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Judi Lynn

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How Norwegians made sure criminals went to Hell

How Norwegians made sure criminals went to Hell
March 31, 2017 - 06:20

During the Middle Ages, people were deeply concerned about the fate of bad criminals: Not only was it necessary to punish them on Earth, but every effort had to be made to make certain they went to Hell.

By: Nancy Bazilchuk, based on an article by Bård Amundsen

During the Middle Ages, people had a clear vision of what Hell was like. The Church helped fuel
these fears of what could happen to you in the afterlife. This picture was painted on the wall of
a church in Denmark during the 1400s. (Photo: Hideko Bondesen, CC BY-SA 2.5)

Skulls buried in a half-circle, facing southeast. A decapitated skeleton, with its head buried between its thighs and the feet cut off. Skeletons where the skulls have been removed and heads buried separately, upside down.

These might sound like the ingredients of a Hollywood horror movie, or perhaps a pagan ritual, but they are not. Instead, they are all examples of ways that Norwegian society from 500 years ago tried to guarantee that criminals and other bad people got the punishment they deserved, not only on Earth but also in the eternal afterlife.

All of these examples have been excavated over the last 20 years in Norway from an area southwest of Oslo, in a town called Skien. Archaeologists recognize an area in the town as one of first Christian burial grounds. Later, the same area was a place where criminals were executed.

Unconsecrated ground near the gallows

Sometime between 1010 and 1040, Hakastein Church was erected in the area where the skulls were found. The church may have been Norway's first.


Paraguay congress set on fire amid presidential controversy

45 minutes ago

Demonstrators in Paraguay have set fire to the country's Congress amid violent protests against a bill that would let the president seek re-election.

Protesters stormed the legislature, breaking windows and fences.

The country's 1992 constitution, introduced after 35 years of dictatorship, strictly limits the president to a single five-year term.

But sitting President Horactio Cartes is attempting to remove the restriction and run for re-election.


Brazil's JBS accused of violating Amazon rainforest protection laws

Brazil's JBS accused of violating Amazon rainforest protection laws
March 31, 2017, 02:52:00 PM EDT By Reuters

By Anthony Boadle
BRASILIA, March 31

(Reuters) - The world's largest meatpacker, Brazil'sJBS SA <JBSS3.SA>, has for years knowingly bought cattle that were raised on illegally deforested land, turning a blind eye to regulations meant to protect the Amazon rainforest, Brazil's environmental regulator has alleged. The accusation comes even as JBS and other meatpackers in Brazil, the top global exporter of beef, are reeling from a corruption scandal. [nL2N1H41DO]

Police allege bribery of health inspectors to overlook unsanitary conditions and forgo inspections. [nL2N1H61HW] JBS has denied wrongdoing and sought to assure consumers that its products meet rigorous quality standards.

Earlier this month, the environmental agency, IBAMA, ordered the suspension of two JBS meat packing plants and 13 others in southwest Pará state for buying cattle raised on pastures cleared by slashing and burning the forest. It fined the company 24 million reais ($7.7 million). JBS denied purchasing livestock from ranchers on land blacklisted by IBAMA and won an injunction from a federal judge allowing its plants to continue buying cattle. The agency is appealing the ruling.

Brazilian authorities have long said cattle ranching is responsible for more destruction of the Amazon than any other activity. The world's largest rainforest is considered one of the best natural defenses against global warming.

Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/brazils-jbs-accused-of-violating-amazon-rainforest-protection-laws-20170331-00854#ixzz4cxE5bt9c
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