TAIPEI (Reuters) - A T$50 million ($1.54 million) masterpiece by an 17th century Italian artist was back on display in the Taiwan capital on Tuesday after a 12-year-old boy tripped, fell and punched a hole in the canvass, the exhibit organizer said. "Flowers" by Italian master Paolo Porpora is part of a Taipei exhibit showcasing artwork painted by or influenced by Leonardo da Vinci, according to main organizer David Sun. The boy's fall appeared to have been influenced by the Marx Brothers. "It was such an unusual accident," Sun said. "The boy was listening to the guide and wasn't looking where he was going, and tripped and smashed a hole in the artwork." Sun said the boy and his family had expressed sincere regret won't face any punishment. "We had an Italian appraiser on hand and immediately contacted the collector," Sun said. "We decided to repair the painting immediately on site and it's back on display already." ($1 = 32.4 Taiwan dollars) (Reporting by Michael Gold; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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Using a clothes line - and a local superstition - as protection, protesters in Yangon gathered behind their makeshift barricades on Saturday (March 6).According to tradition, it's bad luck to pass under these longyis, or sarong-like skirts.And the soldiers believe that, this protester says.Sporadic demonstrations against a month-old military coup were staged across Myanmar.In Yangon, the main city, local media reported security forces used tear gas and stun grenades, just hours after a United Nations special envoy called on the Security Council to take action against the ruling junta for the killings of protesters. More than 50 protesters have been killed since the coup on Feb. 1, according to the U.N.. In a copy of remarks seen by Reuters, UN Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener told a closed meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Friday that it must put Myanmar security forces on notice and stand with the people of Myanmar.On Friday night, authorities disturbed the grave of a 19-year-old woman who became an icon of the protest movement after she was shot dead wearing a T-shirt that read "Everything will be OK".According to a witness, the body of Kyal Sin, widely known as Angel, was removed on Friday, examined and returned, before the tomb was re-sealed in the city of Mandalay. A military spokesman did not answer calls seeking comment.Meanwhile, authorities in Myanmar have asked India to return eight policemen who sought refuge across the border to avoid taking orders from the junta, an official in northeast India said on Saturday.India's foreign ministry said in the statement given on Friday that the ministry was still quote "ascertaining the facts."
Director Craig Brewer told Insider the scene originally was not going to be a callback to "Trading Places."
Opponents of Myanmar's military coup face daily threats and violence, and yet defiance continues.
- Associated Press
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan handily won a vote of confidence from the National Assembly on Saturday, days after the embarrassing defeat of his ruling party’s key candidate in Senate elections. Khan secured the votes of 178 members of the lower house of Parliament, which is comprised of 340 lawmakers. The 11-party opposition alliance — the Pakistan Democratic Movement —boycotted the assembly’s special session.
- Business Insider
The Wall Street Journal ridicules Trump in public feud after the paper questioned his usefulness to the Republican Party
Wall Street Journal's editorial board suggests Trump needs therapy to get over his election failure, following a broadside from the former president.
- USA TODAY
New statements reflect rising tensions between Trump and establishment Republicans who fear the ex-president will undercut them in future elections.
- The Independent
Activist group says Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley ‘deserve most blame for firing up violent mob of Trump supporters that attacked US Capitol and killed five people’
- Associated Press
Security forces in Myanmar again used force Saturday to disperse anti-coup protesters, a day after a U.N. special envoy urged the Security Council to take action to quell junta violence that this past week left more than 50 peaceful demonstrators dead and scores injured. Protests were reported Saturday morning in the country's biggest city, Yangon, where stun grenades and tear gas were used against demonstrators. Protests also took place in several other cities, including Mandalay, the second-biggest city, Myitkyina, the capital of the northern state of Kachin, Myeik in the far south, where police fired tear gas at students, and Dawei in the southeast, where tear gas was also used.
NASA's Mars rover Perseverance has taken its first, short drive on the surface of the red planet, two weeks after the robot science lab's picture-perfect touchdown on the floor of a massive crater, mission managers said on Friday. The six-wheeled, car-sized astrobiology probe put a total of 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) on its odometer on Thursday during a half-hour test spin within Jezero Crater, site of an ancient, long-vanished lake bed and river delta on Mars. Taking directions from mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles, the rover rolled 4 meters (13.1 feet) forward, turned about 150 degrees to its left and then drove backward another 2.5 meters (8.2 feet).
- Business Insider
A handful of QAnon followers flew all the way from California to DC in hopes of watching Trump's March 4 'inauguration'
March 4 had become a highly anticipated date for followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory, who believed it was the day Trump would return to power.
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Community leaders speak out after prosecutors drop hate crime charges in New York stabbing case
- Martha Stewart Living
Named after the "God of Chaos," this rock could actually collide with our planet in 2068.
- The Daily Beast
Mark Schiefelbein-Pool/GettyMOSCOW–With Vladimir Putin’s popularity already in decline, news of the United States’ latest round of sanctions on Russia has alarmed the Kremlin, prompting its cast of experts, advisers, and anti-American ideologues to float several possible responses.Senator Olga Kovitidi promised that Russia would “send America to a blind knockout.” One expert suggested publishing lists of Russian media “spreading fake news.” Certain military experts proposed the formation of “information battalions” in cyberspace, modeled after the masked Russian soldiers deployed in the 2014 Ukraine crisis. Ultimately, the government landed on a familiar strategy: they will try to change the perception of Russia by pouring even more money into propaganda.After the sanctions were announced—this time in response to the poisoning of the opposition politician Alexei Navalny–the Russian government is reportedly aiming to expand the global audience of the Kremlin-funded RT television channel from 800 to 900 million viewers. They want to raise viewership on online platforms by promoting the internet content of the entire fleet of both Russian and foreign-oriented media outlets, including RT, RIA Novosti and Sputnik radio. In order to achieve this, the Kremlin has ramped up the state media budget to 211 billion rubles (about $2.8 billion)—a 34 billion-ruble ($460 million) increase from previous years.“No doubt, RT’s information soldiers will use this significant budget effectively to influence Euro-sceptics, anti-globalists, and Washington critics,” an opposition politician in Moscow, Ilya Yashin, told The Daily Beast. “Putin believes that if the West has its state-sponsored Radio Liberty or BBC, the Kremlin should become serious in what they like to call a ‘mirror response.’ This is a new stage of the ongoing Cold War.”“Do not underestimate RT’s growing influence,” he added.Some say the media battle goes both ways. Maria Baronova, a former opposition activist covering Russian social issues for RT, was banned from American social media platforms last year. “The Cold War goes for both sides. I have been banned on Twitter for working for RT in April, 2020. That is nonsense,” Baronova added.Russia’s Opposition Movement Starts To CrackInvestment in propaganda at home has already turned Russia into a nation of skeptics. In the early days of the conflict in Ukraine, 48 percent of Russians told the Public Opinion Foundation that they think propaganda harms their society.According to a social study by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, 88 percent of young Russians aged 18-24 said they were on YouTube. Even the Kremlin’s most notorious propagandist, Vladimir Solovyev, admitted in a recent interview for Komsomolskaya Pravda that “the television audience is growing terribly old.”Young Russians are hungry for the truth, and in recent years, influential Russian YouTubers have started to take a more open approach with their content. Russia’s top online interviewer, Yury Dud, has 8.7 million subscribers and more than 500 million views on his channel. Tens of millions watched Dud’s documentaries on the AIDs epidemic and poverty and neglect in Kamchatka, Russia’s forgotten peninsula. More than 29 million people viewed Dud’s interview with Alexei Navalny soon after the politician recovered from his poisoning attack.In spite of state pressure on opposition bloggers, emerging YouTube stars are now covering some of Russia's most acute political issues. Irina Shikhman, another popular blogger, focuses on making celebrity-oriented videos in which she asks public figures uncomfortable questions about their personal lives. But some of her most popular clips are political in nature: over two million people viewed Shikhman’s interview with Navalny ally Lyubov Sobol.Russia’s only independent online television channel, TV Rain, has 2.3 million subscribers on YouTube. The channel’s founder and owner, Natalya Sindeyeva, says she isn’t worried about the Kremlin’s boosted promotion of RT.“We have been competing with state television channels without any state budget, without any administrative resources, for 11 years and we managed, which means money is not the main thing,” Sindeyeva said. “If they boost social media, the algorithms would recognize the artificial traffic. We don’t see any threat, since we are experienced in responding to challenges. Our audience trusts us and independent bloggers, our main job is not to lie. Trust cannot be purchased for money,” she said.It is too early to know for sure whether RT’s reports will crowd out independent media in Russia. “It depends on the quality of their content,” TV Rain’s editor-in-chief, Tikhon Dzyadko, told The Daily Beast.Some independent bloggers saw the government’s increase of spending on internet content as a positive sign. “It seems the Kremlin realized they cannot ban YouTube, so they decided to choke it with propaganda,” blogger Karen Shainyan, host of the YouTube show “Straight Talk with Gay People”, told The Daily Beast. “Authorities spend shockingly huge money on RT, more than on any other television channel.”Pavel Kanygin, who manages a YouTube channel for Novaya Gazeta, a legendary independent newspaper in Russia, says the government has begun to view social media platforms as a real threat. “We can see that the Kremlin has become serious about YouTube,” he said, especially after over 100 million people viewed an investigative report about Putin released by Navalny’s organization on the site in January.“One thing is to get clicks and another to get people engaged, to comment on the publication–that is a completely different story that cannot be artificially created,” Kanygin said.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. 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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Saturday, in a bid to push forward peace talks with the Taliban, that his government was ready to discuss holding fresh elections, insisting that any new government should emerge through the democratic process. "Transfer of power through elections is a non-negotiable principle for us," Ghani told lawmakers at the opening of parliament session in Kabul. President Ghani met U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad in Kabul during the past week to discuss ways to inject momentum in the stalled peace negotiations with Taliban representatives being held in Qatar.
- The Week
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has long been on a crusade to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour. After being blocked by the Senate parliamentarian on the question of whether the minimum wage increase could be included in the pandemic relief package working its way through the chamber, Sanders filed it on Friday as an individual item to get all senators on the record. The results were quite surprising. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) were already assumed to not support the $15 mark. But opposition among the Democratic Party's conservative wing was much deeper than that. Six more Democrats voted against the measure aside from them, for a total of eight: Jon Tester of Montana, Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Angus King of Maine (an independent who caucuses with the Democrats), and finally Chris Coons and Tom Carper of Delaware. All these senators are from purple or red states — except Carper and Coons, where Biden won by 19 percentage points. (Those two are doubly suspicious as both are close to Biden personally and Coons is well-known as his voice in the Senate.) But needing to run for re-election in a hard state is no excuse. A $15 minimum wage is extremely popular — polling between 59 percent and 67 percent approval, depending on the poll — and almost certainly more popular than every one of these senators in their home states. A minimum wage hike has not failed to pass at the state level since 1996. Voting against such a policy is therefore a considerable political risk, though it also no doubt increases the chance these senators will have comfy post-office sinecures in the corporate sector, should they so desire. More stories from theweek.comWhy the Dr. Seuss 'cancellation' is chillingWhat Republicans talk about when they talk about the 'working class'Two top Cuomo aides leave amid sexual harassment, nursing home scandals
China will "resolutely guard against and deter" interference by external forces in Hong Kong's affairs, Premier Li Keqiang said, amid criticism from western countries over Beijing's suppression of pro-democracy opposition in the Asian financial hub. Speaking on Friday at the opening of the annual session of China's parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC), Li said China will ensure the implementation of law and enforcement mechanisms to safeguard national security in Hong Kong.
- Associated Press
President Joe Biden is the first executive in four decades to reach this point in his term without holding a formal question and answer session. It reflects a White House media strategy meant both to reserve major media set-pieces for the celebration of a legislative victory and to limit unforced errors from a historically gaffe-prone politician. Biden has opted to take questions about as often as most of his recent predecessors, but he tends to field just one or two informal inquiries at a time, usually in a hurried setting at the end of an event.
The one-tonne robot wiggles its wheels before rolling forwards across Jezero Crater's dusty terrain.
- Business Insider
Republicans are attacking Democrats by framing Biden's 'Neanderthal' comment like one of Trump's racist remarks
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that Biden "should apologize for his insensitive comments and seek training on unconscious bias."
- Business Insider
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle interview with Oprah will cost CBS at least $7 million to air, per report
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, however, are reportedly not being compensated for the interview.