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.
Quaden Bayles: Bullied boy leads out all-star rugby league team in Australia | World News
A nine-year-old boy who was left suicidal after being bullied because of his dwarfism has had “the best day of his life” as he led out an all-star rugby league team in Australia.
In the viral video the youngster was heard saying, “I’m going to die right now… give me a knife, I’m going to kill myself”, after a bullying incident at his school.
On Saturday, Quaden was invited to walk the Indigenous All-Stars rugby league team onto the field as they took on the Maori All-Stars in an exhibition match on Australia’s Gold Coast.
The crowd at the Cbus Super Stadium in Robina, Queensland, erupted in cheers as Quaden entered the field hand-in-hand with captain Joel Thompson.
Dressed in an All-Stars jersey, he wore black noise-cancelling headphones and clung to the match ball as he strode into the middle of the pitch.
Ahead of the event, Quaden’s mother Yarraka Bayles said her son had described the invitation to attend the match as “going from the worst day of his life to the best day of his life”.
“We could never have dreamt in our wildest dreams that it would’ve gone worldwide and created such a media frenzy,” Ms Bayles said.
“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare losing their babies and for me that’s my reality every day.
“That’s what I have to prepare for – the worst, because everything he is going through with his medical condition, the suicide attempts are very real and people don’t understand that.
“There are way too many people suffering in silence and my heart goes out to those families that have already lost their children to bullying.
“It’s been way too many and it’s something that needs to be addressed, it’s an international crisis and it demands urgent attention.”
Rugby league player Cody Walker described Quaden as a “young warrior”.
“We’re in a pretty privileged position to be sports stars and obviously seeing that hurt us in so many ways and thought very quickly about… what we can do to lift his spirits first and foremost,” he said.
“One of the vehicles in Aboriginal communities is rugby league and… this game is a very important game within those communities, so what better way to get Quaden down here on the Gold Coast, be a part of our team, lead us like the young warrior he is, and show him that we love him.”
A comedian has raised more than $440,000 (£339,000) after setting up a fundraising page to send Quaden to Disneyland following his bullying ordeal.
American Brad Williams, who has the same dwarfism condition achondroplasia as Quaden, set up the GoFundMe page after seeing the video of the youngster in floods of tears.
Hollywood star Hugh Jackman and Star Wars actor Mark Hamill are among those who have voiced support for Quaden since the clip of him went viral.
:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email email@example.com in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary accused of racism for saying terrorists are ‘generally Muslim men’ | Business News
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has sparked outrage for suggesting would-be plane bombers are more likely to be Muslim men – and airport security should focus on “where the threat is coming from”.
He told The Times that potential terrorists will “generally be males of a Muslim persuasion” – and that families with young children should be waved through airport security as there was “virtually” no chance of them being terrorists.
Ryanair has disputed the paper’s coverage and said its chief executive “apologises sincerely for any offence caused”, having been accused of sharing “racist and discriminatory” views.
The 58-year-old told the newspaper: “Who are the bombers? They are going to be single males travelling on their own.
“If you are travelling with a family of kids, on you go; the chances you are going to blow them all up is zero.”
He added: “You can’t say stuff, because it’s racism, but it will generally be males of a Muslim persuasion. Thirty years ago it was the Irish.
“If that is where the threat is coming from, deal with the threat.”
Ryanair told Sky News that any suggestion that Mr O’Leary thought Muslim men should face extra airport security checks were “simply inaccurate”.
“Michael was only calling for more effective airport security checks which would do away with much of the unnecessary queues at airport security today for all passengers,” a spokesman said.
The controversial comments came during an interview in which he also appeared to mock obese passengers – and hit out at the need to accommodate disabled people.
- He said that the need for wheelchair facilities on each floor of an office he had built in Dublin was “complete and utter nonsense”
- That “fairly shortly we’ll have to have gender-fluid toilets”, adding: “I’m male today and I’ll be female tomorrow”
- And described obese airline passengers as “monsters”, saying: “If you have complete monsters you may need to buy two seats”
Hate crime monitoring group Tell Mama said his “flippant” comments could have serious consequences for the business where he was worked for more than 30 years.
“Besides being discriminatory and basing judgements on the ‘looks’ of people, which is abhorrent, O’Leary clearly does not know about the history of terrorism, where people have used others to bypass this blunt and divisive technique,” it said.
The Muslim Council of Britain also criticised Mr O’Leary, describing his views as “the very definition of Islamophobia”.
“He openly advocates discrimination against ‘males of a Muslim persuasion’, which presumably is not based on specific intelligence but solely whether someone ‘looks or acts like a Muslim’,” a spokeswoman said.
“It is a shame that such racism is being expressed so openly, and that the CEO of a large airline would so want to discriminate against his customers so brazenly.”
Mr O’Leary is no stranger to courting controversy, having famously proposed that passengers should pay to use the toilet, and he dressed up as a pope to launch Ryanair’s new route from Dublin to Rome.
He has also been at loggerheads with the UK government in recent times – threatening legal action over its bailout of regional carrier Flybe, and criticising former transport secretary Chris Grayling over no-deal Brexit planning.
Last year he also waded into the row over a McDonald’s executive who was sacked for having a consensual relationship with an employee.
Giorgio Armani criticised for accusing fashion industry of ‘raping’ women | World News
Giorgio Armani has been criticised for remarks in which he accused the fashion industry of “raping” women.
The Italian designer repeatedly used the term “rape” to describe how women in the fashion industry are treated when he spoke at an event during Milan Fashion Week.
“I think it’s time for me to say what I think,” Armani said.
“Women keep getting raped by designers, by us.
“If a lady walks on the street and sees an ad with a woman with her boobs and a**e in plain sight and she wants to be like that too, that’s a way of raping her.
“You can rape a woman in many ways, either by throwing her in the basement or by suggesting that she dresses in a certain way.”
The 85-year-old’s comments drew criticism from some people in the fashion industry who questioned whether Armani’s use of the term “rape” was appropriate.
Booth Moore, an executive editor at fashion trade journal Women’s Wear Daily, wrote on Twitter: “The exploitation of women in fashion imagery is not a new phenomenon, far from it. And I do think Armani has tried always to be respectful of women in his work.
“But the word ‘rape’ is very charged, in any language.”
Armani founded his label in 1975 and has built it into a global brand.
His controversial remarks were made at an event on the sidelines of a show for his Emporio Armani line at Milan Fashion Week.
He said of his latest show “there are short skirts, long skirts, ample and tight trousers”.
“I have given maximum freedom to women who can use all possibilities if they are sensible,” Armani said.
“I’m sick of hearing the word ‘trend’. We need to try to work for today’s woman. There shouldn’t be trends.”
The designer has used recycled fabrics and materials in his autumn/winter 2020 Emporio Armani show, which he will present at Milan Fashion Week on Sunday.
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