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Dallas judge tells quarterback Manziel not to contact former girlfriend

DALLAS Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel made his first appearance in a Dallas court on Thursday on a charge of assaulting his former girlfriend, and the judge told him to keep away from her.Manziel, 23, surrendered to police on Wednesday, had a mugshot taken and posted bail of $1,500. He has been charged with a class-A misdemeanor, which can bring up to one year in jail.In the four-minute court appearance, Dallas County Judge Roberto Canas told Manziel he must not have any contact with the ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, 23, and must surrender any weapons. "You can't call her, can't text her, can't email her, can't send her any letters or go to where she's at," the judge said. Manziel, dressed in a suit, nodded and gave a brief reply in confirmation of the conditions. He also said he does not have any weapons to surrender.The charge was another setback for the former football star, whose erratic play and partying prompted the Cleveland Browns to cut him in March. Manziel did not speak to reporters as he left the courtroom. His next hearing date was set for June 24.Manziel's lawyer Bob Hinton told reporters that Manziel is not required to stay in Dallas County and will return to Los Angeles. Judge Canas also did not impose an alcohol ban on Manziel, Hinton added. Manziel, who became known as "Johnny Football" in winning the Heisman Trophy in 2012 as the best player in college football, was picked by the Browns in the first round of the National Football League draft after leaving Texas A&M University.The grand jury heard evidence about a January incident in which Manziel is suspected of hitting, kidnapping and threatening to kill Crowley.She accused Manziel of hitting her so hard that she temporarily lost her hearing, court papers show. In a statement in April made before the indictment, Manziel said: "I’m hoping to take care of the issues in front of me right now so I can focus on what I have to do if I want to play in 2016."The NFL in recent years has sought to toughen its policy on players involved in domestic violence. League spokesman Brian McCarthy has said if Manziel were to sign with a team, he would be "subject to all aspects of the NFL's personal conduct policy." (Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Dan Grebler and Alistair Bell)

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Christie's fetes 250 years in business with major British art sale

LONDON From Joshua Reynolds to Lucian Freud, works spanning several centuries of British art will go under the hammer as part of a sale celebrating 250 years since auction house Christie's was founded. The highlights are three major works, led by "Ib and her Husband", an intimate 1992 portrait by Freud of his pregnant daughter and her partner lying on a bed. The painting is estimated at around 18 million pounds ($26.24 million).Joining it is Reynolds' 1778 "Portrait of Lucy Long, Mrs George Hardinge", which has never previously been publicly offered for sale and has been described as "one of the finest works by the artist to come to the market in a generation". Said to be in "remarkable" condition, the portrait is estimated at around 2-3 million pounds. The third major work is "Golden Hours", painted circa 1864 by Frederic Leighton, which goes to auction for the first time in 100 years and is estimated at 3-5 million pounds."All of the pictures are exemplary of their type," Orlando Rock, chairman of Christie's UK, told Reuters. "I think from a quality point of view, they ... all epitomize the periods they were created in." The works are set to go on tour at Christie's in New York and Hong Kong next month before the June "Defining British Art" sale, which will be launched alongside an exhibition of British art works handled by Christie's. ($1 = 0.6861 pounds) (Reporting by Alex Fraser and Marie-Louise Gumuchian, editing by Ed Osmond)

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Christie's fetes 250 years in business with major British art sale

LONDON From Joshua Reynolds to Lucian Freud, works spanning several centuries of British art will go under the hammer as part of a sale celebrating 250 years since auction house Christie's was founded. The highlights are three major works, led by "Ib and her Husband", an intimate 1992 portrait by Freud of his pregnant daughter and her partner lying on a bed. The painting is estimated at around 18 million pounds ($26.24 million).Joining it is Reynolds' 1778 "Portrait of Lucy Long, Mrs George Hardinge", which has never previously been publicly offered for sale and has been described as "one of the finest works by the artist to come to the market in a generation". Said to be in "remarkable" condition, the portrait is estimated at around 2-3 million pounds. The third major work is "Golden Hours", painted circa 1864 by Frederic Leighton, which goes to auction for the first time in 100 years and is estimated at 3-5 million pounds."All of the pictures are exemplary of their type," Orlando Rock, chairman of Christie's UK, told Reuters. "I think from a quality point of view, they ... all epitomize the periods they were created in." The works are set to go on tour at Christie's in New York and Hong Kong next month before the June "Defining British Art" sale, which will be launched alongside an exhibition of British art works handled by Christie's. ($1 = 0.6861 pounds) (Reporting by Alex Fraser and Marie-Louise Gumuchian, editing by Ed Osmond)

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British soccer team Leicester celebrates 5,000-1 title success

LONDON Leicester City's Premier League title dream became reality on Monday when one of the greatest sporting fairytales reached its conclusion in west London where chasing Tottenham Hotspur were held 2-2 by Chelsea.The result provoked an outpouring of celebration in the provincial English city and as far away as Thailand and Japan, while Leicester's players had watched nervously on television along with Foxes fans packed into local bars 160km away.Goals from Tottenham's Harry Kane and Son Heung-min had looked like extending the title race to the penultimate week of what has been an unforgettable season.But Gary Cahill gave Chelsea a lifeline before the hour and Eden Hazard, whose goals helped the Blues win the title last year, curled in a superb 83rd-minute equaliser to deflate Spurs and confirm Leicester as champions for the first time.As tempers flared at the end of a red-hot London derby at Stamford Bridge, television pictures cut away to Leicester's players celebrating in the living room of their striker Jamie Vardy, whose 22 goals have under-pinned his side's challenge.Elsewhere in Leicester, the city's biggest ever party began in earnest, with hundreds of fans gathering outside the stadium and thousands more celebrating in pubs and bars.Leicester's unlikely journey from no-hopers to English champions has captivated sports fans worldwide, nowhere more so than in Thailand, home of the club's owners King Power.Claudio Ranieri, the former Chelsea manager who has masterminded Leicester's rise since taking over at the start of the season, was celebrating the first major league title of his long managerial career.PROUD RANIERI"I'm so proud," the Italian, who was favourite in August to become the first manager to be sacked, said. "I never expected this when I arrived. I'm a pragmatic man, I just wanted to win match after match and help my players to improve week after week. Never did I think too much about where it would take us."Defender Wes Morgan, who scored a vital equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Manchester United on Sunday, said: "Saturday can't come quickly enough. I can't wait to get my hands on the trophy."With two games left, Leicester are seven points ahead of Tottenham and Saturday's home match against Everton will now become a glorious celebration for a club who were in the third tier of English soccer just seven years ago.Tottenham had been hoping to claim a first English league title since 1961, when they won the double by beating Leicester in the FA Cup final, but fell short in agonising circumstances at Stamford Bridge where they have not won in 26 years."Congratulations to Leicester City and to Claudio Ranieri. A fantastic season," Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said. "It's a massive, amazing season for Leicester, Claudio the players and the fans. They deserve it."Unfashionable Leicester, 5,000-1 outsiders at the start of the season, have become English champions for the first time and are the first club to win a maiden English title since Nottingham Forest in 1977-78, having left the likes of Manchester City and United, Chelsea and Arsenal in their wake.FINAL ACTOddly, the biggest match in Leicester's history was one they were not involved in as the final act of an absorbing title race was played out between last year's champions and a Tottenham side who have refused to give up the chase.But Ranieri's intrepid team had already done the damage, churning out results to stay top of the table since Jan. 23 while their rivals fell by the wayside. Since losing to Arsenal on Feb. 14, they won seven and drew three of their next 10 games.Incredibly, Leicester spent half of last season bottom of the league before a late surge lifted them clear of relegation.With Ranieri replacing Nigel Pearson as manager, they continued that momentum and from being pre-season tips for the drop, became title contenders as former non-league journeyman Vardy scored in a record 11 consecutive Premier League games.Even when they hit the top in January, many thought Leicester would fade, as they did in 1963, the last time they were in with a chance of the title.As the chasing pack thinned, however, Tottenham hung on to Leicester's coat tails but substitute Hazard's late goal sealed the destiny of the title, which left bookmakers up and down the country licking their wounds to the tune of millions of pounds."People will be talking about this in 100 years time," Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher said.Former England striker Alan Shearer won the title in 1995 with Blackburn Rovers."For a team like Leicester to come and take the giants on with their wealth and experience -- I think it's the biggest thing to happen in football," he said. (Editing by Ken Ferris and Ed Osmond)

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Christie's fetes 250 years in business with major British art sale

LONDON From Joshua Reynolds to Lucian Freud, works spanning several centuries of British art will go under the hammer as part of a sale celebrating 250 years since auction house Christie's was founded. The highlights are three major works, led by "Ib and her Husband", an intimate 1992 portrait by Freud of his pregnant daughter and her partner lying on a bed. The painting is estimated at around 18 million pounds ($26.24 million).Joining it is Reynolds' 1778 "Portrait of Lucy Long, Mrs George Hardinge", which has never previously been publicly offered for sale and has been described as "one of the finest works by the artist to come to the market in a generation". Said to be in "remarkable" condition, the portrait is estimated at around 2-3 million pounds. The third major work is "Golden Hours", painted circa 1864 by Frederic Leighton, which goes to auction for the first time in 100 years and is estimated at 3-5 million pounds."All of the pictures are exemplary of their type," Orlando Rock, chairman of Christie's UK, told Reuters. "I think from a quality point of view, they ... all epitomize the periods they were created in." The works are set to go on tour at Christie's in New York and Hong Kong next month before the June "Defining British Art" sale, which will be launched alongside an exhibition of British art works handled by Christie's. ($1 = 0.6861 pounds) (Reporting by Alex Fraser and Marie-Louise Gumuchian, editing by Ed Osmond)

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