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Nigerian NGO Marks World Peace Day With Photos of Carnage in Northeast

The Nigerian aid group Center for Civilians in Conflict is marking this year’s U.N. International Day of Peace with a photo exhibit on the conflict in the country’s northeast. The photographs depict some of the millions of civilians caught up in the 12-year conflict started by militant group Boko Haram. The photo exhibit opened Tuesday morning at the Thought Pyramid Art Center in Abuja. Around 150 visitors arrived in batches to see images taken from scenes of the Boko Haram insurgency and the communities affected by it.  Art lover Hillary …


‘Ted Lasso,’ ‘The Crown,’ Win Top Emmy Awards on Streaming Heavy Night

Royal drama “The Crown” and feel good comedy “Ted Lasso” nabbed the top prizes at television’s Emmy awards on Sunday on a night dominated by streaming shows, British talent and rare wins by women.  Chess drama “The Queen’s Gambit” was named best limited series and tied with “The Crown” for the most wins overall at 11 apiece.   The best drama series win for “The Crown” gave Netflix its biggest prize so far, while Apple TV+ entered streaming’s big league with the best comedy series win for “Ted Lasso.” Neither Netflix nor Apple TV+ had previously won a best comedy or …


‘Change the Game’: Supermodel Halima Aden Reinvents Modest Fashion

Halima Aden, the first supermodel to wear a hijab and pose in a burkini, has ripped up her lucrative contracts in an industry she feels lacks “basic human respect” and entered the world of modest fashion design instead. For the Somali-American who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, it was a matter of preserving her self-worth and well-being in a fast and loose sector that increasingly clashed with her Muslim values. “Since I was a little girl, this quote — ‘don’t change yourself, change the game’ — has …


‘The Crown,’ ‘Ted Lasso,’ Streaming Seek Emmy Awards Glory

The miniature statutes given at the Emmy Awards on Sunday can be an outsized boon to egos, careers and guessing games. Will The Mandalorian bow to The Crown as best drama series? Can the feel-good comedy Ted Lasso charm its way into freshman glory? Will Jean Smart be honored as best comedy actress for Hacks? (She will.) But there’s oh-so-much more at stake when the TV industry — or a pandemic-constrained slice of it — gathers to honor itself at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards. The ceremony (8 p.m. EDT, …


Space Tourists Call Actor Tom Cruise While Orbiting Earth

While orbiting Earth, four space tourists called U.S. actor Tom Cruise to talk about life aboard the spacecraft. Representatives for SpaceX’s first privately chartered flight said the crew members spoke Friday with Cruise, who is hoping to take part in a movie made in space. The Twitter account for the flight mission said, “Maverick, you can be our wingman anytime,” referencing the call sign for Cruise’s character in the movie Top Gun. No further details were released about the conversation. Last year, NASA said it was in talks with Cruise …


Jane Powell, Hollywood Golden-Age Musicals Star, Dies at 92

Jane Powell, the bright-eyed, operatic-voiced star of Hollywood’s golden age musicals who sang with Howard Keel in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and danced with Fred Astaire in “Royal Wedding,” has died. She was 92. Powell died Thursday at her Wilton, Connecticut, home, longtime friend Susan Granger said. Granger said Powell died of natural causes. Powell performed virtually her whole life, starting about age 5 as a singing prodigy on radio in Portland, Oregon. She made her first movie at 16 and graduated from teenage roles to co-starring in the …


Three Iranian Dissidents to Be Honored by PEN America 

Three imprisoned Iranian dissidents will be honored next month at Pen America’s annual gala.  The literary and human rights organization announced Thursday that writer-filmmaker Baktash Abtin, novelist-journalist Keyvan Bajan and author-critic Reza Khandan Mahabadi are this year’s recipients of the 2021 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award. All three are members of the anti-censorship Iranian Writers Association and are serving a collective 15.5 years on charges including endangering national security and “spreading propaganda.”  “Baktash Abtin, Keyvan Bajan, and Reza Khandan Mahabadi are embodiments of the spirit that animates our work at …


UNICEF: Nearly 120 Million Students Remain at Home Due to COVID School Closures

The United Nations says 117 million students worldwide are still out of school due to the coronavirus pandemic that began more than a year-and-a half ago.  In a statement Thursday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said the number of students who have yet to return to the classroom represents about 7.5% of the global student population. “We know that the longer schools stay closed, the more dramatic and potentially irreversible the impact on children’s well-being and learning, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized,” said Assistant UNESCO …


Olympic Gymnast Maroney Says FBI Betrayed Her after She Reported Sexual Abuse

Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney on Wednesday told U.S. lawmakers she feels betrayed by FBI agents, after they failed to seriously investigate former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, despite her telling them he had sexually abused her. Maroney is one of four athletes, along with Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols, who testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee as it probes the FBI’s mishandling of the investigation. Maroney recalled how in 2015 she spent three hours on the phone telling the FBI the details of her story that her own mother had …


Norm Macdonald, Former ‘Saturday Night Live’ Comic, Dies

Comedian Norm Macdonald, a former “Saturday Night Live” writer and performer who was “Weekend Update” host when former U.S. President Bill Clinton and O.J. Simpson provided comic fodder during the 1990s, has died. Macdonald, who was 61, died Tuesday after having cancer for nine years but kept it private, according to Brillstein Entertainment Partners, his management firm in Los Angeles. He never reached the same television heights after being fired from “SNL” in 1998 but was an indefatigable stand-up comic and popular talk show guest whose death provoked an outpouring from fellow …


Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, Lil Nas X Dazzle at Met Gala

Billie Eilish went full glam in a huge peach ball gown at the pandemic-delayed Met Gala on Monday night, while fellow host of the evening Amanda Gorman was breathtaking in blue custom Vera Wang with a diamond laurel wreath in her hair.Co-host Timothée Chalamet raced onto Fifth Avenue to take selfies with fans before walking up the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for his entrance after a marching band and gymnast kicked off the long-awaited evening. Last year’s gala was canceled due to the pandemic.This year’s official theme …