London Pride Parade Marks 50 Years, Looks Back on Progress

London Saturday celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first Pride parade, marking half a century of progress in the fight for equality and tolerance but with warnings that more still needs to be done.  Several hundred people took part in the first march July 1, 1972, just five years after homosexuality was decriminalized in the…

Rock Star Randy Bachman Reunited With Beloved Stolen Guitar

Canadian rock legend Randy Bachman’s long search came to an end Friday when he was reunited in Tokyo with a cherished guitar 45 years after it was stolen from a Toronto hotel. “My girlfriend is right there,” said Bachman, 78, a former member of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, as the Gretsch guitar on…

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…

Drag and Size-Inclusive Fashion on Display for Pride Month

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride month. In the Western U.S. city of Denver, a museum exhibition features fashions from the gender-inclusive DCR Studios. VOA correspondent Scott Stearns caught up with designer Darlene Ritz at the show. Videographers: Scott Stearns, Jodi Westrum …

Ghana Hosts NFL’s First African Development Camp

The National Football League (NFL), the top league in American-style football, has hosted its first African developmental camp in Ghana’s capital, Accra. The weeklong program was aimed at finding fresh talent and building the sport’s popularity across Africa. Senanu Tord reports from Accra, Ghana. …

Thailand Hosts Transgender Pageant as Equality Drive Hits Parliament

Held for the first time since the pandemic, the world’s biggest transgender pageant pulled contestants from as far apart as Honduras and India to Thailand, a country where gender equality law is under the spotlight. For VOA, Vijitra Duangdee has this story from Pattaya, Thailand. …

WNBA Star Brittney Griner Ordered to Trial Friday in Russia

Shackled and looking wary, WNBA star Brittney Griner was ordered to stand trial Friday by a court near Moscow on cannabis possession charges, about 4 1/2 months after her arrest at an airport while returning to play for a Russian team.  The Phoenix Mercury center and two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist also was ordered to…

Hong Kong’s Last Hand-painted Porcelain Factory

 Step into Yuet Tung China Works, Hong Kong’s last remaining hand-painted porcelain factory, and you find yourself surrounded by stacks of dinnerware, each piece painstakingly decorated by hand with vibrant motifs of flowers, fruits and animals.  Joseph Tso, the third-generation owner of the factory, and his small team are among the few people in Hong…

4 Killed When Stands Collapse During Colombian Bullfight 

Part of the wooden stands collapsed during a bullfight in central Colombia on Sunday, sending spectators plunging to the ground and killing at least four people and seriously injuring about 30, authorities said.  The disaster took place in a stadium in the city of El Espinal in Tolima state during a traditional event called “corraleja”…

‘Elvis,’ ‘Top Gun’ Tie for Box-Office Crown With $30.5 Million Each

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic “Elvis” shook up theaters with an estimated $30.5 million in weekend ticket sales, but — in a box-office rarity — “Elvis” tied “Top Gun: Maverick,” which also reported $30.5 million, for No. 1 in theaters. Final figures Monday, once Sunday’s grosses are tabulated, will sort out which film ultimately won…

New Museum Opens in Rome for Recovered Art

A new museum recently opened in Rome to display stolen art recovered by the Italian police squad charged with safeguarding the country’s artistic and cultural heritage. On display at the Rescued Art Museum are around 100 valuable artifacts, returned from the United States after having been stolen by tomb raiders and making their way illegally…

US Theater Skips Plan to Fast Forward Through Disney Same-Sex Kiss

A movie theater owner in the western U.S. state of Oklahoma said the theater never carried out a plan to fast forward through a same-sex kiss in a newly released Disney/Pixar film. The theater had posted a warning sign about the kiss and its intention to fast forward through the brief kissing scene in Lightyear,…

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…

US Health Officials Ban Juul E-Cigarettes Tied to Teen Vaping Surge

Federal health officials on Thursday ordered Juul to pull its electronic cigarettes from the U.S. market, the latest blow to the embattled company widely blamed for sparking a national surge in teen vaping.  The action is part of a sweeping effort by the Food and Drug Administration to bring scientific scrutiny to the multibillion-dollar vaping…

Civil Jury Finds Bill Cosby Sexually Abused Teenager in 1975

Jurors at a civil trial found Tuesday that Bill Cosby sexually abused a 16-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in 1975. The Los Angeles County jury delivered the verdict in favor of Judy Huth, who is now 64, and awarded her $500,000. Jurors found that Cosby intentionally caused harmful sexual contact with Huth, that he…

Oscar-Winning Director Paul Haggis Arrested in Italy on Sexual Assault Charges

Oscar-winning Canadian screenwriter and director Paul Haggis is under house arrest in southern Italy on charges of sexual assault and aggravated personal injury, accusations that Haggis denies, his lawyers said on Monday. “Mr. Paul Haggis was detained on Sunday with an emergency measure issued by the Brindisi prosecutors and is now under house arrest in…

BTS Break Sparks Debate on Activism, Military Exemptions 

The surprise announcement by BTS last week that they were taking a break to focus on members’ solo projects stunned their global fanbase, shaking their label’s stock price and leaving many questions about the K-pop supergroup’s future. HYBE, the company behind the band, denied the group was taking a hiatus — a word used in…

South Korean Pianist, 18, Wins Van Cliburn Competition 

An 18-year-old from South Korea has won the 16th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, one of the top showcases for the world’s best pianists.  The competition held in Fort Worth, Texas, ended Saturday night with Yunchan Lim becoming the competition’s youngest winner of the gold medal. His winnings include a cash award of $100,000 and…