Sales Soar for ‘Maus’ After Its Banning in Tennessee

Just days after the banning of Maus by a Tennessee school district made national news, two editions of Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust have reached the top 20 on Amazon.com and are in limited supply. Maus was No. 12 on Amazon as of early Friday evening and was not available for…

Sundance’s New Frontier Draws Art Lovers into Virtual World

Every year during the Sundance Film Festival, the New Frontier exhibition introduces technologies in storytelling. This is the second year the festival and the exhibit have gone digital due to COVID-19. VOA’s Penelope Poulou spoke with curator Shari Frilot on New Frontier’s visual platforms for art, film and performance. Video Editing: Penelope Poulou , Luis Da Costa …

Report: Anti-corruption Fight Is Stalled, COVID Not Helping

Most countries have made little to no progress in bringing down corruption levels over the past decade, and authorities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic in many places has weighed on accountability, a closely watched study by an anti-graft organization found Tuesday. Transparency International’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures the perception of public sector corruption…

South Sudan Holds Peace Olympics to Foster Reconciliation

South Sudan has held a peace Olympics to help reconcile communities divided by conflict. The “Twic Olympics” this year marked its 20th anniversary in Twic County.  At this Olympics opening ceremony, a spiritual leader blesses athletes to protect them from injury while a goat represents the belief that power comes from nature.  This is not…

At Least Eight People Dead in Stampede at Cameroon Sports Stadium 

Several people are dead in Cameroon after football fans crammed the gates of a new stadium to watch the home country play a match in the African Cup of Nations tournament.  State broadcaster CRTV says eight people were killed as thousands of fans attempted to enter Yaounde Olembe Stadium in the capital Yaounde Monday to…

To Stream or Not to Stream? COVID Turns Film Industry Upside Down

Just as studios were resuming theatrical releases at the end of last year, the omicron variant of the coronavirus rolled in, forcing a return to streaming or a theater release-streaming hybrid. Now that the traditional way of viewing new releases has changed, the film industry faces a crucial question: In the era of COVID-19, how…

French Fashion Designer Thierry Mugler Dies Aged 73

French designer Thierry Mugler, who reigned over fashion in the 1980s and died on Sunday, was as famous for his fantastical couture as for his blockbuster fashion shows. He was 73. Mugler’s daring collections came to define the decade’s power dressing, with his clothes noted for their structured and sophisticated silhouettes, showcased by his extravagant…

UNESCO Lists Viking-Era Wooden Sailboats on Heritage List 

For thousands of years, wooden sailboats allowed the peoples of Northern Europe to spread trade, influence and sometimes war across seas and continents. In December, the U.N.’s culture agency added Nordic “clinker boats” to its list of traditions that represent the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden jointly sought the…

San Francisco’s Chinatown Opens for Cautious Lunar New Year Revelry Despite Omicron 

George Chen’s high-end China Live restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown has lost 90% of its Lunar New Year bookings made by company parties and big families fearing the spread of COVID-19 as the omicron variant rampages across the United States. Three of his 100 employees have gotten the disease since the omicron surge began.   …

New Approach to Teaching Race in School Divides New Mexico 

A proposal to overhaul New Mexico’s social studies standards has stirred debate over how race should be taught in schools, with thousands of parents and teachers weighing in on changes that would dramatically increase instruction related to racial and social identity beginning in kindergarten.  The revisions in the state are ambitious. New Mexico officials say…

Cameroon Hosts Influx of Football Fans from Neighboring Gabon, Equatorial Guinea

Cameroon says that within four days, at least 1,500 football supporters have entered the country from neighboring Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to support their teams that have advanced to Round 16 in the Africa Football Cup of Nations, or AFCON. Gabon battles Burkina Faso Sunday, while Equatorial Guinea plays against Mali Wednesday. Tournament organizers require…

Climate, COVID, China: Takeaways from Online Davos Event 

Government and business leaders have urged cooperation on the world’s biggest issues — climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recovery — at the World Economic Forum’s virtual gathering.  Speeches and discussions from the likes of Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres moved online this week after COVID-19 concerns delayed the…

Louie Anderson, Comic, Emmy Winner for ‘Baskets,’ Dies at 68

Louie Anderson, whose four-decade career as a comedian and actor included his unlikely, Emmy-winning performance as mom to twin adult sons in the TV series “Baskets,” died Friday. He was 68. Anderson died at a hospital in Las Vegas of complications from cancer, said Glenn Schwartz, his longtime publicist. Anderson had a type of non-Hodgkin…

‘Bat Out of Hell’ Singer Meat Loaf Dies at 74

Meat Loaf, the heavyweight rock superstar loved by millions for his “Bat Out of Hell” album and for such theatrical, dark-hearted anthems as “Paradise By the Dashboard Light,” “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” and “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” has died. He was 74. The singer born Marvin Lee…

Brazilian Samba Singer Elza Soares Dies at 91

Elza Soares, one of the most revered singers in Brazilian samba music, died at her home in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, aged 91. She died of natural causes, her press representative said in a statement. “An icon of Brazilian music, considered one of the best artists in the world, the singer chosen as Voice…