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‘Oldest remains’ outside Africa reset human migration clock

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A 210,000-year-old skull has been identified as the earliest modern human remains found outside Africa, putting the clock back on mankind’s arrival in Europe by more than 150,000 years, researchers said Wednesday.

In a startling discovery that changes our understanding of how modern man populated Eurasia, the findings support the idea that Homo sapiens made several, sometimes unsuccessful migrations from Africa over tens of thousands of years.

Southeast Europe has long been considered a major transport corridor for modern humans from Africa. But until now the earliest evidence of Homo sapiens on the continent dated back only around 50,000 years.

There has however been a number of discoveries indicating the ancient presence of Neanderthals — an early human cousin — across the continent.

Two fossilised but badly damaged skulls unearthed in a Greek cave in the 1970s were identified as Neanderthal at the time.

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In findings presented in the journal Nature, an international team of researchers used state-of-the art computer modelling and uranium dating to re-examine the two skulls.

One of them, named Apidima 2 after the cave in which the pair were found, proved to be 170,000 years old and did indeed belong to a Neanderthal.

But, to the shock of scientists, the skull named Apidima 1 pre-dated Apidima 2 by as much as 40,000 years, and was determined to be that of a Homo sapiens.

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AFP / Valentina BRESCHI Main fossils of Homo sapiens and related species

That makes the skull by far the oldest modern human remains ever discovered on the continent, and older than any known Homo sapiens specimen outside of Africa.

“It shows that the early dispersal of Homo sapiens out of Africa not only occurred earlier, before 200,000 years ago, but also reached further geographically, all the way to Europe,” Katerina Harvati, a palaeoanthropologist at the Eberhard Karls University of Tuebingen, Germany, told AFP.

“This is something that we did not suspect before, and which has implications for the population movements of these ancient groups.”

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Apidima 1 lacked classic features associated with Neanderthal skulls, including the distinctive bulge at the back of the head, shaped like hair tied in a bun.

– Multiple migrations? –

Hominins — a subset of great apes that includes Homo sapiens and Neanderthals — are believed to have emerged in Africa more than six million years ago. They left the continent in several migration waves starting about two million years ago.

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The oldest known African fossil attributed to a member of the Homo family is a 2.8 million-year-old jawbone from Ethiopia.

Homo sapiens replaced Neanderthals across Europe for good around 45,000-35,000 years ago, in what was long considered a gradual takeover of the continent involving millenia of co-existence and even interbreeding.

But the skull discovery in Greece suggests that Homo sapiens undertook the migration from Africa to southern Europe on “more than one occasion”, according to Eric Delson, a professor of anthropology at City University of New York.

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“Rather than a single exit of hominins from Africa to populate Eurasia, there must have been several dispersals, some of which did not result in permanent occupations,” said Delson, who was not involved in the Nature study.

Harvati said advances in dating and genetics technology could continue to shape our understanding of how our pre-historic ancestors spread throughout the world.

“I think recent advances in palaeoanthropology have shown that the field is still full of surprises,” she said.


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Cop says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot following Trump’s racist targeting of The Squad

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Following racist attacks on members of The Squad by President Donald Trump and his supporters, a police officer in Louisiana reportedly said that one of the congresswomen of color should be shot.

Trump has been lashing out at the four first-term congresswomen, who include Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

"A Gretna police officer posted a comment on his Facebook page this past week calling U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a 'vile idiot' who 'needs a round, and I don't mean the kind she used to serve,'" NOLA reported Saturday.

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Internet piles on ABC reporter for lavishing praise on Trump for allowing press to ask questions

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ABC News reporter Kyra Phillips on Saturday heaped praise on President Donald Trump for his treatment of the press.

Despite the White House no longer holding daily press briefings, Phillips praised the "access" she receives from the administration.

"No matter what your politics are, I have to say that I appreciate the access ?Trump? gives us on a regular basis and the ability to ask any question," she said.

She tagged Stephanie Grisham in her tweet, who is Trump's latest press secretary. She also tagged her husband, John Roberts, who does not work in the White House, but works for Fox News.

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‘Trump wants to start a race war’: Ex-advisor alleges his campaign planned ‘Send her Back’ chants

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President Donald Trump is attempting to start a race war in America, a long-time advisor declared on MSNBC on Saturday evening.

Omarosa Manigault Newman was interviewed by Donny Deutsch on "Saturday Night Politics."

"You said could it happen here? It is happening here," Newman told Deutsch.

"As a woman of color watching him attack those four women, it made it very clear that Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our democracy," she said.

"And everyone has been kind of tiptoeing what this actually is. Donald Trump wants to start a race war in this country and it started at that rally — it started with the tweets," she said.

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