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7 Stories to Skim: Older Fathers Have Less Attractive Kids, Study Says

In today's lunchtime reads: a surprising study linking parental age with beauty, Jimmy Carter's concerns about email, and more.
A family walks by the harbour of Sevastopol at sunset on March 5, 2014. US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned Russia on Wednesday that its actions in Ukraine have put its role in the elite Group of Eight club of leading nations at risk. AFP PHOTO/Filippo MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)AFP - Getty Images, file

Here are seven stories from the "Nightly News" team that caught our attention as we get ready for tonight's broadcast.

1. Study: Kids Born to Older Fathers Are Less Attractive

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder … or does it? A new study suggests that older fathers have less attractive children because of extra genetic mutations in their genes. Women are born with all of their eggs and pass on the same genes no matter how old they are, but male sperm is constantly replicating. As men get older, the replication is less effective and can cause DNA mutations in the sperm, which impacts appearance. The finding comes just weeks after researchers concluded that children born to older dads run a higher risk of having autism and other psychiatric disorders. While the science may be seem obtuse, one thing is clear: for both men and women, the ticking of the biological clock is getting louder.

2. Cocaine-Filled Condoms Sent to the Vatican

Which one of these is not like the other: cocaine, condoms and the Vatican? German customs officials say in January, they found 14 condoms packed with the drugs addressed to the postal office near the Pope's residence. A local paper reports the drugs were hidden in cushions shipped from South America and have a street value of tens of thousands of euros.

3. Apple, Comcast Could Take on Netflix

Apple is flexing its muscle in a new arena: TV. According to the latest on the Apple rumor patrol, the company is in talks with Comcast to cut a deal for a streaming-television service that would use an Apple set-top box. The arrangement would allow Apple to receive “special treatment” on Comcast’s cables and bypass congestion on the web, The Wall Street Journal reports. A marriage between the nation’s largest cable provider and the nation’s most valuable company sounds formidable, but talks are still in the early stages. Comcast is the parent company of NBC News.

4. Malaysia Airlines: ‘None of Those Aboard Have Survived’

Grief-stricken families of the missing passengers on MH370 were transfixed by today’s announcement from Malaysia’s Prime Minister: the flight with 239 souls on board was lost at sea, and there were no survivors. After two weeks of speculation, the prime minister said his conclusion the “the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean” was based on work by the U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch and satellite firm Inmarsat. The ongoing search operation will still continue with the hope of uncovering the mystery and bringing the families some form of closure.

5. 32 Injured in Chicago Train Crash

Thirty-two people were injured in Chicago after a CTA train jumped the platform and barreled up an escalator at the O’Hare International Airport stop this morning. The train, which remains wedged at the top of the station’s escalator, failed to slow when approaching the station, but investigators have yet to determine why. As part of standard procedure, the train operator, who suffered minor injuries to her leg, will be undergoing drug and alcohol tests and the incident will be investigated.

6. Kevin Bacon Brings Back 'Footloose' Moves

Nearly 30 years ago Kevin Bacon danced off movie screens and into our hearts as Ren McCormack, the brooding, rule-breaking, bad boy in the movie "Footloose." Brace yourselves, he's back! On Friday night's "Tonight Show," starring Jimmy Fallon, Bacon recreated his now famous moves and all we have to say is "Let's dance!"

7. Former President Dodges NSA with Snail Mail

Jimmy Carter did not mince words in his appearance on "Meet the Press" Sunday. The 89-year-old former president told NBC News that when he wants to ensure privacy in his correspondence, he goes old school: snail mail. Carter added he's skeptical of email, because he said, "it will be monitored."