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Greek museum displays 1st batch of artworks recouped from US

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — For decades, an important part of Greece’s cultural heritage sparkled only for the very few in a U.S. billionaire’s private collection, until a groundbreaking deal for its gradual return to Athens. Now 15 of the prehistoric masterpieces have gone on public view for the first time in a temporary display in Athens. This display is coming ahead of their final return, together with the remaining 146 works, by the year 2048. Greek opposition politicians, and some archaeologists, have said that’s too long. But Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said Tuesday that the August deal — which also involved New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art — was the best possible one Greece could get.

18-carat pink diamond reaps $28.8 million at Geneva auction

GENEVA (AP) — A pear-shaped 18-carat pink diamond billed as a rarity sold at a Geneva auction for 28.4 million Swiss francs ($28.8 million) including fees and taxes, on the lower end of the expected range. The “Fortune Pink” fancy vivid pink stone, said to be the largest of its kind and shape to go on the block, headlined Christie’s latest Geneva sale of jewelry. It had been expected to fetch between $25 million and $35 million. The auction house said an unidentified Asian buyer snapped up the diamond. Managing director Tobias Kormind of 77 Diamonds, an online diamond jeweler, said the sale price was disappointing and blamed financial headwinds for making even wealthy buyers more cautious.

US identifies American slain in Baghdad, questions remain

BAGHDAD (AP) — The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has identified an American citizen who was fatally shot in the Iraqi capital as Stephen Edward Troell. The identification came Tuesday, a day after the 45-year-old was killed in central Baghdad, a rare killing of a foreigner not seen in Iraq for years. Troell was a Tennessee native living in Baghdad with his family and working in a language center and a non-governmental organization. The circumstances surrounding Troell’s death and his activities in Iraq are shrouded in mystery. It’s not immediately clear why Troell was killed. Iraq’s prime minister has ordered an investigation into the incident.

Discovery of bronzes rewrites Italy’s Etruscan-Roman history

ROME (AP) — Italian authorities have announced the extraordinary discovery of more than 2,000-year-old bronze statues in an ancient Tuscan thermal spring. They say the find will “rewrite history” about the transition from the Etruscan civilization to the Roman Empire. The discovery occurred in the San Casciano dei Bagni archaeological dig near Siena. The Culture Ministry says it’s one of the most significant ever in the Mediterranean and certainly the most important since the 1972 underwater discovery of the famed Riace bronze warriors. The Culture Ministry announced the construction of a new museum to house the antiquities in the area.

Arson suspected in fires set in Mississippi’s capital city

JACKSON, Miss (AP) — Authorities in Mississippi’s capital city are on the hunt for a suspected arsonist who set seven fires early Tuesday morning. News outlets report at least seven fires were confirmed by officials early Tuesday. At least two of the buildings set ablaze are churches. Another one of the fires broke out on Jackson State University’s baseball field. No injuries had been reported. Authorities are searching for one person. They have not provided the person’s name or a suspected motivation behind the fires.

This year’s World Series is 2nd-least watched on TV

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Houston Astros’ six-game victory over the Philadelphia Phillies finished as the second least-watched World Series on television. The six games averaged 11,784,000 on Fox, down 1.3% from the 11,940,000 for the Atlanta Braves’ six-game win over the Astros last year and ahead of only the 9,946,000 for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ six-game victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in 2020. Houston’s 3-1 win in Game 6 on Saturday night was seen by 12,549,000 viewers on Fox, down 11% from 14,140,000 Atlanta’s 7-0 victory over the Astros in last year’s finale, played on a Tuesday night.

Powerball ticket sold in California snags record $2.04B win

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Someone who bought a Powerball ticket in Southern California has won a record $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot. The winning numbers drawn Tuesday morning at the Florida Lottery draw studio in Tallahassee were: white balls 10, 33, 41, 47 and 56, and the red Powerball was 10. The jackpot ticket was sold at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, northeast of Los Angeles. The business will receive a maximum Powerball bonus of $1 million. The Multi-State Lottery Association said Monday night’s scheduled drawing was delayed by nearly 10 hours until Tuesday because a participating lottery had issues processing sales. The jackpot was by far the largest lottery jackpot ever won, topping the previous record $1.586 billion prize won by three Powerball ticketholders in 2016.

Dogs gifted by Kim Jong Un at center of South Korean row

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A pair of dogs gifted by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in 2018 are now mired in a South Korean political row, with the country’s former president blaming his conservative successor for a lack of support as he gave the animals up.  Moon Jae-in, a liberal who left office in May, received the two white “Pungsan” hunting dogs – a breed known to be indigenous to North Korea – from Kim following a peace summit in 2018.  But Moon’s office said he decided he could no longer raise the three dogs because the current government of President Yoon Suk Yeol is refusing to cover the costs for their care. Yoon’s office shifted the blame to Moon, saying the discussions about financial support are still ongoing.

T rex skull unearthed in South Dakota to be auctioned in NY

NEW YORK (AP) — A Tyrannosaurus rex skull is expected to sell for $15 million or more at auction in New York next month. Officials with Sotheby’s said Tuesday that the 200-pound skull fossil is being sold Dec. 9 by an owner who wishes to remain anonymous. The skull was discovered in Harding County, South Dakota, where several other other T. rex skeletons have been found. Sotheby’s experts say two large puncture holes in the skull are evidence of a big fight, probably with another T. rex. It’s not known if that fight is what killed the T. rex.

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