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Oil prices rise on decline in U.S. drilling, Syria conflict

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices climbed on Monday, pushed up by a drop in U.S. drilling activity and by fighting in Syria between Turkish forces and Kurdish fighters.


'Upside down' artist Baselitz celebrated in retrospective

RIEHEN, Switzerland (Reuters) - Georg Baselitz, a provocative German artist who inspired a generation with challenging depictions of the Nazi era and the post-war division of Germany, is being honored by a retrospective to mark his 80th birthday.

Artists mark one year of Trump as president

This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration. It also marks the one-year anniversary of the Women's March his election inspired, the largest single-day protest in the nation's history.

Marcus, Kenneth L.

An Advocate for Israel Draws Fire as He Nears Confirmation to Civil Rights Post

Kenneth Marcus’s potential return to the Education Department has drawn criticism from civil rights groups that see his narrow focus on Israel as blinding him to other matters of bias.


Bright lights, big city: Light art festival takes to London's streets

LONDON (Reuters) - London's dark winter nights will shine a little brighter starting Thursday, as a nighttime art exhibition featuring a range of publicly displayed works that use light as a medium gets underway.


Protesters yank down angel sculpture in Athens, saying it looks like Satan

ATHENS (Reuters) - Black-clad protesters in southern Athens have torn down a red sculpture shaped like an angel and broke its wings in a fresh act of violence against an artwork critics liken to Satan.


British PM May says honored by French loan of Bayeux Tapestry

SANDHURST, England (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday she was honored that France will lend Britain the Bayeux Tapestry, an 11th century treasure that tells the story of William the Conqueror's invasion of England in 1066.


Sotheby's displays surrealist Magritte and rare works by other artists

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Paintings by Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte will be displayed by Sotheby's in Brussels this week among dozens of rare art works before being sold at auction.


Critic’s Notebook: On Artists and Audiences at American Realness

Watching performances at the American Realness festival, our critic was nudged into thinking about artists’ attitude toward audiences.


Canadian Costco pharmacists fined for seeking illegal rebates

TORONTO, Jan 16 (Reuters) - A Canadian regulator has ordered two Costco Wholesale Corp executives to pay a total of C$100,000 ($80,502) after pleading guilty to seeking illegally seeking rebates for the pharmacies from Indian drugmaker Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals.


UAE says Qatari jet fighters intercepted civilian flights

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates said on Monday Qatari air force jets had twice intercepted its civilian aircraft during routine flights to Bahrain, but Qatar called the claim "completely untrue".


UPDATE 5-UAE says Qatari jet fighters intercepted civilian flights

* UAE is one of Arab states in feud with Qatar (Adds alleged details of incident, aircraft)


UPDATE 4-UAE says Qatari jet fighters intercepted civilian flights

DUBAI, Jan 15 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates said on Monday Qatari air force jets had twice intercepted its civilian aircraft during routine flights to Bahrain, but Qatar called the claim "completely untrue".


Syrian rebel delegation in Washington seeking revival of CIA aid

AMMAN (Reuters) - Free Syrian Army envoys have urged U.S. officials at talks in Washington to resume a suspended CIA program of military aid if it is serious about challenging growing Iranian influence in Syria, according to Syrian opposition figures.


Swiss museum revisits demand for Nazi-era art return after 2008 denial

ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland is again at the center of a dispute over a Nazi-era art trove as the Basel Art Museum reconsiders demands it return a Jewish art historian's collection to descendants.


UPDATE 3-UAE says Qatari fighter jets twice intercepted civilian flights

DUBAI, Jan 15 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates said on Monday Qatari air force jets had twice intercepted civilian Emirati aircraft during routine flights to Bahrain, state news agency WAM reported, amid a months-old feud between the Gulf Arab states.

Hear the conflicting accounts on Trump meeting comments

CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports on the conflicting accounts from the lawmakers who attended the White House immigration reform meeting where President Trump reportedly referred to some African nations as "shithole countries."


UAE says Qatari fighter jets intercepted civilian flight

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates said on Monday that Qatari fighter jets intercepted an Emirati civilian aircraft during a routine flight to Bahrain, which Qatar denied, escalating a months-old feud between the Gulf Arab states.


U.S. probes video apparently showing shooting of Afghan civilian

KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. military authorities are investigating a video widely circulated on Afghan social media that apparently shows a U.S. service member firing into a civilian truck driving along a road in Afghanistan, a spokesman said.


Rohingya insurgents say 10 found in Myanmar grave 'innocent civilians'

YANGON (Reuters) - Rohingya Muslim insurgents said on Saturday that ten Rohingya found in a mass grave in Myanmar's troubled Rakhine state last month were "innocent civilians", and not members of their group.


Turkey reinstates 1,823 civil servants linked to app used by coup plotters: Anadolu

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey on Friday reinstated more than 1,800 civil servants purged after a 2016 failed coup, determining they had no links to the network of a cleric accused of masterminding the putsch, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Books and Literature

Nonfiction: Seeing the Civil War From the Ground Up

Edward L. Ayers’s “The Thin Light of Freedom” presents the War Between the States as experienced by ordinary people.


Judge seeking settlement of opioid lawsuits reaches out to states: Ohio

(Reuters) - A federal judge pushing for a quick settlement of lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors by U.S. cities and counties is seeking to meet with states that are separately suing and probing the companies, Ohio's attorney general said on Thursday.


U.S. judge seeking settlement of opioid lawsuits reaches out to states -Ohio

Jan 11 (Reuters) - A federal judge pushing for a quick settlement of lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors by U.S. cities and counties is seeking to meet with states that are separately suing and probing the companies, Ohio's attorney general said on Thursday.


Benin photographer captures voodoo via the lens

COTONOU, BENIN (Reuters) - Hundreds of Beninois marked National Voodoo Day, celebrating the once-banned religion on Wednesday with a series of ceremonies across the country.


U.N. says Syrian forces killed 85 civilians in besieged zone

GENEVA (Reuters) - An upsurge in air strikes and ground attacks by Syrian government forces against the besieged rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta has killed at least 85 civilians since Dec. 31, the U.N. human rights chief said on Wednesday.


South Korea not seeking to renegotiate 'comfort women' deal with Japan: foreign minister

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea said on Tuesday it will not seek to renegotiate a 2015 deal with Japan aimed at resolving the sensitive issue of "comfort women" forced to work in Japan's wartime brothels.

Airstrikes kill 17 civilians in Syrian enclave

At least 17 civilians in the Syrian enclave of Eastern Ghouta have been killed in a day of airstrikes, a rescue group and war monitor has said, as the government intensifies its aerial raids against the country's last remaining rebel-held areas.


Iraq returning displaced civilians from camps to unsafe areas

AMRIYAT AL-FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi security forces are forcibly returning civilians from refugee camps to unsafe areas in the predominantly Sunni Anbar province, exposing them to death from booby-traps or acts of vigilantism, refugees and aid workers say.


Metropolitan Museum to charge fixed admission fee for non-New Yorkers

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the world's most popular museums, will start charging a fixed admission fee for out-of-state visitors rather than urge they pay a suggested donation, museum officials announced on Thursday.


German conservatives call for age tests for minors seeking asylum

BERLIN (Reuters) - The Bavarian allies of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party on Tuesday said minors seeking asylum should undergo medical age tests, a measure the German Medical Association said could be a violation of ethics.

Civil rights resolutions for a better America in 2018

Will 2018 be the year when racism ends and America truly has liberty and justice for all?

Korean War

Korean War, a ‘Forgotten’ Conflict That Shaped the Modern World

The three-year conflict set the stage for decades of tension on the Korean Peninsula, but today many Americans know little about it.

United States Politics and Government

Partisans, Wielding Money, Begin Seeking to Exploit Harassment Claims

The earthquake of sexual misconduct allegations has taken down powerful men without regard to politics, but as it shakes Washington, accusations are taking on a partisan tint.


Mattis sees larger U.S. civilian presence in Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday that he expected to see a larger U.S. civilian presence in Syria, including contractors and diplomats, as the fight against Islamic State militants nears its end and the focus turns toward rebuilding and ensuring the militants do not return.


At least 109 civilians killed by Saudi coalition's raids, U.N. says

GENEVA (Reuters) - A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has killed 109 civilians in air strikes in the past 10 days, including 54 people at a crowded market and 14 members of one family on a farm, the top U.N. official in the country said on Thursday.


BRIEF-21st Century Oncology To Pay $2.3 Mln Civil Penalty To U.S. Dept. Of HHS

Dec 28 (Reuters) - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:


Airstrikes in Yemen Kill 68 Civilians in a Single Day

The United Nations said dead included eight children and 14 members of one family.

Cuomo: GOP tax law is economic civil war

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) discusses the GOP tax bill and the elimination of the state and local tax deduction.


U.N. says Saudi-led coalition raids in Yemen kill 109 civilians

GENEVA (Reuters) - A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has killed 109 civilians in air strikes in the past 10 days, including 54 at a crowded market and 14 members of one family in a farm, the top U.N. official in the country said on Thursday.


More civilians killed in Yemen's 'absurd, futile' war: U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) - The top U.N. official in Yemen said air strikes have killed scores of civilians in the past 10 days, in what he called an "absurd war" in which all sides, including the Saudi-led military coalition, show "complete disregard for human life".

Evacuations and Evacuees

Assad Must Go, Says Turkey’s Leader, Seeking Leverage as War Winds Down

The denunciation appeared to be Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s effort to remind Russia, Syria’s most powerful ally, that it cannot dictate the country’s postwar future alone.


Art Review: From the Personal to the Political, 19 Artists to Watch Next Year

“Fictions,” the latest of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s regular surveys of black and Latino artists, highlights personal narratives and social justice.

Deaths (Obituaries)

Don Hogan Charles, Lauded Photographer of Civil Rights Era, Dies at 79

Mr. Charles, the first black photographer to be hired by The New York Times, took pictures of Malcolm X, Coretta Scott King and Muhammad Ali.


Militants attack Nigerian city at center of conflict with Boko Haram

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram militants attacked on Monday the outskirts of Maiduguri, the Nigerian city at the center of the conflict with the Islamist insurgency, witnesses said.

Poroshenko, Petro Olekseyevich

Russia Says U.S.-Supplied Weapons to Ukraine Could Escalate Conflict

Russian officials said a decision by the United States to provide arms to Ukraine is dangerous as it will encourage Kiev to use force in eastern Ukraine.


Editorial: For Russian Artists in 1917, Art Was the Thing, Not Revolution

Amid suffering and chaos, painters of every leaning largely continued doing what they had been doing, whether to mark time or to provide escape.


Rio ballerinas struggle amid Brazil's financial crisis

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Rio de Janeiro's opulent Municipal Theatre has gone quiet this year as months of unpaid wages emptied its calendar of major works and pushed many ballerinas and opera singers into poverty.

Culture (Arts)

Their Words to Live By: Artists We Lost in 2017

Artists who died this year left behind gripping scenes, profound turns of phrase, unforgettable melodies and plenty of laughter. We pay tribute to a few of the most notable — through their own words.


Japan Display says reports of seeking funds not true, wants partner

TOKYO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Smartphone screen maker Japan Display Inc said in a statement on Friday that recent reports that it was seeking funds were not true, and that it was seeking a partnership with a "global company".


South Sudan’s government, rebel groups sign ceasefire in latest bid to end four-year civil war

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - South Sudan's government and rebel groups signed a ceasefire on Thursday that also allows humanitarian groups unfettered access to civilians caught in the fighting, the latest attempt to end a four-year civil war.


Dying for a paycheck: the Russian civilians fighting in Syria

ORENBURG, Russia (Reuters) - When Vladimir Kabunin signed up as a private military contractor, he saw a chance to make a wage much higher than any he could earn in his provincial Russian hometown.


Exclusive: Cameroonian troops entered Nigeria without seeking authorization, sources in Nigeria say

ABUJA/DAKAR (Reuters) - Cameroonian troops this month crossed into Nigeria in pursuit of rebels without seeking authorization from Nigeria, causing a falling-out between the governments behind the scenes, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.


Tolkien Christmas letters to his children to go on show

LONDON (Reuters) - A previously unseen series of illustrated Christmas letters written by the author J.R.R Tolkien to his children, featuring Santa Claus and his helper Polar Bear, are to go on show next year.


A cross to bare: tattoos and tradition in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A small shop in the heart of Jerusalem's walled Old City offers Christian pilgrims indelible memories of their visit to the holy city: tattoos with religious designs unchanged for centuries.


U.S. investigators seeking to interview crew members in fatal derailment

DUPONT, Wash. (Reuters) - Safety investigators hope the engineer of an Amtrak passenger train that careened off a bridge onto a highway in Washington state can explain why his locomotive was traveling more than twice the speed limit when the deadly derailment occurred, officials said on Tuesday.


France pulls Marquis de Sade erotic novel from auction

PARIS (Reuters) - The auction of one of the world's earliest and most sordid erotic novels -- the Marquis de Sade's "120 Days of Sodom" -- has been halted after the French state declared it a national treasure and said it could not be sold to a foreign buyer.

The day the GOP has been seeking: Voting begins today on plan

When it comes to the GOP tax plan, Republicans have the votes. Period.

Judge: US can't block undocumented teens from seeking abortions

A federal judge ruled Monday that the Trump administration could not obstruct two undocumented pregnant teens in US custody from seeking abortions.

Surfacing 2018

5 Offbeat Communities: Micronationalists, Mildly Offensive Fiber Artists and More

What do our readers care about? Some like to construct characters and recreate imaginary worlds, while others like to crochet mildly offensive sayings onto a quilt.


Germany ties Iraq aid to peaceful resolution of conflict with Kurds

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany wants to continue support for Iraq and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, but that aid depends on peaceful efforts to solve the conflict between the two sides, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday.


UPDATE 2-Thai Bev only bidder seeking to buy $5 bln stake in Vietnam's Sabeco

* Some bidders discouraged by rich valuations - sources (Recasts with Thai Bev's statement on Sabeco)


Erdogan says Turkey seeking to annul Trump decision on Jerusalem at U.N.

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey is launching an initiative at the United Nations to annul a decision by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

UN official who visited N. Korea warns of accidental conflict

A UN official who just returned from several days speaking with North Korean officials in Pyongyang has told CNN that he is "really worried about an accidental move toward conflict."


In a Time of Violence, Artists Probe Its Costs

Carrie Mae Weems, Theaster Gates, Lynn Nottage and other artists, poets and writers devote a day to exploring power in its various forms at the Park Avenue Armory.


Op-Ed Contributor: The Legacy of Simeon Booker, a Pioneer of Civil Rights Journalism

My uncle’s experience reporting on the Freedom Riders in 1961 has always chilled me the deepest.


BRIEF-Sistema says it Received Legal Claim Filed By Rosneft, Pjsoc Bashneft Seeking Damages From Co, Units for Rub 131.64 Bln‍​



Marquis de Sade erotic novel, or some quantum theory? You choose

PARIS (Reuters) - Fancy some 232-year old pornography, written in the Bastille and hidden behind a stone?

Is N. Korea seeking biological weapons?

A United Nations diplomat is warning about the need to decrease tensions with North Korea due to concerns that Kim Jong Un could develop biological weapons. CNN's Brian Todd reports.

Reed, Roy

Roy Reed, Times Reporter Who Covered the Civil Rights Era, Dies at 87

Mr. Reed was with Martin Luther King when he was released from jail in Selma, Ala., and with protesters on Bloody Sunday at the Pettus Bridge.


Ancient Roman Pantheon to start charging entry fee in 2018

ROME (Reuters) - Visitors to Rome's Pantheon, one of the ancient world's best preserved monuments, will have to pay an entry fee from next May unless they are going there to pray, Italy's culture and tourism ministry said on Monday.


Seeking to extend martial law in Philippine south, Duterte says militants regrouping

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday asked Congress to extend martial law on the southern island of Mindanao for a year, arguing that Islamist militants have been regrouping since a five-month urban conflict ended there in October.


Princes William and Harry announce sculptor for new Diana statue

LONDON (Reuters) - A sculptor who produced the image of Queen Elizabeth used on Britain's coins has been chosen to create a new statue of Princess Diana, the office of Princes William and Harry said on Sunday, to commemorate 20 years since her death.


Bahraini civil society group under pressure after Israel visit

DUBAI (Reuters) - A Bahraini civil society group has defended sending a delegation to Israel as a gesture of tolerance and coexistence, state news agency BNA has reported, after news of the visit sparked wide anger on social media.


Palace releases new portrait of Britain's Prince Philip

LONDON (Reuters) - Buckingham Palace released on Monday a new portrait of Prince Philip, painted by Australian-born artist Ralph Heimans in the year that Queen Elizabeth's husband announced his retirement from active public life.


Egypt reveals artifacts, mummy from tombs in ancient city of Luxor

LUXOR, Egypt (Reuters) - Egypt's authorities on Saturday revealed artifacts and a linen-wrapped mummified body, possibly that of a top official, from two tombs that were discovered two decades ago in the Nile city of Luxor but had not been fully unexplored.

Jackson (Miss)

Trump, Rejecting Calls to Stay Away, Speaks at Civil Rights Museum

In Jackson, Miss., the president hailed heroes of the civil rights movement even as activists and politicians said his presence insulted the effort to confront the state’s history.


U.N. envoy told North Korea urgent need to open channels to cut conflict risk

SEOUL/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations political affairs chief told senior North Korean officials during a visit to Pyongyang this week that there was an "urgent need to prevent miscalculations and open channels to reduce the risks of conflict," the world body said.

Trump stays on message during controversial civil rights museum visit

President Donald Trump honored civil rights heroes and local officials during remarks at the opening of a civil rights museum in Mississippi on Saturday, staying on message despite recent criticisms of his appearance there.


Trump attends civil rights museum opening; black leaders stay away

JACKSON, Miss. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump flew to Mississippi on Saturday to attend the opening of a civil rights museum, but his visit was marred by the absence of top African-American leaders who stayed away in protest of his policies and record on race relations.

Civil rights leaders blast Trump's visit to civil rights museum

Just ahead of the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, leaders from the civil rights movement and the local community blasted President Donald Trump's attendance as an affront to the spirit of the event.


Russia's delayed Nureyev ballet to test Kremlin tolerance

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Bolshoi Theatre ballet about the life of Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev set to premiere on Saturday contains tender scenes of gay romance, testing the Kremlin's tolerance for what it calls "homosexual propaganda".

The President's provocative rhetoric raises concerns he may be more willing to engage in conflict

Only President Donald Trump and his closest advisers may truly know how close the US is to war with North Korea as the administration's standoff with Pyongyang continues to escalate.

Black lawmakers skip civil rights museum opening over Trump's attendance

Reps. John Lewis and Bennie Thompson will not be attending the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum opening because President Trump will be making an appearance, which Rep. Lewis said was insulting to the civil rights activists being honored.


Civil rights pioneer to eschew museum opening after Trump says will attend

(Reuters) - Longtime U.S. congressman from Georgia John Lewis, who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s, said on Thursday that he would not attend the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum this weekend because President Donald Trump planned to attend.

Lewis, John R

If Trump Goes, John Lewis Will Skip Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Opening

Mr. Lewis and Bennie Thompson, both House Democrats, said they would not attend the museum opening because Mr. Trump is scheduled to be there.

John Lewis to skip civil rights event over Trump's attendance

Two black congressmen say they will not attend the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Saturday because President Donald Trump is set to attend.


Louvre Abu Dhabi to display Leonardo's 'Salvator Mundi'

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - The new branch of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi will exhibit Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of Christ, 'Salvator Mundi', which at $450.3 million became the most expensive painting ever sold at a New York auction last month.


'SUPERPUTIN' exhibition gives Russian leader a pop-art make over

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen riding a brown bear in medieval armor, cuddling a puppy and dressed as Santa Claus - it's not his latest series of publicity photos, but rather artwork at a new Moscow exhibition focused on Russia's leader.


Sean Combs leads four black artists as world's highest paid musicians

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs was ranked the world's highest-paid musician on Wednesday in an annual list that saw black artists take the top four spots.

Analysis: The GOP civil war, summed up in 1 picture

On Tuesday, a group of senators traveled to the White House to have lunch with President Donald Trump. In a classic Trumpian power move, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who has been one of the most outspoken Republican critics of Trump, was seated directly next to the President.


Defying warnings of new conflict, Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - President Donald Trump will announce on Wednesday that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move its embassy there, breaking with longtime U.S. policy and potentially threatening regional stability.

Federal Taxes (US)

Conservative Groups Seeking Support for Tax Cuts Find It a Hard Sell

Groups like the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity are trying to convince ordinary Americans that this is good for them too.

Civil Rights Movement (1954-68)

With Trump Visit, Protest May Follow Opening of Civil Rights Museum

With the announcement that President Trump would attend the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, veteran activists debated how to respond.

Trump's planned visit to civil rights museum called an affront to the movement

President Donald Trump will travel to Jackson, Mississippi, Saturday for the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.

Jerusalem (Israel)

The Conflict in Jerusalem Is Distinctly Modern: Here’s the History

The city has long been contested by Jews, Christians and Muslims, as well as by external powers, and its future remains far from clear.

Trans student: This isn't about a wedding cake, it's about civil rights

Over the past few years I've learned what it means to fight for my right to be treated just like everyone else. When my high school implemented a bathroom ban that forbade me from using the men's bathroom even though I am a transgender male student, I fought back. My fight took me to the US Supreme Court and still continues today -- despite the Court sending my case back to the district court.


Ex-president Saleh dead after switching sides in Yemen's civil war

SANAA/DUBAI (Reuters) - Veteran former president Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed in a roadside attack on Monday after switching sides in Yemen's civil war, abandoning his Iran-aligned Houthi allies in favor of a Saudi-led coalition, foes and supporters said.


Yemen's ex-president Saleh shot dead after switching sides in civil war

SANAA/DUBAI (Reuters) - Veteran former president Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed in a shooting on Monday after switching sides in Yemen's civil war, abandoning his Iran-aligned Houthi allies in favor of a Saudi-led coalition, foes and supporters said.


Without Trump, Kennedy Center celebrates Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With the notable absence of President Donald Trump, the Kennedy Center on Sunday celebrated singers Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan, rapper LL Cool J, television producer Norman Lear and dancer Carmen de Lavallade with honors for the arts.


Without Trump, Kennedy Center honors Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With the notable absence of President Donald Trump, the Kennedy Center on Sunday celebrated singers Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan, rapper LL Cool J, television producer Norman Lear and dancer Carmen de Lavallade with honors for the arts.

Monuments and Memorials (Structures)

Academics and Artists Weigh In on Controversial City Monuments

A letter published in Hyperallergic singles out five monuments or markers for removal.


Pope ends sensitive trip to Asia after seeking Rohingya forgiveness

DHAKA (Reuters) - Pope Francis ended a diplomatically tricky trip to Asia on Saturday, seeking the forgiveness of Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh after his controversial decision to not directly refer to their plight when he visited their homeland, Myanmar.


Seeking Russian Presidency, Socialite Hits the Campaign Trail

Ksenia Sobchak, a television journalist and opposition candidate, opened a campaign office and vowed to stir a “national discussion about what is wrong with Russia.”


At least 800 civilians killed by coalition strikes in Iraq, Syria: report

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - At least 800 civilians have been killed in strikes in Iraq and Syria by the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State since the campaign began in 2014, according to a report released by the coalition on Thursday.


U.S.-led anti-IS coalition assessing 695 reports of civilian casualties: statement

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition said on Thursday it was still assessing 695 reports of civilian casualties from strikes it carried out in Iraq and in Syria.


U.S. military says no civilians killed in August Somalia raid

NAIROBI (Reuters) - The U.S. military did not kill any civilians when it accompanied Somali forces on a deadly raid in August, U.S. Africa command said late on Wednesday, the first public statement on the findings from an investigation into the raid.

The Daily

The Daily: Listen to ‘The Daily’: The Unpaid Price of Civilian Casualties

The American government has yet to compensate any of the families of the thousands of civilian casualties from the U.S.-led battle against ISIS. Why?

Great Salt Lake (Utah)

Trilobites: Seeking the Source of the Vanishing Great Salt Lake

Human consumption — not seasonal fluctuations or climate change — is primarily to blame for the Great Salt Lake’s desiccation, according to a recent analysis.

Travel and Vacations

In the South and North, New (and Vital) Civil Rights Trails

African-American history is the subject of new museums, memorials and routes like the US Civil Rights Trail.

GOP senator seeking back-up revenue plan

Sen. James Lankford said Monday the Senate tax reform proposal needs to include a back-up plan to pay for it in case the economic growth projections conservatives are banking on don't materialize.


An Insect’s Colorful Gift, Treasured by Kings and Artists

An exhibition in Mexico City traces Mexican red, the cochineal dye that reaped riches for the Spanish crown — and entranced painters.


In Prospect New Orleans, a Curator Guides 73 Artists Toward Higher Ground

Trevor Schoonmaker turns the Big Easy into a giant gallery, with Rashid Johnson, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Mark Dion and more across 17 venues.


German artists build Holocaust memorial near far-right leader's home

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German political art group on Wednesday said it had built a pared-down version of Berlin's Holocaust memorial near the home of a far-right politician who sparked outrage by suggesting history books should more focus on German World War Two victims.


BRIEF-‍FCPC responds to completion of Competition Bureau civil investigation​

* ‍FCPC responds to completion of Competition Bureau civil investigation​


Vatican, China swap art in bid to mend strained ties

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican and China will exchange paintings, vases and sculptures in a bid to mend often strained ties through "the diplomacy of art", officials said on Tuesday.


Male artists win big but female singers dominate American Music Awards stage

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pink, Lady Gaga and Christina Aguilera led female artists of pop music dominating the American Music Awards stage on Sunday with powerful performances, despite being edged out by male artists in most award categories this year.

Mueller seeking interview with publicist who set up Russian-Trump Jr. meeting

Special counsel Robert Mueller is in talks with the attorney for the British publicist who set up the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer, according to a source familiar with the matter.


U.S. civil rights activist Jesse Jackson says he has Parkinson's disease

(Reuters) - U.S. civil rights activist Jesse Jackson announced on Friday that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, an ailment that constrains movement and gets progressively worse with time.

The Daily

The Daily: Listen to ‘The Daily’: Counting Civilian Casualties in Iraq

In Part 2 of our look at the U.S.-led fight against ISIS, the survivor of an airstrike sets out to learn why his home was targeted.


'Raj Pink' diamond, top gems, fail to sell at Sotheby's sale

GENEVA (Reuters) - A large pink diamond, rare for its color and clarity, was among several major jewels that failed to sell on Wednesday at Sotheby's auction in Geneva.


London theater says 20 men made allegations against Kevin Spacey

LONDON (Reuters) - The Old Vic theater in London said on Thursday it had received 20 separate allegations of inappropriate conduct by Kevin Spacey from 20 men who came into contact with him at the theater, or in connection with it, between 1995 and 2013.

The Daily

The Daily: Listen to ‘The Daily’: Targeting ISIS, and Killing Civilians

The U.S.-led air campaign been hailed as the most precise in history. But its civilian death toll has been far higher than anyone has acknowledged.


Da Vinci portrait of Christ sells for record $450.3 million in New York

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of Christ "Salvator Mundi" sold for a record-smashing $450.3 million on Wednesday at Christie's in New York -- more than double the old mark for any work of art at auction.


'Raj Pink' diamond fails to sell at Geneva sale: Sotheby's

GENEVA (Reuters) - "The Raj Pink", the largest known diamond graded "fancy intense pink" for its rare color, was among several major jewels stranded on the auction block on Wednesday at Sotheby's sale in Geneva.


Memories in milk bottles: Polish exhibition 'shouts out' annihilation story of Warsaw Ghetto

WARSAW (Reuters) - A deeply moving exhibition of archives documenting the life and annihilation of Jews by Nazi Germany in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War Two goes on public display in Poland on Thursday.


Golden leaf cut from Napoleon's crown goes under hammer in France

PARIS (Reuters) - A golden laurel leaf cut from the crown of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte will be auctioned near Paris on Sunday.


Last piece of missing Magritte painting found in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The missing last piece of a painting by Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte was found underneath another of the artist's works at a museum in Brussels using x-ray imaging.

Hudner, Thomas J Jr

Thomas Hudner, War Hero in a Civil Rights Milestone, Dies at 93

Lieutenant Hudner defied expectations when he tried to rescue the Navy’s first black aviator during the Korean War. He was awarded the Medal of Honor.


UPDATE 3-Seeking to dodge default, Venezuela hosts creditors

CARACAS, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Venezuela's socialist government welcomed scores of creditors on Monday for talks intended to renegotiate a crippling foreign debt and avert a default that could compound the once-prosperous OPEC nation's economic crisis.

Halbouni, Manaf

A Monument to Syria’s Civil War Is Erected in Berlin

A German-Syrian artist has recreated a famous photograph of a barricade made of buses during the Syrian civil war.


Seeking to slow climate change, lawsuits look to the constitution

BONN, Germany (Reuters) - Climate activists will argue in an Oslo court this week that Norway's plans for Arctic oil exploration are unconstitutional, in an emerging branch of law where plaintiffs are trying to enlist a nation's founding principles to limit warming.


AIRSHOW-Russia, UAE in early talks to build civil aircraft – Rostec CEO

DUBAI, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Russia has initiated preliminary talks with the United Arab Emirates for joint production of a civil aircraft in the Gulf state, the head of Russia's state-owned defence company said on Sunday.

Mass graves of civilians executed by ISIS found

Mass graves containing the remains of civilians executed by ISIS have been found in the disputed Iraqi province of Kirkuk, Iraqi authorities told reporters on Saturday.


Exhibit at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate evokes Syrian war

BERLIN (Reuters) - Three upended buses, a reminder of a barricade erected in Aleppo in 2015 at the height of the Syrian civil war, appeared in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Friday as part of an installation by Syrian-German artist Manaf Halbouni.


Poems in Dottyville: How two traumatized soldiers changed notions of war

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - An imposing 19th Century building with elegant manicured lawns and sweeping views of the Edinburgh skyline seems an unlikely place to have earned the nickname "Dottyville" from one of Britain's most revered poets.


Philippine militants sought July deal to end Marawi conflict, intermediaries say

MANILA (Reuters) - Islamic State-inspired militants who battled troops in a southern Philippine city for 154 days sought a way out two months into the fierce conflict, but the government ignored their proposal, a separatist negotiator and a minister said.


'That's art?' Baby turns heads in Manhattan auction house window

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A sculpture of a baby sleeping in an unusual New York City exhibit has Park Avenue window-shoppers alerting auction house staff that a child has been “forgotten in the display.”

Artists light up the forest

I haven't been walking around "A Forest Where Gods Live" for long, when I realize I've become part of the exhibit. As I stroll through a vast azalea garden, the bushes light up, their bright gold glow radiating across the field as sensors on the plants transmit the news of my presence to each other.


Dance star Akram Khan prepares for swansong tour

LONDON (Reuters) - One of Britain's most celebrated dancer-choreographers, Akram Khan, is tackling the rise of xenophobia in his latest work, which he says will be his last as a leading performer.


UK's May to appoint new aid minister, seeking to maintain delicate Brexit balance

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to appoint a new aid minister on Thursday following a resignation which has left her with the difficult task of finding the right person to maintain fragile unity in a cabinet divided over Brexit.

Books and Literature

Nonfiction: World War II Seen by a Classicist, and Other New Books About Conflict

Thomas E. Ricks surveys 12 new books of military history.


U.N. says believes Afghanistan air strike killed civilians

KABUL (Reuters) - The United Nations mission in Afghanistan said at least 10 civilians may have been killed by an air strike in the northern city of Kunduz last week, despite a U.S. military investigation that found no civilian deaths.


'Glengarry Glen Ross' revival examines the dark side of cutting deals

LONDON (Reuters) - In an age where a real-estate salesman has assumed the highest political office in the United States, a new revival of David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Glengarry Glen Ross" in London is highlighting the dark side of the art of the deal.


RPT-UPDATE 1-EU's Vestager seeking details on Apple's recent tax set-up

LISBON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - European Union regulators have asked iPhone maker Apple for details of its recent tax structure following last year's order to pay back taxes of up to 13 billion euros ($15 billion) to Ireland, Europe's anti-trust chief said on Tuesday.

A Trump Defense Department nominee: 'Insane' that civilians can buy assault rifles

President Donald Trump's nominee for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Dean Winslow, said Tuesday it is "insane" that a civilian can buy a semi-automatic weapon like the gun that Devin Kelley used in the Texas church shooting.


EU's Vestager seeking details on Apple's recent tax set-up

LISBON (Reuters) - European Union regulators have asked iPhone maker Apple for details of its recent tax structure following last year's order to pay back taxes of up to 13 billion euros ($15 billion) to Ireland, Europe's anti-trust chief said on Tuesday.


UPDATE 1-EU's Vestager seeking details on Apple's recent tax set-up

LISBON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - European Union regulators have asked iPhone maker Apple for details of its recent tax structure following last year's order to pay back taxes of up to 13 billion euros ($15 billion) to Ireland, Europe's anti-trust chief said on Tuesday.


EU's Vestager says seeking details on Apple's recent tax set-up

LISBON (Reuters) - EU regulators have asked iPhone maker Apple for details of its recent tax structure following last year's order to pay back taxes of up to 13 billion euros ($15 billion) to Ireland, Europe's anti-trust chief said on Tuesday.


East meets West as Louvre Abu Dhabi opens in the Gulf

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi opens its Louvre museum on Saturday, positioning itself as a city of cultural tourism with a display of hundreds of works that it hopes will draw visitors from around the world.


Australia can breathe easy after 17th century map restored

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A 17th century map of Australia, predating British settlement, has gone on display for the first time after suffering extensive damage while purportedly housed for hundreds of years in a Swedish warehouse.


U.S. investigation finds no Afghan civilian casualties in Kunduz strike

KABUL (Reuters) - A U.S. investigation into reports that at least 13 civilians were killed during an operation in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz last week found no evidence of any civilian casualties, a statement from the U.S. military in Kabul said on Tuesday.


Mattis backs Geneva process on Syrian conflict

HELSINKI (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday he backed diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the Syrian civil war, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives over more than six years of conflict, as Islamic State militants near defeat.


U.S. investigates reports of civilian casualties in Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan and U.S. military authorities are investigating reports that as many as 13 civilians were killed in an operation in the northern region of Kunduz, officials said on Monday, but details remain sketchy three days after the incident.


Saudi-led coalition calls missile 'dangerous escalation' of Yemen conflict

RIYADH (Reuters) - A Saudi-led coalition on Sunday accused Yemen's Houthi militia of a "dangerous escalation", a day after Saudi air defense forces intercepted a ballistic missile fired by the group towards the capital Riyadh.

Trump says he dropped Manafort due to 'potential conflicts' with 'certain nations'

President Donald Trump said he dropped Paul Manafort as his campaign chairman because of Manafort's involvement with "certain nations," according to excerpts of an interview published Saturday.


Paintings by Indian elephant auctioned off in Hungary

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Paintings created by an Indian elephant who enjoys wielding a brush were auctioned off by a Hungarian traveling circus on Saturday.

Civilian Casualties

U.S. Strikes Caused at Least 13 Civilian Casualties, Afghans Say

Residents of the restive province of Kunduz said the Taliban forced them to retrieve their dead after a night of fighting, when U.S. aircraft struck again, killing at least 13.

Newly released batch of Kennedy files shows FBI analysis portrayed the civil rights leader negatively


Land conflict halts output at Buenaventura's silver mine in Peru

LIMA, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Members of an Andean community have forcibly suspended production at Peruvian miner Buenaventura's Uchucchacua silver mine since Tuesday to demand compensation for land use, the precious metals mining company said.


Albanians view antique communist-era spyware in 'House of Leaves'

TIRANA (Reuters) - In the days of communist Albania's near-total isolation, Saimir Maloku used his technical knowhow to gain illicit glimpses of the outside world. Unluckily for him, as he and his father watched forbidden Italian television, the regime was watching him.


Nazi-era art hoard makes German exhibition debut in Bonn

BERLIN (Reuters) - Some 250 art works from a huge trove hoarded by a collector during the Nazi era went on display in Germany for the first time on Thursday, as its curators pursue efforts to find the rightful owners of pieces identified as looted.


More than 180,000 people, mostly Kurds, displaced by Iraqi-Kurdish conflict

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - More than 180,000 civilians, mostly Kurds, have been displaced by the conflict between the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, humanitarian organizations said on Thursday.


Singer Neil Young to auction model train collection

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rock singer Neil Young is selling some of his most prized possessions - part of his model train collection.


Poland to ban Ukrainians with 'anti-Polish views'

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland plans to bar Ukrainians with "anti-Polish views", its foreign minister said on Thursday, emphasizing the nationalist credentials of his ruling party that often talks of the "historic wrongs" inflicted on Poles by their neighbors.

Rohingya (Ethnic Group)

Aung San Suu Kyi Makes First Visit to Rohingya Conflict Zone in Myanmar

“We all have to try our best to live peacefully,” said Myanmar’s civilian leader, who has been faulted for not condemning the military’s atrocities in Rakhine State.


BRIEF-Allergan receives civil investigative demand from the State of North Carolina DoJ

* Allergan Plc says on October 16, company received a civil investigative demand from the State of North Carolina Department of Justice‍​ - SEC filing


At West Bank tea party, artist Banksy offers royal 'apology' for Balfour Declaration

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (Reuters) - British street artist Banksy has offered a royal "apology" engraved on Israel's barrier in the occupied West Bank for Britain's endorsement a century ago of the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Spanish Language

Seeking a Voice, via a Bilingual M.F.A., in Writing and in Life

In a program at the University of Texas at El Paso, students from both sides of the border write and speak in English, Spanish and Spanglish.

Kevin Spacey seeking treatment after allegations

Actor Kevin Spacey is seeking unspecified treatment following an accusation of sexual assault by an actor, who says he was a minor at the time, and amid new reported allegations by a British man.


New York gallery for 'Nina' caricaturist Hirschfeld breached contract: judge

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that a non-profit exhibiting art by Al Hirschfeld had the right to terminate its contract with a Manhattan gallery that had sold works by the late theater and screen caricaturist for more than four decades.


Nazi art trove goes on display at Swiss museum, heir to Gurlitt collection

BERN (Reuters) - Some 150 art works from a massive trove amassed by a German collector during the Nazi era went on public display for the first time on Wednesday in the Swiss capital, amid lingering questions about the origins of the collection.

Colbert, Stephen

Best of Late Night: Colbert Slams Kelly’s Explanation of the Civil War

Responding to the chief of staff’s remarks blaming “a lack of compromise,” Stephen Colbert said, “What do you think caused World War II, a zoning issue?”

Civil War (US) (1861-65)

A Refusal to Compromise? Civil War Historians Beg to Differ

Historians respond to John Kelly’s claim that “the lack of an ability to compromise” led to the Civil War.


Trump chief of staff's Civil War comment sparks criticism

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's comment that the U.S. Civil War was sparked by a lack of "compromise" drew criticism and reignited a debate over Confederate monuments and the role of slavery.


U.S. to oppose U.N. resolution seeking end to U.S. embargo on Cuba: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will vote against a U.N. General Assembly resolution on Wednesday calling for the lifting of the U.S. embargo against Cuba, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday, reversing Washington's abstention of last year.

Net Neutrality

Op-Ed Contributor: Net Neutrality: Why Artists and Activists Can’t Afford to Lose It

A level internet playing field lets them, and everyone else, bypass powerful gatekeepers.


Work-family conflict helps explain gender gap in doctors’ depression

(Reuters Health) - Female doctors in training may be more likely to become depressed than their male counterparts at least in part because of difficulties balancing work with family life, a U.S. study suggests.


U.S. Army deserter Bergdahl was efficient, conflicted: witness

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Reuters) - U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was an efficient soldier who at times seemed conflicted about his unit's mission in Afghanistan before walking off his post in June 2009 in an act of desertion, his former squad leader testified on Tuesday.


Assad sets sights on Kurdish areas, risking new Syria conflict

BEIRUT (Reuters) - With Islamic State near defeat in Syria, Damascus is setting its sights on territory held by Kurdish-led forces including eastern oil fields, risking a new confrontation that could draw the United States in more deeply and complicate Russian diplomacy.


BRIEF-Chemed reaches final agreement to end civil litigation & false claims act brought by U.S. DOJ in May 2013​

* Chemed - Reached final agreement to end civil litigation and false claims act brought by U.S. Department of Justice in May 2013​


Trump chief of staff's Civil War comment draws fire

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's comment that the U.S. Civil War was sparked by a lack of "compromise" drew criticism and reignited a debate over Confederate monuments and the role of slavery.

Secession and Independence Movements

Ex-Leader of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, Not Seeking Asylum in Belgium

Carles Puigdemont said he had traveled to Belgium to put the territorial conflict “in the institutional heart of Europe.”


Sacked Catalan leader Puigdemont says accepts snap election, not seeking asylum

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont on Tuesday said he accepted the snap elections called by Spain's central government in Catalonia and he was not seeking asylum in Belgium at a press conference given in Brussels.

Kelly: 'Lack of an ability to compromise' led to Civil War

White House chief of staff John Kelly spoke to the "good" and "not so good" parts of US history on Monday, speaking highly of Confederate general Robert E. Lee and attributing the origin of the American Civil War to a "lack of an ability to compromise."

Kelly, John F (1950- )

John Kelly Pins Civil War on ‘Lack of Ability to Compromise’

Twitter reacted swiftly, and not sympathetically, after Mr. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, spoke with the conservative commentator Laura Ingraham.

Seeking a polygamist? There's an app for that

Lisa Ling meets a woman looking for love on a dating app specifically for polygamists. Watch "This Is Life with Lisa Ling" Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Banks, Dennis

Dennis Banks, a Leader of American Indian Civil Rights Movement, Dies at 80

Mr. Banks, a Chippewa, led often-violent insurrections to protest the treatment of Native Americans and to call attention to a history of injustices against them.


Female Artists Sign Letter Against Sexual Harassment

Signed by the likes of Laurie Anderson, Cindy Sherman, and Lynn Nottage, the letter also condemns the publisher of Artforum, Knight Landesman.

Catalonia (Spain)

Resist or Obey Madrid’s Rule? Catalonia Civil Servants Must Decide

Catalonia’s ministers, lawmakers, teachers, policemen and other government workers face the question of accepting Madrid’s authority — or staying loyal to their ousted leader.


'East German' art show another step in still-rocky unification

POTSDAM, Germany (Reuters) - A display of artworks created during 40 years of East German history could help Germans from east and west bridge the divide that still separates them 27 years after unification.


Rare, hidden portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots revealed

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - A rare, unfinished portrait believed to be of Mary, Queen of Scots has been found underneath another 16th-century painting after an X-ray revealed a ghostly likeness of the executed queen.


U.S.-led forces acknowledge killing 51 more civilians in Iraq, Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants said on Thursday another 51 civilians had been killed in strikes in Iraq and Syria, raising the total number of civilians it has killed to 786 since 2014.


Catalan leader to call election as Madrid readies take over of independence-seeking region

MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) - Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont was set on Thursday to call a snap regional election, reacting to pressure from the Spanish government as it prepared to take direct control of the autonomous region to block its drive for independence.


Purple reigns at London exhibition charting Prince's career

LONDON (Reuters) - Paisley, pop hits and of course purple are coming to London's O2 arena in a new exhibition of personal memorabilia of the late singer Prince.

Trump blames media for 'uncivil' image

President Trump says the media makes him out to be more uncivil than he really is. CNN's Jake Tapper discusses.


Kenya opposition leader urges vote boycott, civil disobedience

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya opposition leader Raila Odinga urged supporters to boycott Thursday's repeat presidential election and persuade their friends to do the same, saying he would lead a campaign of civil disobedience against the government.


U.S. court sides with illegal immigrant teen seeking an abortion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 17-year-old illegal immigrant in federal custody in Texas can have an abortion immediately despite the objections of President Donald Trump's administration, a U.S. appeals court decided on Tuesday in a ruling spearheaded by Democratic-appointed judges.


Note with Einstein's theory on life auctioned for $1.3 million

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Strapped for cash in a Tokyo hotel, Albert Einstein wrote his take on life on a note and handed it to the bellboy instead of a tip. The physicist's formula for happy living fetched $1.3 million on Tuesday, a Jerusalem auction house said.


BRIEF-Basf says seeking to strengthen ag business further

* CEO says will look to strengthen agriculture business further after Bayer deal