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Picasso sells for $41.5 million in New York

An erotically charged Picasso oil painting of his mistress alongside tulips and fruit sold Thursday for $41.5 million dollars in New York. “Nature morte aux tulipes,” painted in 1932, was the star of Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art sale in Manhattan. The pre-sale estimate for the work had been between…

Iranian jets fired on U.S. drone in Gulf: Pentagon

WASHINGTON — Two Iranian fighter jets fired on an unarmed US Predator drone in the Gulf last week but the aircraft was not hit, the Pentagon said Thursday, warning that the United States stood ready to protect its forces in the region. The incident occurred on November 1 — less…

Century of International Herald Tribune photojournalism goes up for auction

From snaps of Cary Grant or John Lennon, to Leonid Brezhnev whispering in Richard Nixon’s ear, the International Herald Tribune newspaper puts a century of photo archives up for auction in Paris this month. Around 2,500 shots by the paper, grouped into 300 lots, will go under the hammer on…

Interpol elects French woman as first female president

ROME — Interpol on Thursday elected a French police commissioner known for her drive against organised crime in Bordeaux and Corsica as its first female president at its general assembly in Rome. “Mireille Ballestrazzi of France becomes first woman to be elected president of Interpol,” the world’s top association of…

Burger King plans to open South African branch

The US-based fast food chain Burger King will open its first branch in South Africa early next year, local partners announced on Thursday, setting up a new battleground in the war with rival McDonald’s. “Now is the time to develop the brand in South Africa,” said Grand Parade Investments executive…

Israel president opens new Jewish museum in Moscow

Israeli President Shimon Peres on Thursday opened a major new Jewish museum in Moscow housed in a converted 1920s bus garage which aims to tell the story of Jews in Russia from Tsarist times through the horror of the Holocaust to the present day. Peres and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei…

New Zealand judge throws out ‘Monty Python’-esque case against dead man

A New Zealand judge on Thursday threw out an attempt to prosecute a dead South Korean fisherman, comparing the case to a Monty Python sketch, according to reports. Trawler officers Soon Ill Hwang and Dae Jun Lee were accused in Christchurch District Court of illegally dumping dead fish at sea…

Assad rejects exile, says will ‘live and die in Syria’

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday rejected calls that he seek a safe exit, vowing he would “live and die in Syria”, in an interview with Russian Arabic-language channel Rusiya Al-Yaum. He also warned that a foreign intervention to deal with Syria’s conflict would have “global consequences.”…

Canada confident Obama will approve Keystone XL pipeline

OTTAWA — Canada is confident US President Barack Obama will approve the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline that he previously rejected, a government minister said Wednesday. Obama, who was re-elected on Tuesday, denied approval for part of the $7 billion pipeline earlier this year while the US State…

China’s Communist Party opens pivotal congress

BEIJING — China’s all-powerful and secretive Communist Party on Thursday officially opened its 18th congress to unveil a new slate of leaders who will oversee the world’s number two economy for the next decade. Party number two Wu Bangguo declared the congress open inside Beijing’s Great Hall of the People,…

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