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Napoleon's two-pointed hat goes under hammer

One of Napoleon's famous two-pointed bicorne hats is due to go under the hammer on Sunday at an auction near Paris.

The black beaver felt hat is valued at between 300,000 and 400,000 euros ($375,000-$500,000), but could go for up to two million euros, according to Napoleon memorabilia watchers.

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Civil Rights Figure: U.S. Divided by Race again

Ruby Bridges was 6 years old in 1960 when she became the first black student to attend a previously all-white elementary school in New Orleans, one of the iconic moments in the U.S. civil rights movement. Today, the civil rights pioneer says America looks a lot like it did then: A nation with segregated schools and racial tension.

Friday marked the 54th anniversary of the day when she first walked up the steps to William Frantz Elementary School. Bridges was in New Orleans for the unveiling of a statue at the school, and a reunion with the white teacher who taught her and the sole-surviving U.S. marshal who walked her to school.

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Toys Talk to Kids about Velvet Revolution

The Velvet Revolution that kicked off in Prague 25 years ago Monday was a seminal event in the collapse of communism. Try explaining that to children who have only known democracy.

That's the challenge tackled by two veterans of the uprising as the massive student protests faded ever further into the past. They wanted to capture the excitement of the rallies, the brutality of police beatings and the surreal repression of a nation that Vaclav Havel — later president — dubbed "Absurdistan."

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Shiite Holy Month Sees Show of Strength in Baghdad

Red and green Shiite banners line the streets of Baghdad, portraits of religious figures and slain "martyrs" stare down from billboards, hymns blare from shops and cafes, and grim-faced militiamen prowl the streets in pickup trucks.

The holy month of Muharram has brought an unprecedented show of strength by Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority, underscoring its domination of the bitterly fractured capital and the vulnerability of the once-dominant Sunnis, while raising fears of a new round of sectarian cleansing by Shiite militias allied with the government.

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Meet the Ancestors -- Exhibition Reveals Faces of Prehistoric Humans

Her clothes are made from fur, hemp and nettle and for decoration she sports ivory and bone beads. She has dark hair worn in dreadlocks, tattoos and a penetrating stare.

Dubbed "the woman from the Pataud shelter", little is known about this figure from prehistory -- except how she might have looked.

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Roll over Beethoven! Sound no Barrier for 'World's Fastest' Pianist

A composer who claims to be the world's fastest pianist says tinkling the ivories quicker than the human ear can hear is a surefire route to Nirvana.

Ukrainian Lubomyr Melnyk is working his fingers at a dizzying 19.5 notes per second, and reckons the result -- what he calls "continuous music" -- is the first innovation in piano playing for more than three centuries.

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Skeleton Found in Mysterious Alexander-Era Greek Tomb

A skeleton has been discovered in the mysterious, richly-decorated tomb from the time of Alexander the Great that has crisis-hit Greece on tenterhooks, the country's culture ministry said Wednesday.

Officials said the remains were clearly those of "a powerful personality which can be seen from this unique tomb", with speculation rife that it could be that of Roxana, Alexander's Persian wife, his mother Olympias or one of his generals.

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Pearl Necklace of 19th-Century Swedish Queen Fetches $3.42 mn

A pearl necklace that belonged to Josephine de Beauharnais, a 19th-century queen of Sweden, sold at auction in Geneva on Wednesday for $3.42 million (2.73 million euros).

It was one lot in a sale of high-end jewelry organised by auction house Sotheby's that raised a total of $95 million.

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Warhol Images of Elvis, Brando Fetch $151 Million

Two iconic Andy Warhol paintings of Elvis Presley and Marlon Brando sold for more than $151 million at auction in New York on Wednesday, shattering pre-sale estimates by several million dollars.

Pop-art legend Warhol's "Triple Elvis" -- a 1963 silkscreen depicting three images of the King of Rock and Roll posing as a gunslinging cowboy -- sold for $81.9 million at the Christie's sale.

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S. Korea Falls Silent for High-Pressure Exam

South Korea went into "hush" mode Thursday, as nearly 650,000 students sat the annual college entrance exam that will play a large part in defining their adult lives in the ultra-competitive society.

Preparation for the crucial exam starts from primary school, and so does the relentless pressure that has been blamed for everything from early burnout to teenage depression and suicide.

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