The late artist's Three Studies of Lucian Freud is now the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction. Also at Christie's, Andy Warhol's Coca-Cola (3) went for $57.3 million. Sculptor Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for $58.4 million, an auction record for a living artist's work.
Opium poppy cultivation has hit a record high in Afghanistan, the United Nations reported today. The area where the deadly cash crop is produced grew to 516,000 acres.
The BBC’s David Loyn says international aid money inadvertently ends up fueling the opium industry, which is believed to represent a quarter to a third of the entire Afghan economy. For reference, opium represents about 2 percent of Colombia’s economy.
“It’s a pretty big failure for the international community if stopping Afghan opium was one of the reasons for coming to this country,” Loyn says.
Obama administration's high tech officials to get the Issa treatment over Obamacare... Healthcare.gov is likely to running smoothly by November's end as promised... the health care law allegedly helped kill the immigration overhaul.
The Supreme Court hears oral arguments Wednesday in what labor experts are calling the biggest case in decades, Unite Here Local 355 v. Mulhall. At stake is a complaint filed by a Florida racetrack employee saying an agreement between the workers union and his employer violates a federal anti-bribery statute.
Back in the day when it came to unions and employers, things were tense. Now, you could say, the two sides are more like frenemies.
"Essentially the unions are getting together with the company, and the company hands over its workers to a union in exchange for something," says Patrick Semmens, vice president of public affairs for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
Here's how these deals work: sometimes unions promise not to picket, or they might give money to a cause the company supports. But federal labor law says employers can't give unions a "thing of value" -- that could amount to bribery.
But here's the problem, according to Harvard law professor Benjamin Sachs.
"Almost everything that unions and employers agree to, say in a collective bargaining agreement -- to raise wages or to require employees to pay dues -- could be considered a thing of value," says Sachs.
If the court rules against the union, Sachs says there's no current model for how unions will work with companies in the future.
Sports Authority stores in Chicago have gotten hit by “flash robs” -- teams of thieves yanking whole racks of Starter jackets out the door at top speed. What’s new here is the coordinated approach to this kind of in-your-face shoplifting -- and the highly-specific shopping list. So, what can stores do to protect themselves?
David Williams runs the Regional Organized Crime Task Force for the Cook County State’s Attorney. (He’s also the first person I heard use the term “flash robs.”)
Here are a couple of tips from him: Tie down your merchandise, and keep the best stuff away from the window or the front of the store.
Of course, he recognizes that stores are also trying to attract paying customers. "And they want to put the fancy products in front of the window. But that also makes it easier to steal."
Curtis Baillie runs Security Consulting Strategies. Retail is his specialty. He says there’s not a lot stores can do. Make sure the video cameras are working. Then, train staff to lock down the registers at the first sign of trouble -- and get out of the way.
"If possible, maybe an employee can get out the door and get some license plate numbers if that’s available," he says, "but not to interfere and not to get hurt."
In Tacloban, a city of more than 220,000 people, some aid trucks are being looted as they arrive. Desperate for food, water and other essentials, many people are taking matters into their own hands.
A company called Sandvine put out a report on internet traffic this week. One major takeaway: 50 percent of traffic in North America this year will come from just two places: YouTube and Netflix. I headed across Manhattan the other day to meet up with Chris Jaffe, the streaming company's VP of product innovation. He gave me a tour of Netflix's big revamp of the user experience. Starting today, people who watch Netflix on smart TVs and some gaming consoles will begin to see more pictures for the shows they watch, reviews from friends, and more. Why is it a big deal? Company heads think the new design will keep streaming subscribers (read: paying customers) glued to the screen. Considering the huge number of us who are apparently just using the internet to watch Netflix at night, that's a big change.