Business of culture on menu for Saudi crown prince in France

Left: President of France Emmanuel Macron, image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license; right: Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, White House image

PARIS (AP) – France is tapping into the business of culture to develop agreements with Saudi Arabia and profit from the heir to the throne’s goal of modernizing the conservative kingdom, which will be represented at the Cannes Film Festival for the first time next month.

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Richard Branson buys Hard Rock casino-hotel in Las Vegas

Richard Branson, 2010 photo by David Shankbone, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas will be overhauled over the next several months following its purchase Friday by billionaire Richard Branson.

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1940s-era phone booths installed in Iowa train station

Period phone booths have been restored and installed inside the 1944 midcentury modern train station in Burlington, Iowa. Image by Adam Moss, licensed uner the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) – The two 1940s-era telephones at the Burlington Depot have been restored, bringing the city’s former transportation hub one step closer to its former glory.

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Trump does 180, lifts import ban on elephant parts

The slaughter of elephants for their tusks continues. Pictured are three female African bush elephants in Tanzania, July 2010. Photo by Ikiwaner, GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.

WASHINGTON — Only days after World Wildlife Day called attention to the plight of elephants and other wildlife being illegally poached for their ivory and skins, the Trump administration has quietly decided once again to allow Americans to import the body parts of African elephants shot for sport. This is despite previous presidential tweets decrying the practice as a “horror show.”

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NYC restaurant serves $2,500 cocktail for National Margarita Day

A classic margarita on the rocks. Photo by Akke Monasso, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

NEW YORK – Today is National Margarita Day, and to celebrate the auspicious occasion, New York’s Selena Rosa Restaurant is serving up a very special version of the classic Mexican libation. There’s only one catch. Its eye-watering price is $2,500.

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Man who died in Yellowstone was looking for buried treasure

Topographical map of Yellowstone National Park showing mountain ranges

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – A 53-year-old Illinois man who fell to his death in Yellowstone National Park last year was looking for a supposed hidden cache of gold and jewels that has inspired thousands to hunt in vain across remote corners of the Western U.S., according to a report by park authorities.

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King Farouk’s gold watch expected to sell for $400K-$800K

King Farouk of Egypt’s personalized Patek Philippe Reference 1518 to be auctioned March 23, 2018, at Christie’s Dubai. Pre-sale estimate: $400,000-$800,000. Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. 2018

DUBAI – Christie’s will offer King Farouk of Egypt’s personalized Patek Philippe Reference 1518 in its upcoming Dubai watch auction on March 23. It carries a pre-sale estimate of $400,000-800,000. Around 180 watches will be on public view from March 19 through 23, the day of the auction.

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Massachusetts’ high court: Do you recognize this justice?

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court seeks the public’s help in identifying of the man in this portrait. Image courtesy of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

BOSTON (AP) – A man’s portrait has hung for years outside the chambers of the chief justice on Massachusetts’ highest court. The problem? No one knows who he is.

It’s a mystery that has stumped officials at the Supreme Judicial Court for more than a decade. Now they’re turning to the public for help in cracking the case of the unknown justice.

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Eagles Super Bowl parade to bring surprises, free subways

Closeup of the Rocky Statue that stands in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where the Feb. 8 Super Bowl celebratory parade will finish. Photo by Bobak Ha’Eri, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia officials are revealing plans for Thursday’s Super Bowl parade and say fans should expect some dramatic surprises along the five-mile route — and free subway rides all day.

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Putting on the Ritz: Paris hotel to auction luxury pieces

Entrance to the Ritz Paris. Flickr image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 1.0 Generic license

PARIS (AP) – Fancy a little glamour for the old homestead? From bathtubs to beds, decorative sofas to minibars, Paris’s glitzy Ritz hotel is auctioning off some 10,000 pieces of furniture and decorative objects emblematic of the luxury it offers its wealthy clients.

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