was unlikely they would have been buried hand-in-hand because of attitudes to homosexuality at the time.

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Black woman killed by white officer in her own home while babysitting nephew | US News

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The family of a black woman killed in her own home by a white police officer have accused the officer of murder.

Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was killed in her home in Fort Worth, Texas, while looking after her eight-year-old nephew.

A neighbour had called police on a non-emergency line when they saw her front door was open. Police responded at about 2.25am.

Fort Worth Police said officers saw someone near a window and one of them drew his duty weapon after “perceiving a threat”.

The officer's bodycam footage doesn't indicate he identified as police
Image:
The officer’s bodycam footage doesn’t indicate he identified as police

Lee Merritt, an attorney for the family, said the bodycam footage showed the officer would not have had time to perceive a threat from Ms Jefferson.

He said: “You didn’t hear the officer shout, ‘Gun, gun, gun.’

“He didn’t have time to perceive a threat. That’s murder.”

The video released by Fort Worth Police shows two officers searching the home from the outside with torches, before one shouts: “Put your hands up, show me your hands.”

Police released stills of a gun found in the home, but it's not clear if he was near Ms Jefferson
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Police released stills of a gun found in the home, but it’s not clear if he was near Ms Jefferson
Police released stills of a gun found in the home, but it's not clear if he was near Ms Jefferson
Image:
Police released stills of a gun found in the home, but it’s not clear if he was near Ms Jefferson

One shot is then fired. The officer does not identify himself as police.

Ms Jefferson died of her injuries in her home.

Amber Carr, Ms Jefferson’s sister, said: “It’s another one of those situations where the people that are supposed to protect us are actually not here to protect us.

“You know, you want to see justice, but justice don’t bring my sister back.”

One of her aunts, Venitta Body, said: “It’s like from the moment we got the call, it’s been more and more inconceivable and more confusing. And there has nothing been done in order to take away that confusion.”

Fort Worth Police said the officer, who has been with the force since April 2018, is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

His name has not been released.

The neighbour who called police about the door, James Smith, said he feels “it’s partly my fault”.

He said: “If I had never dialled the police department, she’d still be alive.

“It makes you not want to call the police department.”

Ms Jefferson’s nephew usually lives with an older woman, who has been in hospital.



Botham Jean's younger brother Brandt Jean hugs former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger.  Tom Fox/Pool via REUTERS







Man hugs brother’s killer in court

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price released a statement on Saturday which said: “Writing a statement like this is tragic and something that should never be necessary. A young woman has lost her life, leaving her family in unbelievable grief. All of Fort Worth must surround Atatiana Jefferson’s family with prayers, love and support.

“Chief Kraus and his command staff are acting with immediacy and transparency to conduct a complete and thorough investigation. More details are forthcoming and the Tarrant County District Attorney Law Enforcement Incident Team office will ultimately receive this case.”

Mr Merritt said the family of the victim expects “a thorough and expedient investigation”.

Fort Worth Police Department said it released the bodycam footage from outside the home to show its transparency, but cannot release the video from inside the home because of state law.

The shooting comes two weeks after Amber Guyger, a former Dallas police officer, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing Botham Jean in his own apartment.

She shot him with her service weapon when she went into his home by mistake, thinking it was her own.

Mr Merritt is also the Jeans’ family lawyer.

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Marilyn Hartman: ‘Serial stowaway’ caught trying to sneak on flight again | US News

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A “serial stowaway” has been caught trying to get through airport security again – despite getting an 18-month sentence ordering her to stay away from terminals.

Marilyn Hartman was spotted as she tried to sneak through security in Chicago’s O’Hare airport on Friday night and officers realised she did not have a ticket or identification.

According to an NBC report, police said she was “moving dividers in an attempt to circumvent security”.

It comes after she was arrested last year for sneaking on to a flight from O’Hare to London.

The 67-year-old has been sneaking onto flights for about 10 years.

She ultimately pleaded guilty to criminal trespassing and was sentenced in March to 18 months’ probation after agreeing to stay away from Chicago’s two commercial airports.

According to NBC Chicago, Hartman has long struggled with homelessness and mental health, and has had multiple encounters with officials at airports throughout the US.

In 2016, Hartman was ordered to be held in jail without bond after she walked away multiple times from a Chicago mental health facility where she was receiving treatment.

She was set to appear at bond court at 9am local time on Sunday.

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Simone Biles vaults into record books after 25th medal at world championships | US News

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Simone Biles has become the most decorated gymnast in the world championship history after clinching her 25th medal.

The 22-year-old overtook the 23 medals won by Belarusian men’s gymnast Vitaly Scherbo by winning the balance beam in Stuttgart, Germany, on Sunday.

The US gymnast added her 25th medal by winning the floor exercise less than two hours later.

Biles delivered a polished routine on the beam before executing a full-twisting double-tuck dismount for a score of 15.066.

When her score was announced, guaranteeing the medal record, Biles jumped up from her seat with a broad smile and punched the air.

Simone Biles won the balance beam final to clinch her 24th medal in the competition
Image:
Simone Biles won the balance beam final to clinch her 24th medal in the competition

Liu Tingting of China, last year’s winner, took silver with 14.433, and her teammate Li Shijia won the bronze.

Biles won the floor exercise by a full point, scoring 15.133 despite a step out of bounds on one pass, and blew kisses to the audience after finishing her routine.

Her US teammate Sunisa Lee took silver, her third medal of the championships, while Angelina Melnikova took bronze for Russia.

Biles’ winning routine came after a long wait when Brazilian gymnast Flavia Saraiva requested an inquiry into her score.

The US gymnast has won five events at these world championships after winning team gold on Tuesday, individual all-around gold on Thursday, and vault gold on Saturday.

Biles with her gold medal after the winning the balance beam final
Image:
Biles with her gold medal after the winning the balance beam final

A fifth place on uneven bars on Saturday ended Biles’ chances of winning a medal in all six events, which she did last year in her comeback world championships after a sabbatical in 2017.

Four-time Olympic champion Biles now holds 18 gold medals across four championships against 12 for Scherbo, who competed in five world events between 1991 and 1996.

Biles hasn’t confirmed whether she will continue to compete after next year’s Olympics, so this could be her last world championships.

Max Whitlock won Britain’s first gold medal of the championships on the pommel horse on Saturday.

Britain won its second gold of the championships when Joe Fraser scored 15 points to win on parallel bars.

Biles’ record came before Kenyan runner Brigid Kosgei set the women’s marathon record with a time of two hours and 14 minutes.

She beat British runner Paula Radcliffe’s record of two hours and 15 minutes.

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