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A bunch of grapes sold for $11K at auction in Japan

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TOKYO — A bunch of grapes in Japan has sold for $14,600 at auction, a record price for the variety in the fruit-obsessed nation where the produce can be a huge 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 ahh” over the high-end edibles.

The buyer of Thursday’s bunch of about 30 Ruby Romans, who paid about $480 per grape, said he would display them at his store before giving customers a sample.

“These are truly Ruby Roman gems,” said bidder Takamaru Konishi from western Japan.

The super-sweet grapes which are about as large as a ping pong ball stand above their more affordable relatives available in supermarkets elsewhere in the world.

The sale started the auction season for Ruby Romans in Japan. Other fruits, from apples to watermelons, can also fetch jaw-dropping sums under the hammer.

Fruit is comparatively expensive in Japan and it is not unusual for a single apple to cost as much as $4.

The king of fruits in the country is the melon, which serves as a status symbol akin to a vintage wine, and is given as a high-ranking gift.

A single pair of melons fetched $16,590 at an auction last year.

AFP

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2 injured as bomb goes off at Ward Chair’s house

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DAMAK — An unidentified group detonated a bomb at the house of Bhim Poudel, a Ward Chairperson of the Damak Municipality Ward Number 7, last night, injuring two people including a woman.

The injured were hit by shrapnel due to the explosion. The explosion has also caused minor damages to the house which is located some 500 metres to the east of the Area Police Office, Damak.

It was a powerful explosion and it is not known who carried it out, police said.

Those injured in the incident are Semu Rai and Tilochan Pokhrel who had come to visit their relatives at the house next to Poudel’s house.

Both them who have been wounded in the hands and legs are being treated at the Lifeline Hospital in Damak. Rai is a staff at the same hospital.

Police has started an investigation into the case. Meanwhile, the Nepal Communist Party led by Netra Bikram Chand (Biplav) has today issued a press release saying those playing main role in evicting the landless squatters in the disputed market area in Damak. It had specifically named Wrad Chair Poudel and Mayor Romnath Oli.

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