Bob McGrath, ‘Sesame Street’ Legend, Dies at 90

Bob McGrath, an actor, musician and children’s author widely known for his portrayal of one of the first regular characters on the children’s show “Sesame Street” has died at the age of 90.  McGrath’s passing was confirmed by his family who posted on his Facebook page on Sunday: “The McGrath family has some sad news…

Kirstie Alley, Emmy-Winning ‘Cheers’ Star, Dies at 71

Kirstie Alley, who won an Emmy for her role on “Cheers” and starred in films including “Look Who’s Talking,” died Monday. She was 71.  Alley died of cancer that was only recently discovered, her children True and Lillie Parker said in a post on Twitter. Alley’s manager Donovan Daughtry confirmed the death in an email…

George Clooney, Gladys Knight Among Kennedy Center Honorees

Performers such as Gladys Knight or the Irish band U2 usually would be headlining a concert for thousands but at Sunday’s Kennedy Center Honors the tables will be turned as they and other artists will be the ones feted for their lifetime of artistic contributions. Actor, director, producer and human rights activist George Clooney, groundbreaking…

‘Wakanda Forever’ Is No. 1 for 4th Straight Weekend

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” kept the box-office crown for the fourth straight weekend, and the comic holiday thriller “Violent Night” debuted with $13.3 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. But the biggest talking point on the weekend was a movie conspicuously absent from theaters. Had Netflix kept Rian Johnson’s whodunit sequel “Glass Onion: A Knives…

Asian Faiths Try to Save Sacred Swastika Corrupted by Hitler

Sheetal Deo was shocked when she got a letter from her Queens apartment building’s co-op board calling her Diwali decoration “offensive” and demanding she take it down. “My decoration said ‘Happy Diwali’ and had a swastika on it,” said Deo, a physician, who was celebrating the Hindu festival of lights. The equilateral cross with its…

Polynesian Pride: 3-Day Canoe Voyage in Mid-Pacific

The causes are worthy, the course is daunting – almost 500 kilometers across a stretch of the Pacific Ocean in a large canoe. It’s the Hoki Mai Challenge, which started Saturday in Rapa Nui, a territory in the Pacific that is part of Chile and is better known as Easter Island. The event consists of…

For Many Hawaiians, Lava Flows Are a Time to Honor, Reflect

When Willette Kalaokahaku Akima-Akau looks out at the the lava flowing from Mauna Loa volcano and makes an offering of gin, tobacco and coins, she will be taking part in a tradition passed down from her grandfather and other Native Hawaiians as a way to honor both the natural and spiritual worlds. Akima-Akau said she…

World Cup Redemption for Japan Coach 29 Years Later in Qatar

The “Agony of Doha” came 29 years ago, and Hajime Moriyasu experienced it firsthand as a midfielder on Japan’s national soccer team. He’s now the coach, and he’s made amends. Japan won its World Cup group Thursday after beating 2010 champion Spain, 2-1, at the Khalifa International Stadium. Last week, the team defeated 2014 champion…

Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac Singer-Songwriter, Dies at 79

Christine McVie, the British-born Fleetwood Mac vocalist, songwriter and keyboard player whose cool, soulful contralto helped define such classics as “You Make Loving Fun,” “Everywhere” and “Don’t Stop,” has died at age 79.  Her death was announced Wednesday on the band’s social media accounts. No cause of death or other details were immediately provided, but…

UN Puts Baguette on Cultural Heritage List

The humble baguette — the crunchy ambassador for French baking around the world — is being added to the U.N.’s list of intangible cultural heritage as a cherished tradition to be preserved by humanity. UNESCO experts gathering in Morocco this week decided that the simple French flute — made only of flour, water, salt, and…

Protester With Rainbow Flag Runs onto Field at World Cup 

A protester ran onto the field Monday carrying a rainbow flag and wearing a blue Superman T-shirt that said, “SAVE UKRAINE” on the front and “RESPECT FOR IRANIAN WOMAN” on the back during a World Cup match between Portugal and Uruguay. Security officials chased the protester down, and the flag was dropped on the field…

Vintage Magazines Tell Tale of Turkish City’s Literary Past

An exhibition in Turkey’s southeastern city of Diyarbakir gives viewers an in-depth look at local periodicals and other publications that are more than a century old. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan has the story, narrated by Bezhan Hamdard. Videographer: Mahmut Bozarslan …

Monkeys in Central Thailand City Mark Their Day With Feast 

A meal fit for monkeys was served on Sunday at the annual Monkey Feast Festival in central Thailand.   Amid the morning traffic, rows of monkey statues holding trays were lined up outside the compound of the Ancient Three Pagodas, while volunteers prepared food across the road for real monkeys — the symbol of the province…

‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ Singer-Actor Irene Cara Dies at 63

Oscar, Golden Globe and two-time Grammy winning singer-actress Irene Cara, who starred and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then belted out the era-defining hit “Flashdance … What a Feeling” from 1983’s “Flashdance,” has died. She was 63. Her publicist, Judith A. Moose, announced the news on social media, writing…

Lewandowski Scores at World Cup, Poland Beats Saudis 2-0

Robert Lewandowski at last scored a goal in a World Cup match Saturday, helping Poland beat Saudi Arabia 2-0 and boosting his team’s chances of reaching the knockout stages. Lewandowski shed tears after scoring in the 82nd minute. He raced toward the corner with his arms outstretched, then slumped on the field as teammates rushed…

Hong Kong Emigres Seek Milk Tea in Craving for Taste of Home

In London, Wong Wai-yi misses the taste of home. A year ago, the 31-year-old musician was in Hong Kong, earning a good living composing for TV and movies and teaching piano. Today, she makes about half as much money in London working part-time as a server alongside her musical pursuits. She chose the job in…

World Cup’s Most Valuable Teams: Which Squads Are Worth Most?

England, which is gunning for its second World Cup title, has the most valuable squad in Qatar with Jude Bellingham topping a list of over 800 players, a study has found. Here is a look at how the other major sides compare at the tournament: Transfer value According to a study conducted by Swiss research…

High-Flying Balloon Characters Star in Thanksgiving Parade

Throngs of spectators lined the streets of New York on Thursday as colorful, high-flying balloons helped usher in the holiday season during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The annual tradition, which dates back nearly a century, packed streets as a procession of giant inflatables and floats streamed for more than 40 blocks from Central Park…

Saudi Arabia Shocks Argentina at World Cup

Saudi Arabia scored a major upset win Tuesday with a 2-1 victory over Argentina in their opening match at the men’s World Cup in Qatar. Argentina entered the tournament as the third-ranked team in the world, with Saudi Arabia ranked number 51. Lionel Messi put Argentina ahead in the tenth minute with a goal on…

Meet the Real Life ‘Woman King’

The Hollywood film “The Woman King” has received great praise for its portrayal of the fierce female warriors of Benin’s 1800s Kingdom of Dahomey. But where the kingdom once existed, the West African nation has a modern woman queen, who is still fighting for women’s rights. Henry Wilkins reports from Abomey, Benin. Camera: Henry Wilkins…