Colin Dwyer

Jean-Michel Basquiat joined "joined the pantheon of great, great artists" Thursday night, when the late painter's 1982 work Untitled sold for a record-breaking $110.5 million at auction — the highest sum ever paid at auction for a U.S.-produced artwork.

That breathless assessment was offered after the sale by Oliver Barker, chairman of Sotheby's Europe. So you can imagine just how thrilled the buyer must have been.

A muggle mystery is afoot in the U.K.

Sometime over a span of a week and a half in mid-April, a burglar (or several) broke into a property in a Birmingham suburb, stealing jewelry and one item that's even more valuable — certainly to Harry Potter fans, at least: an 800-word, handwritten prequel to the series, scrawled on a postcard by J.K. Rowling herself.

James Patterson has a long history of collaboration. Of his dozens of books, the blockbuster thriller writer has written at least 50 — yes, five-zero — with the name of a co-author emblazoned on the cover.

Still, it's fair to say none of them has the resume of the fiction novice he's teaming up with now: former President Bill Clinton.

Surely you've heard by now: Sports as we know it has changed forever.

Go on, take a second if you need it. We'll wait here — but while we're at it, we'll leave this little reminder for the laggards who haven't heard what struck the decisive blow.

Yup: a pair of shoes. A $495 pair of shoes. Fronted by a college freshman who helped lead his team to the Sweet 16 in the 2017 NCAA tournament.

It's been an awfully long time since a wolf pack has called Denmark home — roughly two centuries, in fact.

President Trump has ordered the Department of the Interior to review all designations of national monuments greater than 100,000 acres created since 1996.

For more than four decades, Jonathan Demme threaded a diverse path through the film industry — beginning as a publicist, filming everything from documentaries to comedic sendups, and finally earning the status of Oscar-winning elder statesman. He was 73.

The director died Wednesday in Manhattan from complications of esophageal cancer. His publicist, 42 West, confirmed Demme's death to NPR.

Demme made films such as The Silence of the Lambs and Stop Making Sense that have helped define their respective genres.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

Fox News is parting ways with Bill O'Reilly, who for years stood as one of cable news' most popular hosts. The network's parent company, 21st Century Fox, announced the move in a statement Wednesday.

"After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Bill O'Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel," the statement read.

Real quick, here's a list of ingredients you're unlikely to find in your next Burger King Whopper:

  • Chocolate candy
  • Toenail clippings
  • Cyanide
  • Rat
  • Medium-sized child

So far in her young life, New York City's Fearless Girl has drawn countless tourists, a metric ton of media coverage and its fair share of praise as a symbol of the fight for gender equity — so much, in fact, that the statue staring down the financial district's famous Charging Bull recently got a new lease on life, at least through 2018.

For at least one person, though, the Girl has offered less than welcome company.

About a month after an anti-predator device spit sodium cyanide in the face of an unsuspecting boy and killed his dog, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced it is ending its use of the M-44 mechanisms in Idaho indefinitely.

For a centenarian, the Pulitzer Prize appears to be as spry as ever.

Now in its 101st year, the prestigious prize recognized writers, artists and musicians of nearly every bent — from breaking news and cartooning, to fiction and drama. At a New York City ceremony Monday, Pulitzer Prize Administrator Mike Pride announced the 21 winners of the 2017 award.

It has been quite a while since Californians have seen such green. Riding the coattails of an unseasonably wet season, some valleys have become riots of color, deserts have been blanketed with blooms so suffusive they earn the word "super" — and the state's officials have taken notice.

The campaign began under cover of darkness.

It opened with a skirmish or two in Bristol more than a decade ago — a superfluous apostrophe scratched off a street sign here, a possessive rendered plural with the stroke of some tape there.

But now, the battle between one mysterious man and the grammatical mistakes besieging the British city has spilled into the harsh light of international media.

For the second consecutive year, Japanese whalers have returned to port after an Antarctic expedition with the carcasses of 333 whales. The five-ship fleet, put forth by the country's Fisheries Agency, killed the minke whales during a months-long voyage to southern waters for what it calls ecological research.

Canyon Mansfield and his dog were walking the ridge line near his house in Pocatello, Idaho, when the 14-year-old spotted a curious device that looked like a sprinkler nestled in the ground.

Bob Dylan will be accepting his Nobel Prize in literature this weekend, according to the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy. In a blog post Tuesday, Sara Danius announced the "good news" that members of the academy will be meeting with Dylan when he makes a tour stop in Stockholm.

Quick quiz: What do Judy Garland's rendition of "Over the Rainbow," N.W.A's seminal Straight Outta Compton and the inaugural episode of NPR's All Things Considered have in common?

That little riddle just got a little easier to answer on Wednesday: The Library of Congress announced that all three "aural treasures" — along with roughly two dozen other recordings — have been inducted into its National Recording Registry.

About this time last year, roughly two dozen daring young strangers bid farewell to the modern world as we know it, bearing their hunting equipment and their wiles into the remote Scottish highlands with the aims of creating a new community from scratch — cameras rolling for a reality show all the while, naturally.

By a largely party-line vote Tuesday, the Senate approved a bill that repeals Obama-era hunting restrictions on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. The House already voted last month to abolish those restrictions — which were instituted by the Fish and Wildlife Service in 2016 to protect predator species from hunters — and so the bill now heads to the desk of President Trump, who is widely expected to sign it.

At a ceremony in New York on Thursday, one of America's most celebrated writers had a new reason to celebrate. Louise Erdrich won the 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction for her novel LaRose, the story of an accidental shooting — and the fraught tale of family and reparation that follows.

For the first time in New Zealand's history, the country's lawmakers have granted a river the legal rights of a human. The parliamentary vote Wednesday, which caps more than 140 years of legal struggles, ensures the roughly 90-mile Whanganui River will be represented by two guardians in legal matters that concern the waterway.

Surely, Oakhurst Dairy would have done well to heed the immortal words of the '80s hair band Cinderella: "Don't know what you got (till it's gone)."

The milk and cream company based in Portland, Maine, likely never appreciated the serial comma — also known as an Oxford comma — so much as it did Monday, when the lack of that little curved stroke cost the company an appeals court ruling that centered on overtime rules for drivers.

When Míriam Colón left Puerto Rico for New York City in the 1950s, to study at the Actors Studio, she became the first Puerto Rican actor to be admitted to the prestigious program. By the time she died Friday at the age of 80, Colón had acted in more than 90 films and founded a traveling theater designed to help other Latina actresses follow the trail she blazed.

At the heart of Gustav Metzger's best-known work rests a seeming contradiction: The truest work of creation contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction. Working with acids and liquid crystals, Metzger often made his art to fall apart, break down or disappear entirely — and in doing so, better reflect the crumbling world around it.

For a man who had just spent a week living inside a rock, sucking oxygen through tiny air holes and storing days' worth of his own waste in bottles closely around himself, Abraham Poincheval was admirably even-keeled.

"I'm a little dazed, which I imagine is totally normal after one week living in a rock," the French performance artist told reporters who had gathered Wednesday at Paris' Palais de Tokyo museum to see him emerge from the more than 10-ton boulder.

When Ali Cobby Eckermann received the email announcing she'd won one of the world's richest literary prizes, the unemployed Aboriginal poet says she had no idea what to think — though two thoughts weren't long in coming.

Updated at 12:38 p.m. ET

Bill Paxton, prolific actor and big-screen fixture for decades, has died at the age of 61. In a statement released to media outlets Sunday, a family representative says Paxton died of complications from surgery.

"A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker," the statement reads.

It has been three-quarters of a century since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. The order, issued just over two months after Japan's surprise attack at Pearl Harbor, gave the U.S. military the ability to designate areas "from which any or all persons may be excluded."

Miffy the rabbit seems quite simple. Two black dots for eyes, a sideways X for a mouth, a body inked in gentle curves — the artistry of Dick Bruna's creation rests precisely in its apparent artlessness. And in the six decades since Miffy was first put to page, Bruna's venerable rabbit has earned the affection of young fans worldwide, the admiration of art critics and even an entire museum in her honor.

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