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New Member of Human Family Tree Discovered



Scientists say they've discovered a new member of the human family tree, revealed by a huge trove of bones in a barely accessible, pitch-dark chamber of a cave in South Africa. 

The creature shows a surprising mix of human-like and more primitive characteristics — some experts called it "bizarre" and "weird."
And the discovery presents some key mysteries: 

How old are the bones? And how did they get into that chamber, reachable only by a complicated pathway that includes squeezing through passages as narrow as about 7½ inches (17.8 centimeters)? The bones were found by a spelunker, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Johannesburg. 

The site has yielded some 1,550 specimens since its discovery in 2013. The fossils represent at least 15 individuals. Researchers named the creature Homo naledi (nah-LEH-dee). 

That reflects the "Homo" evolutionary group, which includes modern people and our closest extinct relatives, and the word for "star" in a local language. The find was made in the Rising Star cave system. The creature, which evidently walked upright, represents a mix of traits. 

For example, the hands and feet look like Homo, but the shoulders and the small brain recall Homo's more ape-like ancestors, the researchers said. 

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Father of Drowned Syrian Boy: My Children Slipped Through My Hands



Father of Drowned Syrian Boy: My Children Slipped Through My Hands "I was holding my wife's hand. But my children slipped through my hands. It was dark and everyone was screaming," Abdullah Kurdi told reporters of the moment the dinghy began to sink.


"We tried to cling to the small boat, but it was deflating." 

Abdullah cut an inconsolable figure sitting outside the morgue in Bodrum on Thursday, staring blankly into his mobile phone as he waited for the coffins of his family to be loaded onto a municipal van according to reporters. 

Twelve Syrian migrants drowned on Wednesday when two boats sank in Turkish waters as they were heading towards the Greek island of Kos, in the latest tragedy to hit migrants in the Aegean. But attention has focused on three-year-old Aylan, whose tiny body was photographed washed up on a beach in the resort of Bodrum in an image that quickly became a viral symbol of the tragedy of refugees. 

A Turkish police officer carries a migrant child's dead body off the shores in Bodrum, southern Turkey, on September 2, 2015 after a boat carrying refugees The father of a three-year-old Syrian boy, whose body was washed up on a Turkish beach in an image that shocked the world, said Thursday his children "slipped through my hands" as their boat was taking in water on its way to Greece. Abdullah, whose surname is given by Turkish media as Kurdi but sources in Syria say is actually called Shenu, lost his three-year-old son Aylan, four-year-old son Ghaleb and wife Rihana in the tragedy. May his soul rest in peace. Amen. 

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