A 9,000-year-old magic wand! 

London : A ‘magic wand’ that is believed to be part of an ancient burial ritual 9,000 years ago in Syria has been unearthed by archaeologists, reports IANS. The wand, with two human faces carved into it, was found near a graveyard in Tell Qarassa, an excavation site of an early farming settlement in southern Syria.  “The find is very unusual. It is unique,” author Frank Braemer, an archaeologist at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France, was quoted as saying. The ‘magic wand’ was discovered near a graveyard where about 30 people were buried without their heads.  The people were the world’s first farmers and consumed emmer (a type of wheat), barley, chickpeas and lentils.  “It may have been used as part of an ancient burial ritual to summon supernatural beings,” said authors in an article published in the journal Antiquity.  Another possibility is that the practice was a form of ancestors’ worship.

Spider-Man robs Florida store!

Houston : Not such a friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man! A rifle-toting man wearing a Spider-Man mask along with an accomplice has robbed a convenience store in the US state of Florida, reports PTI. Police are seeking the public’s help in finding the two men who robbed a ‘7-Eleven’ store in Altamonte Springs, Florida, earlier this month. A clerk said the robber in the Spider-Man mask pointed a rifle at her, pressing it into her back as he walked her to the safe, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Court battle over Richard III’s remains

London : Distant relatives of England’s King Richard III are launching their High Court battle over where to rebury the 15th-century monarch’s remains, reports AP. The remains of Richard – who was killed in battle in 1485 – were found in a Leicester parking lot. The government has given Leicester Cathedral in central England permission to rebury the king, but his relatives want him buried in the northern England city of York. The relatives – under the name the Plantagenet Alliance – are bringing legal action that begins today at the High Court against the government and the University of Leicester. They claim that the government did not consult widely enough, or consider the wishes of Richard or his descendant, on where the monarch should be reburied.

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