‘The Apprentice,’ about a young Donald Trump, premieres in Cannes

CANNES, France — While Donald Trump’s hush money trial entered its sixth week in New York, an origin story for the Republican presidential candidate premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday, unveiling a scathing portrait of the former president in the 1980s.  “The Apprentice,” directed by the Iranian Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi, stars Sebastian Stan…

Cannes film follows Egypt feminists on brink of adulthood

Cannes, France — Filmmakers Nada Riyadh and Ayman El Amir spent so much time following an all-girl theatre troupe in a remote Egyptian village that at one point someone tried to sell them a house. “He thought we were always there so we might as well live there,” Riyadh told AFP after the premiere of their…

California Disneyland character, parade performers vote to join labor union

Anaheim, California — Disneyland performers who help bring Mickey Mouse, Cinderella and other beloved characters to life at the Southern California resort chose to unionize following a three-day vote culminating Saturday. The Actors’ Equity Association labor union said in a statement Saturday that cast members for the parades and characters departments at Disney’s theme parks near…

Pro-Palestinian protesters set up a new encampment at Philadelphia’s Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Pro-Palestinian protesters set up a new encampment at Drexel University in Philadelphia over the weekend, prompting a lockdown of school buildings, a day after authorities thwarted an attempted occupation of a school building at the neighboring University of Pennsylvania campus. After several hundred demonstrators marched from Philadelphia’s City Hall to west Philadelphia on…

Biden tells Morehouse graduates that he hears their voices of protest over war in Gaza

ATLANTA — President Joe Biden on Sunday told the graduating class at Morehouse College that he heard their voices of protest over the Israel-Hamas war, and that scenes from the conflict in Gaza have been heartbreaking. “I support peaceful nonviolent protest,” he told students, some who wore keffiyeh scarves around their shoulders on top of their…

Young women in Rio favela hope to overcome poverty, to play in ’27 World Cup

RIO DE JANEIRO — A 20-minute drive separates the historic Maracana Stadium from the Complexo do Alemao, the biggest complex of favelas in Rio de Janeiro and one of the most impoverished and violent. One of its residents, 15-year-old football player Kaylane Alves dos Santos, hopes her powerful shots and impressive dribbles will allow her to…

Once a center of Islamic learning, historic Mali city mourns lack of visitors

DJENNE, Mali — Kola Bah used to earn a living as a tour guide in Mali’s historic city of Djenné, once a center of Islamic learning known for the sprawling mud-brick mosque that has been on the UNESCO World Heritage in Danger list since 2016. The Grand Mosque of Djenné — the world’s largest mud-brick building…

Film director Rasoulof fled Iran on foot, newspaper says

London — Film director Mohammad Rasoulof made an “exhausting and extremely dangerous” walk across a mountainous borderland to avoid being jailed in Iran on national security charges, he told The Guardian newspaper.  Rasoulof said Monday he had fled Iran after a court sentenced him to eight years in jail, of which five were due to be…

Mexico City taco stand earns Michelin star

MEXICO CITY — Newly minted Michelin-starred chef Arturo Rivera Martínez stood over an insanely hot grill Wednesday at the first Mexican taco stand ever to get a coveted star from the French dining guide and did exactly the same thing he’s been doing for 20 years: searing meat. Though Michelin representatives came by Wednesday to present…

Vatican moves to adapt to hoaxes, Internet

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican on Friday overhauled its process for evaluating alleged visions of the Virgin Mary, weeping statues and other seemingly supernatural phenomena that have marked church history, putting the brakes on making definitive declarations unless the event is obviously fabricated. The Vatican’s doctrine office revised norms first issued in 1978, arguing that they…

Dabney Coleman, actor who specialized in curmudgeons, dies

new york — Dabney Coleman, the mustachioed character actor who specialized in smarmy villains such asd the chauvinist boss in “9 to 5” and the nasty TV director in “Tootsie,” has died. He was 92.  Coleman died Thursday at his home in Santa Monica, his daughter, Quincy Coleman, said in a statement to The Associated Press.…

Annual rich list says Paul McCartney is Britain’s 1st billionaire musician

LONDON — Paul McCartney is a billionaire Beatle. According to figures released Friday, the former member of the Fab Four is the first British musician to be worth 1 billion pounds ($1.27 billion). The annual Sunday Times Rich List calculated that the wealth of the 81-year-old musician and his wife, Nancy Shevell, had grown by 50 million…

Kosovar’s sculptures transform roof of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gigantic metal sculptures made by Kosovo-born artist Petrit Halilaj adorn the rooftop of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in an ode to a childhood affected by war. Garentina Kraja has the story. Camera: Vladimir Badikov  …

Old Hollywood glamour sizzles at National Portrait Gallery exhibit

He captured the most famous faces in 1930s and early ’40s cinema — Garbo, Crawford, Bogart and Gable. Now the work of George Hurrell, one of Hollywood’s greatest portrait photographers, is on display at Washington’s National Portrait Gallery. For VOA News, Cristina Caicedo Smit has the story. Videographer: Hakim Shammo; Video editor: Cristina Caicedo Smit…

Miniature poodle Sage fetches top prize at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show 

NEW YORK — A sprightly miniature poodle named Sage was crowned “Best in Show” on Tuesday at the 148th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, winning the grand prize in the most prestigious competition among pure-bred canines in the United States. Sage, the finalist representing 21 breeds classified as non-sporting dogs, triumphed over more than 2,500…

Alice Munro, Canadian Nobel Prize-winning author, dies at 92

ottawa — Nobel Prize-winning Canadian writer Alice Munro, whose exquisitely crafted tales of the loves, ambitions and travails of small-town women in her native land made her a globally acclaimed master of the short story, has died at the age of 92, her publisher said on Tuesday.  Munro died at her home in Port Hope, Ontario,…

Iranian director Rasoulof urges film world to support colleagues

cannes, france — Film director Mohammad Rasoulof, who has secretly fled Iran for an undisclosed location in Europe, urged the world film community on Tuesday to provide “strong support” to his colleagues. Rasoulof, who was sentenced to jail on national security charges, and whose latest movie will compete at this month’s Cannes film festival, said he…

Harvard students end protest as school agrees to discuss Gaza conflict

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts — Protesters against the war between Israel and Hamas were voluntarily taking down their tents in Harvard Yard on Tuesday after university officials agreed to discuss their questions about the endowment, bringing a peaceful end to the kinds of demonstrations that were broken up by police on other campuses.  The student protest group Harvard…