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Fossil find: Ethiopian fossils represent new member of human family tree

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jaw and teeth fossils found on the silty clay surface of Ethiopia’s Afar region represent a previously unknown member of humankind’s family tree that lived 3.3 to 3.5 million years ago alongside the famous human ancestor “Lucy,” scientists say.

Lawmakers vote to abolish death penalty

NEBRASKA — Nebraska lawmakers on Wednesday repealed the state’s death penalty law, voting by the narrowest of margins to override a veto by Republican Governor Pete Ricketts and join 18 other states that do not impose capital punishment.

U.S. military mistakenly transfers live anthrax to laboratory

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military mistakenly sent at least one live anthrax sample to a private laboratory in Maryland and possibly sent others to eight other states, a U.S. defense official said on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Hundreds evacuated after storms leave at least 15 dead

AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of people were ordered to evacuate flood-threatened areas of Texas on Wednesday as storms bringing torrential rains battered the state, where at least 15 people have been killed in weather-related incidents this week, including six in Houston.

Spill cited by foes of new drilling plan

LOS ANGELES — Environmentalists urged California regulators on Wednesday to reject a proposed expansion of the only offshore drilling operation still permitted in state waters along the Santa Barbara coastline, seizing on public outrage over last week’s nearby oil spill.

Pentagon chief urges end to island-building

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter called on Wednesday for a halt to island-building by all parties in the South China Sea and an end to militarization of the dispute, saying the United States would be the principle security power in the region for decades to come.

Governor vetoes death penalty repeal

NEBRASKA — Nebraska’s governor on Tuesday vetoed a bill to repeal the death penalty, although lawmakers backing the measure have enough votes to override it.

Iran nuclear deal unlikely by June 30

WASHINGTON — An Iran nuclear deal is not likely by June 30 because technical details will remain to be defined and Iran will not get sanctions relief before the end of the year in the best of cases, western ambassadors said on Tuesday.

Storms kill 10 in Texas, Okla.

HOUSTON — Torrential rains have killed at least 10 people in Texas and Oklahoma, including three in Houston where floods turned streets into rivers and led to about 1,000 calls for help in the fourth-most populous U.S. city, officials said on Tuesday.

Getting a jump on summer toys

Looking for something great to get the whole family outside and work up a sweat? If so, you’ll haves a blast with these new, summertime toys.

Eyeing the next frontier, Miami law firms ramp up Cuba strategy

MIAMI —The Florida Bar is sending its first ever delegation of lawyers to Cuba this week to explore emerging new business opportunities as prospects heat up for closer political and commercial relations between the United States and the Communist-run island.

Flight escorted to New York after threat

NEW YORK — An Air France flight from Paris was escorted by two U.S. F-15 fighter jets to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Monday after an anonymous threat was made against the flight, according the U.S. military.

Anne Meara dies at 85

Anne Meara, who rose to stardom with her husband, Jerry Stiller, portraying what People magazine called “anxiety comedy’s top couple,” died Saturday in New York City. She was 85.

Mathematician who inspired ‘A Beautiful Mind’ dies

Mathematician John Nash, a Nobel Prize winner whose longtime struggle with mental illness inspired the movie “A Beautiful Mind”, was killed in a car crash along with his wife in New Jersey, state police said on Sunday.

Association drops opposition to doctor-assisted suicide

LOS ANGELES — The California Medical Association on Wednesday dropped its three-decade opposition to physician-assisted suicide, possibly paving the way for already-introduced legislation that would make the practice legal for terminally ill patients in the state.

Crews work to clean beach fouled by oil pipeline spill

GOLETA, Calif. — Cleanup crews fanned out on Wednesday across an oil-fouled California beach to scoop up gobs of petroleum spewed from a ruptured pipeline in the largest oil spill to hit the pristine but energy-rich Santa Barbara coastline in nearly two decades.

Puerto Rico’s House delays vote on new tax measures

NEW YORK — Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives has delayed a vote on the introduction of new tax measures, designed to raise $1.2 billion in revenue, to allow time for amendments to be made to the bill, the House majority leader said on Wednesday.