Finance

MONA director David Walsh started museum out of guilt for making millions as professional gambler

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MONA founder David Walsh says guilt over making millions of dollars as a professional gambler was one of the driving forces behind his decision to set up the internationally famous Hobart gallery. Mr Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art is now a major tourist drawcard on the Hobart waterfront, drawing visitors from all over the world. But the gambler-turned-art ... Read More »

Sharemarket in the red as China cools

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The sharemarket is back in negative territory for the first time since February as the reality of higher interest rates in the United States sends traders scrambling for cover and out of popular defensive trades. Dismal week wipes $36b off shares An uptick in volatility in the past week has also delivered a sharp decline in the Australian dollar and ... Read More »

Da Vinci Restoration Project Reignites Conspiracy Theories

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Restorations to an unfinished painting by Renaissance master Leonardo Da Vinci are well underway, and may confirm some Dan Brown-level conspiracy theories, reports the Art Newspaper. The large wood panel painting, The Adoration of the Magi, belongs to Florence’s Uffizi Galleries, but is currently being worked on at Florence’s conservation institute, the Opificio delle Pietre Dure. Da Vinci began work on The Adoration of the ... Read More »

The Ancestors of ISIS

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CAMBRIDGE, England — IN the last few years, there has been a dramatic rise of a seemingly new type of polity: the Islamic rebel state. Boko Haram in West Africa, the Shabab in East Africa, the Islamic Emirate in the Caucasus and, of course, the Islamic State in the Middle East, known as ISIS, or ISIL — these movements not only ... Read More »

How Isis became the wealthiest terror group in history

Fighters of the Islamic State wave the group's flag from a damaged display of a government fighter jet following the battle for the Tabqa air base, in Raqqa, Syria
AP

Islamic State militants are better resourced than any other terrorist group, according to intelligence officials Islamic State (Isis) militants are taking in more than $3m (£1.8m) a day through oil smuggling, extortion, theft and human trafficking, say intelligence officials and experts. Aid workers, researchers and intelligence agents say that as the group has taken over sections of Iraq and Syria ... Read More »

Russia and China may destroy petrodollar

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Actions of the West in Eastern Europe and ongoing pressure on Russia may eventually intensify the movement to combat the petrodollar. The biggest danger to the oil currency is likely to be related to China and its plans to increase the role of the yuan in the world.Russia and China currently discuss the creation of a system of inter-bank transactions, ... Read More »

Hungary’s Navracsics to be Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Citizenship

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European Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker has unveiled on Wednesday the next European Union executive for the 2014-2019 period. The team will have to be approved by the European Parliament. As it turns out Hungary’s Tibor Navracsics will not be Commissioner for Trade or Commissioner for Customs, as suggested by previous press reports – Juncker surprisingly picked him to be Commissioner for Education, ... Read More »

Syria’s Cultural Artifacts Are Blood Diamonds for ISIS

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The destruction of Syria’s cultural heritage could have even more widespread ramifications than we realize, the Wall Street Journal reports. Christian C. Sahner takes a close look at the motivation behind the widely reported destruction of religious, historical, and cultural sites, arguing that “the nation’s heritage has been used as a weapon to finance bloodshed, to settle sectarian scores, and to erase ... Read More »