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Oldest human footprints in US found in New Mexico

Fossilised footprints discovered in New Mexico indicate that early humans were walking across North America around 23,000 years ago, researchers reported recently (Sept 23).

The first footprints were found in a dry lake bed in White Sands National Park in 2009. Scientists at the US Geological Survey recently analysed seeds stuck in the footprints to determine their approximate age, ranging from around 22,800 and 21,130 years ago.

The findings may shed light on a mystery that has long intrigued scientists: When did people first arrive in the Americas, after dispersing from Africa and Asia?

Most scientists believe ancient migration came by way of a now-submerged land bridge that connected Asia to Alaska. Based on various evidence – including stone t

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Kids as young as 4 embark on intensive training to be K-pop idols

Seoul’s posh Gangnam district is known for its private educational institutes, called “hagwon”. Seeing students rushing to hagwon after school is nothing new for Seoulites.

But the number of private academies that offer dance and vocal lessons has mushroomed as more youngsters aspire to K-pop stardom.

Private training systems

Lee Jae-won has run a dance academy in Apgujeong-dong, southern Seoul, for eight years, training young idol-wannabes. Lee’s institution systematically instructs trainees with the goal of eventually getting them into big agencies so they can debut as entertainers.

“There are many academies that welcome adults and teenagers, and some even offer classes that focus on auditions, but there are barely any i

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Langkawi tourism bubble gives hope to other destinations in Malaysia

It has been a while since the Langkawi travel bubble kicked off on Sept 16. While it may still be too early to see whether the pilot programme is a success or not, it does give other tourist destinations in the country some hope of a reopening.

In the first 10 days of the pilot programme, as many as 20,257 people had visited the island resort in Kedah. The number falls a little short of the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry’s target of 30,000, which it had hoped to achieve by Sept 30.

This shortfall may have been the result of a critical last-minute change in standard operating procedures, in which all visitors must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test before boarding the plane or ferry to the island.

However, the update in SOP was lauded by ma

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K-pop singer Ryu Sera frustrated with fans who send explicit messages to her

It is normal for idols to receive personal messages from their fans on social media. While many would send messages of support and love, some fans have gone to the extreme of sending explicit and inappropriate texts in an effort to gain attention.

Former Nine Muses member Ryu Sera fell victim to such crude photos and messages online recently and made it a point to speak out against these individuals. Posting a screenshot of a fan's inappropriate message on her Instagram, Ryu issued a warning against those who have been harassing her.

In the post she wrote: "For the first time since my debut 11 years ago, I’m currently receiving photos of a specific body part and sexual messages. The fact that I’ve received these may mean that every woman in South Korea

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8-year-old Brazilian girl dubbed world’s youngest astronomer

When Nicole Oliveira was just learning to walk, she would throw up her arms to reach for the stars in the sky.

Today, at just eight years of age, the Brazilian girl is known as the world's youngest astronomer, looking for asteroids as part of a NASA-affiliated programme, attending international seminars and meeting with her country's top space and science figures.

In Nicole's room, filled with posters of the solar system, miniature rockets and Star Wars figures, Nicolinha, as she is affectionately known, works on her computer studying images of the sky on two large screens.

The project, called Asteroid Hunters, is meant to introduce young people to science by giving them a chance to make space discoveries of their own.

It is run by the International Astronomical Search Collaboration, a citizen science programme affiliated wi

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The corner of Costa Rica where people live on, and on

Aged 94, Saturnino "Sato" Lopez rises early each day, chops wood and takes long walks in a part of Costa Rica that's a global oddity: like him, people there tend to live a very long time.

Home for Sato is the Nicoya Peninsula, where 1,010 people aged 90 or older live in a so-called "Blue Zone" – five areas around the world where life expectancy is particularly high.

And these people did not move to the peninsula, located in the northwest of Costa Rica. Rather, they have always lived there.

"At my age, I feel well because the Lord gives me strength to walk at ease. I go out, walk maybe a kilometer (around half a mile), or four kilometers, and I return, no problem," said Lopez.

His house in a village called Dulce Nombre – Sweet Name – is a sort of nature refuge.

The village's wood, concrete and stick-and-mud hous

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Dubai Expo ‘new city’ will exist for decades, says chief

Dubai has created a "new city" for Expo 2020 that will exist for decades, the head of the event told AFP, promising that most of the vast site will remain in use after the six-month world fair.

The US$7bil (RM29.2bil), purpose-built showground occupies a vast site on Dubai's outskirts, with hundreds of pavilions and exhibitions sprawling across an area twice the size of Monaco.

Expo 2020, which has sustainability as one of its main themes, wraps up in March. But director general Reem Al Hashimy said the lavish, largely air-conditioned development would not go to waste.

"It was never an investment to host an Expo, it was an investment to create a new city that is equal distance between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and really the city of the future," she said

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Discovering Slovenia’s underground labyrinths, one cave at a time

The grass flickered gently above a crack in the limestone and Ludvik Husu instinctively knew he had found what he was searching for: a new cave in Slovenia’s dramatic Karst region.

The seasoned cave enthusiast, with more than 50 years’ experience, said that “the conditions were perfect... all the signs pointed to something beneath” as he felt the air current push up from below.

The 63-year-old Husu had come across a new, 60m-deep limestone cave, a discovery that made the headlines this summer in a country that prides itself in its 14,000 underground grottoes.

The tiny Alpine nation is unusually rich in caves, which are a major tourist attraction. One even houses an entire castle and another was used by the European Space Agency to help train astronauts.

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Stars express support for abortion rights

MOVIE stars Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer took part in the Rally for Aborting Justice in Washington, DC, over the weekend.

Schumer, 40, shared a photo on Instagram of herself standing alongside a pregnant Lawrence, 31, at the Women’s March protest held in Freedom Plaza.

The comedienne, who was dressed in a jumpsuit and a blue cap, held a sign saying: “Abortion Is Essential”, while the Silver Linings Playbook actress was decked in a checkered dress displaying her baby bump and holding a handwritten sign reading: “Women can’t be free if they don’t control their bodies” during the rally.

In her caption for the picture, Schumer wrote: “I don’t have a uterus and she is pregnant but we out here”, in a show of support for women’s reproductive rights.

The caption referred to the fact that after enduring years of pain, Schumer recently had her uterus an

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Hollywood crews fight back

TENS of thousands of workers around the US could go on strike in the coming weeks, in what would be the largest wave of labour unrest since a series of teacher strikes in 2018 and 2019, and the largest to hit the entertainment industry since the landmark Writers Guild of America Strike from 2007 to 2008.

According to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), nearly 99% of registered members voted in support of a strike over the weekend, the first in its 128-year history.

In a statement, IATSE president Matthew Loeb voiced his support for the movement.

“The members have spoken loud and clear,” he said. “This vote is about the quality of life as well as the health and safety of those who work in the film and television industry.

“Our people have basic human needs like time for meal breaks, adequate sleep, and a weekend. For those at the bottom of the pay scale, they deserve nothing less than a living wage.”

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