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It is a cave so closely guarded that only three people know the code to the half-tonne reinforced door that seals its entrance, where cameras keep watch 24 hours a day. But AFP was given a rare chance to step through this gateway into prehistory and into the depths of the Grotte Chauvet in southern France - home to the earliest known figurative drawings and now a World Heritage site.

Nelson Mandela's widow was forced to get accreditation to attend his memorial service and could only bring four family members as his clan squabbled after his death, the South African icon's former private assistant says. Graca Machel, who became Mandela's third wife in his twilight years, was frequently undermined by some members of his family, former Mandela assistant Zelda la Grange wrote in her memoirs published last Thursday.
A leading US doctors' group Tuesday urged parents to read to their children starting in infancy, in order to boost language skills in an age of screens and smartphones. Pediatricians have long encouraged reading to children, but the guidelines are the first official policy from the American Academy of Pediatrics telling doctors to talk to parents about daily reading to their children, from the first year of life until kindergarten.
A smoothy drink of spinach, apple and cucumber is very healthy - and it's also the latest health trend. Following on from the fruit smoothy, vegetable smoothies are the drink of choice for the health-conscious person. "Juices that are more than 50 percent vegetable are perfect for anyone on the go," according to the author of a recent praise-up in Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper.
The MDGs' fiasco in Pakistan presents an interesting comparative case study of performance of political regimes during the period 1990-2013. In a stylistic sense, political regimes reflect political will, political ownership and/or country ownership for wide ranging economic reforms and to attain targets in case of MDGs. Multilaterals' use of 'country ownership' incorporates a wider range of stakeholders, ie, politicians, bureaucrats, academia, grass root organizations and local level government, while in a narrow and strict sense 'political ownership' may only be inferred from the manifesto of the political party running the government.
A breakthrough in the way energy is stored could lead to smaller electronics, more trunk space in a hybrid car and eventually clothing that can recharge a cellphone, according to researchers at the University of Central Florida. Nanotechnology scientist Jayan Thomas said in an interview he believes he has discovered a way to store energy in a thin sheath around an ordinary lightweight copper electrical wire. As a result, the same wire that transmits electricity can also store extra energy.
The North American monarch butterfly uses the Sun as well as Earth's magnetic field as navigational tools for its famous long-distance migration, scientists said Tuesday. The insects with their characteristic orange-and-black wings flutter thousands of kilometres each year from the United States and southern Canada to the Michoacan mountains in central Mexico, where they overwinter.


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