London: Art record
LONDON — A life-size bronze sculpture of a man by Alberto Giacometti was sold Wednesday at a London auction for 65 million pounds ($104.3 million) — a world record for the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction, Sotheby's auction house said.
It took just eight minutes of furious bidding for about ten bidders to reach the hammer price for "L'Homme Qui Marche I" (Walking Man I), which opened at 12 million pounds, Sotheby's said.
The sculpture by the 20th century Swiss artist, considered an iconic Giacometti work as well as one of the most recognizable images of modern art, was sold to an anonymous bidder by telephone, the auction house said.
Sotheby's had estimated the work would sell for between 12 to 18 million pounds.
Germany: Life saved
BERLIN — Watch the sunset, save a life.
A woman admiring the sunset on a tourist webcam in northern Germany spotted a man who was lost on the frozen North Sea and probably saved his life by alerting authorities, police said Wednesday.
The man had climbed over pack ice off the coast to photograph a sunset near the town of St. Peter-Ording, then became disoriented on the ice, Husum police spokeswoman Kristin Stielow said.
Unable to locate the beach, the man began using his camera to flash for help. That got the attention of a woman hundreds of miles away in southern Germany who was watching the sunset over the sea on her computer.
The woman contacted police, who located the man's signals and guided him into shore by flashing their car lights.
DAMASCUS — Washington has submitted to Damascus the name of its proposed new ambassador to Syria, the first since 2005, the country's foreign minister said, in the latest step toward improving ties between the two nations.
The announcement came as Damascus accused neighboring Israel, a U.S. ally, of pushing the region toward war and warned that future conflicts would involve Israel's cities as well as its armies.
Israel: Peace talks
HERZLIYA — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he had reason to believe that long-stalled peace talks with the Palestinians could resume in a matter of weeks.
Netanyahu did not give details, but an official indicated Israel would take a step to make it possible for the Palestinians to agree to talks. He did not elaborate and spoke on condition of anonymity because no offer has been made.
Egypt: 2 punished
CAIRO — Two senior Egyptian editors — one a member of the country's ruling party and the other an expert on Jewish affairs — have been punished by Egypt's Journalists Union for violating its ban on contacts with Israel, in a case that underlines the country's ambivalent policies toward its neighbor.