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UN Official: ISIS Destruction of Ancient City of Nimrud, Artifacts a ‘War Crime’

UN Official: ISIS Destruction of Ancient City of Nimrud, Artifacts a ‘War Crime’

Photo by Vivienne Sharp/Heritage Images/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The head of the United Nation’s cultural organization said Friday that the continued looting and destruction of ancient artifacts -- most recently ISIS's “bulldozing” of one of Mesopotamia’s greatest cities -- constitutes nothing less than a “war crime.”“I condemn in the strongest possible manner the destruction of the archaeological site of Nimrud site in Iraq. This is yet another attack against the Iraqi people, reminding us that nothing is safe from the cultural cleansing underway in the country: It targets human lives, minorities, and is marked by the systematic destruction of humanity’s ancient heritage,” Irina Bokova, Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said.

“We cannot remain silent. The deliberate destruction of cultural heritage constitutes a war crime. I call on all political and religious leaders in the region to stand up and remind everyone that there is absolutely no political or religious justification for the destruction of humanity’s cultural heritage,” she continued.Bokova’s statement came a day after Iraqi television reported that ISIS militants had “bulldozed” Nimrud, the second capital of the Assyrian Empire founded during the 13th century B.C., which lies approximately 20 miles south of Mosul, according to the UN.“[Nimrud’s] frescos and works are celebrated around the world and revered in literature and sacred texts,” Bokova said.Beyond the human toll of countless of ISIS’s alleged war crimes -- including the systematic murder of unarmed civilians and prisoners, persecution of minorities and the use of young women as sex slaves -- academics and officials have said ISIS has targeted for destruction anything that doesn’t conform to their twisted interpretation of Islam, no matter the cultural value.Last week, video emerged that appeared to show ISIS militants taking sledgehammers to artifacts in a museum in Mosul, pushing over statues and drilling into other ancient treasures. Some of the statues appear to have metal rods inside them, suggesting they’re replicas, but others just crumble when they hit the floor.“These antiquities and idols behind me were from people in past centuries and were worshiped instead of God,” an unidentified man says in the video. “When God Almighty orders us to destroy these statues, idols and antiquities, we must do it, even if they’re worth billions of dollars.”But ISIS is hardly above stealing ancient treasures for financial gain. David Cohen, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the U.S. Treasury Department, named looting as one financial supply line for ISIS and said the group “lay[s] waste to thousands of years of civilization in Iraq and Syria by looting and selling antiquities.”In January, ISIS purportedly stole around 2,000 books from the Central Library of Mosul, loading up the texts including children’s stories and poetry, and trucking them away, according to The New York Times. They left only the Islamic texts.“These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah,” a bearded militant reportedly told locals. “So they will be burned.”Looting has been a major problem for cultural heritage since the outset of the Syrian civil war. As noted by the website TraffickingCulture.org, satellite images show the destruction at one site, the ancient Syrian city of Apamea, that took place just between 2011 and 2012. An image from the latter period shows the ground covered in pockmarks, presumably thousands of holes dug by looters.In 2013, the International Council on Museums issued an “emergency red list” identifying categories of Syrian artifacts that are in danger of being looted so that museums, private collectors, auction houses and art dealers would know not to buy them.“Objects from these sites are highly coveted in the international art and antiquities markets and therefore subject to theft, looting and illicit trafficking,” the notice says.“What started as opportunistic theft by some has turned into an organized transnational business that is helping fund terror,” Michael Danti, an archaeologist at Boston University, told The Wall Street Journal last month. “It’s the gravest cultural emergency I’ve seen.”Bokova said ISIS’s latest acts in Iraq must not be tolerated by the world.“I call on all of those who can, especially youth, in Iraq and elsewhere, to do everything possible to protect this heritage, to claim it as their own, and as heritage of the whole of humanity,” she said. “I appeal also to all cultural institutions, museums, journalists, professors, and scientists to share and explain the importance of this heritage and the Mesopotamian civilization. We must respond to this criminal chaos that destroys culture with more culture.”

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Jerusalem Revelers Celebrate Purim

Jerusalem Revelers Celebrate Purim

Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- Israeli police on Friday cleared the site of the suspected terrorist attack that took place in the morning at a light rail station in east Jerusalem -- and revelers celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim were out in force by the afternoon.Secular teenagers donned wigs and threw fraternity-style street parties, setting off fireworks into the air.Waiters at restaurants sported masks and religious children dressed up as Cinderella or Superman. To briefly review the Purim tradition, according to the Biblical Book of Esther, Haman, a royal vizier to King Ahasuerus, hatched a plot to kill all of the Jews in the ancient Persian Empire some 2,500 years ago.The plot was foiled, and Purim is the Jewish celebration on the other side. But today, the day of deliverance, feasting and heavy drinking, has turned into an epic carnival-like party for much of the Jewish world. On Thursday, much of the country celebrated Purim. In Jerusalem, the party lasts for an extra day.

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Ottawa Shooter Reveals Motive for Deadly Attack in Video

Ottawa Shooter Reveals Motive for Deadly Attack in Video

RCMP(OTTAWA, Ontario) -- The man who killed a Canadian soldier and then opened fire at the Canadian Parliament last October said in a newly-released video that he did it “in retaliation for Afghanistan.”“Canada’s officially become one of our enemies by fighting and bombing us and creating a lot of terror in our countries and killing us and our innocents,” Michael Zehaf-Bibeau says in the video, which police say was filmed in his car just prior to the attack. “So we [are] just aiming to hit some soldiers just to show you’re not even safe in your own land and you got to be careful.”The video was presented to the Canadian Parliament on Friday by RCMP Commission Bob Paulson, who said that a total of 18 seconds had been edited out of the video from the beginning and end for operational purposes.Last October, the 32-year-old dual Libyan-Canadian national first opened fire at Canada’s National War Memorial outside the Canadian Parliament, killing a uniformed soldier, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. Zehaf-Bibeau then hijacked a car and drove the short distance to Parliament, where he ran inside and opened fire again. He was gunned down by 58-year-old Sgt. at Arms Kevin Vickers before anyone else could be killed.Paulson said on Friday that Canadian authorities have still not figured out where Zehaf-Bibeau obtained the relatively small caliber rifle he used.

Paulson said an autopsy report revealed Zehaf-Bibeau was sober when he undertook the attack. 

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How Tiny ‘Fairy Doors’ Are a Growing Cause of Concern

How Tiny ‘Fairy Doors’ Are a Growing Cause of Concern

Courtesy Jake Birkett(LONDON) -- Hundreds of miniature doors have been installed on trees in a forest of Somerset in southwestern Britain.Why? So children can leave messages for fairies."It started more than eight years ago,” said Steven Acreman, a spokesman for the Wayford Woods Charitable Trust, "but numbers have gradually picked up, reaching 200, maybe 300 doors.”One visitor, Jake Birkett, recently visited the woods with his sons.“The doors are fun for adults and kids,” Birkett told ABC News. “People are having fun making and placing them and my kids loved hunting them out.”However, locals are now worried that the proliferation of doors has brought too much attention to the woods and could cause unwarranted damage.“I’m not admitting to evicting fairies, but we need to implement a strict quality control,” said Acreman, whose group helps in the conservation of the woods.“There are about six or eight screws in each door so even if it takes 10 to 20 years, it could kill the trees,” he added.“If you see a 4-year-old play around them, it’s wonderful to see,” said Acreman, “but it is causing a real strain on the village and causing a lot of friction."

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Parmesan Producers in Italy Protest Fake Versions of Cheese

Parmesan Producers in Italy Protest Fake Versions of Cheese

Ron Chapple Studios/Thinkstock(ROME) -- Italian Parmesan producers are protesting what they call fake versions of the cheese made in the U.S. that are cutting into their livelihood.Parmesan cheese -- the real stuff, that is, labeled Parmigiano Reggiano -- is a globally protected Italian brand. It can only be legally produced in and around the city of Parma, following a strict procedure. But that hasn't stopped American cheese producers from calling another kind of cheese Parmesan, and even selling kits that claim people can produce it at home in just a few months. Now, the sale of the so-called Parmesan cheese is outpacing the sale of real Parmesan in the U.S. Italian producers say it's time for U.S. cheese producers to stop using the Parmesan name.

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‘The Dress’ Illusion Challenges Violence Against Women in Salvation Army PSA

‘The Dress’ Illusion Challenges Violence Against Women in Salvation Army PSA

@SalvationArmySA/Twitter(JOHANNESBURG) -- "Why is it so hard to see black and blue?"That's the question many had when a photo of #TheDress "broke the Internet" last week, dividing the majority of users into those who saw white and gold and those who saw black and blue.But on Friday, the Salvation Army in South Africa is using the question on a new photo Twitter PSA fighting against domestic violence and abuse against women.The PSA shows a model wearing a gold-and-white edited version of #TheDress. More controversial than #TheDress, though, are the black and blue bruises and cuts covering her body.

 

Is it so hard 2 see black & blue? 1 in 6 women are victims. #StopAbuseAgainstWomen #blackandblue #whiteandgold pic.twitter.com/HoYNXBQRIE

— TheSalvationArmySA (@SalvationArmySA) March 6, 2015

 

The ad then challenges victim-blaming, saying, "The only illusion is if you think it was her choice.""One in six women are victims of abuse," the text continues. "Stop abuse against women."The powerful ad was produced by South African creative agency Ireland/Davenport as a charity piece for the Salvation Army just Thursday."We wanted to take advantage of the hype of the meme to spread awareness for something important," Ireland/Davenport creative director Wihan Meerhloz told ABC News on Friday. "Our creative team brainstormed ways to send a greater message about overlooked abuse against women using the dress."Meerhloz said he credits team members Caitlyn Goldring and Werner Cloete as the people behind the project literally done in less than a day."We thought of the idea, produced it and offered it completely free to the Salvation Army in less than 24 hours," he said. "We hope it takes off on the Internet like the original dress did."The PSA had over 1,200 retweets as of Friday morning, with dozens of positive feedback from Twitter users."Everybody on the Internet, thank you for retweeting, resending and sharing this strong message," Meerhloz said. "Let's keep on going!"The Salvation Army in South Africa and #TheDress retailer Roman did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for additional comment.

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Driver Rams Car into Crowd in Israel; Five Injured

Driver Rams Car into Crowd in Israel; Five Injured

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- At least five people were injured Friday when a motorist rammed his car into a group of pedestrians near an east Jerusalem light rail stop, police said.Israeli police say the driver got out of the vehicle wielding a knife and attempted to stab passersby before he was shot by police.

Israeli Police spokeswoman Luba Samri described Friday's assault as a "terror attack” and says four of those injured in the attack were police officers.Israeli Superintendent Micky Rosenfeld tweeted about the incident as it unfolded Friday:

Police units respond to vehicle that ran over 4 people in Jerusalem. Suspect held by police. Investigation into attack under way

— Micky Rosenfeld (@MickyRosenfeld) March 6, 2015

The wounded were hospitalized at the city’s Hadassah Har Hatzofim hospital, two with moderate injuries, and the others with light injuries.

Police units at the scene of attack in Jerusalem. 4 policewoman injured moderately taken to hospitals in Jerusalem. pic.twitter.com/yl8rOcHxhe

— Micky Rosenfeld (@MickyRosenfeld) March 6, 2015

Helicopters hovered over the neighborhood, and video purporting to capture the scene of the attack shows heavy police presence.

Rosenfeld tweeted that the suspect has been shot, and the city remains under heightened security.Police are still trying to identify the attacker.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri was quick to praise the "heroic" attack, according to reports, but did not claim responsibility.

Friday’s attack occurred at the same place where a similar attack killed one police officer and injured more than a dozen back in December.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat vowed to "keep fighting terrorism,” noting that the the city's Purim celebrations would be held as scheduled later on Friday.

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Turkey Will Not Assist Iraq Militarily in Fight Against ISIS

Turkey Will Not Assist Iraq Militarily in Fight Against ISIS

iStock/Thinkstock(ISTANBUL) -- Turkey's prime minister says his country will not assist Iraq militarily in retaking the city of Mosul from ISIS.Ahmet Davutoglu says Turkey will, however, provide logistical support to its neighbor.Iraqi forces are preparing for a large-scale offensive to regain control of its second-largest city. ISIS seized Mosul last summer as it swept across Syria and northern Iraq.The prime minister's remarks Thursday follow the recent announcement that Turkey and the U.S. would train moderate Syrian rebels.

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Saudi Minister Warns that Iran Is Taking Over Iraq

Saudi Minister Warns that Iran Is Taking Over Iraq

State Department photo/Public Domain(RIYADH, Saudi Arabia) -- Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal warned Thursday that "Iran is taking over Iraq."Al-Faisal, appearing at a press conference in Riyadh with Secretary of State John Kerry, said that an effort to retake the Iraqi city of Tikrit from the Islamic State is being spearheaded by Iran's military.Since a Shiite-led government was formed following the overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein more than a decade ago, Iraq has forged far closer ties with Tehran, which makes the Sunni Arab world nervous.Kerry says the U.S. is aware of Iran's increasing influence on Baghdad and states, "We will not take our eye off Iran's destabilizing actions.”Just the same, the Obama administration has become dependent on Iranian fighters assisting the Iraqi military in its fight against ISIS while U.S. military advisers prepare Iraqi soldiers for a sustained battle against the Islamic extremist group.

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Iraq Says Islamic State Militants ‘Bulldozed’ Ancient Site

Iraq Says Islamic State Militants ‘Bulldozed’ Ancient Site

Romanista/iStock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- Iraq’s Tourist Ministry said on Thursday that militants from ISIS have begun bulldozing an ancient site: the Nimrud archaeological site near Mosul that dates back to the 13th century B.C.“Leaving these gangs without punishment will cost us to lose invaluable heritage,” the ministry said in a statement. Some of Nimrud’s greatest treasures sit in museums in Baghdad and outside Iraq, but the artifacts at the Palace of Ashurnasirpal are the last of their kind. Iraq’s Tourist Ministry is now calling upon the U.N. Security Council to hold an emergency meeting and renew its resolutions related to Iraq.

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Signing Up for a Mission to Mars, and Planning to Never Return

Signing Up for a Mission to Mars, and Planning to Never Return

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Kellie Gerardi is training for the mission of her life, one from which she might never return. Gerardi is one of thousands of applicants vying for a trip to Mars, courtesy of an audacious new company called Mars One. Only 100 potential astronauts will be finalists, but there’s a pretty massive catch: It’s a one-way ticket. Despite the no-return clause, Mars One said 200,000 people from around the world, including Gerardi, have applied to leave everything on Earth behind. “I know for a fact that no matter what, in my lifetime, I’m going to space,” said Gerardi, who is newly engaged. The 26-year-old Florida native trained for the mission in the rocky plains of remote Utah, where she spent three weeks at the Mars Society’s Desert Research Station to learn what it takes for humans to survive on Mars, from moving and breathing in a spacesuit, to eating bizarre cuisines like zebra tarantulas, because bugs would be a food source on Mars. The commercial space industry has boomed in recent years, with companies like Space-X and Virgin Galactic building their own rockets and spaceships in an effort to make outer space available to everyone who wants to go. And it’s not just for sport. Some scientists believe settling other planets is the best hope for human survival. And when it comes to colonizing Mars, Bas Landorp, the 37-year-old CEO of Mars One, and his team of space experts claim they can do what NASA, so far, has not. “Accept the new reality,” Landorp said. “Literally everybody on the globe will be watching, just like when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon.” “We’re hiring the established aerospace companies from all over the world to design the systems, to build them, to test them, but no new inventions are needed to implement our program,” he added. But while Landorp said the technology exists to get people to Mars, his company does not have the technology to bring people back to Earth, so the plan is to form a permanent colony with new crews arriving each year. Of course, there are extreme hurdles to overcome. Mars is about 200 million miles away from Earth, which translates to at least seven months of space travel to get there -- and no one has ever been there before. But for people like Kellie Gerardi, the unknowns are not scary, just part of the dream. “I think either you get it or you don't,” she said. “I would equate it almost to seeing Mt. Everest for the first time. Here is this hostile challenging environment, and either you feel a yearning to climb it or you don't. And if you don't, I don't know if--that I could ever explain that to you.” Gerardi is planning her wedding, but says getting married won’t stop her from leaving Earth, and her fiancee is supportive of her decision. “Everyone makes the joke to us, ‘til Mars do us part,’” she said. “I'm getting married next year. I couldn't be more excited. I couldn't be more in love. Do I still see myself going to space in the future? Yes…I would go, and that's a hard reality.” Another Mars One hopeful is Sue Ann Pien, a 35-year-old tech worker from Los Angeles. She said finding out she was a potential candidate “changed the entire trajectory” of her life, and she started a sort of Earth bucket list. “I just took off and I went and I experience amazing things around the world that I wanted to do,” Pien said. “I was going up volcanoes in Bali and scuba diving.” Like Geraldi, Pien believes Mars is her destiny. Her family is mostly supportive of her choice, Pien said, but her girlfriend Cynthia struggles with her desire to leave Earth. “She's not going to lie about the fact that she doesn't like it--that there's something that might take me away from her,” Pien said. Mars One hopes to launch their potential astronauts in the next 10 years, but there is a lot of skepticism that this mission will even launch, much less succeed. Famed astrophysicist and author Dr. Michio Kaku is among the skeptics. “This has the atmosphere of a circus, where you have amateurs simply raising their hand, volunteering to be the first person on Mars,” Kaku said. “They have set impossibly unrealistic deadlines, and the amount of money that you have to have to go to Mars is incredible, perhaps 50 to several hundred billion dollars.” “And given the fact that this will be untested technology, I would assume that the failure rate would be about 90 to 95 percent for a mission of this magnitude,” Kaku continued. “In other words, it’s a tragedy waiting to happen.” A recent MIT study hypothesized that Mars One astronauts would suffocate within months of touching down on the red planet. Mars One says the MIT study is flawed, and that the company won't risk human lives until they are confident in their technology, but still, “there is no safe mission to Mars," Landorp said. "It’s impossible to eliminate all the risks." These risks aren't enough to deter these Mars mission dreamers from hoping they are among the 100 finalists chosen.

So who makes it and who doesn’t? Tune in to Nightline on Friday at 12:35 a.m. ET to watch the full story and find out what happens.

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Benjamin Netanyahu Receives Bump Before Israeli Election

Benjamin Netanyahu Receives Bump Before Israeli Election

Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- Israeli's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is getting a bump back home ahead of the highly-anticipated election on March 17.  The latest election polls show Netanyahu got a boost after his address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.The Likud party has gained two seats, up to 23, which puts Netanyahu in a tie with rival Isaac Herzog, who heads up the Zionist Union opposition party. Despite the gain, political expert and professor Eytan Gilboa says Netanyahu has a tough fight ahead. “There are two more weeks until election day and two weeks in Israel is like two years elsewhere.  A lot could happen,” he said. “The opposition is hoping this gain is going to be temporary.”

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Mark Lippert: Ambassador Only Had One Unarmed Guard

Mark Lippert: Ambassador Only Had One Unarmed Guard

Handout/The Asia Economy Daily via Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert had only one unarmed bodyguard assigned to protect him when he was slashed by a knife-wielding attacker at a breakfast event in Seoul, U.S. officials tell ABC News.Lippert is being treated for wounds to his face and subsequent wounds to his arm that he suffered when trying to fight off the attacker Thursday morning.Officials say the guard assigned to Lippert was an out-of-uniform Korean National Police officer and that it’s customary in Seoul for police officers not to carry guns.After the attack, Lippert was seen bleeding while being escorted out of the building by attendees of the event.The attacker, who is known to police as a potential threat, was subdued in the street outside of the building shortly after.All personal security for any given ambassador is decided upon by the Regional Security Officer and the ambassador himself.Seoul is generally considered a low-threat post and one official described Lippert’s security detail on Thursday as “routine.”Security for different posts varies greatly. The ambassador in a country like Yemen, for instance, could have multiple diplomatic security agents supplemented by a small military force, such as Marine guards.The State Department announced that Lippert is currently recovering in a local hospital and that he says he is in "great spirits."

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Ceres: NASA Readies For Historic Visit to Dwarf Planet

Ceres: NASA Readies For Historic Visit to Dwarf Planet

JPL-Caltech/NASA(NEW YORK) -- Are we there yet?NASA's Dawn spacecraft will reach the dwarf planet Ceres on Friday after what has been a nearly eight-year long journey through space. When the probe reaches its destination and inserts itself into its orbit, it will be the first time a space mission has successfully visited a dwarf planet.The mission is expected to continue for 16 months as researchers analyze data about Ceres, which is thought to be icy and possibly contain an ocean. Studying the dwarf planet could yield new insights into how the solar system has progressed."Studying Ceres allows us to do historical research in space, opening a window into the earliest chapter in the history of our solar system," Jim Green, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division said in a statement. "Data returned from Dawn could contribute significant breakthroughs in our understanding of how the solar system formed."Ceres is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.As Dawn moved closer to Ceres, the probe was able to send photos back to Earth making out a gray, round mass in space. Each photo became clearer as Dawn closed in on the dwarf planet -- and offered stunning new details of the dwarf planet's cratered surface.It's Dawn's second rendezvous in the area. The spacecraft first explored the asteroid Vesta in 2011 and 2012 before moving along on its journey to Ceres.NASA will make another house call to a second dwarf planet, Pluto, when the New Horizons probe reaches its destination this summer.It's been a banner year for "firsts" in space exploration as scientists continue to seek clues that could help them unlock some of the seemingly never-ending mysteries of the universe.Last November, the European Space Agency celebrated a successful Rosetta mission as it landed a probe on the comet 67P, nearly 300 million miles from Earth.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jawbone Fossil Sheds New Light on the First Humans

Jawbone Fossil Sheds New Light on the First Humans

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A 2.8 million-year-old jawbone fragment discovered in Ethiopia is shedding new light on a period of evolution that has long remained a mystery to anthropologists.The fossil dates back to a time when Homo, the branch humans descended from, split from their ape-like ancestors.The timing is significant because it gives scientists a better picture of what the first humans may have looked like and narrows a gap in the fossil record.A report about the discovery was published in the journal Science.The fossil is from the left lower jaw of an adult and includes five teeth. The fragment shows that early humans had a primitive, sloping chin shape linking them to Australopithecus afarensis, the species made famous by the discovery of the Lucy fossil.What is different are the slim molars and evenly proportioned jaw -- providing scientists with a glimpse at a key turning point in the evolutionary history of humans."In spite of lot of searching, fossils on the Homo lineage older than 2 million years ago are very rare," Brian Villmoare, an anthropologist at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and lead author of the article said in a statement. "To have a glimpse of the very earliest phase of our lineage's evolution is particularly exciting."

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Duchess Kate Middleton to Visit “Downton Abbey”

Duchess Kate Middleton to Visit “Downton Abbey”

Danny Martindale/WireImage(LONDON) — Calling all Lords, Ladies and Countesses -- a real-life Duchess will be making a special appearance in the fictional world of Downton Abbey.Duchess Kate will visit the London set of the hit TV show next Thursday, March 12, the Palace announced Thursday.Kate, 33, will pay a visit to Ealing Studios to, “celebrate the success of the award-winning production, Downton Abbey,” the Palace’s statement read.In what could be a dream for royal watchers and fans of the show alike, the Duchess will meet nearly all of the show’s main cast members including Dame Maggie Smith (Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham), Hugh Bonneville (Robert) and Elizabeth McGovern (Cora).Kate, who is expecting her second child next month, will also watch one take of a scene being filmed in the servants’ quarters before attending a reception with more of the show’s cast and crew.Kate’s Downton Abbey tour will end with the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate her visit, the Palace said.Season five of Downton Abbey premiered in January in the U.S. on PBS. The cast is currently filming the show’s sixth season.One of the show’s stars, Dame Maggie Smith, recently told the U.K.’s Sunday Times that she believes this season will be the show's last.“They say this is the last one, and I can’t see how it could go on,” Smith said. “I mean, I certainly can’t keep going. To my knowledge, I must be 110 by now. We’re into the late 1920s."Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

North Korea Hails Attack on Mark Lippert as ‘Righteous Punishment’ Against US

North Korea Hails Attack on Mark Lippert as ‘Righteous Punishment’ Against US

Handout/The Asia Economy Daily via Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korea hailed a South Korean man’s attack on the U.S. ambassador to Seoul in a statement through its Korean Central News Agency, stating that the attack “reflects public opinion” in South Korea and is a “righteous punishment” against the United States.According to the statement, the alleged assailant, Kim Ki-jong, 55, gave “a knife-attack shower of justice” to Mark Lippert, who police said was slashed on the face and wrist with a 10-inch fruit knife.Lippert was seen with blood on his hand and holding his bleeding face, and medical officials said 80 stitches were needed to close the facial wound. Lippert was in stable condition after undergoing surgery, the U.S. Embassy said.The assailant shouted "No to war training!" before attacking Lippert, the Yonhap news agency reported. The man was later tackled and arrested.The U.S. State Department condemned the attack, which happened at a performing arts center in downtown Seoul as the ambassador was preparing for a lecture about prospects for peace on the divided Korean Peninsula.President Obama called Lippert to tell him that "he and his wife Robyn are in his thoughts and prayers, and to wish him the very best for a speedy recovery,” according to National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan.Lippert previously held positions at the Department of Defense from May 2012 until September 2014, according to the embassy website. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

33 Miners Killed in Eastern Ukraine Coal Mine Explosion

33 Miners Killed in Eastern Ukraine Coal Mine Explosion

JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images(DONETSK, Ukraine) — Thirty-three miners were confirmed dead Wednesday as the result of an explosion at a coal mine in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, a region that has been under siege in a conflict between pro-Russia rebels and government military forces.Only 14 men managed to escape the mine alive.Although Donetsk has been shelled in the last nine months, an emergency ministry official told ABC News that there was no fighting in the area since an internationally-sponsored cease-fire agreement went into effect in recent weeks.“It was not due to artillery shelling, it was most likely a gas-air explosion,” rescue services official Yuliana Bedilo said.The conflict in eastern Ukraine has, to date, killed more than 6,000 people.The same coal mine was the site of one of Ukraine’s deadliest mining disasters, a 2007 accident in which more than 100 people died. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, about 250 miners are believed to have died in accidents and explosions there.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Colorado Woman’s Global Scavenger Hunt Ends in Marriage Proposal

Colorado Woman’s Global Scavenger Hunt Ends in Marriage Proposal

Amy Linville(NEW YORK) -- After Amy Linville completed her master's degree, she learned that her boyfriend, Brett Arnold, had a huge surprise for her. That surprise would take her on an overseas journey more than 5,000 miles away. "Brett and I have been together for eight years," she said. "As a graduation gift he told me I had to go on a scavenger hunt. We've traveled the world together, so it makes sense that he would do this." Arnold, 30, accompanied Linville to the top of Green Mountain in their Lakewood, Colorado, neighborhood where she found a note telling her to pack her things. "I wasn’t really excited because Brett's always joking and messing with me," she told ABC News. "He handed me a one-way ticket to Tokyo and a map. I was leaving in 13 hours." The following day, Arnold drove Linville, 28, to the airport, where hours later she landed in Tokyo to search for her next clue. "Everything was in Japanese and all I had was a map to a friend’s apartment that lives there," Linville said. "The clue at the apartment said that another friend would fly in to deliver my next clue." In the meantime, Linville said, Arnold gave her a list of things to see and do while in the country. "I was in Japan for seven days," she said. "I went to see the snow monkeys, I went to the 'Robot Restaurant,' I ate tons of sushi, and I did a pub crawl. I'm definitely a free spirit.” Following the close of her Tokyo trip, Linville was greeted by an old friend, who presented her with her next clue. "I flew to Barcelona and Brett put me into a hotel that overlooked a cliff that’s on the coast in San Sebastian," she said. "I was kind of depressed that day because it was Christmas and I knew Brett was with family." While she figured he'd eventually join her, Linville went ahead and followed her next instruction to hike to a peninsula overlooking the ocean. "The clue was a picture of Brett standing on this point of the island," she said. "It's raining, its cold, and I couldn't find my next clue after that. "So, I started hiking down and Brett was hiking up at the same time. I was so shocked to see him and I still didn’t get what was going on. I said, 'Where's my next clue?'" At that moment, Linville said, Arnold pulled out a ring and asked her to marry him. "He said, 'You’ve come this far and I hope you're willing to go on another adventure with me,'"she recalled. "I’m still in shock. It's hard to tell the story to people. The girl-reaction is, 'Shut up, no way!' and the guy-reaction is, 'Be quiet before my girlfriend hears you!'" The couple plans to wed in October on a boat in Florida.

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US Ambassador Mark Lippert Attacked in South Korea

US Ambassador Mark Lippert Attacked in South Korea

oztasbc/iStock/Thinkstock(SEOUL, South Korea) -- The U.S Ambassador to South Korea was attacked in the country's capital on Wednesday while giving a speech, officials say. Photos from South Korea's official news agency show Ambassador Mark Lippert with blood on his hand and holding his face. He was attacked by what the Yonhap news agency described was "an armed man" who shouted, "No to war training!" before attacking him.

Lippert was attacked with a 10-inch fruit knife, police told ABC News. He was assaulted Thursday morning local time and is being treated at a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to the State Department.

His assailant was arrested, according to Robert Ogburn, an official at the U.S. embassy in Seoul, who said the U.S. strongly condemned the "senseless act of violence."

President Obama called him to tell him that "he and his wife Robyn are in his thoughts and prayers, and to wish him the very best for a speedy recovery,” according to National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan.Lippert previously held positions at the Department of Defense from May 2012 until September 2014, according to the embassy website.

 Thoughts are w/@mwlippert & his family after today's senseless attack. Grateful to people of #Korea for their care for him & well wishes.

— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) March 5, 2015

 

 

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