Woman’s $4 thrift store painting may now fetch $250k at auction
A woman in New Hampshire has discovered that a painting she bought in a thrift store for $4 is an original by N.C. Wyeth, a renowned American illustrator. The painting, titled 'Ramona', is part of a set of four images that Wyeth created in 1939 for an edition of the novel by Helen Hunt Jackson. It is expected to sell at auction for between $150,000 and $250,000. The buyer, who has chosen to remain anonymous, plans to use the money to pay off bills and visit family in Germany.
Scotland full-back Ollie Smith eager for another taste of World Cup action
Ollie Smith, the youngest member of the Scotland rugby squad, has spoken of the "awesome" experience of playing in front of a huge crowd at the Stade Velodrome stadium in Marseille. Scotland lost their opening game of the Rugby World Cup 18-3 to South Africa but Smith said the atmosphere was "mental" and that it had whetted the team's appetite for the rest of the tournament. Scotland have three pool matches left against Tonga, Romania and Ireland and must win all three to progress to the quarter-finals.
Before It Became Her ‘Greatest Asset,’ Cindy Crawford Wanted to Remove Her Beauty Mark
Cindy Crawford discussed her childhood, her early career and her current home in Malibu in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Crawford says she was offered a $5 reward for every A on her report card, which helped motivate her to succeed. After leaving Northwestern University, Crawford moved to New York and began working with top fashion photographers. She said the turning point in her career was her first Vogue cover. Crawford and her husband, Rande Gerber, now live in a house in Malibu with an outdoor jacuzzi that she uses to centre herself.
Starmer is playing a risky game on Brexit
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer's meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée Palace was not televised, sparking questions about his stance on Britain's relationship with the EU. Starmer has ruled out rejoining the bloc but has talked about renegotiating the Brexit withdrawal agreement for a better deal. However, if he believes he can secure a new deal without giving up much in return, he risks looking naive. The EU is unlikely to make concessions purely because Labour is in power, and any renegotiation would likely involve giving Brussels more influence in UK decision-making.
Top carbon offset projects may not cut planet-heating emissions
An analysis by Corporate Accountability and The Guardian has found that the majority of environmental projects used to offset greenhouse gas emissions are ineffective at cutting planet-heating emissions. The analysis examined the top 50 emission offset projects, which have sold the most carbon credits in the global market, and found that 78% of them were likely to be worthless due to fundamental failings. Another 16% were classified as problematic and potentially junk. The projects analysed included forestry schemes, hydroelectric dams, solar and wind farms, waste disposal and greener household appliances schemes. The investigation suggests that many offset schemes exaggerate climate benefits and underestimate potential harms. Overall, $1.16bn of carbon credits have been traded from projects classified as likely junk or worthless.
The findings come on the eve of the UN climate ambition summit in New York, where world leaders are expected to make further climate pledges. The investigation raises concerns that these pledges may rely on flawed market-driven solutions rather than a rapid transition away from fossil fuels. The voluntary carbon trading industry, which is worth around $2bn, has been embraced by governments and corporations as a way to claim reductions in their greenhouse gas footprint. However, the analysis suggests that the industry is exacerbating the climate emergency rather than alleviating it.
Manchester City gets Champions League defense off to winning start by beating Red Star Belgrade 3-1
Manchester City won their first Champions League match of the season, defeating Red Star Belgrade 3-1. Red Star took a surprise lead through Osman Bukari, but Julian Alvarez scored twice to lead City to victory. Rodri added a third goal late in the match. City is aiming to become the second club to successfully defend their Champions League title.
Heidi Montag says it took ‘over a year to heal’ from plastic surgeries
Reality TV star Heidi Montag has opened up about the extensive plastic surgery she underwent in 2009, and the difficult recovery process that followed. Montag, who had 10 procedures in a single day, experienced a longer-than-expected healing period and significant pain. The star also revealed that she had a near-death experience when doctors allegedly gave her the wrong dose of an opioid. Montag and her husband, Spencer Pratt, left reality show The Hills midway through their final season.
Grandfather attacked by 11ft python that came in through open window
A man in Hampshire was attacked by an 11ft python that had entered his home through the conservatory window. The snake, which has yet to be claimed by its owner, attacked the man when he approached it. The snake eventually retreated and was taken to the National Centre for Reptile Welfare. The man has called on the government to place pythons on a list of legally controlled animals.
Fox sisters combine with Eckhardt to claim gold for Australia
Australia's female kayakers have won their first K1 team world championship gold at the Lee Valley White Water Centre in London. The team, consisting of sisters Jessica and Noemie Fox, and Kate Eckhardt, delivered a clean and quick run to secure the gold medal. Spain finished in second place, while Great Britain came in third. This victory marks a special moment for the Australian team, as they were the first Australian team to win the kayak event in the world championships.
Woman shares items guests left at her AirBnb
A TikTok user in Florida has gained popularity for showcasing the large amount of food left behind by guests in her Airbnb property. The videos show opened and unopened snacks, fresh produce, alcohol, and soda, with viewers expressing surprise at the amount of food left behind. The host has also found designer clothes, shoes, and bags left by guests. Airbnb hosts have discussed how to handle this phenomenon, with some saying they only keep sealed items and others relying on their own judgment.
Ireland won’t change approach against South Africa ‘Bomb squad’ – Caelan Doris
Caelan Doris, the Irish rugby union player, has said that the sheer size of the South African team shocked him when he played against them in November 2020. However, Doris insisted that Ireland's game plan will not be significantly altered ahead of the Rugby World Cup showdown between the two teams. He acknowledged that South Africa's physicality is a key aspect of their game, but also highlighted their pace and skill in the backs. Ireland can secure a place in the quarter-finals with a win against South Africa.
Murdaugh’s alleged co-conspirator shares Alex’s bombshell confession
Alex Murdaugh, the convicted killer in the high-profile Murdaugh Murders case, has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors on multiple financial fraud charges. He has agreed to plead guilty to 22 federal charges, including wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering. This marks the first time Murdaugh has ever pleaded guilty to a crime. He will appear in court on Thursday to enter his plea.
In the new season of the Netflix series Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, Curtis Eddie Smith, Murdaugh’s alleged co-conspirator in a hitman plot, claims that Murdaugh told him he wanted to be fatally shot because he believed he would be proven responsible for the deaths of his wife and son. The show also features an interview with Colleton County Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill, who is now facing accusations of jury tampering brought by Murdaugh’s attorneys in their bid for a new murder trial.
The plea deal comes as the new season of the Netflix series is released, shedding light on new details and revelations surrounding the case. The series explores the complex and scandalous events surrounding the Murdaugh family and their connections to the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh. The show features interviews with key individuals involved in the case and delves into the alleged corruption and manipulation that took place.
Why are 500,000 people watching paint dry?
Martijn Doolaard, a Dutch graphic designer, videographer, and travel writer, has gained a large following on YouTube for his videos documenting the restoration of two Alpine stone cabins in the Italian Piedmont region. Doolaard purchased the cabins in October 2021 and promised to document the renovation process on YouTube. Despite the slow and quiet nature of the videos, they have gained 584,000 subscribers and have been described as fascinating and strangely elegiac. Doolaard focuses on the process rather than the outcome and aims to create a pleasant space for viewers to reflect and wander. He believes that people watch his videos to escape from everyday life and enjoy nature.
Opera North’s Richard Mantle: ‘The arts should be fun, not planned with a calculator’
Richard Mantle, the longest standing general director of UK opera company Opera North, will retire in December. During his 30-year tenure, Mantle has turned Opera North into one of the biggest arts organisations outside London, establishing a year-round programme at the former cinema Howard Assembly Room. Mantle expanded Opera North's education department to a team of 50, teaching 3,000 children to sing and play instruments. The company, which is funded by Arts Council England, has also become embedded in local communities. Despite its success, Mantle said the organisation's financial environment has always been "fairly tight". He said: "I actually think that’s not the worst thing; a lot of creativity can grow out of constraint.” His comments come after the Arts Council England froze Opera North's funding, while other opera companies, including English National Opera, lost theirs.
Netflix’s progressive teen saga Sex Education reaches its climax
Netflix's hit show, Sex Education, is returning for its fourth and final season. The show has always been known for its mature advice about sex and relationships, and this season sees the characters leave high school and enter college. The show has been praised for its progressive voice and ability to make didacticism appealing. However, some critics argue that the show's ethics are painted in black and white, with little room for ambiguity or true grey areas.
Van Staden key to Boks’ Rugby World Cup hopes – but should he be playing?
South Africa's Marco van Staden has made a remarkable comeback after suffering a concussion that cut short his playing career at Leicester Tigers. The back-row forward was released by the Tigers due to the injury, but has since been named South Africa's third-choice hooker. This is a remarkable turnaround as van Staden was warned that his career was over after the injury, but has made a full recovery and is playing elite rugby once again.
Zelenskyy makes his case at the U.S. Capitol for more war aid as Republican support softens.
The Toronto Star
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Washington to meet with Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate. Zelenskyy’s second visit since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022 comes as Biden’s request to Congress for an additional $24 billion for Ukraine’s military and humanitarian needs is under review. Back home, Russia launched its heaviest strikes in a month, killing three people. Zelenskyy is meeting with US military leaders at the Pentagon and will speak with President Joe Biden at the White House.
Nuit Blanche and more: your very own weekend Toronto art crawl
The Toronto Star
Toronto's annual all-night art party, Nuit Blanche, will take place this weekend, alongside Gallery Weekend, which runs from Thursday to Sunday. Nuit Blanche features installations exploring the natural world, change and innovation, while Gallery Weekend offers daytime exhibitions and programming at 25 contemporary galleries. Both events will showcase local and international artists and provide opportunities for people to immerse themselves in the city's art scene.
Mangosuthu Buthelezi had his own vision for a democratic South Africa
Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and one of the most powerful men in the Zulu nation, has died at the age of 93. Buthelezi was a controversial figure in South African politics, often clashing with the African National Congress (ANC). He believed in non-violence and opposed the ANC's Marxist revolution ideology, preferring long-drawn-out negotiations and a federal state. He was also a conservative who believed in free markets and lower taxes. Buthelezi served as the chief minister of KwaZulu, a region with nominal self-rule under apartheid, and later became the acting ruler of South Africa when Nelson Mandela was abroad. However, his power waned after the 2004 election, and the IFP won only a small percentage of votes in subsequent elections. Buthelezi was also the traditional prime minister to the Zulu royal family, a role he held for life. His funeral was held in Ulundi, the former Zulu capital.
China’s claim to the South China Sea gets even odder
The publication of a "standard map" of China and its territorial claims by the Chinese government has caused consternation among its neighbours, particularly those around the South China Sea. China's "nine-dash line" encompasses almost the entire sea, but in 2016 an arbitral tribunal in The Hague ruled that the line had no basis in law. The new map includes an extra dash to the line, east of Taiwan. Some have suggested that this opens a new front in China's grandiose claims, but others argue that the concerns are overdone and that the new line is as nonsensical as the original.