Biden Cancels Federal Student Loans for Nearly 153,000 Borrowers

CULVER CITY, Calif. — President Joe Biden said Wednesday that while a college degree was still a ticket to a better life, that ticket is often too expensive, as he announced he was canceling federal student loans for nearly 153,000 borrowers. Biden, who is in the midst of a three-day campaign swing through California, made the…

Strike Closes Eiffel Tower in Blow to Tourists Ahead of Paris Olympics

Paris — The Eiffel Tower, one of the most visited tourist sites in the world, closed on Monday as staff went on strike in protest against the way the Paris monument is managed financially, disappointing the crowds below. The strike comes as Paris prepares to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, which begin on July 26 and…

Berlin Film Fest Grapples With Nazi Past, Far-Right Threat

BERLIN — This week’s Berlin international film festival is wrestling on- and off-screen with the weight of the Nazi past and the menace of a resurgent far right. The 74th Berlinale, as the event is known, has a reputation for confronting political realities head-on with high-profile movies and hot-tempered debates. German director Julia von Heinz brought…

‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Stirs Up $27.7 Million Weekend at Box Office

New York — Paramount Pictures’ Bob Marley biopic “Bob Marley: One Love” outperformed expectations to debut at No. 1 at the box office with a $27.7 million opening weekend, while Sony’s “Madame Web” flopped with one of the lowest debuts for a movie centered on a Marvel character. Both films launched in theaters on Tuesday to…

And the Winner Is… London Rolls Out Red Carpet for BAFTA Film Awards 

London — Hollywood stars descended on London on Sunday for the annual BAFTA Film Awards, where U.S. historical drama “Oppenheimer,” one of the highest-grossing films of 2023, leads nominations for Britain’s top movie honors.  The three-hour epic about the making of the atomic bomb during World War Two has 13 nods, including for the night’s top…

Solemn Monument to Japanese American WWII Detainees Lists More Than 125,000 Names

Los Angeles — Samantha Sumiko Pinedo and her grandparents file into a dimly lit enclosure at the Japanese American National Museum and approach a massive book splayed open to reveal columns of names. Pinedo is hoping the list includes her great-grandparents, who were detained in Japanese American incarceration camps during World War II.  “For a lot…

Nepal Pursues Sacred Items Smuggled Abroad

KATHMANDU, Nepal — Nepal’s gods and goddess are returning home. An unknown number of sacred statues of Hindu deities were stolen and smuggled abroad in the past. Now dozens are being repatriated to the Himalayan nation, part of a growing global effort to return such items to countries in Asia, Africa and elsewhere. Last month, four…

London Fashion Week Celebrates Multiculturalism, Urban Life

LONDON — The cultural richness brought by migrations across the world, familial nostalgia and the frenetic pace of London life marked the second day of the city’s Fashion Week on Saturday as up-and-coming designers showed off their styles for the season ahead. Some 60 designers, ranging from rising talents to renowned brands like Burberry, are exhibiting…

What to Expect at Britain’s BAFTA Film Awards on Sunday

LONDON — Prepare for Poppenheimer. Poor Things and Oppenheimer are the leading contenders for the British Academy Film Awards, which will be handed out Sunday in front of an audience of filmmakers, movie stars and the heir to the British throne. Yorgos Lanthimos’ gothic fantasia is up for 11 trophies, while Christopher Nolan’s atom-bomb epic has…

Media Creators Worry About New AI-Video Tool by Maker of ChatGPT

paris — A new artificial intelligence tool that promises to create short videos from simple text commands has raised concerns along with questions from artists and media professionals.  OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT and image generator DALL-E, said Thursday it was testing a text-to-video model called “Sora” that can allow users to create realistic videos with…

Harrison Ford’s ‘Star Wars’ script fetches $13,600 at UK sale

London — An original draft “Star Wars” script left in a London apartment by actor Harrison Ford, who played Hans Solo in the movie, sold at a UK auction for $13,600 on Saturday.  The script was used when Ford was filming the first installment of the epic saga, originally entitled “The Adventures of Luke Starkiller,” at…

Pope Urges Catholics to Swap Social Media for Reflection as Lent Begins

ROME — Pope Francis urged Catholics to forgo worldly trappings and focus on essentials as he opened the season of Lent with a traditional Ash Wednesday Mass on one of Rome’s historic seven hills. He criticized people’s tendency to lay bare their lives on social media, deploring “a world in which everything, including our emotions and…

Oscar Nominees From Films ‘Oppenheimer,’ ‘Barbie’ Gather for Luncheon

LOS ANGELES — The casts of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” gathered Monday for the annual Academy Award nominees’ luncheon along with other Oscar hopefuls coming together for photos, hugs and congratulations.  The luncheon is a warm, feel-good, egalitarian affair where little-known first-time nominees in categories like best animated short get to rub shoulders and share tables with…