South African University Students Fight COVID Vaccine Mandates

South African university students are fighting mandates that require they be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to the classroom on February 14. Even students who are vaccinated, and want others to get inoculated, are against the policy and the students’ union is threatening protests across the country. Linda Givetash reports from Johannesburg. Camera – Zaheer…

Alekos Fassianos, Known as ‘Greek Picasso,’ Dies at Age 86

Greek artist Alekos Fassianos, whose work drew on his country’s mythology and folklore, died Sunday at the age of 86, his daughter Viktoria told AFP. Described by some admirers as a modern-day Matisse and by others as the Greek Picasso, his works, which included paintings, lithographs, ceramics and tapestries, have been shown around the world.…

MLB’s First Female Minor-league Manager Living ‘American Dream’

Rachel Balkovec is aware of the negativity in her social media feeds and tries to leave it there. Her sisters see it, too, and can’t help but pass along certain disparaging reactions to her barrier-breaking journey. “It’s hilarious to me,” Balkovec said. “Because it’s the American dream.” In the clubhouse? She hasn’t seen any of…

Roman Villa Housing Caravaggio up for Auction Amid Legal Dispute

A Roman villa housing the only mural by Caravaggio and at the center of a legal battle between a former Playboy model and the sons of her late husband, an Italian prince, will go up for auction Tuesday. The sprawling property, valued at 471 million euros (almost $540 million), is a Baroque jewel with gorgeous…

Clap, Don’t Chant: China Aims for ‘Zero COVID’ Olympics

Athletes will need to be vaccinated — or face a long quarantine — take tests daily and wear masks when not competing or training. Clapping is OK to cheer on teammates, not chanting. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be sent into isolation and unable to compete until cleared for discharge. Welcome to the…

US Actor Baldwin Hands Over Phone to ‘Rust’ Investigators

Alec Baldwin has handed his cellphone to authorities as they investigate the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the Rust movie set, almost a month after a warrant was issued for the device. The U.S. actor was holding a Colt gun during a rehearsal for the Western being filmed in New Mexico in October when…

Djokovic’s Case Moves to Higher Court as He Fights Canceled Visa 

The world’s top-ranked men’s tennis player, Novak Djokovic, had his case to stay in Australia to compete in the Australian Open moved to a higher court Saturday as he fights the second cancellation of his visa for not being vaccinated against COVID-19.  The 34-year-old Serbian appeared in a Melbourne court Saturday for a 15-minute procedural…

Dartmouth Offers ‘Need Blind’ Admissions to Foreign Students

Dartmouth College, the Ivy League university in New Hampshire, has announced that it will admit international students through a “need blind” process, meaning that their ability to pay tuition will not dictate their admission. Dartmouth already had a policy of “need blind” admissions for U.S. applicants, but now foreign students will be considered for admission…

Spider-Man Comic Page Sells for Record $3.36M Bidding

A single page of artwork from a 1984 Spider-Man comic book sold at auction Thursday for a record $3.36 million. Mike Zeck’s artwork for page 25 from Marvel Comics’ Secret Wars No. 8 brings the first appearance of Spidey’s black suit. The symbiote suit would eventually lead to the emergence of the character Venom. The…

Navient Resolves US State Probes Into Its Student Loan Practices

Navient Corp said Thursday it agreed to pay $145 million to settle multistate litigation into its student loan practices. The company also said it will cancel loan balances for about 66,000 borrowers with loans that were largely made between 2002 and 2010 and later went into default. Navient said that as part of the settlement,…

Dartmouth to Offer ‘Need Blind’ Admissions to Foreign Students

In an attempt to attract more foreign students, Dartmouth College in New Hampshire says it will admit international students regardless of their ability to pay tuition. International students will be admitted through a “need blind” process used for U.S. students. The college charges about $80,000 per year for tuition and accommodation. “Talent is spread all…

China Struggles to Contain Omicron Before Winter Olympics 

The Chinese city of Tianjin ordered a second round of COVID-19 testing for all of its 14 million residents on Wednesday after an initial screening of the population found 97 positive cases. The port city is about 100 kilometers southeast of the Winter Olympics host city of Beijing.   Authorities locked down several of the port…

Ronnie Spector, ’60s Icon Who Sang ‘Be My Baby,’ Dies at 78 

Ronnie Spector, the cat-eyed, beehived rock ‘n’ roll siren who sang such 1960s hits as “Be My Baby,” “Baby I Love You” and “Walking in the Rain” as the leader of the Ronettes, has died. She was 78.  Spector died Wednesday after a brief battle with cancer, her family said.  “Ronnie lived her life with…

US Charges Man With Giving Illegal Drugs to Athletes for Tokyo Olympics

U.S. prosecutors have charged a man with supplying performance-enhancing drugs to athletes at the Tokyo Olympics, a first under a federal law allowing criminal charges against doping conspirators at events involving U.S. athletes, broadcasters and sponsors.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said Eric Lira, 41, distributed drugs, including human growth hormone, “for the purpose…

Indigenous People Lead Push for 2030 Winter Olympics, Paralympics in Vancouver

A group of Indigenous people is prepping a bid to bring the 2030 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games to Vancouver, Canada. It would be the first time any Olympics was hosted by Indigenous people and could lead to further reconciliation with Canada’s First Nations. The group was known as the “Four Host First Nations” when…

Novak Djokovic Says He Made Mistakes in His Travel Documents Before Arriving in Australia

Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked male tennis player, says errors were made on his entry documents about his activities in the weeks before traveling to Australia, adding another layer of controversy in his fight to compete in the year’s first major “Grand Slam” tennis tournament.  The Serbian star issued a statement Wednesday saying his assistants…