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Researchers have unearthed a new species of ancient human in the Afar region of Ethiopia.

The study, published in the journal Nature, says the research team discovered jaw bones and teeth, which date to between 3.3 million and 3.5 million years old.

It means this new hominin was alive at the same time as several other early human species, suggesting our family tree is more complicated than was thought.Australopithecus deyiremeda discovered in Ethiopia

The new species has been called Australopithecus deyiremeda, which means “close relative” in the language spoken by the Afar people.

The ancient remains are thought to belong to four individuals, who would have had both ape and human-like features.

The age of the remains means that this was potentially one of four different species of early humans that were all alive at the same time.

The most famous of these is Australopithecus afarensis – known as Lucy – who lived between 2.9 million and 3.8 million years ago, and was initially thought to be our direct ancestor.

However, the discovery of another species called Kenyanthropus platyops in Kenya in 2001, and of Australopithecus bahrelghazali in Chad, and now Australopithecus deyiremedaI, suggests that there were several species co-existing.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has topped the US and Canada box office, taking $65 million from August 8 to 10, according to studio estimates.

Paramount, the studio behind the action movie, immediately announced plans for a sequel, which will be released in 2016.

Paramount’s Megan Colligan said the movie’s success was due to two different groups – those who remembered the original 1980s and 90s franchise and children who watched the recent Nickelodeon cartoon series.

“It’s odd when you have 25 to 35-year-olds and then seven to 12-year-olds really excited about the same film,” Megan Colligan said.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has topped the US and Canada box office, taking $65 million

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has topped the US and Canada box office, taking $65 million

“The teen audience was actually the one that wasn’t as familiar with the property, so we put a lot of focus on teens.”

Guardians of the Galaxy dropped to second place, taking $41.5 million.

Into the Storm, starring Richard Armitage, took third place with $18 million.

Disney drama The Hundred-Foot Journey, starring Helen Mirren, was fourth with $11.1 million.

North American box office Top 5:

  1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – $65 million
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy – $41.5 million
  3. Into the Storm – $18 million
  4. The Hundred-Foot Journey – $11.1 million
  5. Lucy– $9.3 million

Source: Rentrak

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Scarlett Johansson’s action thriller Lucy has topped the North American box office with $44 million over the weekend.

Lucy is about a woman who unlocks hitherto untapped brain powers.

Fantasy movie Hercules had to settle for an estimated $29 million between Friday and Sunday.

The film’s distributor Paramount said the takings equaled expectations.

Directed by France’s Luc Besson, Lucy tells the story of a woman who can move objects with her mind after a drug causes her brain to operate at abnormally high levels.

Hercules sees Dwayne Johnson take on the role of the fabled Greek demigod, previously played on screen by Steve Reeves, Arnold Schwarzenegger and others.

Scarlett Johansson's action thriller Lucy has topped the North American box office with $44 million over the weekend

Scarlett Johansson’s action thriller Lucy has topped the North American box office with $44 million over the weekend

Brett Ratner’s movie performed far more strongly than The Legend of Hercules, another outing for the character that could only muster $8.6 million when it opened in US cinemas in January.

Overall North American box office takings are still down around 20% compared to last year’s record summer.

It is hoped Guardians of the Galaxy, the latest comic book fantasy from the Marvel stable, will reverse the trend when it opens in cinemas later this week.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, last week’s box office champ, fell two places to three with third weekend takings of $16.4 million.

That was enough to rank it above thriller sequel The Purge: Anarchy and Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue, both of which were also down two places on last week’s placing.

Two other new entries enjoyed more limited success than Lucy and Hercules, with both making their debuts outside of this week’s top five.

And So It Goes, a romantic comedy starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, opened at eight with first weekend takings of $4.6 million, while A Most Wanted Man made its bow at 10 with a $2.7 million tally.

North American box office Top 5:

  1. Lucy – $44 million
  2. Hercules – $29 million
  3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – $16.4 million
  4. The Purge: Anarchy – $9.9 million
  5. Fire & Rescue – $9.3 million [youtube MVt32qoyhi0 650]

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Luc Besson has slammed Taiwanese paparazzi for disrupting the shooting of his latest film Lucy by taking photographs of leading actress Scarlett Johansson.

At a press conference in Taipei, Luc Besson said shooting had been “a nightmare” due to constant press intrusion.

“I lost a bit of my concentration,” he admitted.

Luc Besson spent 11 days in Taipei filming Lucy, in which Scarlett Johansson plays a drug mule endowed with superhuman abilities.

Luc Besson spent 11 days in Taipei filming Lucy, in which Scarlett Johansson plays a drug mule endowed with superhuman abilities

Luc Besson spent 11 days in Taipei filming Lucy, in which Scarlett Johansson plays a drug mule endowed with superhuman abilities

It had been reported that Luc Besson’s crew were nearly involved in a car accident last weekend with a vehicle driven by local press.

The alleged incident led Taipei’s mayor to call on the media to exercise restraint.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Luc Besson said it was his right to keep such details as Scarlett Johansson’s hair style and wardrobe out of the public eye until his film was released.

“We don’t want pictures with new dresses of Scarlett,” the director said while denying reports he had wanted to leave Taiwan early in protest.

Photos taken of the 28-year-old actress on set have shown her sporting a blonde bob, a leopard print jacket and a cowboy hat.

No release date has been set for the movie, which will see Scarlett Johansson appear alongside Morgan Freeman and South Korean star Choi Min-sik.

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