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A Paris auction of sacred objects from the Hopi and San Carlos Apache Native American tribes will go ahead Monday despite objections from the United States and activists, auctioneers said. The US embassy had asked Paris to suspend the sale of the colourful ceremonial masks, head-dresses and other objects after the failure Friday of a legal challenge by advocacy group Survival International on behalf of Arizona's Hopi tribe. In a letter to the EVE auction house, the US embassy said it had asked for the suspension so that the two tribes "might have the opportunity to identify the objects, investigate their provenance and determine whether they have a claim to recover the items under the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, to which France is a signatory, or under other laws".
Lionel Messi, Franck Ribery and Cristiano Ronaldo were on Monday shortlisted for this year's Ballon d'Or, football's world governing body FIFA and sponsors France Football magazine said. Barcelona forward Messi has already won the title four times but seems less of a hot favourite this year after an injury-hit season. French winger Ribery was part of a Bayern Munich team that claimed an unprecedented treble of Champions League, German title and German Cup, as well as the European Supercup. Real Madrid's Portugal striker Ronaldo won the 2008 Ballon d'Or and has been tipped to win the award this time around.
American Airlines has emerged from bankruptcy protection and US Airways culminated its long pursuit of a merger partner after the two completed their deal Monday to create the world's biggest airline.