In the papers...
A rib bone and piece of cloth popularly held to be the remains of Joan of Arc , burned to death in 1431, are likely not connected with the French heroine, the preliminary reports of forensic investigations suggest. Anthropologist Philippe Charlier said the linen cloth, though dating from the 15th century, was dyed, not burned, and a blackened substance around the rib bone was vegetable debris, not carbonised remains.
The Independent, 17 December 2006
Abortion drugs banned
China's most populous province, Henan, has banned retailers selling over-the-counter abortion drugs as part of an effort to control gender imbalance in newborns, probably due to abortions of female foetuses. China's 2000 census showed the ratio between newborn boys and girls in Henan was 118:100, considerably higher than industrialised countries' ratios of 103-107:100.
China Daily, 3 January 2007
Medici crime solved
Francesco de' Medici and his wife died of arsenic poisoning - not malaria, as modern historians have thought. Donatella Lippi, of the University of Florence, found arsenic-rich body parts under a deconsecrated Tuscan church, identified by documents as holding remains of a 16th century postmortem examination on the Medici's embalmed bodies. The details of the investigation have been published in the British Medical Journal.
Corriere della Sera, 28 December 2006
Chemical spraying charge
A 60-year-old sugar farmer from Queensland, Australia, has been charged after allegedly spraying 10 inspectors from the Department of primary industries and fisheries (Dpif) with herbicide , as he passed them on a tractor. One of the men was later admitted to hospital with symptoms of poisoning.
Herald Sun, 15 December 2006