Deprecating Fortran-style exponent operator (**)

At the Octave Developer’s Meeting today we decided on deprecating the Fortran-style exponent operator (** and .**). All code should just use the ^ or .^ operators for exponentiation. Deprecation starts in Octave 7 and the operators will be fully removed in Octave 9.

Initial check-in here announces the deprecation in the NEWS file and replaces all instants of ** in the Octave code base with ^. See octave: cf60f8f636f6.

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