Scott Neuman

An extraordinary find of a fossil of 250-million-year-old air-breathing sea creature shows that it must have given birth on land, not in the sea as long assumed.

The fossil is of a mother chaohusaurus, which is believed to be a genus of ichthyosaur, who died giving birth. It shows the baby birthing headfirst.

Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta will step down after his own party launched a no-confidence vote against him, paving the way for the young and popular mayor of Florence to assume the post.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

If those flowers you were expecting fail to show up by Friday, don't be so quick to blame your Valentine. It could just be the weather.

That's not to say that the friendly neighborhood florist isn't planning for the worst — and hoping for the best.

China's troubled Jade Rabbit rover has woken from its hibernation on the moon, sending a message back to its handlers. But its problems aren't over yet.

"Hi, anyone there?" was the post on Jade Rabbit's unofficial Weibo account on Thursday, which got thousands of responses from enthusiastic followers.

Marius, a healthy 2-year-old male giraffe living at the Copenhagen Zoo, has been euthanized; his body was cut up and fed to lions.

More than 600 people have left rebel-held areas of the besieged Syrian city of Homs, according to the local governor.

Talal Barrazi gave the figure for the number of evacuees as of Sunday evening.

The Associated Press says:

Swiss voters narrowly approved a referendum to impose strict quotas on immigration, effectively ending a "free movement" agreement with the European Union.

The measure passed by just 50.5 percent of the vote. Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, nonetheless has adopted many of the union's policies.

A coalition led by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) spearheaded the "yes" vote.

California, which has been experiencing its worst drought on record, is welcoming some heavy rainfall this weekend, but it's still too early to say if it signals a wholesale quenching of dried up streams and farm fields.

NBC News says:

Controversy is nothing new to figure skating, so perhaps it's not surprising that team figure skating, new to this Olympics, has already come in for some unwanted attention. The Russian and U.S. figure skating teams are strongly denying reports that they are in collusion.

The owners of a Bangladesh garment factory that caught fire in 2012, killing 112 workers, have surrendered to police to face homicide charges.

Delwar Hossain and his wife, Mahmuda Akter, were charged in December but remained free until their surrender on Sunday. The couple were denied bail. If found guilty, they face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The Tazreen Fashions factory, which produced clothing for retail giants such as Wal-Mart, lacked emergency exits and other safety measures.

Jamie Anderson's win in the slopestyle snowboarding competition has given the U.S. a sweep of the event following Saturday's win by Sage Kotsenburg.

Anderson's near-flawless run clinched the women's gold.

The Associated Press reports:

An admiral of Iran's Northern Navy Fleet said warships under his command have been dispatched to skirt U.S. maritime borders for the first time, in tit-for-tat move aimed at protesting the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf.

Afshin Rezayee Haddad was quoted Saturday by the semi-official Fars News Agency as saying the deployment of the vessels, the number and type which he did not reveal, "has a message."

Aid workers trying to deliver humanitarian supplies to the besieged, rebel-held district of Homs, were wounded on Saturday after reportedly coming under fire from "armed terrorist groups," the label authorities give to rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

Four Syrian Arab Red Crescent workers were hurt in the reported attack, according to Syrian state television. Opposition groups did not immediately respond to the allegations.

As NPR's Alice Fordham reports, it's the latest sign that a hard-won ceasefire is fraying.

A court in France has ordered a most public shaming for Google, telling the Internet giant it must display a notice on its French search page acknowledging it's been fined over how it tracked and stored user information.

The $200,000 fine was imposed in January by the French National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties (CNIL) for violating consumer privacy.

According to Google Translate, the above notice reads:

A Spanish-led consortium charged with a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal lock system has halted work after a disagreement over massive cost overruns in the project.

The BBC says the consortium, known as Grupo Unido por el Canal (GUPC), announced that work had been stopped because it's owed $1.6 billion for a project to build a third set of locks designed to handle bigger ships than can currently fit through the canal. The original price tag was set at $3.2 billion.

Bitter partisan brinkmanship has been the hallmark of debates over raising the debt ceiling in recent years, but there are signs that it could be less contentious this time around. Still, Congress needs to act fast to avoid a default. Here are three things you should know as things move forward:

-- Without a deal, the Treasury will officially run out of money on Feb. 27:

Ross William Ulbricht, the accused proprietor of a shadowy online marketplace that specialized in illegal transactions, has plead not guilty in a Manhattan court to drug trafficking, computer hacking, money laundering and running a continuing criminal conspiracy.

A trial for Ulbricht, who allegedly ran the now-defunct Silk Road, has been set for Nov. 3.

Listen up, students of Virginia, this question could be on your next geography quiz: What is the name of the major body of water located between Japan and the Korean peninsula?

If you said Sea of Japan, you're only half right. It's also called the East Sea.

Stephen Kim, a former State Department contractor who leaked classified material to Fox News, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of unauthorized disclosure of secret government information, his lawyer told U.S. District judge on Friday.

NPR's Carrie Johnson reports:

"Under a deal with prosecutors Kim has agreed to serve 13 months in prison but the agreement must be approved by a judge. If the deal is approved the investigation will end - meaning no more charges against anyone else including Fox reporter James Rosen."

The oldest human ancestors to have walked on the British Isles left nothing except footprints. But they've made quite an impression on the world of science.

Researchers say 50 or so prints found on a beach near the village of Happisburg in Norfolk are the oldest known human footprints outside Africa. They were discovered last spring by a team of experts from the British Museum, the Natural History Museum and Queen Mary University of London.

A 2,000-pound bomb dropped on Japanese-occupied Hong Kong by an American bomber during World War II has been defused after it was unearthed at a construction site in the city's central Happy Valley district.

Some 2,200 Hong Kong residents were evacuated from apartment buildings around the site where the massive explosive was found. Police bomb squads moved in, carefully, to dismantle the bomb. Authorities said it was simply too big to explode in place, which is usually the safest option in such circumstances.

California and Oregon, which experienced their driest year on record in 2013, are looking at more snow and rain over the weekend, with heavy accumulation expected in the Sierra Nevadas, the Cascades and the Great Basin.

More than a thousand would-be North African migrants were rescued by the Italian navy about 120 miles southeast of the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, authorities say.

The BBC says that 1,123 people, from sub-Saharan Africa, were intercepted on Wednesday as they tried to make the passage in inflatable boats, but were intercepted by authorities. They included 47 women, four of them pregnant, and 50 children, the BBC says.

For background:

Mathew Martoma, a former portfolio manager with SAC Capital Advisors, has been convicted of helping the hedge fund reap hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal trades based on inside information. His is the latest in a series of legal actions related to the firm owned by billionaire Steven A. Cohen.

Martoma, 39, was found guilty by a federal jury in Manhattan on three counts of conspiracy and securities fraud related to trades made on inside information about a possible breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer's.

Take a close look at the stunning image above showing a newly formed impact crater on Mars: The blue streaks of material, known as ejecta, radiate 9 miles from the 100-foot crater, according to NASA.

The picture was taken from orbit by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 19. The same area was imaged by the MRO's Context Camera in July 2010 and again in May 2012 — with no crater in the first and a telltale surface scar in the second.

Police in Milwaukee have recovered "Lipinski" – a 300-year-old Stradivarius stolen last month from a concertmaster as he was walking to his car with the rare violin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, quoting law enforcement officials, says the instrument has been found:

General Motors posted a weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Thursday amid disappointing sales, especially outside the U.S.

Net income rose to $913 million, or 57 cents a share, from $892 million, or 54 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected 88 cents a share.

According to Reuters:

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won a best actor Oscar for the title role in the 2005 film Capote, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment at the age of 46.

A New York Police Department spokesman tells NPR that authorities are "investigating Hoffman's death as a possible drug overdose."

Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych says he will return to work on Monday after a brief sick leave, likely setting the stage for a new round of anti-government unrest.

As many as 30,000 protesters gathered in the capital, Kiev, on Sunday, renewing calls for Yanukovych to step down.

The president had announced his sick leave on Thursday, prompting concern that, as The Associated Press writes, "he may have been taking himself out of action in preparation for declaring a state of emergency."

You might recall Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner's 2012 jump from a 24-mile-high balloon capsule, a height of 127,852 feet. He broke not only an altitude record, formerly set by a U.S. Air Force pilot, Col. Joe Kittinger, in 1960, but also a record for speed of descent, breaking the sound barrier on his plummet to the New Mexico desert.

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