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Banksy: From graffiti rebel to auction-house darling

The auction of works by Banksy, the world’s most infamous graffiti artist, has angered residents of looted London neighbourhoods and “embarrassed” the artist as the sale of street art becomes a lucrative enterprise. Hollywood A-listers Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are fans of the British artist’s stencilled designs, known for…

At least one million cockroaches escape from farm in China

At least one million cockroaches have escaped a farm in China where they were being bred for use in traditional medicine, a report said. The cockroaches fled the facility in Dafeng, in the eastern province of Jiangsu, for surrounding cornfields earlier this month after an “unknown perpetrator” destroyed the plastic…

Chemical war could draw Obama into military intervention in Syria

Signs are growing that the horror of chemical warfare could for the first time draw the United States into a direct military intervention in Syria’s vicious civil war. The US military and diplomatic machine is slowly stirring, after pictures of children apparently choked on poisonous gas shocked the world last…

Creative Commons founder Larry Lessig threatened with copyright infringement

If you read Techdirt, you’re almost certainly familiar with Larry Lessig, the law professor at Harvard who (among many other things) has been an avid advocate for copyright reform and campaign finance reform, an author of many books about copyright…  …

Guantanamo Bay authorities ban Solzhenitsyn’s ‘The Gulag Archipelago’

Some stories, you just couldn’t make up. Like this one, reported on the UK site Reprieve, about a failed attempt to pass some reading material to one of the people detained at Guantanamo Bay. Something unsuitable you might guess, perhaps advocating…  …

Military ready to act over Syria says U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel kicks off a Southeast Asian tour on Sunday meant to stress Washington’s so-called “pivot” back towards the Asia-Pacific but with attention diverted by trouble in the Middle East. The Pentagon chief’s week-long trip is part of a concerted effort by Washington to rebalance America’s strategic…

Massive manhunt continues for suspects in Mumbai gang rape of photojournalist

Indian police have arrested three men accused of the gang rape Thursday of a photojournalist near Mumbai, but what the Times of India describes as “one of the biggest manhunts the city has seen” continues for two remaining accomplices. The photojournalist, an intern for an English-language magazine, and her male…

California wildfire still burning out of control and threatens Yosemite redwoods

Nearly 200 square miles of California is on fire Saturday, with smoke from the Stanislaus National Forest wafting as far as San Francisco, 200 miles west. Firefighters estimate that they’ve only contained about 5 percent of the fire, and is large enough to create its own weather patterns, making it…

Man kills boss and co-worker before killing himself in Florida ‘complete shooting rampage’

A North Florida man shot two people dead and left two more wounded before turning the gun on himself Saturday, according to news reports around Gainesville. Police said 72-year-old Hubert Allen, Jr., the step-grandfather of Buffalo Bills running back CJ Spiller, shot the owner of the trucking company where he used…

Toddler recovering from pit bull mauling gets shot in the head

A Brooklyn toddler who had been recovering from a vicious mauling has been hospitalized after being shot in the head early Saturday morning, according to news reports. The 3-year-old boy is in critical but stable condition at Cornell Medical Center after being shot inside his second floor apartment in Flatbush-Ditmas…

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