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‘Chariots of Fire’ Composer Vangelis Dies at 79 

Vangelis, the Greek electronic composer who wrote the unforgettable Academy Award-winning score for the film “Chariots of Fire” and music for dozens of other movies, documentaries and TV series, has died at 79.  Greek media reported that Vangelis — born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou — died in a French hospital late Tuesday. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and other government officials expressed their condolences Thursday. “Vangelis Papathanassiou is no longer among us,” Mitsotakis tweeted.  The opening credits of “Chariots of Fire” roll as a bunch of young runners progress in slow motion …


Female Referees to Officiate Men’s World Cup for 1st Time 

Female referees will make World Cup history this year by working games at a major men’s tournament for the first time in Qatar. Three female referees and three female assistant referees were announced Thursday by FIFA among 129 officials selected for World Cup duty, including one man who caused controversy when refereeing a chaotic African Cup of Nations game in January while suffering with heatstroke. French referee Stéphanie Frappart already worked men’s games in World Cup qualifying and the Champions League, after handling the 2019 Women’s World Cup final. She …


Iranian Film Workers Arrested, Homes Raided

A renowned Iranian filmmaker has said that the offices and homes of several filmmakers and other industry professionals were raided and some of them arrested in recent days. Mohammad Rasoulof made the comments on Instagram late Saturday, posting a statement signed by dozens of movie industry professionals. The statement also claimed that security forces confiscated film production equipment during the raids. It condemned the actions and called them “illegal.” In a separate Instagram post, Rasoulof identified two of the detained filmmakers as Firouzeh Khosravani and Mina Keshavarz. Rasoulof himself was …


Russia Artist is 76-Year-Old Voice of Protest on Ukraine

Yelena Osipova barely slept ahead of Russia’s pomp-filled Victory Day celebrations on May 9. The 76-year-old artist was up late, making placards to protest about the conflict in Ukraine. But the moment she stepped out of her home in St. Petersburg on her way to demonstrate, two unknown men snatched the work from her and ran off.  “It was upsetting. I’d worked half the night and really liked those placards,” the white-haired painter told AFP.  “It’s obvious that it was an organized attack.” Indefatigable as ever, within an hour, the …


Renovated NYC Museum Hall Showcases Indigenous Perspectives

In his first visit to the American Museum of Natural History, Morgan Guerin had a list. Not of things he wanted to check out, though — a list of things that he hated. It started with seeing certain regalia from his Musqueam Indian Band — sacred objects not intended for public display — in the museum’s Northwest Coast Hall. This wasn’t just any visit. Guerin was there at the museum’s invitation in 2017 for the start of a project to renovate the hall, incorporating Indigenous perspectives. For him and representatives …


Former Test Cricketer Andrew Symonds Dies in Auto Accident

Former Australian test cricketer Andrew Symonds has died after a single-vehicle auto accident near Townsville in northeast Australia. He was 46. Cricket Australia reported Symonds’ death on its website on Sunday, citing a police statement with details of the accident late Saturday night. It described Symonds as “a cult hero during the peak of his international playing career and one of the most skilled all-rounders Australian cricket has seen.” “The Queenslander was a larger-than-life figure who drew a widespread fan base during his peak years for not only his hard-hitting …


Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra Wins Eurovision Song Contest

Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision Song Contest in the early hours of Sunday in a clear show of support for the war-ravaged nation. The six-man band that mixes traditional folk melodies and contemporary hip hop in a purposeful defense of Ukrainian culture was the sentimental and bookmakers’ favorite among the 25 bands and performers competing in the grand finale. The public vote from home was decisive in securing their victory. The band’s front man, Oleg Psiuk, took advantage of the enormous global audience to make impassioned plea to …


Actor Fred Ward, of ‘Tremors,’ ‘The Right Stuff’ Fame, Dies

Fred Ward, a veteran actor who brought a gruff tenderness to tough-guy roles in such films as The Right Stuff, The Player and Tremors, has died. He was 79. Ward died Sunday, his publicist Ron Hofmann said Friday. No cause or place of death was disclosed per the family’s wishes. Ward earned a Golden Globe and shared the Venice Film Festival ensemble prize for his performance in Robert Altman’s Short Cuts, and played the title character in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. He also reached new heights playing Mercury 7 …


US to Host Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cups for First Time

Rugby’s biggest tournament is finally heading to the United States.  Now comes the hard part for the sport’s leadership: Generating enough interest and sustainability to secure the sport’s place in a crowded U.S. market.  The Rugby World Cup will be staged in the U.S. for the first time after being voted on Thursday as the host of the men’s event in 2031 and the women’s tournament two years later.  It marks rugby’s biggest attempt to move into the wider American sporting consciousness and unlock what World Rugby — the sport’s …