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Humans May Have Left Africa Earlier than Thought

Modern humans may have left Africa thousands of years earlier than previously thought, turning right and heading across the Red Sea into Arabia rather than following the Nile to a northern exit, an international team of researchers says.

Stone tools discovered in the United Arab Emirates indicate the presence of modern humans between 100,000 and 125,000 years ago, the researchers report in Friday's edition of the journal Science.

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World Markets Plunge as Protests Escalate in Egypt

Escalating protests in Egypt jarred world financial markets on Friday. Stocks fell while the dollar, Treasuries and gold rose as investors sought to reduce their exposure to risk.

The Egyptian government's response to widespread street protests unnerved investors. The military was deployed in an effort to quell the protests and the headquarters of the ruling party was on fire. Thousands of people defied a curfew, and Internet and cell phone service has been cut off.

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In Future, Cars Might Decide if Driver is Drunk

An alcohol-detection prototype that uses automatic sensors to instantly gauge a driver's fitness to be on the road has the potential to save thousands of lives, but could be as long as a decade away from everyday use in cars, federal officials and researchers said Friday.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood visited QinetiQ North America, a Waltham, Mass.-based research and development facility, for the first public demonstration of systems that could measure whether a motorist has a blood alcohol content at or above the legal limit of .08 and — if so — prevent the vehicle from starting.

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8 Killed in Blast at Kabul Market Frequented by Foreigners

A bomb exploded inside a grocery store frequented by foreigners on Friday in Kabul, killing at least eight people and injuring others, police and eyewitnesses said.

Three foreigners and a child were among the dead, Kabul Police Chief Mohammad Ayub Salangi told reporters at the scene.

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Satire of Journalism in 'What The Public Wants'

For those not acquainted with the phrase "yellow journalism," it refers to sensationalizing the news with overly dramatic headlines intended to grab readers and sell the most papers.

That's the subject of "What The Public Wants," a comedy by Arnold Bennett that satirizes tabloid journalism in 1906 London. The play opened Thursday night at the Mint Theater in a witty, well-acted production; director Matthew Arbour is faithful to the original material, which is clever and surprisingly contemporary more than a hundred years after Bennett wrote it.

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In Memoirs, Olmert Says Abbas Made ‘Historic Mistake’ in 2008

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made a "historic mistake" by rebuffing a peace offer made during negotiations in 2008.

Excerpts from an upcoming memoir by Olmert were published Friday in the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot.

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Oil Below $86 Amid Weak Indicators, Earnings

Oil prices hovered below $86 a barrel Friday in Asia, dragged lower by weak economic and earnings news.

Benchmark crude for March delivery was down 7 cents at $85.57 a barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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South Africa Says 'No Need to Panic' over Mandela Hospitalization

Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela was starting his third day in a Johannesburg hospital Friday, but the South African government says there is no need to panic.

In a statement late Thursday, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe offered no specifics on why Mandela, 92, was taken to the hospital Wednesday, but said he was undergoing specialized tests.

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'Crop circle' in Indonesian Rice Paddy

Thousands of curious onlookers are flocking to central Indonesia to look at a "crop circle" in a rice field following rumors it was formed by a UFO.

Though clearly sculptured by humans — it looks like an intricately designed flower — the 70-yard-wide (70-meter-wide) circle has drawn so much attention that police have blocked off the area with yellow tape.

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Blunt Revels in Upbeat Optimism of New Album

James Blunt prefers to think of his enduring first hit, "You're Beautiful," as a blessing, not a curse.

True, none of his songs have attained the massive success that "You're Beautiful" did when it hit the No. 1 spot five years ago in the U.S. and beyond. But Blunt, 33, is happy to have that song on his musical resume, so long as people understand there's a lot more to his achievements.

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