Batman comic book beats Superman at auction, sets record and Jobless benefits start ending on Sunday

Just three days after auction site ComicConnect.com claimed to break world records when it sold an original Superman comic for $1 million, Batman stole his thunder.

A rare, high-quality copy of Detective Comics #27, which marked the first appearance of Batman in 1939, sold for $1,075,500 on Thursday. Heritage Auctions of Dallas sold the comic book to an unnamed bidder on behalf of an anonymous collector.

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Seven bidders from three countries participated in the combination live and online auction, taking about eight minutes to decide on a final price — an eternity in auction time, said Heritage Auctions president Greg Rohan.

On Monday, ComicConnect claimed to sell a rare copy of Action Comics #1 to an anonymous collector for $1 million.

Action Comics #1, which debuted in 1938, marked the first appearance of Superman. A lesser-quality copy set the previous comic book record, racking up $317,000 at auction last year. [Read the full article]

Depending on extended unemployment benefits to see you through the Great Recession?

You’d better not: The Senate failed to push back the Feb. 28 deadline to apply for this safety net.

Starting Monday, the jobless will no longer be able to apply for federal unemployment benefits or the COBRA health insurance subsidy.

Federal unemployment benefits kick in after the basic state-funded 26 weeks of coverage expire. During the downturn, Congress has approved up to an additional 73 weeks, which it funds.

These federal benefit weeks are divided into tiers, and the jobless must apply each time they move into a new tier.

Because the Senate did not act, the jobless will now stop getting checks once they run out of their state benefits or current tier of federal benefits.

That could be devastating to the unemployed who were counting on that income. [Read the full article]

As the government’s austerity measures — pay freezes, budget cuts, and tax hikes, among them — kick in and the country’s financial crisis deepens, Greek citizens are trying to learn how to economize. But after a long boom, cutting back is turning out to be a rusty skill, especially for a country whose citizens have a reputation as legendary spendthrifts.

Take Haris Georgatou, for example. A broadcast engineering technician, he points out one way he’s adapted to the new national concern. After years of spending $15 a day on coffee, he now makes his own at work.

Hair stylist Koufakis, a mother of three, says she and her husband now take the kids to the theater and the movies only once a month, compared to as many as five times in the past — and they now enjoy dinners out once a month as opposed to every weekend like they used to. She’s even cut back on toiletries. While she used to buy special SpongeBob SquarePants toilet paper for her children, she doesn’t any more. [Read the full article]

A key lawmaker on Friday leveled new accusations that Toyota Motor hid evidence regarding vehicle rollover cases.

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, headed by Edolphus "Ed" Towns, D-N.Y., held a hearing this week on complaints of uncontrolled acceleration problems in Toyota (TM) cars. Toyota President Akio Toyoda testified.

As part of its investigation of Toyota’s handling of safety defects and recalls, the committee had subpoenaed documents from former Toyota attorney Dimitrios Biller.

Biller has been engaged in litigation with Toyota for years. He alleges that the documents in question prove the automaker was aware of and hid safety defects in its vehicles and that he was unjustly terminated. [Read the full article]

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