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…

Elton John Rockets Toward Retirement at LA’s Dodger Stadium

Forty seven years after he took the stage at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in a sequined-studded baseball uniform as the world’s biggest pop star, Elton John walked on to the same stage on Sunday night wearing a bedazzled Dodgers bathrobe, a uniform more fitting for a 75-year-old man on the verge of retirement. The…

Bob Iger Returning to Disney as CEO for Two Years

Former Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Bob Iger is returning to the media company as CEO less than a year after he retired, a surprise appointment that comes as the entertainment company struggles to turn its streaming TV services into a profitable business. Iger, who retired last year after 15 years as chief executive, has…

Russian Prison Activist Paints Picture of Life Facing Griner

U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner has been taken to the Russian region of Mordovia, notorious since Soviet times for its penal colonies, to serve a nine-year sentence on drugs charges. Here are excerpts from a Reuters interview with Olga Romanova, a representative of the prison rights group Russia Behind Bars, on the conditions Griner can…

World Cup Draws Attention to Equal Rights, Including Attire

Official-looking flyers have circulated on social media describing cultural expectations for fans attending the World Cup in Qatar. Some include rules for women’s attire: Shoulders and knees must be covered. Problem is, it’s bogus. While the local organizing committee suggests that fans “respect the culture,” no one will be detained or barred from games in…

Robert Clary, Holocaust Survivor, ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ Star, Dies at 96

Robert Clary, a French-born survivor of Nazi concentration camps during World War II who played a feisty prisoner of war in the improbable 1960s sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes,” has died. He was 96.  Clary died during the night Wednesday of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills, niece Brenda Hancock said Thursday.  “He never let…

Russia’s Arts Scene Becomes Casualty of Putin’s War

As the Kremlin escalates its war on Ukraine and tightens its clampdown on any domestic opposition to the invasion, the world of Russian arts and culture, historically opposed to violence and war, descends into pessimism. Marcus Harton narrates this report from VOA’s Moscow bureau. …

Soccer Fans Begin to Converge in Qatar for 2022 World Cup

Qatar is preparing to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to the 2022 World Cup and many local businesses are eager to receive them. For many tourists, it’s a chance to see this part of the world for the first time.  VOA News reporter Celia Mendoza has the story from Doha, Qatar. Camera: Celia Mendoza,…

Beyoncé Leads Grammy Nominations with 9, Ties Record

Beyoncé has propelled herself into the highest Grammy echelon: The singer claimed a leading nine nominations Tuesday, making her tied — with her husband, Jay-Z — as the most nominated music act in the history of the awards show.  Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul” reeled in record and song of the year nominations, while “Renaissance,” which…

Foreign Students Returning to US Since Pandemic Decline

International students are returning to the United States after a significant drop during the pandemic, according to the Open Doors 2022 Report on International Educational Exchange (IEE). During a recent conversation with reporters, higher education officials said enrollment of international students increased almost 4% in the 2021-2022 academic year, from the year before, and almost…

Pakistan’s Ban on Prizewinner ‘Joyland’ Movie Sparks Outrage

In a last-minute controversial move, Pakistan has banned the screening of its international award-winning movie, “Joyland” in theaters across the country for containing “highly objectionable” content. The movie, which features a married man falling for a transgender woman, was supposed to be released in Pakistani cinemas Friday. In May, “Joyland” became the first Pakistani feature…

California City Designates ‘Little Arabia’ Neighborhood

California is home to the largest Arab American community in the United States. That growing economic and political visibility is evident in Southern California’s newly designated “Little Arabia” neighborhood. For VOA, Genia Dulot takes us there. Videographer and producer: Genia Dulot …

Claim of New World Record for Longest Beard Chain in Wyoming

Facial hair enthusiasts claimed to have set a new world record for longest beard chain during an event in Wyoming on Friday, the Casper Star-Tribune reports. Participants gathered at Gaslight Social, a bar in Casper, where they stood side by side and clipped their beards together to create a hairy chain that was measured at…

Olympics-Phrygian Caps to Be Paris 2024 Games Mascots 

Phrygian caps will be the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots as organizers look to to celebrate the French revolution’s spirit. “‘Phryges’ aim to show that sport can change everything, and that it deserves to have a prominent place in our society,” Paris 2024 brand director Julie Matikhine said on Monday. The Phrygian caps…

Artemisia Gentileschi’s 1616 Nude to Be Digitally Unveiled

Art restorers in the Italian city of Florence have begun a six-month project to clean and virtually “unveil” a long-censored nude painting by Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the most prominent women in the history of Italian art. Swirling veils and drapery were added to the “Allegory of Inclination” some 70 years after Gentileschi painted the…

Taylor Swift Wins Most Prizes at MTV Europe Music Awards

Taylor Swift walked away with four prizes at MTV’s Europe Music Awards on Sunday, including best video for her 10-minute “All Too Well.”    Double-award winners included Nicki Minaj for best song and best hip-hop, and the French DJ and record producer David Guetta won the best electronic award and best collaboration.    The event, broadcast on…

‘Black Panther’ Sequel Scores 2nd Biggest Debut Of 2022

The box office roared back to life with the long-awaited release of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The Marvel sequel earned $180 million in ticket sales from more than 4,396 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, according to estimates from The Walt Disney Co. on Sunday, making it the second biggest opening of the year behind…

Some LGBTQ Fans Skip Qatar World Cup, Fearing Hostility

At first, Saskia Nino de Rivera was excited about going to Qatar for a World Cup that would mark a significant professional event for her partner, a sports agent for Mexico soccer players. She even contemplated privately proposing there during a game, and posting photos once they left the country.  But as the lesbian couple…