Pair of Japanese premium melons sell for record $29,300

A pair of Yubari melons, that fetched a record 3.2 million yen ($29,300) at an auction, are seen in Sapporo on May 26, 2018. The single pair of premium melons on May 26 fetched a record 3.2 million yen ($29,300) at an auction in Japan, where the produce can be a huge status symbol. (AFP)
Updated 26 May 2018
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Pair of Japanese premium melons sell for record $29,300

  • Yubari melons are considered a status symbol in Japan with many being bought as a gift for friends and colleagues.
  • Ordinary fruit is comparatively expensive in Japan and it is not unusual for a single apple to cost as much as $3.

TOKYO: A single pair of premium melons on Saturday fetched a record 3.2 million yen ($29,300) at auction in Japan, where the fruit is regarded as a status symbol.
Seasonal fruit offerings in Japan routinely attract massive sums from buyers seeking social prestige, or from shop owners wanting to attract customers to “ooh and aah” over the extravagant edibles.
The winning bid was placed by a local fruit packing firm for the first Yubari melons to go under the hammer this year at the Sapporo Central Wholesale Market in northern Hokkaido, officials said.
The figure — enough to buy a new car in Japan — topped the previous record for the luxury fruit, which fetched 3.0 million yen two years ago.
“Yubari melons are growing well this year as sunshine hours have been long since early May,” said market official Tatsuro Shibuta.
Yubari melons are considered a status symbol in Japan — like a fine wine — with many being bought as a gift for friends and colleagues.
The best-quality Yubari melons are perfect spheres with a smooth, evenly patterned rind. A T-shaped stalk is left on the fruit, which is usually sold in an ornate box.
Even ordinary fruit is comparatively expensive in Japan and it is not unusual for a single apple to cost as much as $3.


Weinstein reaches deal to settle civil proceedings for $44 million: report

Updated 24 May 2019
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Weinstein reaches deal to settle civil proceedings for $44 million: report

  • The deal, which has not yet been signed, aims to cover all civil proceedings filed against the fallen Hollywood mogul
  • The settlement does not exempt Weinstein from the criminal proceedings brought against him for sexual assault

NEW YORK: Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has reached a provisional $44 million settlement with alleged victims and creditors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
The deal, which has not yet been signed, aims to cover all civil proceedings filed against the fallen Hollywood mogul, including those in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Weinstein’s spokesperson denied to comment.
The settlement does not exempt Weinstein from the criminal proceedings brought against him for sexual assault, for which he will go on trial in September.
Weinstein — a catalyst for the #MeToo anti-harassment movement — has been charged over the alleged assaults of two women and faces life in prison if he is convicted at the trial, which could last five weeks.
In addition to the alleged victims and creditors, the settlement covers the proceedings started by former New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who has been succeeded by Letitia James.
The proceedings aim specifically to guarantee the alleged victims will be compensated.
James’s spokesperson also declined to comment.
The settlement amount will be paid out by insurance agencies, the Journal reported, several of which count The Weinstein Company, the production company Weinstein co-founded, among their clients.
Since October 2017, Weinstein — one of the most powerful men in Hollywood before a cascade of sexual misconduct allegations precipitated his downfall — has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than 80 women.
Among his accusers are prominent actresses such as Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek.