World
Picasso, Giacometti break sales records in New York auction
A later work by Pablo Picasso and a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti sold for $179.36 million and $141.28 million, respectively, becoming the most expensive artworks to be sold at an auction so far, Efe news agency reported.
 
London-based fine art auction house Christie's sold the two pieces in New York on Monday in an auction entitled "Looking forward to the past", breaking all records when Picasso's painting "Les femmes d'Alger (Version O)" was sold at the multi-million-dollar bidding price.
 
The 1955 painting, whose title means "Women of Algiers", is part of a series of 15 paintings, inspired by a work of the same name by French artist Eugene Delacroix.
 
"Les femmes d'Alger (Version O) is also, like that of Bacon, a dialogue between the two artists (Picasso and Delcroix)," Ana Maria Celis from the contemporary art department at Christie's told Efe.
 
The painting turned out to be the most photographed item on the historic night, while two other Picasso paintings were also sold for $67.3 million and $4.3 million, respectively, collecting a total amount of $251 million.
 
Meanwhile, Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti's "L'homme au doigt" (Pointing Man) set a record price of $141.28 million.
 
This amount exceeded the $104.3 million acquired in the London sale of Giacometti's "L'homme qui marche" (Walking Man) in 2010, thereby breaking his own record.
 
The nearly 70-inch bronze piece made in 1947 belongs to a series of six works, and is the only one hand-painted by the artist.
 
With only 34 works auctioned, the "Looking forward to the past" series added $705.85 million to Christie's coffers.
 
Other notable works sold included "Le Parlement, soleil couchant" (The Parliament, setting sun) by Claude Monet for $40.48 million, "No. 36 (Black Stripe)" by Mark Rothko which sold for $40.48 million, and the "Silver Liz" diptych by Andy Warhol for $28.16 million.
 
Christie's is yet to disclose the identity of the buyers.

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No toilet at home: Bihar woman divorces husband
A woman in a Bihar village has divorced her husband for not constructing a toilet at their house, officials said Tuesday.
 
Sunita Devi, a resident of Paharpur village in Vaishali district, divorced her husband in village panchayat after he failed to build a toilet despite repeated assurances.
 
Interestingly, Paharpur village was declared a 'nirmal-gram' by the government.
 
"I was fed up with my husband for not building a toilet and was forced to leave him," Sunita told IANS by telephone.
 
"I was upset over being forced to make way to an open field every day under the cover of darkness to defecate. Even owner of the land used to abuse and humiliate me repeatedly," Sunita said.
 
"For the last four years, I have been requesting my husband to construct the toilet. But he always ignored it and advised me to seek help of my parents for it," Sunita said.
 
Bihar has a population of over 105 million, of which 21.9 million lack toilet facilities. 

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GST bill goes to Rajya Sabha select committee
The bill on the goods and services tax (GST) was on Tuesday sent to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha.
 
The committee will table its report in the upper house on the last day of the first week of next parliament session.
 
The 21-member committee is headed by Bhupender Yadav of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
 
Other members of the committee are: Chandan Mitra and Ajay Sancheti (BJP), Madhusudan Mistry, Bhalchandra Mungekar and Mani Shankar Aiyar (Congress), K.C. Tyagi (JD-U), Derek O'Brien (Trinamool Congress), A. Navaneethakrishnan (AIADMK), Satish Chandra Misra (BSP), K.N. Balagopal (CPI-M), Dilip Kumar Tirkey (BJD), C.M. Ramesh (TDP), Praful Patel (NCP), Kanimozhi (DMK), Anil Desai (Shiv Sena), Naresh Gujral (Shiromani Akali Dal), Mir Mohammad Fayaz (PDP), D. Raja (CPI) and Independent MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
 
The GST bill is seen as the key to facilitating industrial growth and improving the country's business climate.
 
By subsuming most indirect taxes levied by the central and state governments such as excise duty, service tax, VAT and sales tax, the goods and services tax regime proposes to facilitate a common market across the country, leading to economies of scale and reducing inflation through an efficient supply chain.
 
The government wants to implement the new regime before April 2016.
 
The passage of the bill to become a law is, however, a lengthy process. 
 
Being a constitution amendment bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha, it needs to be passed by the Rajya Sabha with a two-thirds majority and then ratified by at least 15 state legislatures before being sent for the President's assent.

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