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  • Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A rare painting by Leonardo da Vinci auctioned in New York on Wednesday night fetched over $450 million, making it the most expensive painting ever sold.Fewer than 20 paintings by the Italian artist exist.The 500-year-old oil on panel, titled "Salvator Mundi" ("Savior of the World"), depicts Jesus Christ dressed in flowing robes and holding a crystal orb in his left hand. It's the only painting by Leonardo in a private collection, according to Christie's auction house."'Salvator Mundi' was painted in the same time frame as the 'Mona Lisa,' and they bear a patent compositional likeness," said Loic Gouzer, the chairman of Christie's postwar and contemporary art department in New York City."Leonardo was an unparalleled creative force and a master of the enigmatic. Standing in front of his paintings, it becomes impossible for one's mind to fully unravel or comprehend the mystery radiating from them — both the 'Mona Lisa' and 'Salvator Mundi' are perfect examples of this. No one will ever be able to fully grasp the wonder of Leonardo's paintings, just as no one will ever be able to fully know the origins of the universe," Gouzer added.Scholars had long believed "Salvator Mundi" was destroyed, until it re-emerged in 2005."'Salvator Mundi' is a painting of the most iconic figure in the world by the most important artist of all time," Gouzer said. "Despite being created approximately 500 years ago, the work of Leonardo is just as influential to the art that is being created today as it was in the 15th and 16th centuries."Christie's had billed the painting as "the greatest artistic rediscovery of the 21st century" and "the last da Vinci" and exhibited it in Hong Kong, San Francisco, London and New York before Wednesday's auction.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • JaysonPhotography/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A down day for tech stocks pushed Wall Street lower on Wednesday.The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 138.19, closing at 23,271.28.The Nasdaq finished the session at 6,706.21, a slide of 31.66 from its open, while the S&P 500 fell 14.25, ending the session at 2,564.62.Crude oil prices also fell on Wednesday, with a barrel selling for $55.33, 37 cents lower than at market open.The U.S. government denied requests from two motor companies asking for more time to test Takata air bag inflators. Those companies, Ford and Mazda, are seeking to avoid massive recalls.And the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is stepping down by the end of the month. Richard Cordray, a Democrat and a critic of President Donald Trump, is expected to return to Ohio and run for governor. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • LDProd/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Forever 21 may be the latest retailer to have been hit by a credit card breach, the company announced on Tuesday night.In a press release, the fashion retailer said that it has received a report of unauthorized access to data on credit and debit cards used at Forever 21 stores. "Forever 21 immediately began an investigation of its payment card systems and engaged a leading security and forensics firm to assist."The breach may have been isolated to certain point of sale devices, due to "encryption and tokenization solutions" the company put in place in 2015. For now, the company's investigation is focused on transactions that took place between March and October of this year. "We regret that this incident occurred and apologize for any inconvenience," Forever 21's statement added. "We will continue to work to address this matter."Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The CEO of AT&T said he feels no pressure nor has any intention of selling CNN or any more valuable asset in order to close its $85.4 billion deal with Time Warner.“No. I have never been told that the price of getting the [Time Warner] deal done was selling CNN," said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.The high-stakes acquisition is being held up by the Department of Justice, which has raised red flags for some after President Donald Trump campaigned on blocking the deal because it put too much "power in the hands of too few." The deal would include CNN, a constant target for criticism for the president who has regularly blasted the news company for "fake news.""Are we really going to make the [Justice Department] use antitrust law to force the sale of a cable channel because the president doesn't like its news coverage?" tweeted Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democratic member of the Federal Communications Commission. "You can dislike consolidation but still find this extremely disturbing if true."In a statement to ABC News, Department of Justice's new antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, said, “I have never been instructed by the White House on this or any other transaction under review by the antitrust division.”The White House also denies Trump spoke with Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the merger deal."The president did not speak with the attorney general about this matter," said principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah. "And no White House official was authorized to speak with the Department of Justice on this matter."A Department of Justice official told ABC News that AT&T offered to sell CNN as part of the deal. But the AT&T CEO says he and the company did no such thing.Nevertheless, the Justice Department says it flatly denied the proposal for AT&T to sell CNN, insisting it wouldn't necessarily resolve their concerns.According to a Justice Department source, AT&T first raised the possibility of selling off CNN. The source said the Department of Justice told AT&T that one way to resolve concerns is to sell off Turner, which owns CNN, but the Justice Department did not support selling just CNN. Another way to resolve the concerns, the Department of Justice told AT&T, is to sell off DirecTV, according to the source.Craig Aaron, the president of Free Press, a consumer group who opposes media consolidation in general, denounced the deal."While there are plenty of good reasons to oppose AT&T's Time Warner takeover, punishing CNN for trying to hold this administration accountable isn't one of them," Aaron said in a statement.If the company that wants to acquire the other -- in this case AT&T and Time Warner, respectively -- cannot agree on conditions with the Justice Department, the government can sue to block the deal. AT&T can then take the department to court, a process that has no precedent on this scale under the current administration.“I have never been told that the price of getting the deal done was selling CNN,” Stephenson said. “And likewise I have never offered to sell CNN. There is absolutely no intention that we would ever sell CNN. So take those two off the table.”The AT&T CEO went on to express frustration with leaks coming out of the negotiations with the Justice Department, calling the reports "rumors and suppositions."Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • JaysonPhotography/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With investors worried about Congressional Republicans' tax plan, stocks closed the day lower.The Dow Jones Industrial Average backed off Wednesday's record close, dropping 101.42 to end the session at 23,461.94.The Nasdaq slid 39.07, closing at 6,750.05, while the S&P 500 finished trading at 2,584.62, 9.76 down from its open.Republicans in the Senate released an outline of their tax plan this afternoon. They continue to work on the plan behind closed doors, but say they won't touch the mortgage interest deduction. That is, however, part of the House's plan.WalMart says its stores will open at 6pm on Thanksgiving Day and remain open through Black Friday. That the latest announcement for retailers' holiday shopping sales. The announcement didn't make mention of WalMart's infamous one-hour guarantee -- where you can purchase something online and pick it up in-store one hour later.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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