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Panda cubs are doing well

Panda cubs are doing well

The National Zoo says two panda cubs born Saturday are doing well, but their caretakers had a challenging night. Because pandas won't usually nurse twins if left to their own devices, officials are following a procedure developed by Chinese breeders. Panda mom Mei Xiang gets to nurse and bond with one cub at a time. The other cub is kept in an incubator. Every several hours, the cubs are swapped. The zoo said Monday that when caretakers tried to swap the cubs late Sunday, Mei Xiang would not set down the cub she was holding. As a result, the team cared for the smaller cub, feeding it with a bottle and through a feeding tube, until about 7 a.m. Monday when a successful swap was made.

Saudi women register to vote

Two women in Saudi Arabia made history last week when they became the country's first registered female voters, according to local media. "The participation of the Saudi women in the municipal elections as voters and candidates was a dream for us," Jamal al-Saadi, one of the women who registered, told the Saudi Gazette. She added: "I was quite ready for this day." A handful of women, including an 18-year-old, registered in Medina and Mecca, where the process began early. Voter registration opened up in the rest of the country on Saturday, and candidates can begin signing up Sunday. Men and women will vote in separate polling places. In 2011, the now-late King Abdullah announced that women would be allowed to vote and run as candidates starting in 2015. Municipal elections, which began in 2005, are the only such contests in the monarchy, and those elected have limited authority. The share of elected municipal council seats will increase from one-half to two-thirds this year; the rest of the seats are appointed.

Times wires

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