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World’s oldest baked bread unearthed in Germany
London: German archaeologists have discovered what may be the world’s oldest pretzel – a type of baked bread product made from dough.Found during a large excavation on the Donaumarkt in Regensburg near the Danube that was destroyed in the 1950-60s, the charred pretzel fragments are believed to be 250 years old.The fragments were recovered under a floor in a structure long known to be a bakery.
“We found the remains of two pretzels, a piece of bread shaped like a croissant and three small bread rolls,” Silvia Codreanu-Windauer of the Bavarian State Department of Monuments and Sites was quoted in a Discovery News report.The baked goods were carbonised and that is why they were preserved for so long.”We suppose the baker forgot the pieces in the oven and afterwards he threw them away in a hole under the floor,” Codreanu-Windauer noted.Carbon dating reveals the pastries were made between 1700 and 1800.Archaeologists have also found evidence that in 1753 a baker named Johann Georg Held was living at the site.”As far I know these are the world’s oldest pretzels, although we know from 12th century miniature pictures and from a pretzel shaped fibula that these dough products were baked since the early middle age,” Codreanu-Windauer pointed out.It is believed pretzels were invented sometime between the 5th and 6th centuries by monks who twisted leftover strips of dough to look like arms crossed in prayer.
The baked goods represent the first archaeological proof of a typical Bavarian bakery assortment. (IANS)
Prince William and Kate advertise for new housekeeper
London: Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton have placed an advertisement for a “discreet and loyal housekeeper” for their country home in the east of England. A seemingly innocuous ad in ‘The Lady’ magazine for an “experienced housekeeper for a large family home in Norfolk” where “discretion and loyalty is paramount” is believed to refer to the royal couple’s Anmer Hall home where they plan to shift with baby George and his younger sibling when he or she is born in the coming weeks. The 10-bedroom house was given to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge by Queen Elizabeth II as a wedding present.
They reportedly plan to move into the Georgian building -– which boasts a swimming pool and tennis courts -– next month along with the family dog Lupo. According to the ‘Daily Telegraph,’ the new housekeeper is a replacement for their former housekeeper, Amy Wood, who unexpectedly resigned last month from her position after less than five months. It reads: “Housekeeper sought for a large family home in Norfolk.
We are looking for someone with previous housekeeping experience, ideally within a large private house, and preferably within a family environment with dogs. “Main duties will include: cleaning all areas of the house to a high standard; caring for and maintaining the home owners’ clothing; cleaning silverware and glassware; purchasing groceries and general provisions for the house; and dealing with deliveries.
“On occasions, the role will also involve the preparation of meals, assisting with childcare and caring for dogs.” The job, the closing date for which is April 5, comes with self-contained accommodation suitable for a couple, and the successful applicant’s partner may be offered “ad hoc maintenance work,” although it emphasises that “there is no guaranteed work provided for them.” ‘The Lady’ is Britain’s oldest weekly women’s magazine and has been in publication since 1885. (PTI)


Oregon woman sets herself on fire, crashes car, jumps off bridge – and lives
PORTLAND, Ore.: An Oregon woman who set herself on fire while driving, crashed her car on an interstate and then jumped off a highway bridge to a park below, survived the ordeal and was being treated at Portland area hospital, police said. Another driver reported in an emergency call to police that the woman was driving recklessly on Interstate 105 and hit a median before crashing near an exit in Eugene on Thursday, about 110 miles south of Portland, according to the Eugene Police Department.The 39-year-old woman then, still on fire, got out of her car and jumped off the interstate highway bridge, despite nearby witnesses’ attempt to intervene, police said.The Eugene Register Guard, a local newspaper, reported she also began stripping off her burning clothes before she fell some 40 feet (12 meters), though police would not confirm that. The woman did not have life-threatening injuries, but no further information about her condition or location was available, police said, adding they believed she was trying to end her life.  (Reuters)

UK cops failed in handling child sex abuse scandal

London: A report led by the Great Manchester Police on Sunday criticized its own officers for failing to recognize the scale of child sex abuse in a northern town and putting too much emphasis on the credibility of the victims. The report looked into how officers handled the abuse scandal in Rochdale, where dozens of young girls were believed to be groomed and trafficked for sex by a network of men. Allegations of abuse were first reported in 2008, but it wasn’t until months later that police opened investigations. Nine men of Pakistani and Afghan heritage were eventually jailed in 2012 for crimes including rape and trafficking. One victim was just 13. (PTI)

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