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Thursday, January 29, 2015         

New York Times

By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD

c.Anthropologists exploring a cave in Israel have uncovered a rare 55,000-year-old skull fossil that they say has a story to tell of a reverberating transition in human evolution, in the time and place when some early humans were moving out of Africa and apparently interbreeding with Neanderthals.


The trial of Ross W. Ulbricht, a California man charged with running an online black-market bazaar called Silk Road, had barely begun when an unusual objection was lodged.

In the latest salvo in the vaccination wars that have shaken California since a measles outbreak originated at Disneyland last month, the father of a 6-year-old boy with leukemia has asked the superintendent of his Marin County school district to keep unvaccinated children out of school.

The usually grim-faced media mogul practically swooned in his seat. Moments after Jeb Bush delivered what many in the audience described as an unremarkable talk at a conference in Washington, Rupert Murdoch turned to his seatmate, Valerie Jarrett, the White House adviser, to gush over its content and tone.

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, sent the equivalent of 60.7 million official messages to his constituents from July through September 2014, unsolicited. It's not spam; it's the congressional franking privilege.

Michael B. Oren, who spent four years as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ambassador to Washington, has called on Netanyahu to cancel his speech to Congress about Iran.

At a time when Western leaders are clamoring for greater powers to conduct covert surveillance, a prankster in Britain has turned the table on the watchers, securing a private cellphone number for a top intelligence chief and apparently making a separate phone call to the prime minister in his name, British officials acknowledged Monday.

There are nine justices on the Supreme Court. It takes four votes to hear a case, but it takes five to stay an execution. That can leave a lethal gap.

As a crowd of lawmakers and staff members bustled up and down the central staircase here at the state Capitol on the opening day of Alaska's legislative session last week, a string quartet could be heard on a landing above.

Edmund Yazzie is not the type of guy you expect to see at a heavy metal concert. As a veteran lawmaker on the Navajo reservation, he is also an integral part of the establishment, known for his starched shirts, polite manner and ardent anti-marijuana stance.

It has consumed more than eight years of maneuvering, obstruction and a widow's dogged legal campaign, fought often on a shoestring. But, finally, on Tuesday, a public inquiry is set to begin its quest for an answer to the question that has driven the whole process: Why did Alexander V. Litvinenko have to die?

When Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Belgian-born son of an immigrant shopkeeper from Morocco, went to Syria a year ago to wage jihad, nobody paid much attention.

As a math professor in North Korea, Jang Se Yul was among the nation's relatively privileged classes; he got to sit in special seats in restaurants and on crowded trains, and more important in a country where many go hungry, was given priority for government food rations.

A large number of the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz will gather next week under an expansive tent, surrounded by royalty and heads of state, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of those held there at the end of World War II.

As he takes over in Saudi Arabia, King Salman faces a list of foreign policy challenges that rival any a Saudi ruler has grappled with in decades. To the immediate south, the government of impoverished Yemen collapsed even as the previous monarch lay dying.

Jorge Ramos, the Univision and Fusion television anchor who is often called the Walter Cronkite of Latino America, was in his suburban Miami broadcast studio when he all but pounced on the chairman of the Republican Party, Reince Priebus, who was appearing from Washington.

You'd think drug and medical device makers would know how to spell the names of their own products. But when companies submitted data to the federal government last year on their payments to doctors, some got the product names wrong.

Ever since India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, visited President Barack Obama in the fall, the word in New Delhi has been that the two men — one a former Hindu activist, the other a former law professor — had "chemistry."

Bitcoin, the virtual currency that was once the talk of the financial world, has been taking a beating over the past year with the price tumbling downward.


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