Luxury cars, cigars and a villa among Maradona items on sale Sunday

Luxury cars, cigars and a villa among Maradona items on sale Sunday
Aerial view of a house owned by the late Argentine football star Diego Maradona which will be auctioned among other belongings in Buenos Aires on Sunday. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 18 December 2021

Luxury cars, cigars and a villa among Maradona items on sale Sunday

Luxury cars, cigars and a villa among Maradona items on sale Sunday
  • "At this time, we have 1,120 people registered and in a position to bid in the auction," Adrian Mercado, the sale's organizer, told AFP on Saturday
  • The sale was ordered by Argentine authorities in agreement with the heirs to the 1986 world champion's estate

BUENOS AIRES: From a necktie to two BMW cars to a box of Cuban cigars — not to mention his parents’ home — nearly 90 items once belonging to late Argentine football superstar Diego Maradona.
All will go on the virtual auction block on Sunday in an international sale run from Buenos Aires.
“At this time, we have 1,120 people registered and in a position to bid in the auction,” Adrian Mercado, the sale’s organizer, told AFP on Saturday.
The 87 lots to be offered will have minimum bids ranging from $50 to $900,000, he said. The sale was ordered by Argentine authorities in agreement with the heirs to the 1986 world champion’s estate.
“The children made a great selection of his things,” Mercado said. “The most emotional, items with great memories, of great passion, will be kept by the family.”
The house being auctioned, in Buenos Aires’ Villa Devoto neighborhood, is the one Maradona gave to his parents in the 1980s when “Number 10” was playing for professional team Boca Juniors.
“The years passed by, the clubs, the stories and the World Cups, but the house on Cantilo (street) was always Maradona’s place,” reads a message on the website promoting the auction.
Far from the modest home in a poor neighborhood where Maradona was born in 1960, the villa he gave his parents and where they lived until his death on November 25, 2020, is comfortable if not luxurious and includes a swimming pool. A minimum bid of $900,000 has been set for it.
Also on offer are two BMW automobiles, 2017 and 2016 models, with respective minimum bids of $225,000 and $165,000.
There is also a Hyundai van, with a $38,000 minimum, and a two-bedroom apartment in the resort town of Mar del Plata (250 miles, or 400 kilometers, south of Buenos Aires), with a base price of $65,000.
Also for sale are a treadmill Maradona used when he lived in Dubai while coaching a team there ($3,500 minimum), a photo of the football star with late Cuban leader Fidel Castro ($400), and a humidor of Cuban cigars ($300).
A handwritten letter signed by Castro, however, will not be sold despite earlier expectations it would be.
Neckties, caps, boots and sports gear, as well as six televisions, furniture, gym equipment, paintings and photos round out the items being auctioned by order of Judge Luciana Tedesco.
The auction begins Sunday at 11:00 am (14H00 GMT) and will last two hours, Mercado said.
Proceeds will go to pay the estate’s debts and expenses, but not to Maradona’s heirs. The courts will decide how to dispose of any unsold items.


World’s oldest recorded tortoise Jonathan prepares for 190th birthday party

World’s oldest recorded tortoise Jonathan prepares for 190th birthday party
Updated 03 December 2022

World’s oldest recorded tortoise Jonathan prepares for 190th birthday party

World’s oldest recorded tortoise Jonathan prepares for 190th birthday party
  • Despite his advanced years, he is also partial to a female tortoise called Emma, who is merely in her 50s

LONDON: He was born not long after Napoleon died, and is now officially the planet’s oldest known living land animal.
Jonathan the Seychelles Giant Tortoise is celebrating his 190th birthday — more or less — on St. Helena in the remote South Atlantic, where the defeated French emperor died in exile in 1821.
Jonathan, it is believed based on shell measurements, was hatched around 1832, and he was brought to the UK overseas territory from the Seychelles 50 years later.

In this file photo taken on October 20, 2017, Jonathan, a Seychelles giant tortoise, believed to be the oldest reptile living on earth, crawls through the lawn of the Plantation House, the United Kingdom Governor official residence in Saint Helena, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. (AFP)

He lives out a comfortable retirement in Plantation House, the official residence of the St. Helena governor, where his birthday is being marked with events all weekend including the issuance of a special stamp.
The celebration climaxes Sunday with a “birthday cake” made out of Jonathan’s favorite foods.
He is particularly partial to carrots, lettuce, cucumber, apples and pears, according to his handlers interviewed by AFP in 2017.
Despite his advanced years, he is also partial to a female tortoise called Emma, who is merely in her 50s.
“He still enjoys the ladies and I have heard him quite regularly in the paddock with Emma and he grunts,” then-governor Lisa Phillips said at the time.
“I have to keep an eye on him when he is doing that — it was not in the job description when I became governor.”
At the start of this year, Jonathan was given the Guinness World Records title as the world’s oldest living land animal, and this month was also named as the oldest tortoise ever.
“When you think, if he was hatched in 1832 — the Georgian era — my goodness, the changes in the world,” said Joe Hollins, a retired veterinarian who is Jonathan’s main carer today.
“The world wars, the rise and fall of the British Empire, the many governors, kings and queens that have passed, it’s quite extraordinary,” he said.
“And he’s just been here, enjoying himself.”
While they hope for many more years, St. Helena authorities have already made plans for the venerable chelonian’s eventual demise: his shell will be preserved for posterity.

 


Mexican football fan dons Qatari attire, pranks TV reporter

Updated 02 December 2022

Mexican football fan dons Qatari attire, pranks TV reporter

Mexican football fan dons Qatari attire, pranks TV reporter
  • The football fan interrupted a live broadcast at the FIFA Wold Cup to pull his prank

LONDON: A Mexican football fan was caught on camera pranking a TV correspondent by pretending to be a Qatar security staff member at the FIFA World Cup.

The footage showed the fan, clad in a Qatari thobe and ghutra, interrupting the live broadcast of the Chilean TV channel Canal 13, claiming that he was a security officer and that filming in the location required a permit.

This prompted the reporter to argue that he was authorized to work in the area, with the football fan indulging in his performance until finally saying “Viva Mexico,” revealing — to the journalist’s relief — that he was pulling a prank.


Google marks 51st UAE National Day with Doodle

Google marks 51st UAE National Day with Doodle
Updated 02 December 2022

Google marks 51st UAE National Day with Doodle

Google marks 51st UAE National Day with Doodle
  • UAE National Day is celebrated on December 2 each year

DUBAI: Red, green and black fireworks and an animated four-colored flag are featured in Google’s latest Doodle to celebrate the UAE’s 51st founding anniversary.

“Today’s Doodle celebrates United Arab Emirates National Day. On this day in 1971, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Al-Ain, Sharjah and Umm Al-Quwain united to form one country. Ras Al Khaimah, the seventh emirate, joined the following year to complete what is now known as the United Arab Emirates,” Google said.

UAE National Day is celebrated on December 2 each year.

“Celebrations kick off with an exhilarating show at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Thousands of people gather to watch orchestras, musicians, and aerobatic displays. After national leaders give speeches to honor the country’s founding fathers, fireworks splash across the Abu Dhabi skyline as festivities carry into the night,” Google explained.

The UAE’s national flag was officially adopted in 1971, featuring the Pan-Arab colors – a vertical red line with horizontal green, white and black stripes. It was designed by then 19-year-old Abdullah Mohammed Al-Maainah, who beat more than 1,030 entries submitted as part of a nationwide contest for the UAE flag design.


German pundit mocks Qatari traditional dress, calling the thobe a ‘bathrobe’

German pundit mocks Qatari traditional dress, calling the thobe a ‘bathrobe’
Updated 30 November 2022

German pundit mocks Qatari traditional dress, calling the thobe a ‘bathrobe’

German pundit mocks Qatari traditional dress, calling the thobe a ‘bathrobe’
  • Wagner was referring to the thobe, a garment worn in many parts of the world, including the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East and North Africa

LONDON: German pundit Sandro Wagner mocked the Qatari national dress, calling the thobes “bathrobes” on Sunday while commentating on the World Cup match between Spain and Germany, a remark Twitter users found to be “racist.”

Wagner apologized on Monday, describing his disparaging remark as “ill-considered” in a tweet shared by ZDF on Monday, which came after the German TV channel faced backlash from social media users.

“It was an ill-considered saying with an inappropriate remark that I would be better off not saying. If anyone felt offended — sorry, that was zero point, zero my intention,” the former Germany striker said in the tweet.

Wagner, 35, said in the 79th minute of the Monday evening game: “I thought before that the whole corner (of the stadium) was full of German fans. Then I realized it was the Qatari bathrobes.”

In his comment, Wagner was referring to the thobe, a garment worn in many parts of the world, including the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East and North Africa.

ZDF commented on Wagner’s demeanor, saying his remark “occurred during an emotional phase of the game” and confirming that it was unacceptable: “He’s not permitted (to say that). We’ll talk about it.”

The German broadcasting company said Wagner will face no further consequences, confirming he will be commentating Wednesday’s match between Poland and Argentina.

People expressed frustration over Wagner’s “racist” remark. One Twitter user said, “This World Cup has put European racism under a spotlight where it can’t hide,” while another commented that “the only reason Sandro Wagner still has a job is because ZDF is just as racist as Wagner.”


Bad abbot: Thai temple left empty after monks fail drug tests

Bad abbot: Thai temple left empty after monks fail drug tests
Updated 30 November 2022

Bad abbot: Thai temple left empty after monks fail drug tests

Bad abbot: Thai temple left empty after monks fail drug tests
  • Thailand is a major transit country for methamphetamine flooding in from Myanmar’s troubled Shan state via Laos, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

BANGKOK: A Buddhist temple in central Thailand has been left without monks after all its holy men failed drug tests and were defrocked, a local official said Tuesday.
Four monks including an abbot at a temple in Phetchabun province’s Bung Sam Phan district tested positive for methamphetamine on Monday, district official Boonlert Thintapthai told AFP.
The monks have been sent to a health clinic to undergo drug rehabilitation, the official said.
“The temple is now empty of monks and nearby villagers are concerned they cannot do any merit-making,” he said.
Merit-making involves worshippers donating food to monks as a good deed.
Boonlert said more monks will be sent to the temple to allow villagers to practice their religious obligations.
Thailand is a major transit country for methamphetamine flooding in from Myanmar’s troubled Shan state via Laos, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
On the street, pills sell for less than 20 baht (around $0.50).
Authorities across Southeast Asia have made record meth seizures in recent years.