The Sideshow
  • Donald Trump, Jr. in a hunting photo that has drawn criticism from PETADonald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump have drawn the ire of PETA after photos surfaced showing the brothers on a wild game hunting trip in Zimbabwe last year.

    TMZ first posted photos from the trip under the headline, "Donald Trump's Sons Ignite War Over Animal Butchery." During the hunting trip, the Trump sons reportedly killed a number of exotic animals, including an elephant, crocodile, kudu, civet cat and waterbuck.

    The photos were criticized by the animal rights organization PETA, who said in a statement to Hollywood Life:

    "Like all animals, elephants, buffalo, and crocodiles deserve better than to be killed and hacked apart for two young millionaires' grisly photo opportunity. If the young Trumps are looking for a thrill, perhaps they should consider skydiving, bungee jumping, or even following in their anti-hunting father's footsteps and taking down competing businesses—not wild animals. If the Trumps want to help villagers, they have plenty of resources at their disposal."

    Trump was quick to defend his sons, telling TMZ, "My sons love hunting. They're hunters and they've become good at it. I know that anything they did was 100% OK in terms of the hunting community." However, Trump was equally quick to note that he himself does not share in the sport, saying, "I am not a believer in hunting and I'm surprised they like it."

    In one of the more controversial photos, Donald Jr. is seen grinning broadly while holding the severed tail of an elephant in his hands. He defended his actions on his Twitter account, saying that he was simply taking part in a local custom.

    Trump Jr. has been actively defending his actions to his 120,000 followers, along with getting into a few spats with readers. In one update, Trump Jr. writes, "I don't apologize to cater to public opinion when I did nothing wrong. To do so would be to sell myself out."

    And in responding to criticism from PETA, he wrote, "yea ok peta not exactly known for credible and unbiased info."

    The two Trump sons are both integral parts of their father's real-estate empire. Along with sister Ivanka, both Eric and Donald Jr. serve executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization, working directly on real estate deals. Trump Jr. also serves as an ambassador to Operation Smile, while Eric Trump has started his own Eric Trump Foundation to benefit St. Jude. Both sons also serve as consultants on their father's hit show, "The Apprentice."

    Read More »from Donald Trump’s sons criticized after brutal hunting photos released
  • Lone Buford, Wyo., resident Don Sammons (AP/Michael Smith)

    If you've got a spare $100,000, you could potentially become the owner of a small Wyoming town that's set to be auctioned off next month by its sole resident.

    After more than 30 years of residing in the unincorporated community, town "mayor"  Don Sammons says it's finally time to move on.

    "Don, 'The Mayor', is retiring after 20 wonderful years in his town," Sammons writes on the website for his business, the Buford Trading Post, a gas station and store. "This entire, income producing, town is for sale; the house, the Trading Post, the former school house, along with all the history of this very unique place."

    Buford, located between Cheyenne and Laramie, was first founded in the 1860s and was once home to an estimated 2,000 residents before the Transcontinental Railroad was rerouted.

    Sammons moved to Buford with his family in 1980. In 1992, he bought the Buford Trading Post and has continued to preside as Buford's unofficial "mayor." Over the years, members of Sammons' family gradually moved away until he was finally left as the only resident.

    "It was a great life for me and for my family," Sammons, 60, told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, adding that selling it on his own wouldn't do the town justice. "I needed to find someone who is an expert in selling unique and one-of-a-kind items." Buford, Wyoming's second-oldest town, was named after a Civil War general.

    Along with the above-mentioned items, whoever purchases Buford will also become proprietor of his or her very own ZIP code, 82052.

    And while Sammons is Buford's sole resident, he's hardly alone out there. Sammons says the trading post is visited by roughly 1,000 customers per day.

    Read More »from Entire town of Buford, Wyo., for sale by sole resident
  • Maurizio Seracini probes the Florence fresco. (National Geographic)

    In what some art experts say would be one of the biggest discoveries of the century, researchers in Italy think they may have discovered a long-lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci behind a 16th century fresco in Florence.

    Scientists using endoscopic probes to look behind Giorgio Vasari's "The Battle of Marciano" in the Palazzo Vecchio say they've found traces of black paint that matches the pigment used in "St. John the Baptist" and in the "Mona Lisa," da Vinci's most-famous painting. The team—composed of researchers from National Geographic, University of California San Diego and the City of Florence—believes the Renaissance painter's unfinished "Battle of Anghiari," which da Vinci started in 1504, lies beneath Vasari's fresco.

    "These data are very encouraging," Maurizio Seracini, the lead researcher, told reporters at a press conference. Seracini, though, cautioned that the discovery was "not conclusive" and the pigment would need further analysis.

    "Although we are still in the preliminary stages of the research and there is still a lot of work to be done to solve this mystery, the evidence does suggest that we are searching in the right place," he said.

    Other experts in the art world, however, are way more skeptical about the findings.

    Read More »from Lost Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece thought to be found behind Florence fresco

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