Famed Japanese Fashion Designer Issey Miyake Dies at 84

Issey Miyake, who built one of Japan’s biggest fashion brands and was known for his boldly sculpted pleated pieces as well as former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ black turtlenecks, has died. He was 84. Miyake died August 5 of liver cancer, Miyake Design Office said Tuesday. Miyake defined an era in Japan’s modern history, reaching…

Nigerians Praise London Museum’s Decision to Return Precious Artifacts

The 72 artifacts that the Horniman museum agreed to return include 12 of the famous Benin Bronzes – symbolic of the ancient Benin Kingdom in southern Nigeria. The museum said in a statement Sunday it was moral and appropriate to return the artifacts, stating the objects were taken by force during the British military invasion…

Serena Williams Says She Is ‘Evolving Away From Tennis’

Serena Williams says she is ready to step away from tennis after winning 23 Grand Slam titles, turning her focus to having another child and her business interests. “I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give,” Williams wrote in an essay released Tuesday by Vogue magazine. Williams said she does not like the…

‘Grease’ Star Olivia Newton-John Dies Aged 73

Singer Olivia Newton-John, who gained worldwide fame as the high school sweetheart Sandy in the hit movie “Grease,” died Monday after a 30-year battle with cancer. She was 73.  Newton-John “passed away peacefully at her ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” said a statement from her husband John Easterling posted…

UK Museum Agrees to Return Looted Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

A London museum agreed Sunday to return a collection of Benin Bronzes looted in the late 19th century from what is now Nigeria as cultural institutions throughout Britain come under pressure to repatriate artifacts acquired during the colonial era.  The Horniman Museum and Gardens in southeast London said that it would transfer a collection of…

Spanish Government’s Body Positivity Campaign Goes Awry

The Spanish government maybe had a good idea, but the execution of the body positivity campaign has gone horribly wrong.  The idea was to encourage women to come out and enjoy the beaches – without any worries about how they looked in their swimsuits. But three of the five women whose photographs were used in…

Pat Carroll, Emmy Winner and Voice of Ursula, Dies at 95

Pat Carroll, a comedic television mainstay for decades, an Emmy-winner for “Caesar’s Hour” and the voice Ursula in “The Little Mermaid,” has died. She was 95.  Her daughter Kerry Karsian, a casting agent, said Carroll died at her home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on Saturday. Her other daughter Tara Karsian wrote on Instagram that they…

Nichelle Nichols, Lieutenant Uhura on ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 89

Nichelle Nichols, who broke barriers for Black women in Hollywood when she played communications officer Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek television series, has died at the age of 89. Her son Kyle Johnson said Nichols died Saturday in Silver City, New Mexico. “Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and…

Women’s Soccer Energizes England in a League of Their Own

Izzy Short, 13, struggles to pick her favorite England player as she anticipates the team’s appearance in Sunday’s final of the European soccer championships. There’s forward Ellen White. Defender Lucy Bronze. Midfielder Georgia Stanway. Captain Leah Williamson. The whole team basically. “I just look up to them really,” the high school player from Manchester said,…

Giant Video Screen Falls on Boy Band Mirror Dancers at Hong Kong Concert

A huge video panel fell on the stage during a concert by popular Hong Kong boy band Mirror on Thursday, crushing one performer and trapping others, prompting a government investigation and the suspension of future shows. At least two dancers were injured, with one in a serious condition and the other stable, local broadcaster RTHK…

‘Goodfellas,’ ‘Law & Order’ Actor Paul Sorvino Dies at 83

Paul Sorvino, an imposing actor who specialized in playing crooks and cops like Paulie Cicero in “Goodfellas” and the NYPD sergeant Phil Cerretta on “Law & Order,” has died. He was 83. His publicist Roger Neal said he died Monday morning in Indiana of natural causes. “Our hearts are broken, there will never be another…

Britain to Host 2023 Eurovision Song Contest on Ukraine’s Behalf 

Britain will host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of winners Ukraine due to the ongoing conflict there, the competition’s organizers said on Monday. While decades-long tradition dictates that the winner of the contest gets to host it the following year, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) had said safety and security reasons meant runners-up…

Incomplete Grade? Columbia Loses Ranking over Dubious Data

U.S. News & World Report has unranked Columbia University from its 2022 edition of Best Colleges, saying in a statement that the Ivy League institution failed to substantiate certain 2021 data it previously submitted, including student-faculty ratios and class size. The decision to rescind the school’s No. 2 rating among national universities in the 2022…

US Visa Called Too Expensive for Afghan Students

For Breshna Salaam, the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan last year meant a return to the same extreme poverty she and her mother had experienced under the Taliban’s first time in control of the country.   In 1996, the Taliban fired Salaam’s mother from a public service job, denying the widow and her daughter…

US to Cancel $6 Billion in Student Loans for 200,000 Defrauded Borrowers

The United States will cancel $6 billion in student loans for 200,000 borrowers who claimed they were defrauded by their colleges, the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden said. A settlement agreement between the borrowers and the U.S. Department of Education was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on…

Cornell University Event Calls for School’s Disentanglement With Chinese Partners

   The tweeted invitation for a teach-in at Cornell University featured a photograph of “Pillar of Shame,” a sculpture that commemorates the deadly 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, which authorities removed from Hong Kong University last year. The topic: “Academic Freedom, Global Hubs and Cornell Involvement in the People’s Republic of China.” The speakers: Three Cornell…

New ‘Doctor Who’ star is ‘Sex Education’ actor Ncuti Gatwa

Ncuti Gatwa will take the mantle from Jodie Whittaker on “Doctor Who,” the BBC announced Sunday, ending speculation over the iconic Time Lord’s next regeneration. “Sometimes talent walks through the door and it’s so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars,” returning showrunner Russell T Davies…

U2’s Bono Gives ‘Freedom’ Concert in Kyiv Metro 

Irish rock group U2’s frontman Bono and his bandmate The Edge performed a 40-minute concert in a metro station in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Sunday and praised Ukrainians fighting for their freedom from Russia. “Your president leads the world in the cause of freedom right now … The people of Ukraine are not…

Centuries-old Passion Play Returns after Pandemic Break

Almost 400 years ago, the Catholic residents of a small Bavarian village vowed to perform a play of “the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ” every 10 years, if only God would spare them any further losses from the plague known as the Black Death. Legend has it that ever since 1634,…

Motherhood Deferred: US Median Age for Giving Birth Hits 30

For Allyson Jacobs, life in her 20s and 30s was about focusing on her career in health care and enjoying the social scene in New York City. It wasn’t until she turned 40 that she and her husband started trying to have children. They had a son when she was 42. Over the past three…

Mickey Gilley, Who Helped Inspire ‘Urban Cowboy,’ Dies at 86

Country star Mickey Gilley, whose namesake Texas honky-tonk inspired the 1980 film Urban Cowboy and a nationwide wave of Western-themed nightspots, has died. He was 86. Gilley died Saturday in Branson, Missouri, where he helped run the Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theatre. He had been performing as recently as last month but was in failing…

Long Shot Rich Strike Stuns with Win at 148th Kentucky Derby

Rich Strike came off a blistering pace at odds of more than 80-1 to beat 19 blue-blooded opponents and produce one of the biggest upsets in history while capturing the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Rich Strike, who was only entered into the field on…

Bob Dylan Museum Opening in Tulsa

Elvis Costello, Patti Smith and Mavis Staples will be among the dignitaries expected in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this weekend for the opening of the Bob Dylan Center, the museum and archive celebrating the Nobel laureate’s work. Dylan himself won’t be among them, unless he surprises everyone. The center’s subject and namesake has an open invitation to…

Warhol Monroe Portrait Set to Smash Records at New York Sales

An Andy Warhol portrait of Marilyn Monroe worth an estimated $200 million headlines this month’s spring sales in New York that collectors say are among the most anticipated ever. Christie’s expects Warhol’s 1964 Shot Sage Blue Marilyn to become the priciest 20th century artwork when the auction house puts it under the hammer on Monday. …

Censorship of Hollywood Blockbuster Films Intensifies in China  

China is stepping up censorship of U.S. films as producers make movies with an eye toward pleasing Beijing yet without isolating the global audience, industry insiders say.     The roughly 25-year-old practice of cutting scenes that don’t conform to Communist Party ideals from Hollywood movies has expanded.   “Now it’s kind of escalated in the sense that…