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Meanwhile in ... Berlin, three new rabbis have made history

And in Çatalhöyük, Turkey, dirty dishes are helping archaeologists understand an ancient civilization.

Eric Risberg/AP
Robotic arm lifts plants at Iron Ox.

Berlin, three new rabbis have made history. The graduates of the Berlin Rabbinical Seminary have become the first rabbis ordained in the city since the Nazis began persecuting Jews in the 1930s. “The fact that Berlin – the place where deportations and extermination [were] planned and decided – is once again home to the largest Jewish community in Germany is ... an undeserved gift,” said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who marked the occasion at an event at a local synagogue. He was joined by Berlin Mayor Michael Müller. “We must preserve this gift with all our strength,” Mr. Maas said.

Çatalhöyük, Turkey, dirty dishes are helping archaeologists understand an ancient civilization. Pottery fragments covered with calcified deposits of proteins from grains such as barley, wheat, and peas, as well as with blood and milk from cows, sheep, and goats, reveal clues to the diet and way of life of people who lived in the area around 6000 to 5700 BC.

San Carlos, Calif., robotic farmers may help grow bumper crops. The first autonomous robot farm will use artificial intelligence to grow 30 times more produce than traditional methods, according to the robots’ manufacturer, Iron Ox. Shortages of laborers and the need to increase food production are behind the effort. The year-round growing schedule uses hydroponics (growing plants without soil), with plants in pots housed separately in “grow modules.” Angus, a 1,000-pound machine that roams the farm, works much like a self-driving car, using sensors as it lifts and carries the grow modules. Iron Ox says it will start selling produce to northern California restaurants and supermarkets before the end of the year.

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