‘Beautiful’ 900-year-old Crusader sword discovered by diver off the coast of Israel

Jacob Sharvit, director of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority holds a sword that experts say dates back to the Crusaders.
Jacob Sharvit, director of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority holds a sword that experts say dates back to the Crusaders.

  • An iron sword dating back to 1100 has been found off the coast of Israel.
  • An unsuspecting diver was on a scuba dive when he came across the treasure.
  • The sword will be placed on display to the public when it has been fully analyzed.

A 900-year-old sword has been found by a scuba diver off the coast of Israel.

The nearly 4-foot long iron sword, which had become home for a cluster of marine organisms, was thought to have belonged to a Crusader who sailed to the Holy Land in 1100 AD.

Israel’s Antiquities Authority said the diver was on a weekend dive in northern Israel when he spotted a trove of ancient treasures that included anchors, pottery, and a meter-long sword.

israel diver sword crusades
Yaakov Sharvit, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Marine Archaeology Unit, holds a sword that dates back to the Crusades. It was discovered by an amateur diver of the coast of Caesarea, Israel, October 18, 2021.

Experts say the area, a natural cove near the port city of Haifa, was used as a shelter for ancient ships and therefore is now the site of many archaeological finds.

To save the sword from being lost within the shifting sand, the diver took it ashore and delivered it to government experts at Israel’s Antiquities Authority, according to AP.

“It was found encrusted with marine organisms, but is apparently made of iron,” said Nir Distelfeld, an inspector in the authority’s robbery prevention unit, told AP. “It is exciting to encounter such a personal object, taking you 900 years back in time to a different era, with knights, armor, and swords.”

israel diver sword crusades
A sword that likely belonged to a Crusader lays on the beach near to where it was recovered off the coast of Caesarea, Israel on October 18, 2021.

The diver, Shlomi Katzin, has been given a certificate of appreciation for good citizenship after his historic find.

The Times of Israel reports that the Government has confirmed the sword will be displayed to the public once it is fully analyzed.

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Ex-soldiers offered mercenaries $10,000 a week to join a private army that would fight in Yemen’s civil war, prosecutors says

Fighter from Saudi-backed forces in Yemen
A fighter with forces loyal to Yemen’s Saudi-backed government holds a position against Huthi rebels in Yemen’s northeastern province of Marib, on April 6, 2021.

  • Two former German soldiers planned a mercenary force to fight in Yemen’s ongoing disastrous civil war, prosecutors say.
  • The men wanted to recruit up to 150 men and offered $10,000 a week to join their private army.
  • The ex-soldiers reportedly reached out to Saudi government agencies to ask for funding, per the BBC.

Two former German soldiers worked to set up a mercenary force, in which recruits would be paid $10,000 a week for their services, to fight in Yemen’s ongoing civil war, according to prosecutors.

Arend-Adolf G and Achim A face terrorism charges in Germany for allegedly planning to recruit up to 150 men, consisting of former police officers and soldiers, and offering their services to Saudi Arabia’s government, the BBC reported.

They planned to pay each recruit a wage of about €40,000 ($46,400) a month for their services, prosecutors said.

The former soldiers are accused of asking Saudi government agencies to finance illegal missions in Yemen. The prosecutors said their outreach attempts were unsuccessful, per the BBC.

Yemen has been devastated by a civil war since 2014 between Saudi-backed pro-government forces and Houthi insurgents.

According to UNICEF, more than 10,000 children have been killed or injured in war-torn Yemen. The UN says that the fighting has resulted in the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with over two-thirds of the population in need of aid.

Yemen Houthi rebels
A gathering to donate to the Houtis fighters battling the government of Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, on February 04, 2021 in Sana’a, Yemen.

The Germans were accused of setting up the paramilitary unit at the start of 2021, and, according to the BBC, they actively tried to recruit at least seven people.

The mercenary force would have worked to capture areas held by armed Houthi rebels in Yemen, Deutsche Welle reported. The suspects also had plans for the unit to take part in other conflicts, the broadcaster said.

The “ringleaders” were aware that the mercenaries would have to kill people, including civilians, according to prosecutors.

Germany’s Military Counter-Intelligence Service received a tip citing the plans, according to German newspaper Spiegel.

One of the men was arrested in Munich and the other in Germany’s south-western Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district, the BBC reported.

They are due to appear in court on Wednesday.

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I tried ‘yesterboxing,’ an email hack popularized by the late Tony Hsieh, where you only answer messages from the previous day. Here’s why I struggled to keep up.

tony hsieh
Tony Hsieh in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 8, 2012.

  • Tony Hsieh, the late Zappos founder, created a way to handle the “unending treadmill” of his inbox.
  • He would only respond to emails received the day before, a technique he called “yesterboxing.”
  • I regularly receive between 60 and 100 emails a day – so I put Hsieh’s technique to the test.

Email overload can feel like a perpetual struggle.

A 2016 experiment, which compared the email habits of 40 staffers over 12 days, found that each worker checked their inbox 77 times a day, on average. Some checked it as many as 100 times.

Email can also be distracting and leave people feeling that they’ve always got to respond. I know how this feels first-hand. On any given day, I have between 60-100 unread emails. These are mostly irrelevant pitches sent by PRs or other organizations looking for coverage.

To cope with the flood, I let them accumulate. Then when I have time, I sift through them and respond en masse to those worth following up.

This helps me focus on other things but it’s imperfect. I sometimes miss urgent requests or reply later than needed.

Using former Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s email productivity hack helped me cut down a post-vacation backlog. In search of a more efficient technique, I studied the tactics of another successful entrepreneur: the late Tony Hsieh, founder of shoe company Zappos.

Hsieh developed the “yesterbox” system. The premise is simple: unless it’s urgent, only respond to emails you received the day before. That way you know exactly how many you have to get through. “Unless it can’t wait 48 hours, they are not your problem today,” Hsieh wrote in a 2013 LinkedIn post.

He would answer, file, forward, or delete at least 10 of the previous day’s emails before tackling anything that needed urgently addressing. It took him around three hours to clear the previous day’s influx. If he took a vacation, he would schedule catchup time later but would always start with yesterday’s messages.

“Yesterboxing” helped Hsieh speed up response times and procrastinate less. I put it to the test for a few days.

It took a while to get used to but helped me feel more on top of my inbox.

Initially, it was hard to stop answering emails on the same day I received them. To get to yesterday’s, or even just check for pressing ones, meant inadvertently looking at the rest of my inbox.

This was something Hsieh himself acknowledged. He once told The Wall Street Journal that training himself not to answer emails that arrived that day was one of the toughest parts.

When I got used to resisting the temptation to reply – and finding the balance between spotting urgent emails – I found it really helpful for cutting them down.

The time it took to respond differed, depending on how many I received but generally, I cut through the backlog within an hour.

I definitely had a better idea of what was in my inbox. Sorting them every day meant that I missed less as well.

However, I still found it distracting and hard to maintain.

Hsieh said “yesterboxing” was designed to relieve a person from the “unending treadmill” of daily emails, but I found it did the exact opposite.

It still required going through emails, looking for urgent ones, sorting, deleting, or forwarding ones that needed passing on. It ended up being just as distracting. Sometimes, postponing important but non-urgent responses until the next day prolonged the feeling that I was neglecting them.

As email techniques go, there were helpful elements, but “yesterboxing” is probably best for roles where you receive a limited number of internal emails, rather than a constant deluge of uninvited, external contacts.

It probably becomes easier but ultimately, I favor Hsieh’s opinion that emails aren’t the most efficient mode of communication. “Anything urgent, I prefer to just use text messaging,” he said in 2016.

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Fox News anchor Chris Wallace dubs White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki ‘one of the best press secretaries ever’

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, in Washington.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, in Washington.

  • Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said Jen Psaki is at the top of her game as press secretary.
  • On Friday, Fox News’ Peter Doocy pressed Psaki on Biden’s travels to the US-Mexico border.
  • Psaki said Biden doesn’t need to travel to the border for a “photo-op.”

Despite his criticisms of the Biden administration, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said he thinks Press Secretary Jen Psaki is “one of the best press secretaries ever,” during a segment on Friday’s White House press briefing.

At the briefing, Psaki sparred with Wallace’s colleague, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, who pressed her over President Joe Biden’s remarks during a CNN town hall on Thursday that he has been to the US-Mexico border.

Psaki said that Biden has become “well-versed” in every aspect of the country’s immigration system throughout his political career, has traveled to Mexico and Central America during his tenure as vice president, and has worked on bipartisan immigration reform.

“He does not need a visit to the border to know what a mess was left by the last administration. That’s his view,” Psaki said, adding that Biden did do a drive through visit in 2008.

Doocy followed up and asked: “Does that count as a visit? He said ‘I’ve been there before.’ You’re saying he drove by, does that count as a visit?”

In response, Psaki said Biden does not need to visit the border for a “photo op,” something she said former President Donald Trump was focused on. She added that Biden’s approach to immigration reform will be different than Trump’s.

During his time in office, Trump made several visits to the border, including one trip that he reportedly said was just a photo opportunity that was “not going to change a damn thing.”

Wallace said his reaction to the exchange was that both Doocy and Psaki are “at the top of their game,” even comparing Doocy to Sam Donaldson, the chief White House correspondent for ABC News during the Reagan administration.

A 1987 episode of NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, “Confronting the President,”, described Donaldson as a reporter known for his loud, aggressive manner of questioning then-President Ronald Reagan.

“And since I was working in the press corps when Sam Donaldson was there, that’s a very grudging compliment on my part,” Wallace added.

Wallace said he doesn’t know if “anything was particularly accomplished” from the exchange but that Doocy and Psaki both “gave and got pretty good.”

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