North America

After Drugs and Guns, Art Theft Is the Biggest Criminal Enterprise in the World

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June 2014, and an unusual three-day conference is taking place in the basement room of New York University’s School of Law. The 200 or so attendees that have hurried their way across sunny Washington Square include FBI agents, lawyers, auction house heads, art dealers and collectors who buy and sell multi-million–dollar items. Waiting, sharp-suited, is -Brooklyn-born conference organiser Chris Marinello, ... Read More »

40 Trees in 1: The Tree with 40 Kinds of Fruit

Image: Sam Van Aken

This tree is a little peculiar to look at. It’s because this isn’t an ordinary tree, one might argue that it’s actually closer to 40 trees all wrapped up into one. Indeed, when this tree is in full bloom (as shown in the picture), you can find about 40 different types of fruit on its branches, from peaches to plumbs, ... Read More »

Not All Jews Support Israel

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To both Jews and non-Jews the idea of an anti-Zionist Jew can sound like a contradiction in terms—an abuse of Rabbi Hillel’s most famous ethical aphorism, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me.” But for Sam Weinstein, and for around 30 others, me included, tucked together in a small Jewish bloc at Saturday’s Gaza demo in ... Read More »

Why America’s Immigration Crisis Matters

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On July 6, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson went on NBC’s Meet the Press to answer questions about the current immigration crisis involving tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America flooding the U.S. southern border and crossing into the United States illegally. Host David Gregory asked: “I know there’s a process they have to go through. Will most ... Read More »

US Secretary of State accidentally heard criticising Israel’s military action in Gaza

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(Hot mic moment at 11:07) The United States Secretary of State has been caught on a ‘hot mic’ apparently criticising Israel’s military action in Gaza. John Kerry was preparing for an interview when he was heard ‘sarcastically’ telling an aide Israel’s strikes had been ‘pinpoint’. ‘It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation, it’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,’ he ... Read More »

The slow queen

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When the founder of The Huffington Post woke up in a pool of blood, she knew life had to change. Arianna Huffington, founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post website, is late for our lunch date at an exclusive London hotel, the Chiltern Firehouse. Huffington, the former spouse of a Ronald Reagan-era Republican, was once a leftish writer, then a ... Read More »

First Assyrtiko to Be Planted in the US

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The Assyrtiko grape grows well in shallow, rocky soils with little organic matter; in hot summers and cool nights, since ancient times in its homeland of Santorini. Larry and Dayle Rodenborn, the husband and wife team of Tryphon Vineyards have undertaken the risky endeavor to plant Assyrtiko at 975 meters elevation, in the mountains of the Tahoe National Forest in the US. The couple’s love ... Read More »

The Detail In This Hummingbird Photograph Is Unreal

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Scotland-based photographer Chris Morgan captured this remarkable macro shot of a hummingbird while visiting Bosque De Paz Nature Reserve in Costa Rica. In case you were wondering: Yes, that is Morgan’s reflection in the hummingbird’s eye. Morgan tells io9 the key to capturing this photograph was patience: My main method of taking the pictures was patience. I used a canon 100mm ... Read More »

Israel, Hamas prepare for brief humanitarian ceasefire

Father and brother of a Palestinian boy from Baker family, whom medics said was killed with other three children from same family by shell fired by Israeli naval gunboat, mourn during their funeral in Gaza City

(Reuters) – Israel and Hamas said they would cease fighting for five hours on Thursday for a humanitarian truce requested by the United Nations, though Israel remained poised to expand its offensive in the Gaza Strip if rocket fire persisted. Just a few hours before the temporary truce was due to take effect at 10 a.m. (0800 BST), Israel’s military ... Read More »