Reported birth of rare white buffalo calf fulfills Lakota prophecy

HELENA, Montana — The reported birth of a rare white buffalo in Yellowstone National Park fulfills a Lakota prophecy that portends better times, according to members of the American Indian tribe who cautioned that it’s also a signal that more must be done to protect the earth and its animals. “The birth of this calf is…

US cricket team advances to second round in Twenty20 World Cup

LAUDERHILL, Florida — The United States cricket team made more history by reaching the second round in its Twenty20 World Cup debut after its last group game against Ireland was washed out Friday. Rain meant the match at Broward County Stadium was abandoned without a ball bowled, advancing the Americans to the Super Eight stage and…

Pope meets 100 comedians at Vatican: ‘You also make God smile’

VATICAN CITY — Before flying to Italy’s southern Puglia region to meet world leaders at the Group of Seven summit, Pope Francis hosted a very different audience at the Vatican on Friday celebrating the importance of humor. The pontiff welcomed more than 100 comedians from 15 nations, including U.S. celebrities Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Rock,…

Muslims start Hajj against the backdrop of Israel-Hamas war

MINA, Saudi Arabia — In sweltering temperatures, Muslim pilgrims in the Saudi city of Mecca converged on a vast desert tent camp Friday, officially starting the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Earlier, they circled the cube-shaped Kaaba in the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site. More than 1.5 million pilgrims from around the world have amassed in and around…

In Mecca’s sweltering heat, Muslims start this year’s Hajj pilgrimage

MINA, Saudi Arabia — In sweltering temperatures, Muslim pilgrims in Mecca converged on a vast tent camp in the desert Friday, officially opening the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Ahead of their trip, they circled the cube-shaped Kaaba in the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site. More than 1.5 million pilgrims from around the world have already amassed in…

India beats US at cricket’s Twenty20 World Cup

WESTBURY, New York — There was no upset this time for the United States as the home team was easily beaten by cricket heavyweight India at the Twenty20 World Cup on Wednesday. Suryakumar Yadav’s half-century powered India to a seven-wicket win over the U.S., which had shocked Pakistan last week. With the win, India reached the…

UCLA names new chancellor as campus is still reeling from protests over Israel-Hamas war

LOS ANGELES — The president of the University of Miami was chosen Wednesday to become the next chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles, where the retiring incumbent leaves a campus roiled by protests over Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. Dr. Julio Frenk, a Mexico City-born global public health researcher, was selected by regents…

Finland’s Lenin Museum closing as Russia relations chill

Finland’s Lenin Museum, the “most hated” in the country according to its director, is to close its doors at the end of the year for rebranding, as Finland’s historically good relations with Russia sour. Henry Wilkins visited the museum in the Finnish city of Tampere and has that story. …

Jin, oldest member of K-pop’s BTS, finishes army service in South Korea

Seoul — Jin, the oldest member of K-pop phenomenon BTS, was discharged from South Korea’s army on Wednesday after 18 months of duty, the first member of the group to wrap up the mandatory national service that put their music careers on hold. Jin, 31, wearing uniform and a black beret, appeared emotional as he hugged…

South Africa holds off Bangladesh, remains unbeaten in cricket’s T20 World Cup  

WESTBURY, New York — Spinner Keshav Maharaj bowled a six-run, two-wicket final over and South Africa held off Bangladesh by four runs to stay unbeaten in cricket’s T20 World Cup on Monday. Bangladesh needed 11 from the last six deliveries to register a famous win, then needed a six off the last ball. Taskin Ahmed came…

Thousands turn out for LA Pride Parade, events

LOS ANGELES — Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Hollywood on Sunday for the L.A. Pride Parade, one of the biggest events during a month of celebrations honoring the LGBTQ+ community in and around Los Angeles.  Rainbow flags ruled the day as revelers cheered the lively procession that featured “Star Trek” star and…

Success of Ugandan children’s show highlights film industry growth

Ugandan film producer Allan Manzi is an award-winning filmmaker known for his work on a Ugandan local series called “Juniors Drama Club.” VOA’s Jackson Mvungani spoke with him about the state of the Ugandan film industry. Videographer: Mugue Davis Rwakaringi. …

‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ boosts Will Smith’s comeback with $56M opening

New York — “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” the fourth installment in the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence action-comedy series, opened with an estimated $56 million in theaters over the weekend, handing Hollywood a much-needed summer hit and Smith his biggest success since he slapped Chris Rock at the Academy Awards. Expectations were all over the map for…

Some US families opt to raise teens sans social media

WESTPORT, Connecticut — Kate Bulkeley’s pledge to stay off social media in high school worked at first. She watched the benefits pile up: She was getting excellent grades. She read lots of books. The family had lively conversations around the dinner table and gathered for movie nights on weekends. Then, as sophomore year got under way,…

Netflix’s recipe for success includes ‘secret sauce’ spiced with tech savvy

LOS GATOS, California — Although its video streaming service sparkles with a Hollywood sheen, Netflix still taps its roots in Silicon Valley to stay a step ahead of traditional TV and movie studios. The Los Gatos, California, company, based more than 300 miles away from Hollywood, frequently reaches into its technological toolbox without viewers even realizing…

Meloni joins cultural elite celebrating Italian opera’s recognition as a world treasure

VERONA, Italy — Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni joined top political and cultural figures at Verona’s ancient Arena amphitheater Friday night for an open-air celebration of Italian lyric opera’s recognition by UNESCO as a global cultural treasure. Conductor Riccardo Muti presided over an orchestra of 170 musicians from Italy’s 14 opera houses, joined by over 314 choral…

Dornoch wins the first Belmont Stakes run at Saratoga Race Course

SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York — When Luis Saez first rode Dornoch at Saratoga Race Course last summer, he told trainer Danny Gargan, “You have the Derby winner.” While that did not come true, Dornoch made good on that optimism Saturday by winning the first Belmont Stakes at Saratoga, hugging the rail and holding off Mindframe to…