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New York auction houses celebrate after billion-dollar sales week

Two of New York’s leading auction houses combined for the art world’s richest sales week ever, with works going under the hammer for a breathtaking total of more than one billion dollars. Christie’s reaped in more than $638 million dollars at its blockbuster contemporary art auction on Wednesday. Its staggering…

Shots fired during interview at Cannes Film Festival

By Matt Williams, The Guardian Man fires shots from starting pistol during live TV interview with Christopher Waltz and French actor Daniel Auteuil Actors ran for cover at the Cannes film festival on Friday after a man fired shots from a starting pistol during a live TV broadcast. Oscar winner…

Peru cracks down on junk food in schools

Peru’s president signed a new law Thursday designed to reduce child obesity by encouraging healthier eating habits in schools. The law regulates advertising for fatty foods and fizzy soft drinks in schools, the first step in a plan to ban some junk food altogether. Business groups, worried about their revenue,…

America’s tallest man boosts Ukraine in international singing competition

As fog billowed, a giant cloaked figure strode onto the Eurovision Song Contest stage, lightly cradling Ukraine’s singer, Zlata Ognevich, who looked tiny and doll-like in his arms. The stunt awed the audience as Ukraine performed its entry during the contest semi-final on Tuesday. The ballad, called “Gravity”, is widely…

Appeals court rules Fair Sentencing Act applies retroactively to crack offenses

A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that a 2010 law mandating less-stringent penalties on drug-related offenses can be retroactively applied to jail sentences involving crack cocaine. The Associated Press reported that the decision by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals clears the way for thousands of inmates convicted…

Hit-and-run driver flees scene to avoid ‘defecating in his pants’

A 27-year-old Florida man fled the scene of an auto accident but authorities said the dash was due to bowel irritability, instead of a lack of accountability. The TC Palm reported on Thursday police in Port St. Lucie said Carlos Baca left the area after his pickup truck backed into…

Federal judge stays application of Arkansas’ restrictive 12-week abortion ban

U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright issued an injunction against Arkansas’ recently-passed ban on abortions after 12 weeks, pending the results of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights. The ACLU of Arkansas’s legal director Holly Dickson said in a statement, “This law is aimed…

U.S. seizes operator accounts of major Japanese Bitcoin exchange

US authorities seized the accounts of a Bitcoin digital currency exchange operator, claiming it was functioning as an “unlicensed money service business,” court documents showed Friday. A warrant revealed by the Department of Homeland Security showed a judge signed the seizure order Tuesday for the accounts of Mutum Sigillum LCC,…

Outgoing IRS chief tells Congress abuses were ‘foolish mistakes’ and not political

The outgoing head of the IRS told Congress Friday that the US tax agency made “foolish mistakes” in targeting conservative groups but insisted the action was not politically motivated. Lawmakers hammered Steven Miller, who resigned this week at the request of President Barack Obama, over abuse of power at the…

Justice Department reveals that it lost track of two suspected terrorists in witness protection

In a disturbing report released Thursday by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, investigators admitted that in 2012 the Department of Justice had lost track of two suspected terrorists give new identities as part of its witness protection program — and eventually determined that they had left the…

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