Arts & Culture

Woody Allen Casts Pop Star Miley Cyrus in Amazon Series

Jan 26 – Acclaimed movie writer-director Woody Allen is turning his attention to the small screen, with a new streaming television series for Amazon starring pop star Miley Cyrus. On her Instagram account, Cyrus confirmed on Monday she had been cast for the show, posting a photo of a painting of Allen and saying in

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Bikram Yoga Founder Fined $924k in Sexual Harassment Suit

LOS ANGELES, Jan 26 – The founder of the Bikram yoga practice was ordered to pay $924,500 on Monday to a former legal adviser who said she was fired for investigating sexual misconduct charges against her employer, media reported. Minakshi Jafa-Bodden, the former personal attorney of celebrity yoga guru Bikram Choudhury, was awarded compensatory damages

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Oscar Announces Diversity Campaign

By Steve Gorman and Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES, Jan 24- The Oscars have launched a landmark campaign to diversify the ranks of Academy Award voters who decide which actors, movies and filmmakers earn recognition, but Hollywood’s highest honors may remain a predominantly white affair for some time to come. Amid an outcry against a field

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Taliban Warns TV Staff Not to Promote Foreign Cultures, Immorality

KABUL, Jan 21 – The Taliban warned media organisations on Thursday not to promote immorality and foreign cultures a day after claiming responsibility for killing seven journalists for the country’s most-watched television channel. The suicide car bomb attack in Kabul rush hour traffic on Wednesday was condemned by governments, human rights groups and rival news

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Gaza Couples Get U.S.-Style Marriage Help Before Settling Down

By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA, Jan 20 – Hesitant but curious, several Palestinian couples walked into a classroom in Gaza this week to attend the first marriage guidance programme in the conservative, Hamas-run enclave. The initiative, backed by three Palestinian ministries, the Islamic University and British-based charity Interpal, is designed to prepare young couples for married

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Rapper Mos Def Due in Court for Traveling on “World Passport”

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 20  – Yasiin Bey, the American rapper formerly known as Mos Def, has been charged with violating South Africa’s immigration laws after he was arrested last week trying to leave the country on an unrecognised travel document. Bey, who is free on bail, will appear in court on March 8, officials said on

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Celebrities Boycott Oscars for Lack of Diversity

By Ian Simpson Jan 18 – Director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith said on Monday they will boycott next month’s Academy Awards ceremony because black actors were shut out of nominations, and the Academy acknowledged it needed to do more to promote diversity. The Oscar acting nominees announced on Thursday lacked black performers

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Photographer Shows Life after Rape in India

By Magdalena Mis LONDON, Jan 18  – When Smita Sharma began photographing survivors of rape in India in December 2014, the experience was so intense that she developed post traumatic stress disorder. The condition worsened when Sharma’s cousin killed herself after being abused by a classmate. “For months I would get nightmares and I would

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UK PM Cameron Launches English Language Campaign for Muslim Women

LONDON, Jan 18 – Some migrants to Britain who cannot pass an English test within 2-1/2 years of arriving may not be allowed to stay, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday in a move aimed at fostering greater integration by Muslim women. Cameron said there were 190,000 British Muslim women who spoke little

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Hebrew Graffiti at Jerusalem Monastery Threatens Christians

JERUSALEM, Jan 17 – Israel ordered a high-priority police investigation on Sunday into anti-Christian messages scrawled in Hebrew on the walls and doors of a Jerusalem monastery, saying they marked an assault on religious harmony. “Idols will be extirpated” – a line lifted from the Jewish prayer service – and “Christians Go to Hell” were

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