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Texas, Alabama halt executions, Florida puts inmate to death

Yahoo - Art News - 5 hours 41 min ago

Texas Governor Greg Abbott commuted the death sentence of a convicted murderer less than an hour before he was set to be executed on Thursday, after the death row inmate's family begged for mercy and won a rare clemency recommendation. Florida executed a man convicted of the 1993 rape and murder of a college student, the state's Department of Corrections said. Alabama halted its planned execution on Thursday of a convicted murderer who has spent more than three decades on death row after his lawyers warned his failing health left him with veins that were unusable for a lethal injection.


Man convicted of attempted murder invited to Trudeau party

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 22:28

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — A stunning oversight that allowed a man convicted of attempted murder to be invited to a party in India with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is prompting many to say the Trudeau government is too close to Sikh separatists.


Special counsel files new charges against Trump ex-aides Manafort and Gates

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 21:09

By Sarah N. Lynch and Karen Freifeld WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The special counsel in the Russia probe filed new criminal charges on Thursday against President Donald Trump's former campaign aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, stepping up pressure in a legal battle that started last year. The 32-count indictment filed by Robert Mueller in Alexandria, Virginia, federal court includes charges of bank fraud and lying on tax returns. It alleges that Manafort, with Gates' assistance, laundered more than $30 million and duped banks into lending money.


Girl injured by dog during boarding for Southwest flight

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 19:23

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines said Thursday that a dog injured a child as passengers boarded a flight in Phoenix, an event likely to fuel the debate over the growing number of emotional-support animals on planes.


Citizenship agency removes description of US as 'nation of immigrants'

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 18:34

Immigrants become American citizens during a naturalization ceremony. The government agency in charge of granting citizenship to prospective Americans has removed a passage from its mission statement that describes the United States as a nation of immigrants. The move by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services agency was first revealed via an email shared with the Intercept, confirmed by the Guardian Thursday.


Russia's Man In The White House

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 18:07

First, did a presidential candidate compromise our interests in exchange for electoral help from a foreign adversary?


Armed deputy at Florida school resigns after failing to engage shooter

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 18:06

The armed deputy assigned to the campus of a Florida high school during a deadly shooting last week stayed outside the building during the attack and failed to engage the shooter, the county sheriff said on Thursday. As a consequence, Scott Peterson, on duty as the school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, resigned from the department, said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who earlier has suspended the officer from the force. Israel said he decided to suspend Peterson after viewing a video that showed the deputy's actions during the rampage that killed 17 people.


Oprah Surprised Tiffany Haddish, Who Responded Like Any Mere Mortal Would

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 17:39

Oprah Winfrey surprised actress Tiffany Haddish on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Thursday, and it was quite a moment.


GOP Doing All It Can To Keep Pennsylvania's Gerrymandered Congressional Map

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 17:19

Pennsylvania Republicans took another stab at blocking a court-ordered congressional map on Thursday by filing a new lawsuit that asks a three-judge federal panel to step in.


University experts to lead Puerto Rico storm death review

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 16:38

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico's governor announced Thursday that a team of experts at George Washington University will lead an independent, in-depth review to determine the number of deaths caused by Hurricane Maria amid accusations that the U.S. territory has undercounted the toll.


The Latest: Florida to execute man in student's '93 slaying

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 16:10

STARKE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on Florida Execution (all times local):


It turns out Neanderthals painted art inside these European caves, not humans

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 15:33

Ancient sketches of Ice Age animals, stenciled hands, and symbols painted on walls inside three Spanish caves were long suspected to have been left by humans. But with enhanced dating techniques, scientists now believe our thick-browed and extinct evolutionary cousins, Neanderthals, were truly responsible for the art.  This would mean that we've been giving our hominid ancestors too little credit for their abilities. Researchers found these paintings are at least around 65,000 years old, predating the arrival of humans in Europe by some 20,000 years. Assuming the dating is accurate, then these paintings would be the earliest known cave art in the world.  SEE ALSO: The accidental library: Why Elon Musk launched books to space that could last 14 billion years The research, published Thursday in the journal Science, concludes that in the absence of humans, Neanderthals must have created the advanced art, underscoring that these hominids were quite smart — perhaps even matching our own intelligence. "These papers simply confirm what has been evident in other aspects of the archeological record and their biologies, that there are no evident differences between the Neanderthals and modern humans in terms of basic cognition, symbolic behavior, sociality, or communication," said Erik Trinkaus, a biological anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis who was not involved in the study. Red ochre painting on a La Pasiega cave wall in Spain.Image: P. SauraIn another Spanish cave, detailed in a related study also released Thursday, researchers dated marine shells that had been dyed and then stored in larger shell containers. These artifacts were dyed some 70,0000 years before humans ever stepped foot in the region. Some scientists might disagree that it was Neanderthals who painted such humanistic, advanced art, said Wil Roebroeks, a paleolithic archaeologist at Leiden University who was not involved in the study, in an email. But the evidence in favor of Neanderthal artwork is strong.  A replicated drawing of some of the cave art. It's more difficult to see the symbols, animals, and detail on the calcified cave wall, shown in the image above.Image: Breuil et al.The cave painting "dates are solid," said Roebroeks. The researchers dated calcite minerals both below the paint and the calcite that had crusted on top to establish a window in time for when the painting likely was done. Roebroeks noted that the sample and dating work was done "carefully" by experienced archeologists.    "Neandertals made 'cave art' — deal with it," he said, using a spelling popular in the scientific literature. The Neanderthals used a red ochre paint on the cave walls, "an activity hitherto thought to be an exclusive 'modern human' phenomenon," noted Roebroeks. In fact, it seems that by the time humans finally arrived in Europe, "indigenous Neandertals had been producing red ochred motifs on cave walls for at least a thousand generations already," he said. This cave art might provide compelling evidence for Neanderthals' advanced intellect, but anthropologists already knew that Neanderthals were culturally advanced, even fashioning their own jewelry.  David Frayer, an anthropologist at the University of Kansas, suspects Neanderthals caught eagles and used their sharp talons to make this jewelry. The talons, discovered near a rock shelter in Croatia, had been smoothed out around 130,000 years ago, long before other Neanderthal clans painted the walls of Spanish caves.  Three hand stencil drawings in Maltravieso Cave. The hands can be seen in the top left, center (facing down), and center-right of the image.Image: H. ColladoEven having held and inspected these Eagle talons, Frayer, who had no role in either study, finds the cave art impressive. "Yet, even me as a Neanderthal appreciator, would not have predicted they could have done these," he said via email.  Of course, once humans arrived in Europe, they too began ornately painting cave walls. Lascaux Cave, in France, is covered in hundreds of detailed animals, including horses, deer, and bulls.  But before Neanderthals went extinct — for unknown reasons — they proved their artistic and cultural prowess was similar to ours, even though their skulls were flatter and shaped differently.   "This does not mean Neandertals were identical to modern humans, just behaviorally and mentally equivalent," said Trinkaus. "And it should put to rest the paleophrenoloigcal arguments about Neandertal abilities derived from their skulls."   WATCH: This beetle "farts" inside a toad's stomach to escape


Hammer Museum Receives $30 M. Gift from Lynda and Stewart Resnick

ArtNews News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 14:34

Marcy Carsey also gave the Los Angeles museum a $20 million gift. Read More

The post Hammer Museum Receives $30 M. Gift from Lynda and Stewart Resnick appeared first on ARTnews.

CNN Says It Didn't Ask Florida Shooting Survivor To Read A Scripted Question

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 13:46

CNN is denying reports that it asked a Florida school shooting survivor to read a “scripted” question during a town hall debate on gun violence that aired on the network Wednesday night.


NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre: FBI, Elitism To Blame For School Shootings

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 13:35

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday to defend his organization one week after a gunman used an assault-style rifle to kill 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida.


Trump threatens to pull law enforcement from California

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 13:35

US President Donald Trump threatened to pull immigration and other federal law enforcement agents from California on Thursday, a warning shot to the country's richest and most populous state. Complaining that California was not complying with his hardline position on migrants, Trump warned he could cut vital help from Washington and prompt a crime wave. "We are getting no help from the state of California," Trump continued, claiming the state was protecting members of the violent MS13 gang.


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