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Post-war heavyweights dominate New York art auctions

Some of the finest masterpieces of 20th century art are the highlights of New York’s November auction season, poised to set new sales records in a flourishing market. The sum total of impressionist, modern, post-war and contemporary art being offered by Christie’s and Sotheby’s is expected to fetch more than…

Laurie Anderson: Lou Reed died while doing tai chi

Late U.S. rocker Lou Reed breathed his last breath “looking at the trees” while doing tai chi, according to his widow. The influential 71-year-old songwriter and musician died Sunday of complications from a recent liver transplant. In a letter titled “For Lou Reed” posted Thursday on the website of the…

South Africa rips Israel’s new settlement plan

South Africa has slammed Israel’s plans to build new settler homes in east Jerusalem as pro-Palestinian activists launched an international campaign for the release of political prisoners. “That arrangement there in Palestine keeps us awake,” South Africa’s Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on Friday told members of Cosatu, the largest trade…

700 Albanian drug farm workers hospitalized for ‘cannabis intoxication’

At least 700 people, mostly women, have sought medical help for apparent drug intoxication in a village believed to be the largest marijuana producer in the Balkans, doctors said Friday. All the patients, suspected workers in cannabis fields in the southern Albanian village of Lazaret, had similar symptoms and “serious…

Professional sport returns to Cuba after 50-year ban

Professional sport returns to Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years on Sunday when the first pitch is thrown in the communist island’s national baseball league, part of a government bid to halt the flow of sporting defectors overseas. In a landmark policy shift announced in September,…

Bill Moyers: Republicans stalked Obamacare ‘like Jack The Ripper’

The criticism surrounding the Affordable Care Act did not come out of nowhere, Bill Moyers argued in a commentary on Friday, nor is it without historical precedent. “This happened back in the thirties, after Congress passed Social Security, but failed to sufficiently fund the board that was supposed to run…

Kosovo elections hold a key to Serbia’s bid to join E.U.

Key local elections in Kosovo on Sunday will be closely watched for the turnout of its minority Serb population and is seen as a vital step in Serbia’s bid to join the European Union. Kosovo, the territory which sparked a war between Serb forces and ethnic Albanian rebels in 1998-1999,…

Brazilian police and protesters clash over forced evictions in Sao Paulo

Some 100 demonstrators protesting the forced eviction of squatters clashed with police in Sao Paulo Friday in a fresh outbreak of violence in Brazil’s biggest city. A police spokeswoman said the disturbances erupted in a shantytown of northeastern Sao Paulo over the clearance of lands illegally occupied by squatters. Demonstrators…

‘Egyptian Jon Stewart’s’ show suspended by his network

Controversial Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef’s host television channel suspended his programme on Friday, a week after he returned from a four-month break and fired barbs at the country’s military. Youssef, known as “Egypt’s Jon Stewart” after modelling his Al-Bernameg (The Programme) on the US comedian’s popular satirical news programme, had…

Venezuelan Pres. Maduro accuses Twitter of attacking his account

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has accused Twitter of attacking his account and those of several cabinet officials as part of a right-wing plot. Maduro said late Thursday that the alleged attack was conducted in concert with social networks to provoke unrest and suspend upcoming December 8 municipal elections. Communications Minister…

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