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Tory Burch's Ex Is Concerned That She's 'Going For The Jugular' In Their Ugly Legal Battle

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tory burch

The spat between Tory Burch and her ex-husband Chris Burch just keeps getting uglier.

In the ongoing legal battle between the two, Tory has alleged that Chris "stole" company secrets for his brand, C. Wonder.

Now, her side has reportedly been issuing subpoenas to all former C. Wonder employees. According to the New York Post, Chris is worried.

An anonymous source tells the New York Post:

“Tory’s team has been issuing subpoenas to all former C. Wonder employees — including Scott Formby, who was creative director at C. Wonder in the beginning. There’s been a lot of drama at the Wachtell, Lipton law offices (the prominent firm hired by Tory).

Chris’ team is scrambling with this latest subpoena. It shows that Tory is doing her homework and is reaching into the talent that put together the original C. Wonder concept. He is quite concerned ... that she is going for the jugular. Things between them are spiraling downward.”

It appears that Chris is fighting back with the same zeal. Eventually, this bitter battle will have to end.

SEE ALSO: These Photos Show Why Tory Burch Is Accusing Her Ex-Husband Of Copying Her Style >

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The Best Of Everything In 2012

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The Best Of Everything

We're almost at the end of the year 2012, and what a year it's been.

Facebook finally went public, private spacecraft entered outer space, and humans broke the sound barrier without the aid of machines or vessels.

We've rounded up the best of everything that happened this year in education, technology, people, companies, and places.

Click here to see the best of everything >

The best technology >

The best people >

The best companies >

The best places >

The best schools >

THE BEST TECHNOLOGY



Best Phone: iPhone 5

The iPhone5 is one of the most innovative gadgets of 2012.

Apple subtlety redesigned the iPhone 4S and made the iPhone 5 taller and thinner. 

Despite a huge Apple Maps debacle, easily scratched cases, and other hiccups, the iPhone 5 sold 5 million units in the first three days of release. Even today, the phone is so popular that it's tough to find one in stores.

Price: Starts at $199



Best Tablet: iPad Mini

The iPad Mini received a lot less hype than other Apple products that came out this year, but it's still one of the most innovative gadgets of 2012.

After Apple announced the Mini's existence in late October, everyone fell in love. In fact, Apple bloggers are calling the Mini "the real iPad." 

The miniature size made the tablet much portable, and the fact that all of the regular iPad apps ran on the smaller device made people love it even more.

Price: Starts at $329



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15 Crazy Christmas Traditions From Around The Globe

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caga tio

Christmas is celebrated all over the world, but every community has developed its own unique holiday traditions.

Some are sweet, but others strike us as downright strange.

We've gathered up some of our favorite Christmas traditions from around the globe. Did we leave yours out? Let us know in the comments.

In Australia, Santa Claus pulls up on a surf board

It's summer down under on Christmas Day. Temperatures in December are between 68 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

So Santa pulls up on the beach on his surfboard. The country had a devastating Christmas in 1974, when Cyclone Tracy came through the Northern Territory and more than 60 people were killed.



In Austria, young men dress up as the Krampus and roam the streets to frighten children

In Austria, December is a time for festive events and frights.

Young men walk around dressed up as the Krampus, a devil-demon creature equipped with cowbells and rods, and usually accompanied by Nikolaus, a version of Santa Claus.

The Krampus will then roam the streets scaring adults and children.



In the Czech Republic, women submerge a branch of a cherry tree under water. If it blooms they will marry the next year

On Dec. 4, women in the Czech Republic place a cherry twig under water.

If it blooms before Christmas Eve it means she will marry in the next year.



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The 10 Best Chinese Restaurants In New York City

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Grand Sichuan St. Marks Place, Chinese Restaurant

It's Christmas Eve. That means that all over the world families are gathering together around dinner tables to celebrate.

But here in New York, we have our own tradition: eating at a Chinese restaurant. 

In the beloved tradition of eating Chinese food on Christmas, we've found the best Chinese restaurants in Manhattan.

Grand Sichuan

19-23 Saint Marks Place

There are several branches of the local Grand Sichuan chain, but the one on St. Marks Place is arguably the best one in the city.

The menu of traditional Sichuan dishes is so extensive that you may have trouble choosing.



Hot Kitchen

104 2nd Ave.

Hot Kitchen serves spicy Sichuan cuisine in a low-key spot in the East Village. The menu features lots of seafood dishes, like soft-shell crab and steamed whole fish with hot bean sauce.

Dishes are served family-style, so this place is best for groups.



Joe's Shanghai

9 Pell St.

Joe's Shanghai is famous for its soup dumplings, called Xiao Long Bao or "Little Dumplings in the Basket."

They come in either pork or crab meat varieties, served in a bamboo basket. Bite the edge of the dumpling and carefully slurp up the soup, being careful to avoid spilling the piping hot broth all over you.

Some people say Joe's Shanghai is overrated and expensive with long lines. Others swear by it. Love it or hate it, this place is an institution.



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Macy's Is Absolutely Flooded On Christmas Eve

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It's Christmas Eve and a whole lot of people haven't finished their shopping yet.

I'm one of them, so I headed down to Macy's Herald Square flagship to get what I needed. The place was totally stuffed end-to-end with other shoppers who procrastinated until the very last moment.

Here's what it was like on Christmas Eve:

macys

For comparison, here's what the place looked like on Black Friday when we were there for the initial door-opening rush:

macy's black friday

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14 Brilliant Photos Of Cities At Night

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nightscapes jakob wagner

While experimenting with different formats, German photographer Jakob Wagner realized that long exposure shots taken at night could reveal things that could not be seen by the naked eye.

The realization inspired him to travel around the world shooting nighttime photos of cities, eventually culminating in his "Nightscapes" series.

We came across the panoramic photos the other day and were totally enthralled. Wagner has been kind enough to share some images from the series with us; you can see more of his work on his website.

This shot, taken from Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, was one of Wagner's favorite shots from the series.



This photo shows the coastline in Madeira, Portugal.



A long exposure shot in San Diego. The city lights up the night sky in the background.



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Striking Photos Of The Harsh Conditions In The Rockaways Two Months After Sandy

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rockaways, rockaway beach, belle harbor, post-sandy, sandy, frankenstorm, relief, recovery, bi, dng

Nearly two months after Hurricane Sandy, the devasted community of Rockaway Beach, N.Y. is still reeling.

Pieces of the boardwalk are littered across the beach, homes need to be cleaned in full hazmat gear, and insurance claims are only just starting to get resolved if at all.

Click here to see photos >

Many people we spoke to said they felt let down by the city government and that local business owners and individuals from the community played a crucial role in organizing volunteers and donations. Devin Fitzgerald, a resident of the area, said, "I don't know how we would have survived without the community pulling together."

We saw the way the community can rally together over Thanksgiving when Occupy Sandy and independent volunteers organized dinners throughout the area. Many of these were grassroots efforts that relied on social media to get the word out.

As the recovery process continues, the needs of the community have shifted away from emergency items like food, clothing, and cleaning supplies to financial aid, legal services for FEMA/insurance claims, and building supplies. Some people we spoke to said their insurance claims have been denied, and that claims evaluators only came last week to survey home damage.

As of December 17, over 507,950 individuals have registered for FEMA assistance and $1.09 billion in aid will be distributed as a result of Sandy, according to the government agency. Some people said they had received FEMA aid, but others said they were denied because of insurance issues.

Electricity and power are back, but phone service has been slower in returning, especially for people who rely on copper land lines instead of fiber-optic connections. The people using the older service tend to be older themselves and lower-income, some don't even have cell-phones, and the lack of phone service is preventing them from contacting family and insurance.

Richard Ganci, who lives on B 115th St, spent 54 days without phone service, just getting it back this past week. He missed his uncle's funeral two weeks ago because his phone was out. Ganci has been using prepaid cell phones but has had trouble securing them and getting minutes because many stores in the area remain closed. He has received FEMA aid but has been having trouble getting through to insurance without a working landline.

Despite the challenges, people are moving forward.

In a small restaurant bar by the beach, many locals gathered to distribute toys, through a toy drive organized by Rockaways-native Donna Miley-Figueroa, who lives in Manhattan now. The community came together to relax, sip eggnog, and enjoy the holiday spirit, gathering their spirit for the long rebuilding process ahead.

The season of gift giving.



Despite the damage this store is getting back on its feet and has opened its doors.



However, many stores remain closed.



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'Irresistible' Iowa Woman Fired For Being Too Sexy

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farm, barn, corn field, Iowa, rural

An "irresistible" Iowa dental assistant fired for threatening her boss's marriage -- even though she turned away his advances -- has lost her discrimination lawsuit.

Melissa Nelson, who is married with children, had worked for James Knight for 10 years before his wife complained about his infatuation with her.

Nelson told the court that she had seen Knight as a father figure and a man of "integrity" who generally treated her with respect.

But about nine years into the job, Knight started to complain that her clothes were "distracting" because they "accentuated her body," and he sometimes asked her to cover up with her lab coat.

At one point, Knight told Nelson that "if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing," court records showed.

After she told him that his complaint about the tightness of her shirt wasn't fair, he texted back that it was a good thing she didn't wear tight pants too "because then he would get it coming and going," the court records showed.

And at one point when Knight discussed infrequency in Nelson's sex life, he told her "that's like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it."

Knight's wife, who also worked in the dental office, put her foot down when she discovered the two were texting each other.

After meeting with their pastor, Knight agreed to fire Nelson because she was a "big threat to our marriage."

Knight had his pastor by his side when he told Nelson that their relationship -- even if there was no sexual affair -- had become a "detriment" to his family and that for the sake of both their families they shouldn't work together.

He later told Nelson's husband she had not done anything wrong or inappropriate, but that he was worried "he would try to have an affair with her down the road if he did not fire her."

Since Nelson did not consider Knight's behavior to be sexual harassment, the Iowa Supreme Court determined the question to be "whether an employee who has not engaged in flirtatious conduct may be lawfully terminated simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction."

While Iowa law prohibits discrimination against employees based on gender, the all-male court ruled that Knight's conduct was "unfair" but "did not amount to unlawful discrimination."

"I'm trying to stay strong. It's tough," Nelson told CNN on Saturday, two days after the ruling was released. "I don't think it's fair. I don't think it's right."

She denied wearing provocative clothing, telling the television network she wore loose-fitting scrubs to work under her lab coat.

Knight's attorney said there was a clear precedent to allow employers to fire employees who aroused jealousy in their spouses.

"He and his wife really agonized about it," Stuart Cochrane told CNN. "He didn't want to terminate her."

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This 12-Year-Old Parkour Athlete Will Amaze, Terrify You

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Robbie Griffith

I will freely admit that Robbie Griffith is much cooler than I was at age 12. For me, a slammin' day in the seventh grade involved consuming Frosted Mini-Wheats while watching Animaniacs. Griffith, on the other hand, prefers to execute flawless tuck-and-rolls on punishing concrete and hurdle over the deep chasms between buildings.

Griffith, who goes by the street name "Wee Beastie," is the youngest-ever member of Parkour Generations, a London-based organization devoted to furthering the urban sport. He was accepted into the group last month as a trainee in the "Developing Athlete Programme," a mentoring gig that matches parkour prodigies with older, wiser and no doubt bruised-er free runners. Griffith, who sometimes wears a backpack to practice, is "an exceptional young man with real talent, passion and dedication to the discipline," writes Generations, "and we are sure he has a bright future on our mentoring programme and in parkour in general."

The fleet-footed lad has trained for more than a year at the Coatbridge parkour course, thought to be the first of its kind in Scotland. (Police and the local government built it to stop kids from running around on area rooftops.) Fellow Coatbridge enthusiast Peter McKee postedthis video of the Beastie doing his thing on YouTube, saying: "Move over Altaïr and Ezio. Looks like Abstergo doesn't need the Animus to go all Assassin's Creed on the streets!" (If you understand that, you might be playing too many video games.) That body ricochet off the wall at 1:20 is straight out of a Jackie Chan flick.

And here's the youngster kicking it in Scotland, performing a four-part leapfrog of walls like it was nothing:

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25 Facts About Your Favorite Christmas Movies

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flick scut a christmas story

Enjoy these elf-sized tidbits about some of the movies you’ll catch on TV every holiday season.

Scrooged

1. It just goes to show you: don’t shouldn’t mess with the Ghost of Christmas Present. During the scene where Carol Kane grabs Bill Murray’s lip, she really latched on and accidentally tore it so badly that they had to stop filming for a few days so Bill could heal and his injuries wouldn’t be so obvious on camera.

2. All of Bill Murray’s actor brothers are in the movie – that would be Brian Doyle-Murray, Joel Murray and John Murray.

3. That’s Paul Shaffer leading the street carolers Bill Murray insults. The other carolers are Miles Davis (yep, that Miles Davis), famous saxophone player David Sanborn and Grammy-winning jazz guitarist Larry Carlton. It’s a pretty illustrious group of carolers to be heckling, really.

It’s a Wonderful Life

4. The movie was mentioned in an FBI file in 1947, when an analyst passed along the concern that the film was an obvious attempt to discredit bankers, a “common trick used by Communists.”

5. Among other people, the notoriously cynical Dorothy Parker contributed some rewrites to the script. Maybe she had a soft spot for Christmas (or maybe the money was just that good).

6. Does George look strangely sweaty to you when he and Clarence are on the bridge? That’s because it was 90 degrees out the day that scene was filmed. But I think it works –- I always assumed he looked damp because of the snow and because he was in the middle of his nervous breakdown.

Babes in Toyland

7. The movie that is now a cult classic was, as many cult classics are, a colossal flop at the box office when it debuted.

8. A bunch of the pieces from the movie – Mary’s garden, the shoe house, the pumpkin house and the trees – were an attraction at Disneyland’s Opera House for about a year following the release of the movie.

9. Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color went behind the scenes for the movie’s wrap party… except since the whole wrap party was scripted and choreographed, it wasn’t really “behind the scenes,” exactly. Annette Funicello co-hosted it with Walt and it featured performances by many cast members.

Miracle on 34th Street

10. The scenes of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are actually taken from the 1946 parade. The movie is credited with bringing the traditional parade to the national spotlight, and Macy’s employees were given half a day off so they could see the first showing of the movie. In fact…

11. Most people didn’t realize that Edmund Gwenn, Santa Claus in the movie, also played Santa Claus during the real 1946 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He even played to the crowd from the marquee of Macy’s when the parade ended to open the “official” Christmas shopping season.

12. Kris Kringle tries to prove that he’s quite mentally competent by reciting various bits of knowledge, including that Daniel D. Tompkins was John Quincy Adams’ Vice President. Except… he wasn’t. John C. Calhoun was Adams’ Veep; Tompkins served under James Monroe.

A Christmas Story

13. For anyone keeping count, Ralphie says he wants the Red Ryder BB Gun 28 times throughout the course of the movie.

14. Jack Nicholson was very interested in playing Ralphie’s dad. But casting (and paying) Jack would have been too expensive. Director Bob Clark has said Darrin McGavin was the perfect choice.

15. Mythbusters tested whether it was possible to get your tongue truly stuck on a piece of cold metal. Guess what? It is. So don’t triple dog dare your best friend to try it.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

16. The Capra family must have Christmas in their genes. The assistant director of Christmas Vacation, Frank Capra III, is the grandson of the legendary Frank Capra, who directed It’s a Wonderful Life. The part where Clark “fixes” the newel post by sawing it off with a chainsaw is an homage to It’s a Wonderful Life – the newel post at the Bailey’s house was also loose. Also, Russ is watching It’s a Wonderful Life on TV when his grandparents arrive.

17. I can always relate to the scene where the two grandpas are asleep in the armchairs while the Christmas parade is on TV in the background. This always happens at our Thanksgivings and Christmases – grandpas, dads, uncles. What makes the scene even funnier is that the actors who played the grandpas were supposedly both really asleep.

Elf

18. According to some reports, when the movie was first discussed back in 1993, Jim Carrey was going to play the lead.

19. Gimbels Department Store was a real department store and competitor of Macy’s until it closed in 1987. It was also featured in Miracle on 34th Street. The Gimbels exterior in the movie is actually the 34th Street Macy’s in Manhattan with a bit of digital alteration.

20. Ming Ming the elf from the beginning of the movie is Peter Billingsley, the actor who played Ralphie in A Christmas Story. That’s him in the picture. Billingsley and director Jon Favreau (along with actor Vince Vaughn) are good friends.

Home Alone

21. Like so many other Christmas movies, Home Alone slips in a reference to another Christmas classic: while (most) of the family is in the hotel room in France, they’re shown watching It’s a Wonderful Life.

22. Macaulay Culkin still has physical evidence of Kevin McAllister – in the scene where Harry bites Kevin’s finger, Joe Pesci bit harder than he’d intended and left Mac with a scar.

23. Daniel Stern wasn’t crazy about having to film a scene with a tarantula on his face, but agreed to it in the condition that they do just one take. His scream had to be dubbed in later because a real scream would have scared the tarantula.

The Polar Express

24. When the conductor says “11344 Edbrooke” near the beginning of the film, he’s referring to director Robert Zemeckis’ actual childhood home in Chicago.

25. Polar Express author Chris Van Allsburg gets a reference to his hometown in, too – when Hero Boy looks at a picture of himself on Santa’s lap, you can see that it was taken at Herpolsheimer’s. That was a real department store in Allsburg’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is also where the movie premiere was held.

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20 Inspiring Rags-To-Riches Stories

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do won chang forever 21

In a time of rising inequality and sluggish growth, rags to riches stories are harder than ever to come by. Indeed, many of the richest people in the world were born into their wealth. 

That makes it even more essential that we remember the people who started with nothing, and through hard work, talent, grit, and a bit of luck, managed to rise to the very top.

These 20 stories remind us that it's possible to overcome just about anything, from parents passing away, to extreme poverty, and more. 

Maria Das Gracas Silva Foster escaped a Brazilian shantytown to become Petrobras' first female CEO

The current head of Brazilian oil giant Petrobras spent her childhood in Morro do Adeus, an extremely poor neighborhood that became a shantytown. Her mother worked constantly and her father was an alcoholic. She collected cans and paper to make extra money. 

She started as an intern at Petrobras in 1978, but broke through barriers to become the company's first female head of field engineering. Bloomberg reports that her tireless work ethic has earned her the nickname Caveirao, for the armored vehicles police use to clean up crime ridden Brazilian neighborhoods. She became the company's first female CEO in February. 

Source: Bloomberg



Do Won Chang worked three jobs to make ends meet before starting Forever 21

Do Won Chang and his wife, Jin Sook, moved to America from Korea in 1981. When they first arrived, Do Won was forced to work three jobs at the same time to support them, as a janitor, a gas station attendant, and in a coffee shop. Eventually, they were able to open their first clothing store in 1984.

That one store grew into Forever 21, which pioneered fast fashion and is now a multi-national, 480 store empire that generates around $3 billion in sales a year. It's a family business, with the couple's daughters Linda and Esther helping to run the company.

Source: Forbes



Harold Simmons grew up in a shack without electricity and became a multi-billionaire

Now a billionaire several times over, Harold Simmons grew up in the extremely rural town of Golden, Texas, where he lived in a "shack" that had no plumbing or electricity. He still managed to make it to the University of Texas, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. and masters in Economics.

His first venture was a series of drugstores, the first of which was almost entirely financed with a loan. That became a 100 store chain that he sold to Eckerd for $50 million. From there he went on to become a master of the corporate buyout. He currently owns 6 companies traded on the NYSE, including Titanium Metals Corporation, the world's largest producer of titanium.  

Source: ForbesD Magazine



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The Hottest Travel Destinations For 2013

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yeti mountain home lodges nepalA pristine bay in Costa Rica has been a secret favorite of backpackers and migrating whales. But it couldn’t stay under that shroud of cloud forest forever.

The opening of an eco-resort makes Bahia Ballena more inviting and accessible, and 2013 the right moment to visit.

Jump ahead to see the hottest destinations for 2013 >

The world is still vast, and even as you check iconic places off your bucket list, there’s a craving to set sail for the new, the next, the undiscovered.

To determine which destinations like Bahia Ballena are coming up on the radar, T+L asked safari experts and art dealers, cutting-edge chefs and even branding agencies where they’re seeing a new neighborhood emerge or wineries getting more acclaim.

What started with 40-odd places we distilled down to a baker’s dozen: the hottest travel destinations of 2013.

Two countries written off in recent years—Zambia and the Philippines—are safe to visit once again, and thriving with cool new safari camps and island thatched-roof villas.

The archipelago of Palawan, a UNESCO biosphere reserve in the Philippines, just added a resort with a scuba center; hop a two-hour flight from Hong Kong, and you’ll soon be diving with the sea turtles.

In Amsterdam, reachable by nonstop flights from many U.S. cities, the Rijksmuseum emerges from a 10-year renovation in April 2013, with a wing devoted to Vermeer and Rembrandt, steps from the recently redone Stedelijk Museum.

And a 7,000-year-old historic region in the arch of Italy’s boot may finally see its moment in the sun thanks to the debut of a Hollywood legend’s family home as a hotel.

Even in our backyard, we’ve found places that offer compelling new reasons to visit this year. In San Juan, Puerto Rico, two chefs are shaking up the food scene, while Minneapolis has embraced the foraging-and-farming ethos of Scandinavia—Bachelor Farmer has the city’s first-ever rooftop garden, and an alum of Noma restaurant has set up shop at Union.

So get out your map, block out some vacation time on your calendar, and make 2013 a year of travel discoveries. We promise at least a few of these places to go next will surprise you. 

Jump ahead to see the hottest destinations for 2013 >

More from Travel + Leisure:

Best of 2012 >

Ultimate Ski Guide >

World's Best Cities 2012 >

World's Best Airlines >

New Year's Resolution Trips >

Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica

Surrounded by mountains and jungle-fringed beaches on the Pacific, this pristine bay bordering a national marine park was long the secret of surfers and backpackers — and migrating whales.

Now there’s Kura Design Villas ($$$$), an upscale eco-resort whose six minimalist villas are open to the tropical air.



Basilicata, Italy

It’s a mystery — no, a miracle — why this coastal region in the instep of Italy’s boot has remained so overlooked for so long.

Known by Italians for its 7,000-year-old cave dwellings, peasant-style cuisine, and thermal springs, it grabbed global attention last year when Francis Ford Coppola opened a hotel, Palazzo Margherita ($$$), in his grandfather’s hometown of Bernalda.

Now beachfront tavernas are getting paint jobs and sleepy agriturismos such as the 370-acre Tenuta Visconti-San Teodoro Nuovo ($) are waking up.



Puerto Rico

His tenure at 1919 ($$$— the new restaurant inside San Juan’s historic Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, whose rooms will reopen in mid-2013 — has been brief.

But native son Juan José Cuevas has already created something other Puerto Rican chefs only talk about: a menu dedicated almost entirely to island ingredients.

Cuevas is one of the reasons food lovers are homing in on P.R.

Another? Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve ($$$$$) — which opened last month 30 miles west of the capital — where culinary wizard José Andrés showcases his own versions of such classic dishes as lechón asado (roast suckling pig).

Puerto Rico



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10 Ways Students Can Travel For Free

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hitchhikerLong summer holidays and exciting new friendships make university a great time to travel – but can you afford it? Lauren Razavi outlines 10 ways students can globe-trot for free.

You've got months off for summer, exciting new friends from across the country or further afield, and less responsibility than you're ever going to have in your adult life. When could be a better time for travelling than your university years?

If only it were that simple. Sadly, when the university break arrives the student loan tend to have been diminished by rent, food and nights out, meaning travel can fast become a distant dream.

But get creative, and it doesn’t have to be like that. There are a variety of ways to see the world – often without spending anything. Now's the time to start planning your summer travels, and here are 10 handy tips to get you started on your journey:

1. Cultural exchange and study schemes

Each year, [British] government departments fund a limited number of undergraduates to go on three-week cultural exchange programmes such as Study China and Study India . All accommodation, transport within the country and subsistence costs are covered by the schemes, and home universities will often fund flights, visas and vaccinations. A great way to fully immerse yourself in another culture – from food and drink to language and daily customs.

2. Teach English abroad at a camp or school

Teaching offers the opportunity to go almost anywhere in the world, and it’s undoubtedly one of the most rewarding options for student travellers. As well as getting to know a culture from the inside and meeting plenty of like-minded folk, most of your expenses are covered and many schools will pay you on top of this. Some notable companies include The English Experience, LEOlingo and Camp America .

3. Seek out travel grants

Believe it or not, some organisations exist with the sole purpose of funding travel. To cash in on this generosity, you’ll need to present a clear, considered plan and persuade a board of people that your trip is worthwhile. Many organisations value trips that will enhance personal or cultural development, but each has its own specifications and criteria. The SPRET educational trust caters specifically for students based in certain areas, whereas UNESCO and the UN both offer more general funding to travellers.

4. Enter competitions

While this certainly isn’t a guaranteed means of financing your adventures, competitions can offer some very appealing prizes. Here at The Telegraph, our travel section runs a weekly writing competition and offers a generous £200 prize in the winner’s chosen currency. Other useful websites to keep an eye on are gapyear.com and World Nomads ; both run regular competitions for writers, bloggers, photographers and film or documentary-makers.

5. Study abroad

Some degree courses automatically include a term or year away, but there are opportunities for any undergraduate to spend time abroad as part of their studies. Almost all UK institutions take part in the ERASMUS exchange scheme with other European universities. If accepted, grants, scholarships and other forms of financial assistance are all available – often in addition to your regular grant or loan. Individual universities often have partnerships with certain institutions overseas too.

6. Become a tour guide

If you’re looking to spend time in one place, consider getting to know your location and applying to become a tour guide. Tourism offices, hostels and specialist tour companies such as Sandemans New Europe recruit English-speakers with local knowledge to become guides. You’ll need to be charming and confident to be successful, but it’s certainly possible to cover the costs of longer-term trips this way.

7. Hitchhike and Couchsurf

If you’ve read Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, chances are you’ll already have been inspired by this Beat tale of hitchhiking across America. Hitchhiking can be perfectly safe, but be sensible, take precautions and stay alert. Combine this with Couchsurfing– staying at a local person’s home for free – and it’s possible to travel far and wide without spending anything on hotels or transport.

8. Work on a farm

If you don't mind getting your hands dirty, WWOOF offers farming work in a range of different countries, often providing food, accommodation and modest stipends in exchange for labour. You pay a small upfront fee for membership which gives you access to their wide-reaching network to find both short-term and long-term work. The appeal of beautiful skies and living the simple life has been enough to sway many travellers into earning their keep this way.

9. Do it for charity

Many students take on the challenge of a trip known as a ‘Jailbreak’ to raise money for charity through their university or a campus society. These adventures are usually organised annually and the general idea is to travel as far as possible over the course of a weekend (or longer) without spending any money. Friends and family sponsor you, often per mile, with a bonus for the winning team who end up furthest away. People and companies are relatively forthcoming with freebies if you’re raising money for a good cause, and your whole travelling experience will certainly be a unique one.

10. Utilise your friends

The cliché that you'll meet people from all walks of life at university is usually an accurate one – and many will come from places you didn't even know existed as well. Whether your friends are from another UK city or Australia, take advantage of the travelling opportunities provided by knowing such a mix of people. Stay with new acquaintances and you’ll come out of it with new perspectives, language skills and, often, a full stomach. You’ll have to pay to get there, but the accommodation and the personal tour guide are free.

Student guide to free travel - in pictures

Lauren Razaviis a freelance travel writer and food blogger. She showcases travel scrapbooks, food photography and unique recipes on her blog Take on the Road . Follow her on Twitter@LaurenRazavi .

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The 20 Most Expensive Homes Sold In America This Year

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one57 rendering exterior

The high end of the luxury real estate market had a great 2012, with real estate records being broken from coast to coast.

We combed back through our archives to find the biggest residential real estate transactions reported in the past 12 months.

Buyers on our list include tech CEOs, finance moguls, and celebrities.

#20 An unfinished mansion in San Francisco sold for $34.5 million.

In December, Yammer CEO David Sacks reportedly bought a mansion on San Francisco's "Billionaire's Row" for $34.5 million, making it the most expensive home ever sold in the city, according to Trulia. The unfinished, 21,888-square-foot French limestone mansion was sold by Peter Sperling of the Apollo Group, which owns the University of Phoenix.san francisco home unfinished, $38.5 million



#19 An oceanfront mansion on "Billionaire's Beach" in Malibu, California, sold for $37 million.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison continued his property-buying spree on Malibu's "Billionaire's Beach" when he picked up a modern home from ex-Yahoo CEO Terry Semel in September for $37 million.

terry semel house



#18 A Beverly Hills, California compound sold for $37 million.

TV personality Ryan Seacrest bought a sprawling compound in Beverly Hills from celebrity couple Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi for $37 million in May. The home had previously been listed for $49 million.

ryan seacrest ellen degeneres house



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The Mixing Mate Will Make Pouring, Mixing, and Painting Easier

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This is the Mixing Mate by Rockler.

Why We Love It: Anyone who has ever had to paint a room knows how messy the paint container can be. That's why the Mixing Mate is so awesome — it clamps down on the paint can and has a pistol grip handle that makes it easy to pour the paint. The spring-loaded spout seals up after each pour, too, so you can set it on the shelf when you're done.

It even comes with a cranking paddle so you can mix your paint more thoroughly than with a stir stick. The Mixing Mate fits any standard one-quart can of paint, stain, or varnish.

Mixing Mate

 

Mixing Mate

Where To Buy: Available through Rockler.

Cost: $14.99.

Want to nominate a cool product for Stuff We Love? Send an email to Megan Willett at mwillett@businessinsider.com with "Stuff We Love" in the subject line.

DON'T MISS: Make Your Own Flavored Popcorn Like A Pro

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Steve Jobs' Custom Yacht Is Free, After Being Impounded

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steve jobs yacht venus

Steve Jobs spent years working with French designer Philippe Starck to create "Venus," the 260-foot yacht that was completed a year after the death of Apple's co-founder.

And after being impounded over a bill dispute, the yacht is finally ready to hit the open water.

Completed in October, the yacht was impounded earlier this month in the Port of Amsterdam, as Starck cla Agence imed that Jobs' heirs owed him €3 million ($4 million).

On Monday, the yacht was free to leave the port, after Jobs' estate paid Starck an undisclosed amount, according to the France Presse.

Jobs and Starck "trusted each other, so there wasn't a very detailed contract," Roelant Klaassen, a lawyer for Ubik, Starck's company, told Reuters.

The minimalist yacht has a large sun terrace and is operated via 27-inch iMacs. It has an aluminum hull and exterior, so it is lighter and presumably faster than most yachts its size.

SEE ALSO: Yacht Of The Week: Escape The Winter With A Caribbean Cruise On The $24.9 Million 'Anjilis'

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Mission Chinese Is The Best New Restaurant This Year

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Mission Chinese Food NYC

Instead of writing a restaurant review this week, New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells wrote a story about the restaurants that blew him away this year.

Wells reflected on his first year as restaurant critic for the Times, and summed up his 12 favorite new restaurants that he reviewed this year.

Surprisingly, Wells said that Mission Chinese Food, a trendy new Chinese restaurant in New York's Lower East Side, is the best new restaurant this year.  It's a surprising choice because the restaurant is young and edgy with a party vibe — there's loud music, a free keg while you wait and a trendy crowd.

Mission Chinese is not the fanciest or highest-rated restaurant, but Wells said that he thought it was the most exciting restaurant.

"No other restaurant I reviewed this year left me feeling as exhilarated each time I got up from the table," Wells wrote. "The chef, Danny Bowien, seems to have found a secret stash of flavor that he applies to food that may start out as Chinese but that leaves the kitchen as pure Mission Chinese."

We also think it's one of the Best Chinese Restaurants in New York. The food is supremely spicy, but it's an exciting and creative twist on traditional Chinese cuisine.

Other restaurants that topped Wells's list were Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, the Nomad and Atera, which got two Michelin stars this year.

Click here to see Wells's full list.

SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Chinese Restaurants In New York City >

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Tunisia Raises Money By Selling Former Dictator's Sweet Cars

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tunisia ben ali cars auction

Tunisia has begun selling the personal assets of deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and other former regime officials, including luxury and performance cars, to boost its struggling economy.

After decades under a regime that amassed wealth for itself and a revolution that hurt the tourism industry, Tunisia is hoping to fund social projects with the money it raises, Bloomberg reported.

The assets of Ben Ali, his wife Leile Trabelsi, and those of 112 others associated with the regime, were seized in March 2011.

Those assets, including cars, yachts, fine art, jewelry, and even palaces, are estimated to be worth $12 billion, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Among the vehicles on sale are a Maybach town car that once belonged to Ben Ali, a BMW V12 owned by a Trabelsi family member, and a black Aston Martin that came with a plaque reading: "Handbuilt in England for Sakher El Materi" (Ben Ali's son-in-law).

A video from The Telegraph showed a Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Mercedes-Benz for sale as well.

According to Mohamed Hamaied, a finance ministry official who took potential buyers for a spin in the powerful BMW, most of the cars have hardly been driven.

"These cars didn’t roll much – just between La Marsa and Hammamet," two beachside towns, he told the Christian Science Monitor. The BMW had just 1,200 miles on the odometer.

The sale is expected to last at least a month, and officials hope it will generate $13 million.

Social Affairs Minister Khalil Elzawiah emphasized the message the new government is sending by selling the seized assets: "To be clear it's not an oil well. The most important thing is not the financial return but the path of the revolution," he said, reported the Telegraph.

SEE ALSO: The Craziest Details About The Tricked-Out A380 A Saudi Prince Is Buying For $500 Million

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Tourists Destroyed An Ancient Mayan Pyramid In A Doomsday Frenzy

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Tikal, ancient Mayan ruins, pyramid

Tourists flocking to Guatemala for "end of the world" parties have damaged an ancient stone temple at Tikal, the largest archeological site and urban centre of the Mayan civilisation.

"Sadly, many tourists climbed Temple II and caused damage," said Osvaldo Gomez, a technical adviser at the site, which is located some 550 kilometres (340 miles) north of Guatemala City.

"We are fine with the celebration, but (the tourists) should be more aware because this is a (UNESCO) World Heritage Site," he told local media.

Gomez did not specify what was done, although he did say it was forbidden to climb the stairs at the site and indicated that the damage was irreparable.

Temple II, which is about 38 meters (125 feet) high and faces the central Tikal plaza, is one of the site's best known structures.

Friday marked the end of an era that lasted 5,200 years, according to the Mayan "Long Count" calendar. Some believed the date also marked the end of the world as foretold by Mayan hieroglyphs.

More than 7,000 people visited Tikal on Friday to see native Mayan priests hold a colourful ceremony and light fires as the sun emerged to mark the new era.

Critics complained that the event was really for tourists and had little to do with the Mayans. About 42 per cent of Guatemala's 14.3 million residents are native Mayans, and most live in poverty and endure discrimination.

The ancient Mayans reached their peak of power in Central America between the years 250 and 900AD.

UNESCO declared Tikal a World Heritage Site in 1979.

Source: AFP

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15 Caribbean Hotels To Help You Stay Warm All Through The Winter

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Punta Cana Hotel Dominican RepublicThis post originally appeared on Oyster.com.

Winter may be firmly upon us now in the Northeast, but that doesn’t mean we have to write off warm weather entirely.

The Caribbean isn’t too far away (especially for us East Coasters), and some island hotels are featuring wonderfully affordable rates this time of year. You may have to forgo a few luxuries to stay on budget, but designer toiletries are highly overrated, right?

So pack your bags and get ready to hit the beach for a few days — or a few weeks! Oyster has the skinny on the Caribbean’s best value stays.

Rockhouse Hotel, Jamaica

The Rockhouse Hotel is a lush, laid-back Jamaican resort offering gourmet dining, morning yoga, a premium spa, and best of all, a gorgeous cliff-side location on Negril‘s coast.

Sure, there’s no fitness center and rooms lack TVs and Wi-Fi, but its unplugged vibe is just why some guests come. Plus, with rates usually falling below $200, it’s a steal compared to similar resorts — such as the slightly chicer Caves — in the area. (NB: Children under 12 are not allowed on the property.)



Tropicana Aruba Resort & Casino

This Aruba resort has some great features, including rooms equipped with kitchenettes, two great pools (one with a 150-foot waterslide and the other with a waterfall), a state-of-the-art gym, and five lighted tennis courts.

Room décor at the Tropicana Aruba Resort & Casino is outdated — picture tile floors and sad floral curtains — and the beach is a 10-minute walk away, but it’s hard to complain when the price is this cheap.



Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach, Dominican Republic

Quality food, oceanfront bungalows, beachside canopy beds – heck, there are even free trapeze lessons! – all come together to make this 600-room resort in the D.R. an excellent value. And hey, the sexy, 80-percent Italian clientele doesn’t hurt, either.

There are some minor cleanliness issues at the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach, such as debris in the pool, but the beach has some of the softest sand and clearest water on the island.



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