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Grandad spends three weeks turning his home into Christmas grotto

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A grandfather has created a larger-than-life Christmas attraction at his home, which has welcomed a stream of visitors from across the UK.

Stan Yanetta, from South Shields, started out with just a few lights for his grandchildren, but each year his display gets bigger and bigger.

Stan Yanetta is collecting money for the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle
Image: Stan will dress up as Father Christmas, pose for pictures and hand out presents each evening

The 58-year-old, who is known for his eccentric garden, has no idea how many decorations he has lighting up the street – but he says it took him three days to sort out the plug sockets alone.

He has spent the last three weeks creating the festive exhibit, which he thinks will cost him around £15 a day to run – from 4pm to 7pm, right up until Christmas Day.

Stan says “everyone on the road is over the moon about it”, adding: “Nothing else ever happens around the area and now the kids have got somewhere to go, and to come to see Santa.

General view of Stan Yanetta's house in South Tyneside
Image: Stan is collecting money for the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle

Stan is collecting money for the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, for young children affected by cancer.

He will dress up as Father Christmas, pose for pictures and hand out presents each evening – and revealed he’s even bought a snow machine.

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“I’m going to position it over where Santa will be meeting with the kids, so I can press a button and make it snow. It’s going to be magical,” he said.

He claims his young grandchildren “love” the decorated house and visits from Santa, adding: “Last year they didn’t realise I was Santa and were asking where I had disappeared to.”

It has taken Stan Yanetta three weeks to decorate his home in South Tyneside
Image: The 58-year-old’s young grandchildren ‘love’ the decorated house

And it is not just across the UK where people are getting festive and going big on decorating their homes.

People from across the world, including America and South Africa, have begun posting pictures and videos on social media of their own elaborate displays.

Husky starts kitchen fire after owners leave him home alone

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Husky starts kitchen fire after owners leave him home alone - EpicNews

A kitchen fire in Essex was started by a dog who switched on a microwave with some buns inside when he was left home alone.

The husky is thought to have turned on the microwave “inadvertently”, according to Essex Fire Service.

A packet of bread rolls were inside the microwave at the time and began to burn, causing a small fire.

The dog, who has not been named, was alone in the kitchen at the time – his owner was not at home.

But he noticed smoke in the kitchen using a camera connected to his phone.

Geoff Wheal of Corringham fire station, said: “Clearly this is a very strange incident involving the man’s dog, but it could still have been more serious.

“When we arrived, the kitchen was filled with smoke.

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“Firefighters ensured that the damage did not spread beyond the kitchen area – but it demonstrates that microwaves shouldn’t be used to store food when they aren’t in use.

“Our advice is to always keep your microwave clean and free of clutter or food and any packaging. Animals or children can turn them on more easily than you might think – so please don’t run the risk.”

Luckily, the clever dog was unharmed.

Pablo Escobar’s brother launches smartphone – and vows to sue Apple

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The brother of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar has launched a rather unexpected product: a foldable gold smartphone.

Roberto Escobar claims the $349 (£265) device – which is similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and Huawei’s Mate X – is unbreakable.

Promotional stills of the Escobar Fold 1 feature Pablo’s grinning mugshot as a default background, and an advert for the phone features scantily dressed models in heels.

The Escobar Fold 1. Pic: Escobar Inc
Image: Roberto Escobar claims the Escobar Fold 1 is unbreakable

In an interview with Digital Trends, Mr Escobar said: “My phone cannot break, because I did not have to make a glass screen like Samsung.

“Our screen is made of a special type of plastic, and we still have the best resolution. Our special plastic is very difficult to break.”

Mr Escobar says he is determined to take on major tech giants – and he has the bold ambition of “beating Apple” and achieving dominance in the competitive smartphone market.

He has also revealed plans to sue Apple next month, and the entrepreneur says his lawyers are preparing a “$30bn class-action lawsuit” against the Cupertino company for being “scammers” and “cheating the people and selling worthless phones”.

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The Escobar Fold 1. Pic: Escobar Inc
Image: The advert for the Escobar Fold 1 gold folding smartphone features scantily clad models

Pablo Escobar, who led the Medellin Cartel in Colombia, was 44 when he was shot dead by police 25 years ago.

Often called “The King of Cocaine”, he was one of the wealthiest criminals in history.

The drug lord’s cartel supplied an estimated 80% of the cocaine smuggled into the US at the height of his career – making $21.9bn (£17.2bn) a year.

Forbes listed him as the world’s seventh-richest man in 1989 with an estimated net worth of $9bn (£7bn).

He donated 443 houses to formerly homeless people, and among locals, he was referred to as the “Colombian Robin Hood”.

Banana taped to wall sells for $120k (and the banana needs replacing every few days)

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A banana duct-taped to a wall has been sold by an artist for $120,000 (£91,000).

The installation by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan went on display at the Art Basel Miami Beach exhibition this week.

Organisers say two editions of the work, called Comedian, each sold for around $120,000 (£91,000) – and the price of a third edition has now reportedly been raised to $150,000 (£114,000).

Two editions of the artwork have sold for $120,000. Pic: Zeno ZottiJacopo Zotti
Image: The work was on display at the Art Basel Miami Beach exhibition. Pic: Zeno ZottiJacopo Zotti

Cattelan previously created the solid gold toilet stolen from Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire earlier this year.

A spokeswoman for Art Basel Miami Beach told Sky News: “After a 15-year hiatus, Maurizio has returned to the international art fair, and we are so fortunate to collaborate with him.

“The banana is many things – a symbol of global trade, a witty double entendre, and a classic device for humour.

“Maurizio takes mundane objects and transforms them into vehicles of both delight and critique.”

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Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan attends the launch of "Arte Generali" by Italian insurance company Generali, a new offer dedicated to art collectors globally, on November 12, 2019 at Generali Group headquarters in Milan. - Arte Generali is a new offer dedicated to art collectors globally, including insurance solutions, concierge service and innovative tools. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP) (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)
Image: Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan said he had been working on the idea for a year

Art journalist Sarah Cascone said the artwork was the “talk of the town in Miami right now”.

The first edition was sold to a French woman, while the second edition was snapped up by Frenchman, according to art market website Artnet.

Cattelan – who picked the banana for his artwork from a Miami supermarket – has reportedly decided to sell the third edition to a museum, with two institutions already having expressed interest.

He told Artnet he had been working on the idea for about a year and first created versions in bronze and resin.

He said: “Wherever I was travelling I had this banana on the wall. I couldn’t figure out how to finish it.

“In the end, one day I woke up and I said ‘the banana is supposed to be a banana’.”

America, the golden throne installed in Blenheim Palace
Image: Maurizio Cattelan previously created a solid gold toilet stolen from Blenheim Palace

Gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin, who has worked with Cattelan for more than 25 years, dismissed the idea that the artwork is a joke, telling Artnet that every aspect of the work was carefully considered, from the shape of the fruit, to the angle it has been fixed with duct tape to the wall, to its placement.

Comedian is sold with a certificate of authenticity and owners can replace the banana as needed, the Miami Herald reported.

Wonky the ‘unicorn-horned’ rabbit looks for new home for Christmas

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Like Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, Wonky the lop-eared rabbit is hoping his unusual physical trait will help him find a loving family this Christmas.

With one of his ears sitting in the middle of his head, occasionally pointing upwards “just like a unicorn horn”, the friendly critter is one of the most eye-catching tenants at the RSPCA branch in Milton Keynes & North Bucks.

Carol Spindler, who works at the centre, said Wonky was ready for a new family to adopt him.

RSPCA undated handout photo of Wonky the lop-eared rabbit, who looks like a unicorn due to a wonky ear that stands upright on his head, is looking for a home. Staff at RSPCA Milton Keynes & North Bucks branch are hoping that the four year old's unusual look will bag him a new owner in time for Christmas. PA Photo. Issue date: Saturday December 7, 2019. Photo credit should read: RSPCA/PA Wire..NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Image: Wonky looks like a unicorn due to a wonky ear that stands upright on his head

“This lovable boy really deserves a home where he’ll get lots of attention and treats,” she said.

“He would suit a family with older children and would make a wonderful addition to the home.”

Wonky, who is four, is described as an affectionate rabbit who enjoys being stroked – but he is not a fan of being picked up and would suit a family with older children.

The RSPCA says he would also benefit from the company of a female rabbit, so perhaps break out the mistletoe.

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Blue-eyed Wonky could one day form part of an excellent double act with Narwhal the puppy, who has also been compared to a unicorn thanks to an extra tail on his face.

He was rescued from the streets of Missouri last month.

For more information about Wonky, including how to adopt him, visit rspcamiltonkeynes.co.uk.

$120k duct-taped banana art eaten in front of crowd

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It sold for $120,000 (£91,300) just last week – but the artwork of a banana duct-taped to a wall has now been scoffed.

Performance artist David Datuna posted videos online showing himself peeling the fruit from the wall and consuming it in front of scores of onlookers at the Art Basel Miami Beach exhibition on Saturday.

Entitled Hungry Artist, he described eating the banana as an “art performance” and said the Comedian installation, by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, was “very delicious”.

“I love Maurizio Cattelan artwork and I really love this installation. It’s very delicious 🙂,” he wrote on Instagram alongside three videos of his “performance”.

Already fairly ripe when it went up for sale, the original banana was never going to last long.

Fortunately for the buyer, the work was apparently sold with a certificate of authenticity, with owners allowed to replace the focal fruit as and when it is needed.

However, police were reportedly later sent out to guard the artwork once the banana was replaced.

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It was one of three editions of the work, with two selling for around $120,000 (£91,000) earlier this week and the price of the third reportedly being raised to $150,000 (£114,000).

Two editions of the artwork have sold for $120,000. Pic: Zeno ZottiJacopo Zotti
Image: Owners are apparently able to replace the banana as they see fit. Pic: Zeno ZottiJacopo Zotti

Gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin, who has worked with Cattelan for more than 25 years, dismissed the idea that the artwork is a joke following its sale, telling Artnet that every aspect was very carefully considered – from the shape of the fruit, to the angle it has been fixed with duct tape to the wall, to its placement.

And the original banana being eaten in no way diminishes the integrity, the Miami Herald quotes Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, as saying.

“He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea,” Terras said.

Of course.

Sotheby's employees pose with 'Love is in the Bin' by Banksy
Image: Love Is In The Bin, by Banksy

And who knows? Now the art has become performance art, it could be worth even more.

A Banksy painting which famously partly self-shredded just moments after selling for more than £1 million in 2018 is now believed by many experts to be worth even more.

Girl With Balloon is now called Love Is In The Bin, with the anonymous artist revealing on Instagram afterwards that he intended for the artwork to be totally destroyed.

The painting’s owner – an anonymous European art collector – agreed to go through with the purchase after it was shredded.

Walmart pulls jumper showing Santa with ‘lines of cocaine’

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Walmart pulls jumper showing Santa with 'lines of cocaine' - EpicNews

Walmart has apologised for selling a pullover on its website that appears to show Father Christmas doing lines of cocaine.

Santa is seen sitting behind a table with three lines of a white substance in front of him, captioned with the slogan: “Let it snow”.

The product’s description on the Walmart Canada website said: “We all know how snow works.

“It’s white, powdery and the best snow comes straight from South America. That’s bad news for jolly old St Nick, who lives far away in the North Pole.

“That’s why Santa really likes to savour the moment when he get his hands on some quality, grade A, Colombian snow.”

Walmart has apologised for the sale of the product and said it had been taken down from the company’s website.

A spokesman for the retail giant said: “These sweaters, sold by a third-party seller on Walmart.ca, do not represent Walmart’s values and have no place on our website.

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“We have removed these products from our marketplace. We apologise for any unintended offence this may have caused.”

The Walmart site had featured other adult-themed sweaters including one showing an upside-down snowman with a carrot nose and two baubles hanging below it, while another which had Santa roasting his “chestnuts” over a fire.

Those items have also been removed from the Walmart Canada site.