<p>This abalone shell was found with ocher and a grinding stone. The iron oxide was used as a pigment to paint bodies and walls, as well as to thicken glue.</p>
<p>Archaeologist Christopher Henshilwood excavates at the 100,000-year-old levels of the Blombos cave in South Africa.</p>
<p>Researchers found paint and tools in the Blombos cave, marked with the white arrow on the left side of the image, on the southern coast of South Africa.</p>
Credit Magnus Haaland
Apparently one of the earliest human instincts was to paint things, including bodies and cave walls. That's the conclusion from scientists who have discovered something remarkable in a South African cave — a tool kit for making paint. It looks to be the oldest evidence of paint-making.
Over in southern Africa 100,000 years ago, Homo sapiens was pretty new on the scene. A favorite hangout was a cave named Blombos near the Southern ocean.
<p>Bank of America's headquarters towers over the city center in Charlotte, N.C. Charlotte has long been one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, but now nearly one in 10 residents is out of work.</p>
Credit Davis Turner / Getty
Charlotte, N.C., is perhaps best known as the home of Bank of America, the country's largest financial institution. So now, with Bank of America struggling to revive its stock price, cutting tens of thousands of jobs and widely criticized for charging customers a $5 monthly fee to use their debit cards, what's the mood in Charlotte?
Vladimir Putin will be president, says 30-year-old Yelena.
The lifelong Muscovite is chatting to a friend in Alexander Gardens next to the Kremlin in Moscow. Yelena, who like many Russians won't give her last name when discussing politics, says she's not even sure she will vote.
"Everything's been decided," she says in Russian. "It will be the same no matter who we vote for."
It's election season in Russia, with votes due for parliament in December and president next March. Everyone knows who will win, however, and voters are not energized by the campaign.
<p>U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) speaks as Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) listen during a hearing before the Joint Deficit Reduction Committee, also known as the supercommittee. </p>
If you've ever thought that most of politics is game-playing, you're right. Political scientists often use mathematical game theory to describe how Congress works. And when they look at the current battle over how to handle the deficit, the game that comes to mind is chicken.
Steven Smith is a professor of political science at Washington University, and he says yes, Republicans and Democrats sometimes remind him of two cars driving as fast as they can toward a cliff.
<p>This steel plant in Weirton, W.Va., was idled in 2009. The United Steelworkers union worries that a trade deal signed this week could result in more jobs lost.</p>
Credit Rick Gershon / Getty Images
<p>Chevy Volt electric vehicles and Opel Amperas go through assembly at General Motors' Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant on Tuesday. In contrast to the steelworkers, the auto industry and its workers are big fans of the free-trade deal with South Korea.</p>
Credit Bill Pugliano / Getty Images
President Obama had a rare bipartisan economic success this week when Congress passed three trade deals.
Obama is going to Detroit on Friday with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to take a victory lap. But some important parts of Obama's base are not fans of these deals — with South Korea, Panama and Colombia — which could have political consequences for the president.
Friday's event is at a General Motors plant. The auto industry and its workers are big fans of the free-trade deal with South Korea, so they're sure to give the world leaders a warm welcome.