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At the Edge of Time, a Litter of Galactic Puppies

Astronomers announced on Thursday that they had discovered a giant black hole surrounded by a litter of young protogalaxies that date to the early universe — the beginning of time. The black hole, which powers a quasar known as SDSS J1030+0524, weighed in at a billion solar masses when the universe was…

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Tokyo Stock Market Halts Trading for a Day, Citing Glitch

TOKYO — The Tokyo Stock Exchange shut down for the day on Thursday as its operator raced to solve a technical glitch that halted equities trading throughout the world’s third- largest economy. The breakdown is the worst ever for one of the globe’s biggest platforms to buy and trade stocks, bewildering investors…

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In Proud Corners of Afghanistan, New Calls for Autonomy

BAZARAK, Afghanistan — His face juts alongside the single-lane roads carved into the remote and forbidding Panjshir Valley, and looms over twisted hulks of Soviet tanks and the patchwork of cornfields. Seemingly everywhere, billboards carry the image of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the admired and assassinated military commander from this region, and quotes…

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Switzerland Votes to Approve Paternity Leave

ZURICH — Swiss voters on Sunday agreed to adopt a law mandating paternity leave, making it the last nation in Western Europe to do so and beating back strong conservative opposition to the proposal. Fathers in the country had been allowed one day off for the birth of a child — the…

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Melbourne Eases Virus Lockdown Restrictions

“We are ahead of schedule. We have made more progress than we had hoped to make at this point in time. Now that is something that we can all be pleased about. But it doesn’t mean this is over.” “In terms of public gatherings that are outside, a household or a limit…

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In Melbourne, Springtime Ushers in a New Sense of Hope

ImageSpringtime in Melbourne’s Carlton GardensCredit…Besha Rodell The Australia Letter is a weekly newsletter from our Australia bureau. This week’s issue is written by Besha Rodell, a columnist with the Australia bureau. There are blossoms on the trees in Melbourne and days of cold rain and blustering wind, but also days of sweet-smelling…

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Ang Rita, Who Conquered Everest Again and Again, Dies at 72

KATHMANDU, Nepal — Ang Rita Sherpa, who earned global fame by climbing the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, 10 times without the use of supplemental oxygen, died on Monday at his daughter’s house in Kathmandu. He was 72. His death was confirmed by his family and by Nepal’s mountaineering associations. No cause…

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Justin Trudeau Offers Wide Array of Promises With Few Specifics

One thing became clear during the 54 minutes it took Governor General Julie Payette to read the throne speech this week: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is back to making lots of big promises, after pulling back on pledges during last year’s election. ImageJulie Payette, Canada’s governor general, delivering the throne speech.Credit…Pool photo…

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Ukrainian Military Plane Crashes, Killing 22

MOSCOW — A military transport plane carrying air force cadets crashed and burst into flames near a highway in northeastern Ukraine on Friday evening, killing at least 22 people on board, officials said. The Antonov An-26 aircraft crashed while trying to land during a training exercise, the military said in a statement,…

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Famine Emerges as U.N. Theme, Crystallized by Yemen Disaster

The coronavirus scourge is a prevailing theme at this year’s United Nations General Assembly, forcing the gathering to be conducted largely online. But the pandemic is also fueling another crisis preoccupying the organization and humanitarian groups: the strong prospect of famine in some of the world’s most destitute places. Nowhere is famine…

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