African beats entice China and US investors

Africa’s entertainment industry is another stage where global competition between China and the U.S. is playing out. African artists see it as an opportunity. Kate Bartlett has the details from Johannesburg. Camera and video editing by Zaheer Cassim. …

Mary J. Blige, Cher, Ozzy Osbourne, others picked for Rock Hall of Fame

new york — Mary J. Blige,Cher, Foreigner, A Tribe Called Quest, Kool & The Gang and Ozzy Osbourne have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a class that also includes folk-rockers Dave Matthews Band and singer-guitarist Peter Frampton.  Alexis Korner, John Mayall and Big Mama Thornton earned the Musical Influence Award, while …

‘Civil War’ continues box-office campaign at No. 1  

New York — “Civil War,” Alex Garland’s ominous American dystopia, remained the top film in theaters in its second week of release, according to studio estimates Sunday. The A24 election-year gamble, the indie studio’s biggest budgeted film yet, took in $11.1 million in ticket sales at 3,929 theaters over the weekend. The $50 million film, set …

US beach aims to disrupt Black students’ spring bash after ’23 chaos

TYBEE ISLAND, Georgia — Thousands of Black college students expected this weekend for an annual spring bash at the largest public beach in the U.S. state of Georgia will be greeted by dozens of extra police officers and barricades closing off neighborhood streets. While the beach will remain open, officials are blocking access to nearby parking. …

Israelis grapple with how to celebrate Passover while many remain captive

JERUSALEM — Every year, Alon Gat’s mother led the family’s Passover celebration of the liberation of the ancient Israelites from Egypt thousands of years ago. But this year, Gat is struggling with how to reconcile a holiday commemorating freedom after his mother was slain and other family members abducted when Hamas attacked Israel. Gat’s sister, Carmel, …

Gun supervisor gets 18 months in prison for fatal movie set shooting by Alec Baldwin

santa fe, new mexico — A movie weapons supervisor was sentenced to 18 months in prison in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer by Alec Baldwin on the set of the Western film “Rust,” during a hearing Monday in which tearful family members and friends gave testimonials that included calls for justice and a punishment that …

At birthplace of Olympics, performers at flame-lighting ceremony feel a pull of ancient past

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece — No one knows what music in ancient Greece sounded like or how dancers once moved. Every two years, a new interpretation of the ancient performance gets a global audience. It takes place in southern Greece at a site many still consider sacred: the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Forty-eight performers, chosen in …

Cameroon opens museum honoring oldest sub-Saharan kingdom

Foumban, Cameroon — To enter the Museum of the Bamoun Kings in western Cameroon, you have to pass under the fangs of a gigantic two-headed snake — the highlight of an imposing coat of arms of one of the oldest kingdoms in sub-Saharan Africa. Thousands of Cameroonians gathered in the royal palace square in Foumban on …

Coachella heavy on indie rock nostalgia, Taylor Swift buzz

Indio, USA — Coachella day two was heavy on alt-rock throwbacks including a highly anticipated No Doubt reunion, but it was Taylor Swift — who wasn’t on the lineup and didn’t perform — creating buzz on Saturday. Her mere presence at the mammoth festival in the California desert set the internet alight, after she made a much-speculated …

Instagram blurring nudity in messages to protect teens, fight sexual extortion

LONDON — Instagram says it’s deploying new tools to protect young people and combat sexual extortion, including a feature that will automatically blur nudity in direct messages. The social media platform said in a blog post Thursday that it’s testing out the features as part of its campaign to fight sexual scams and other forms of …

As many cities sour on hosting Olympics, Salt Lake City’s enthusiasm endures

SALT LAKE CITY — The International Olympic Committee was effusive Wednesday in its support for a decadeslong effort to bring back the Winter Games to Utah’s capital city in 2034. Unlike so many other past hosts that have decided bringing back the Games isn’t worth the time, money or hassle, Salt Lake City remains one of …

US newsman who created no-frills PBS newscast dies

new york — Robert MacNeil, who created the even-handed, no-frills PBS newscast “The MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour” in the 1970s and co-anchored the show with his late partner, Jim Lehrer, for two decades, died on Friday. He was 93.  MacNeil died of natural causes at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, according to his daughter, Alison MacNeil.  MacNeil first gained prominence …

Clouds gather over Japan’s ambitious Osaka World Expo

Osaka, Japan — One of the largest wooden structures ever built is taking shape in Osaka but hopes that Expo 2025 will unite the world are being dogged by cost blowouts and a lack of public enthusiasm. The imposing circular centerpiece will be crowned by a 20-meter-high sloping canopy, designed by top architect Sou Fujimoto, known …

Cambodia’s relocation of people from UNESCO site raises concerns

RUN TA EK, Cambodia — It’s been more than a year since Yem Srey Pin moved with her family from the village where she was born on Cambodia’s Angkor UNESCO World Heritage site to Run Ta Ek, a dusty new settlement about 25 kilometers away. Hers is one of about 5,000 families relocated from the sprawling …

Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid al-Fitr in the shadow of Gaza’s misery 

Istanbul — Muslims around the world celebrated the Eid al-Fitr holiday Wednesday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. But events were overshadowed by the worsening crisis in Gaza and Israel’s expected military offensive in Rafah city after six months of war. “We should not forget our brothers and sisters in Palestine,” imam Abdulrahman …