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News

Thursday briefing: Unearthed Leonardo da Vinci painting sells for record-breaking $450mil

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Salvator Mundi goes to an unnamed Russian oligarch... Robert Mugabe faces an uncertain future... Rapper Lil Peep dies aged 21

Anna Freeman

16 Noviembre 2017 13:21

Hi, this is Anna getting you caught up on everything you need to know today.

Shattering world record - Leonardo da Vinci’s recently-discovered painting of Jesus Christ has just been sold at a New York auction for a whopping $450.3million (including auction house premium), shattering the world record for any painting sold before it. Salvator Mundi, commissioned by King Louis XII of France more than 500 years ago, was bought by an unnamed Russian oligarch from seller Dmitry Rybolovlev. The painting was presumed lost until it changed hands for $10,000 at an estate sale in the US in 2005, and was then subsequently authenticated. Its sale in New York sustained 20 minutes of nervous back-and-forth offers from telephone bidders, with jumps of tens of millions of dollars within each minute.

Salvator Mundi

Zimbabwe faces new era - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s decades-long rule seems to be coming to an end. The world was on tenterhooks yesterday watching news unfold of a calm ‘military takeover’ in Harare, the African nation’s capital. Mugabe and his family, including his controversial wife, have been put on house arrest while talks between senior army officials and the president continue. Although the army first claimed on Wednesday night that it had stepped in to ‘target criminals’ around Mugabe, now it is becoming more clear the army staged a 'bloodless' coup. While Zimbabweans now reckon with political uncertainty, many will welcome the army’s intervention.

Following former vise-president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s firing last week, which was viewed as a way to clear a pathway to power for Grace Mugabe, the 93-year-old’s wife, unrest within communities and the army has gripped the country. In a rare political misstep, Mugabe’s endorsement of his wife and sacking of his loyal deputy in command will probably cost him his leadership. Of all the ruthless and corrupt things the 37-year ruling president has done, attempting to secure his wife in power after his death was the final straw. He is expected to resign within a week.

A rising star dies - A fast-rising rapper whose emotional tracks charted depression and drug use, has died aged just 21, his UK representative confirmed. Real name Gustav Åhr grew up in Long Beach, New York, and had a long battle with substance abuse. He was reportedly taken to hospital following an overdose, according to his music manager Adam Grandmaison. In a video Åhr posted online hours before his death, he said he had taken prescription drugs and other substances, saying: ‘I’m good, I’m not sick.’ Åhr had built up a huge cult following, with music magazines like Pitchfork hailing him as the future of emo.

Lil Peep

Amish life - A new study has found that Amish people have a rare mutant gene that increases their lifespan by up to 10 years. Individuals carrying a single non-functional copy of the gene SERPINE1 can enjoy a longer life than those in other communities. Research was carried out with the Old Order Amish of Indiana, who generally avoid the activities and advancements of modern society, including electricity, cars and medicine. ‘They don’t take advantage of modern medicine in general, so the fact that the carriers have a median lifespan of nearly 85 is rather remarkable,’ said Dr Douglas Vaughan, co-author of the study.

Thirst is real - Donald Trump has made yet another comedic gaffe that has the whole world epically roasting him. While speaking about his 11 days in Asia recently at the White House on Wednesday night, the president abruptly stopped to take a sip of water, in probably the strangest method of drinking from a bottle you will see. Trump held the bottle with two hands, puckered up, and took a few gulps. For any other person this would have been unremarkable, but the gaffe was reminiscent of the time Republican Senator Marco Rubio did a very similar thing, which Trump mocked on Twitter. It seems Rubio has finally got his payback.

Donald Trump

Past comes back to haunt - The newly-appointed editor of Gay Times Josh Rivers has been ‘suspended effective immediately’ after old tweets surfaced of him using profanities to insult Jewish and transgender people. Other tweets were aggressive towards people’s manner or appearance, and towards disabled people. Rivers had been in the job for just two weeks before his suspension. The tweets in question include rivers saying, ‘Jews are gross’, and one particularly offensive tweet that read: ‘Was so close to casually asking this chav to keep her incested, down syndrome, retard children quiet. But I just switched carriages. #xmas.’

Against all odds - A British explorer who went missing in the Papa New Guinean jungle has been found alive and has asked for a rescue team to come and pick him up,The Guardian reported. Benedict Allen had gone in search for the Yaifo tribe, one of the few left in the world that has little to no contact with outsiders, before becoming lost. The BBC’s security correspondent, Frank Gardner, who met up with Allen just before his expedition, said his friend had been sighted and is arranging for his return to the UK.

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