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When you think of an old map or manuscript, you might picture something yellowed, tattered or even torn because of how long it's been around. But millions of historic documents, from presidential papers to personal slave journals are facing an issue apart from age: a preservation method that has backfired.

In a cold, white room on the first floor of South Carolina's state archives, a dehumidifier keeps a mass of old documents safe.

With security at the U.S.-Mexico border at the center of a seething controversy, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court seemed torn at oral arguments on Tuesday — torn between their sense of justice and legal rules that until now have protected U.S. Border Patrol agents from liability in cross-border shootings.

The Polish-born conductor and composer Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, who led the Minnesota Orchestra for nearly two decades and worked with that symphony for well over 50 years in total, died Tuesday at age 93.

Thaer al-Tahli has spent three years trying to make it to the United States. He's finally giving up the dream.

Al-Tahli is a familiar face in Amman, Jordan. He's a television news anchor and a Syrian in exile. The 29-year-old supported the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. As an activist, he organized demonstrations and set up a student union at his university in Homs.

That didn't please the Syrian regime.

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Joshua Roberts/Reuters 

Scott Pruitt, in his first address to staff since he took over as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, urged civility and said he would “listen, learn and lead.” 

“We ought to be able to get together and wrestle through some very difficult issues and do so in a civil manner,” Pruitt told staffers Tuesday at the EPA headquarters in Washington, DC.

Signaling a shift in the agency’s priorities, Pruitt focused his remarks on creating a pro-business, regulatory environment rather than cleaning up air or water.

With 200 museums in greater Paris, newcomers face tough competition.

The privately run Phono Museum, which opened in 2014, guides visitors through the history of recorded sound. But it has struggled to overcome financial problems, despite a collection full of old and sometimes bizarre artifacts of audio history.

When the Academy Award nominations were announced in 2015 — and again in 2016 — there was swift backlash against the Academy for the lack of racial diversity among the nominees. Now, a new study of Best Picture nominees has revealed yet another demographic that's been chronically underrepresented in Hollywood — older people.

Denmark's dark past is up for an Oscar

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Every country wants to show the world its good side. But there's always a dark side it doesn't want to let out. That's the motivation behind the Danish film "Land of Mine," one of five nominees for best foreign language film at the Oscars this Sunday. 

"I wanted to show Denmark's true face," says the movie's director Martin Zandvliet. He knew there were a lot of hidden stories in Danish history, but when he stumbled across the stories involving German boys, he knew he had the makings of a film.

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Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Herbert Raymond “H.R.” McMaster has been picked to serve as President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser. The active duty 3-star Army general is expected to have a relatively easy confirmation process, as he is widely respected in Congress.

“H.R. is the most bull-headed, nicest, smartest, most ego-free person I think I have ever met,” says retired Army Col. John Nagl, who has known and worked with McMaster for more than 20 years.

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