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Anthropologists exploring Manot Cave in Israel have uncovered a rare 55,000-year-old fossil skull that they say has a story to tell of a reverberating transition in human evolution, in the time and place when some early humans were moving out of Africa and apparently interbreeding with Neanderthals.

John Noble Wilford
As “American Sniper” continues to spawn think pieces, internecine celebrity squabbles and diatribes from hand-wringing lefties and chest-thumping righties, it’s interesting to remember the naysaying about the film’s prospects that swirled just last month.Cara Buckley
Chevron and BP said Wednesday that they would work together to explore, appraise and, possibly, develop 24 offshore leases in a deepwater part of the Gulf of Mexico known as the lower tertiary.Stanley Reed
One of the two hostages who died during a 17-hour siege of a downtown Sydney cafe by a lone gunman in December was killed by police bullet fragments, a coroner’s inquest into the siege and the police assault that ended it was told on Thursday.Michelle Innis
As Alaska politicians bluster over the Obama administration's actions on the development potential for ANWR and the Arctic Ocean, one question should be on everyone's mind: which location actually has the most potential? The answer, of course, is complicated.Alex DeMarban,Yereth Rosen
In the biggest retrenchment in the United States as oil prices fall, Sasol has delayed an expansive $14 billion project in southwestern Louisiana to make diesel out of natural gas.Clifford Krauss
The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Tuesday predicted an average price of $58 per barrel of oil in 2015, and $75 per barrel in 2016, spelling more bad news for the oil-loving Alaska budget.Alex DeMarban
Loretta E. Lynch, the nominee to become attorney general, on Wednesday defended the legality of President Barack Obama’s immigration policy during a daylong confirmation hearing Republicans used to seek assurances she would break from some of the practices of Eric H. Holder Jr., the man who now holds the post.CARL HULSE and MATT APUZZO
If you listen to climate change skeptics, Earth's surface hasn't warmed appreciably in the last 15 years, and any "record" set last year is just the result of the planet doing what the planet naturally does.It turns out they're right, but for the wrong reasons. Geoffrey Mohan
Ohio Rep. Bob Gibbs rose to the defense of the late William McKinley Wednesday with the latest in a long series of Buckeye State bills aimed at ending the Denali discussion and preventing a name change for North America's highest mountain.Dermot Cole