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Roger Angell, the celebrated baseball writer and reigning man of letters who during an unfaltering 70-plus years helped define The New Yorker’s urbane wit and style through his essays, humor pieces and editing, has died. He was 101.

Angell died Friday of heart failure, according to The New Yorker.

“No one lives forever, but you’d be forgiven for thinking that Roger had a good shot at it,” New Yorker Editor David Remnick wrote Friday. “Like the rest of us, he suffered pain and loss and doubt, but he usually kept the blues at bay, always looking forward; he kept writing, reading, memorizing new poems, forming new relationships.”

Heir to and upholder of The New Yorker’s earliest days, Angell was the son of founding fiction editor Katharine White and stepson of longtime staff writer E.B. White. He was first published in the magazine in his 20s, during World War II, and was still contributing in his 90s, an improbably trim and youthful man who enjoyed tennis and vodka martinis and regarded his life as “sheltered by privilege and engrossing work, and shot through with good luck.”

Angell well lived up to the standards of his famous family. He was a past winner of the BBWAA Career Excellence Award, formerly the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, for meritorious contributions to baseball writing, an honor previously given to Red Smith, Ring Lardner and Damon Runyon among others. He was the first winner of the prize who was not a member of the organization that votes for it, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

His editing alone was a lifetime achievement. Starting in the 1950s, when he inherited his mother’s job (and office), writers he worked with included John Updike, Ann Beattie, Donald Barthelme and Bobbie Ann Mason, some of whom endured numerous rejections before entering the special club of New Yorker authors. Angell himself acknowledged, unhappily, that even his work didn’t always make the cut.

“Unlike his colleagues, he is intensely competitive,” Brendan Gill wrote of Angell in Here at the New Yorker, a 1975 memoir. “Any challenge, mental or physical, exhilarates him.”

Angell’s New Yorker writings were compiled in several baseball books and in such publications as The Stone Arbor and Other Stories and A Day in the Life of Roger Angell, a collection of his humor pieces. He also edited Nothing But You: Love Stories From The New Yorker and for years wrote an annual Christmas poem for the magazine. At age 93, he completed one of his most highly praised essays, the deeply personal This Old Man, winner of a National Magazine Award.

“I’ve endured a few knocks but missed worse,” he wrote. “The pains and insults are bearable. My conversation may be full of holes and pauses, but I’ve learned to dispatch a private Apache scout ahead into the next sentence, the one coming up, to see if there are any vacant names or verbs in the landscape up there. If he sends back a warning, I’ll pause meaningfully, duh, until something else comes to mind.”

Angell was married three times, most recently to Margaret Moorman. He had three children.

Angell was born in New York in 1920 to Katharine and Ernest Angell, an attorney who became head of the American Civil Liberties Union. The New Yorker was founded five years later, with Katharine Angell as fiction editor and a young wit named Andy White (as E.B. White was known to his friends) contributing humor pieces.

His parents were gifted and strong, apparently too strong. “What a marriage that must have been,” Roger Angell wrote in Let Me Finish, a book of essays published in 2006, “stuffed with sex and brilliance and psychic murder, and imparting a lasting unease.” By 1929, his mother had married the gentler White and Angell would remember weekend visits to the apartment of his mother and her new husband, a place “full of laughing, chain-smoking young writers and artists from The New Yorker.”

In high school, he was so absorbed in literature and the literary life that for Christmas one year he asked for a book of A.E Housman’s poems, a top hat and a bottle of sherry. Stationed in Hawaii during World War II, Angell edited an Air Force magazine, and by 1944 had his first byline in The New Yorker. He was identified as Cpl. Roger Angell, author of the brief story Three Ladies in the Morning, and his first words to appear in the magazine were “The midtown hotel restaurant was almost empty at 11:30 in the morning.”

There were no signs, at least open ones, of family rivalry. White encouraged his stepson to write for the magazine and even recommended him to The New Yorker’s founder, Harold Ross, explaining that Angell “lacks practical experience but he has the goods.” Angell, meanwhile, wrote lovingly of his stepfather. In a 2005 New Yorker essay, he noted that they were close for almost 60 years and recalled that “the sense of home and informal attachment” he got from White’s writings was “even more powerful than it was for his other readers.”

Not everyone was charmed by Angell or by the White-Angell family connection at The New Yorker. Former staff writer Renata Adler alleged that Angell “established an overt, superficially jocular state of war with the rest of the magazine.” Grumbling about nepotism was not uncommon, and Tom Wolfe mocked his “cachet” at a magazine where his mother and stepfather were charter members. “It all locks, assured, into place,” Wolfe wrote.

Unlike White, known for the children’s classics Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, Angell never wrote a major novel. But he did enjoy a loyal following through his humor writing and his baseball essays, which placed him in the pantheon with both professional sports journalists and with Updike, James Thurber and other moonlighting literary writers. Like Updike, he didn’t alter his prose style for baseball, but demonstrated how well the game was suited for a life of the mind.

“Baseball is not life itself, although the resemblance keeps coming up,” Angell wrote in La Vida, a 1987 essay. “It’s probably a good idea to keep the two sorted out, but old fans, if they’re anything like me, can’t help noticing how cunningly our game replicates a larger schedule, with its beguiling April optimism; the cheerful roughhouse of June; the grinding, serious, unending (surely) business of midsummer; the September settling of accounts … and then the abrupt running-down of autumn, when we wish for — almost demand — a prolonged and glittering final adventure just before the curtain.”

Angell began covering baseball in the early 1960s, when The New Yorker was seeking to expand its readership. Over the following decades, he wrote definitive profiles of players ranging from Hall of Famer Bob Gibson to the fallen Pittsburgh Pirates star Steve Blass and had his say on everything from the verbosity of manager Casey Stengel (“a walking pantheon of evocations”) to the wonders of Derek Jeter (“imperturbably brilliant”). He was born the year before the New York Yankees won their first World Series and his baseball memories spanned from the prime of Babe Ruth to such 21st century stars as Jeter, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.

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Maybe extra rest isn’t such a bad thing for a racehorse after all.

In the Preakness Stakes that was run without the Kentucky Derby winner because Rich Strike’s owner felt he needed more time off after his 80-1 upset, Early Voting validated a gutsy decision to skip the Derby and aim for the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Early Voting held off hard-charging favorite Epicenter to win the Preakness on Saturday, rewarding trainer Chad Brown and owner Seth Klarman for their patience. Early Voting stalked the leaders for much of the race before moving into first around the final turn and finished 1¼ lengths ahead of Epicenter, who was second just like in the Derby.

“We thought he needed a little more seasoning, the extra rest would help him,” Klarman said. “He was pretty lightly raced — only three races before today. And as it turned out, that was the right call. We wanted to do right by the horse, and we’re so glad we waited.”

The initial plan in the Preakness was for Early Voting not to wait and for jockey Jose Ortiz to take him to the lead. That looked especially important on a day when the dirt track at Pimlico Race Course was favoring speed and making it hard for horses to come from behind down the stretch.

But when Armagnac jumped out to the lead, Ortiz settled Early Voting, who had plenty of speed left before the finish line with Epicenter threatening inside at the rail.

“I was never worried,” Brown said. “Once we had a good target, I actually preferred that. We were fine to go to the lead, but I thought down the back side it was going to take a good horse to beat us. And a good horse did run up on us near the wire and it was about the only one that could run with us.”

After just two Triple Crown winners in the past four-plus decades, Rich Strike owner Rick Dawson took plenty of criticism for skipping the Preakness because he felt the horse needed more rest to prepare for the Belmont Stakes on June 11.

Some of that might be muted in the aftermath of Early Voting’s impressive performance.

“That’s very hard to get an owner to pass on the Derby, and they did the right choice,” said Ortiz, who won the Preakness for the first time. “The horse, I don’t think he was seasoned enough to run in a 20-horse field and they proved that they were right today. I’ve been on him since he was a baby. We always knew he was very talented, but we knew he was going to be a late developer.”

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Rosmarie Trapp, whose Austrian family the von Trapps was made famous in the musical and beloved movie “The Sound of Music,” has died.

She died Friday at the age of 93 at a nursing home in Morrisville, Vermont, Trapp Family Lodge announced. Her brother Johannes is president of the Stowe resort.

Rosmarie was the first daughter of Austrian naval Capt. Georg von Trapp and Maria von Trapp, and a younger half-sibling to the older von Trapp children portrayed on stage and in the movie. The family escaped from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938 and performed singing tours throughout Europe and America. They settled in Vermont in the early 1940s and opened a ski lodge in Stowe.

“She traveled and performed with the Trapp Family Singers for many years, and worked at the Trapp Family Lodge in its infancy when the family first began hosting guests in their home,” Trapp Family Lodge said in a statement.

“Her kindness, generosity, and colorful spirit were legendary, and she had a positive impact on countless lives,” the statement said. 

“The Sound of Music,” was based loosely on a 1949 book by Maria von Trapp. Georg von Trapp and his first wife, Agathe Whitehead von Trapp, had seven children. After his first wife died, Georg married Maria, who taught the children music.

Georg and Maria von Trapp had three more children, Rosmarie, Eleonore and Johannes, who were not portrayed in the movie. Eleonore “Lorli” von Trapp Campbell died in October in Northfield, Vermont.

When she became a U.S. citizen in 1951, she signed her name as Rosmarie Trapp, leaving out von, according to the lodge.

Rosmarie worked for five years as a missionary and teacher in Papua New Guinea with her sister Maria, her relatives said. In Stowe, she was known for walking everywhere, frequently pulling her purchases home in a wagon or cart. She also wrote frequent letters to the local newspaper, where she was given her own space, “Rosmarie’s Corner,” for her stories, they said. She led sing-alongs, knitting circles, spun wool, owned multiple thrift shops and loved to teach people to sing, they said.

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A 1955 Mercedes-Benz, one of only two such versions in existence, was auctioned off earlier this month for a whopping $143 million, making it the world’s most expensive car ever sold, RM Sotheby’s announced Thursday.

The 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe was sold to a private collector for almost triple the previous record, which was set in 2018 by a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that fetched over $48 million.

The invitation-only auction took place on May 5 at the MercedesBenz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, the auction house said.

The car is one of just two prototypes built by the Mercedes-Benz racing department and is named after its creator and chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, according to RM Sotheby’s.

“The private buyer has agreed that the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe will remain accessible for public display on special occasions, while the second original 300 SLR Coupe remains in company ownership and will continue to be displayed at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart,” the auction company added.

RM Sotheby’s said the proceeds from the auction will be used to establish a worldwide Mercedes-Benz Fund that will fund environmental science and decarbonization research. 

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Vangelis, the Greek electronic composer who wrote the unforgettable Academy Award-winning score for the film “Chariots of Fire” and music for dozens of other movies, documentaries and TV series, has died at 79. 

Greek media reported that Vangelis — born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou — died in a French hospital late Tuesday. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and other government officials expressed their condolences Thursday.

“Vangelis Papathanassiou is no longer among us,” Mitsotakis tweeted. 

The opening credits of “Chariots of Fire” roll as a bunch of young runners progress in slow motion across a glum beach in Scotland, as a lazy, beat-backed tune rises to a magisterial declamation. It’s one of the most instantly recognizable musical themes in cinema — and its standing in popular culture has only been confirmed by the host of spoofs it has sired. 

The 1981 British film made Vangelis, but his initial encounter with success came with his first Greek pop band in the 1960s. 

He evolved into a one-man quasi-classical orchestra, using a vast array of electronic equipment to conjure up his enormously popular undulating waves of sound. A private, humorous man — burly, with with shoulder-length hair and a trim beard — he quoted ancient Greek philosophy and saw the artist as a conduit for a basic universal force. He was fascinated by space exploration and wrote music for celestial bodies, but said he never sought stardom himself. 

Still, a micro-planet spinning somewhere between Mars and Jupiter — 6354 Vangelis — will forever bear his name. 

Born on March 29, 1943, near the city of Volos in central Greece, Vangelis started playing the piano at age 4, although he got no formal training and claimed he never learned to read notes. 

“Orchestration, composition — they teach these things in music schools, but there are some things you can never teach,” he said in a 1982 interview. “You can’t teach creation.” 

At 20, Vangelis and three friends formed the Forminx band in Athens, which did very well in Greece. After it disbanded, he wrote scores for several Greek films and later became a founding member — together with another later-to-be internationally famous Greek musician, Demis Roussos — of Aphrodite’s Child. Based in Paris, the progressive rock group produced several European hits, and their final record “666,” released in 1972, is still highly acclaimed. 

Aphrodite’s Child also broke up, and Vangelis pursued solo projects. In 1974, he moved to London, built his own studio and cooperated with Yes frontman Jon Anderson, with whom he recorded as Jon and Vangelis and had several major hits. 

Signature piece

But his huge breakthrough came with the score for “Chariots of Fire” that told the true story of two British runners competing in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. Vangelis’ score won one of the four Academy Awards the film won, including best picture. The signature piece is one of the hardest-to-forget movie tunes worldwide — and has also served as the musical background to endless slow-motion parodies. 

Vangelis later wrote music scores for Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” (1982) and “1492: Conquest of Paradise” (1992), as well as for “Missing” (1982) and “Antarctica” (1983), among others. 

He refused many other offers for film scores, saying in an interview: “Half of the films I see don’t need music. It sounds like something stuffed in.” 

Vangelis was wary of how record companies handled commercial success. With success, he said, “you find yourself stuck and obliged to repeat yourself and your previous success.” 

His interest in science — including the physics of music and sound — and space exploration led to compositions linked with major NASA and European Space Agency projects. When British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died in 2018, Vangelis composed a musical tribute for his interment that the ESA broadcast into space. 

Vangelis brought forth his symphonic swells playing alone on a bank of synthesizers, while flipping switches as his feet darted from one volume pedal to another. 

“I work like an athlete,” he once said. 

He avoided the lifestyle excesses associated with many in the music industry, saying that he never took drugs — “which was very uncomfortable, at times.” 

Vangelis said he didn’t ever experiment with his music and usually did everything on the first take. 

“When I compose, I perform the music at the same time, so everything is live, nothing is pre-programmed,” he said. 

The composer lived in London, Paris and Athens, where he bought a house at the foot of the Acropolis that he never dolled up, even when his street became one of the most desirable pedestrian walks in town. The neoclassical building was nearly demolished in 2007 when government officials decided that it spoiled the view of the ancient citadel from a new museum built next door, but eventually reconsidered. 

Vangelis received many awards in Greece, France and the U.S. Little was known of his personal life besides that he was an avid painter. 

“Every day I paint and every day I compose music,” he said — in that order.

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Female referees will make World Cup history this year by working games at a major men’s tournament for the first time in Qatar.

Three female referees and three female assistant referees were announced Thursday by FIFA among 129 officials selected for World Cup duty, including one man who caused controversy when refereeing a chaotic African Cup of Nations game in January while suffering with heatstroke.

French referee Stéphanie Frappart already worked men’s games in World Cup qualifying and the Champions League, after handling the 2019 Women’s World Cup final. She also refereed the final of the men’s French Cup this month.

“As always, the criteria we have used is ‘quality first’ and the selected match officials represent the highest level of refereeing worldwide,” said FIFA Referees Committee chairman Pierluigi Collina, who worked the 2002 World Cup final. “In this way, we clearly emphasize that it is quality that counts for us and not gender.”

Salima Mukansanga of Rwanda and Yoshimi Yamashita of Japan are also on the list of 36 referees preparing for the 64 games at the tournament, which will be played from Nov. 21-Dec. 18.

The 69 assistant referees include Neuza Back of Brazil, Karen Díaz Medina of Mexico and Kathryn Nesbitt of the United States.

“I would hope that in the future the selection of elite women’s match officials for important men’s competitions will be perceived as something normal and no longer as sensational,” Collina said.

Among the male referees is Janny Sikazwe of Zambia, who blew the final whistle at an African Cup group match after 85 minutes and again 13 seconds before the 90 minutes were complete, with Mali leading Tunisia 1-0.

About 30 minutes after the match, officials ordered the teams back on the field to restart play but Tunisia refused. The result was later ratified by the Confederation of African Football despite an official protest by Tunisia.

The match was played in heat and humidity in Cameroon, and Sikazwe later explained he started to become confused in the intense conditions.

Sikazwe will be working at his second World Cup after handling two group games at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

The extreme heat in Qatar led FIFA to decide in 2015 to move the tournament to the cooler months in the Gulf emirate.

FIFA has picked 24 men to work on video reviews. The VAR system made its debut in 2018.

FIFA said 50 referee-and-assistant trios began preparing in 2019 for World Cup duty, with the project affected by limits on international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two referees were picked from each of Argentina, Brazil, England and France.

All the officials — who were not allocated into specific teams of three — face future technical, physical and medical assessments this year, FIFA said.

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Taras Topolya is a Ukrainian rock singer. From the first day of the war in Ukraine, he has been working as a paramedic with the country’s Territorial Defense. But when he has a break, he plays with big names in the Western music industry. Lesia Bakalets has the story, narrated by Anna Rice. VOA footage by Yuriy Zakrevskiy.

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At Colorado’s Adventure Room Selfie Museum, it’s the visitors who make the art, shooting social media videos and photos in a variety of colorful settings. For VOA, Svitlana Prystynska went to have a look.

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A renowned Iranian filmmaker has said that the offices and homes of several filmmakers and other industry professionals were raided and some of them arrested in recent days.

Mohammad Rasoulof made the comments on Instagram late Saturday, posting a statement signed by dozens of movie industry professionals.

The statement also claimed that security forces confiscated film production equipment during the raids. It condemned the actions and called them “illegal.”

In a separate Instagram post, Rasoulof identified two of the detained filmmakers as Firouzeh Khosravani and Mina Keshavarz. Rasoulof himself was not targeted in the recent raids.

There were no immediate comments from the Iranian authorities on the raids, and no additional details were immediately available.

Rasoulof won the Berlin Film Festival’s top prize in 2020 for his film “There Is No Evil.” The film tells four stories loosely connected to the themes of the death penalty in the Islamic republic and personal freedoms under oppression.

Rasoulof was sentenced to a year in prison shortly after receiving the award, but his lawyer appealed the sentence. He has been banned from making films and traveling abroad.

Iran occasionally arrests activists in cultural fields over alleged security violations.

Iran’s conservative authorities have long viewed many cultural activities as part of a “soft war” by the West against Iran and an attempt to tarnish the country’s Islamic beliefs.

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Yelena Osipova barely slept ahead of Russia’s pomp-filled Victory Day celebrations on May 9.

The 76-year-old artist was up late, making placards to protest about the conflict in Ukraine.

But the moment she stepped out of her home in St. Petersburg on her way to demonstrate, two unknown men snatched the work from her and ran off. 

“It was upsetting. I’d worked half the night and really liked those placards,” the white-haired painter told AFP. 

“It’s obvious that it was an organized attack.”

Indefatigable as ever, within an hour, the tiny, stooped woman, who moves with difficulty, already had a new poster and was heading out again to protest.

Osipova is well-known in her hometown.

She has been called the “conscience of St. Petersburg,” Russia’s second city, after two decades spent publicly opposing the rule of President Vladimir Putin.

Since the Kremlin’s forces rolled into Ukraine, she has also become a symbol of Russians standing up against the conflict.

Footage of her frequent detentions by riot police has been widely circulated on social media.

“The main thing is that people should say these forbidden words today: ‘No to war,'” said the former art professor.

But in Russia that is a risky prospect.

Protests have been ruthlessly stamped out and those criticizing the campaign — a “special military operation” in official parlance — risk a 15-year jail term.

‘Silence means agreement’

Osipova first started taking to the streets two years after former KGB agent Putin took power in 2000.

She has been demonstrating ever since against what she says are the crimes committed by the Russian authorities.

She protested in 2014 when Moscow seized the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine and against the fighting sparked in the east of the country.

Now she is focused on Putin’s full-fledged offensive against Russia’s pro-Western neighbor.

“If people accept all this, then it means they are not thinking about their children,” she said as she showed AFP her work in her flat.

“I’m dedicating my placards to this idea: what world are we leaving to our children?”

She shows off one poster with the face of a young girl shouting “No to war” on a yellow and blue background, the colors of the Ukrainian flag. 

Another of a child has the slogan “What world are we leaving behind us?”

“Since 2002 I haven’t been able to stay silent, because silence means agreement with what is happening in my country,” she said.

“That’s why I go to protest.”

Her flat with its decrepit vaulted ceilings is in the heart of Russia’s former imperial capital and has been home to her family for three generations.

Its two rooms are cluttered with pictures and posters with pacifist and anti-Kremlin messages.

“I don’t want to serve as cannon fodder,” reads one poster of a soldier. “Wives and mothers, stop the war,” says another.

A third proclaims: “We are all hostages of the provocative politics of imperial power.”

On one wall hangs a large photo of a young man: her only son, Ivan, who died of tuberculosis in 2009 at 28.

Osipova has been frequently detained by the police, but they now know her so well that they sometimes just take her straight home rather than to the station.

“I’ve long ago stopped being scared for myself,” she said defiantly.

“In your own homeland you should not be afraid, but if you love it you should feel that you are the one in charge.” 

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In his first visit to the American Museum of Natural History, Morgan Guerin had a list. Not of things he wanted to check out, though — a list of things that he hated.

It started with seeing certain regalia from his Musqueam Indian Band — sacred objects not intended for public display — in the museum’s Northwest Coast Hall.

This wasn’t just any visit. Guerin was there at the museum’s invitation in 2017 for the start of a project to renovate the hall, incorporating Indigenous perspectives. For him and representatives of other Indigenous communities in the Pacific Northwest and western Canada, the 5-year, $19-million renovation of the Northwest Coast Hall, which reopened to the public Friday, was an opportunity to tell their stories themselves.

“Our people are very, very tired of being ‘studied,’ because the misconception of who we are has always been the outside community’s downfall,” he said. “We have always been here, ready to tell people who we are.”

The hall was the museum’s first gallery, opened in 1899 under the auspices of Franz Boas, an anthropologist who was deeply interested in the Indigenous cultures of the Northwest and western coastal Canada. Boas was also a proponent of what was then a revolutionary idea that different cultures should be looked at in their own right and not on some kind of comparative scale.

It had largely remained unchanged, though, since the early 1900s. When museum officials decided it was time to renovate, they knew they couldn’t do it without input from the people whose cultures are on display.

“A lot of what we did was trying to bring this historic collection to the 21st century, and that’s by telling new stories with active voices in all of these communities and nations,” said Lauri Halderman, vice president for exhibition.

The museum brought together the representatives of the Indigenous communities to talk about what the gallery should contain and what it should look like for the showcase of 10 Pacific Northwest tribal nations.

It wasn’t a simple process, made even less so by the impact of the pandemic with its forcing of remote instead of in-person collaborations.

The hall includes some iconic pieces that anyone who has been to the museum will remember – including a massive 63-foot-long canoe that for decades was placed outside the hall but has now been brought in and suspended from the ceiling as well as several giant carvings. But its new exhibit, items are accompanied by text in both English and Indigenous languages and includes a gallery section showing how younger Indigenous artists are using motifs and designs from prior generations.

There was also, and continues to be, the fundamental question of whether museums should be holding these collections and trying to tell these stories in the first place, given the role that theft and colonialization has played in building them, and the way Indigenous communities have been treated.

Museums “seem to function as very expensive, and in the case of the American Museum of Natural History, maybe the most expensive, trophy cases in the world,” said Haa’yuups, co-curator of the hall, who is Head of the House of Taḳiishtaḳamlthat-ḥ, of the Huupa’chesat-ḥ First Nation.

He said, “They seem to have a meta language about them or a meta message, ‘Aren’t we powerful? Don’t we go forth and dominate the world?'”

He saw his involvement as a way to help spur a difference, to get people thinking about whether the items on display would be better served by being with the people they came from.

“Does it make sense to have a bunch of people who have nothing to do with objects, to have them spend their lives managing them?” he said. “Or does it make sense to send those treasures back to the communities where they come from?”

It’s an issue the museum has and is continuing to grapple with, said Peter Whiteley, curator of North American ethnology. He said the institution, which has repatriated items over the years, had decided through the renovation process that it was willing to do some additional limited repatriation and develop greater collaboration between the museum and the native tribes.

Deeper questions notwithstanding, those who took part in the process, both from the Indigenous nations and the museum staff, said it was a valuable one in terms of showing what is possible in terms of collaboration and listening to Indigenous voices.

“The best thing about this, the result of these consultants from the different native tribes,” said David Boxley, representing the Tsimshian tribe, “is that it’s our voice speaking.”

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Former Australian test cricketer Andrew Symonds has died after a single-vehicle auto accident near Townsville in northeast Australia. He was 46.

Cricket Australia reported Symonds’ death on its website on Sunday, citing a police statement with details of the accident late Saturday night.

It described Symonds as “a cult hero during the peak of his international playing career and one of the most skilled all-rounders Australian cricket has seen.”

“The Queenslander was a larger-than-life figure who drew a widespread fan base during his peak years for not only his hard-hitting ways but his larrikin persona.”

Symonds played 26 test matches for Australia and posted two centuries, but he was better known as a limited-overs specialist. He played 198 one-day international for Australia and won two World Cups.

After retiring as a player, Symonds became a popular commentator for cricket broadcasters.

Queensland Police said the accident occurred at Hervey Range, about 50 kilometers from Townsville.

“Early information indicates, shortly after 11 p.m. the car was being driven on Hervey Range Road, near Alice River Bridge when it left the roadway and rolled,” a police statement said. “Emergency services attempted to revive the 46-year-old driver and sole occupant. However, he died of his injuries.”

Symonds’ family appealed for privacy.

Former Australian captain Allan Border was among those to pay tribute to Symonds on Sunday.

Border said Symonds “hit the ball a long way and just wanted to entertain.

“He was, in a way, a little bit of an old-fashioned cricketer,” Border told the Nine Network. “He was an adventurer, loved his fishing, he loved hiking, camping. People liked his very laid-back style.”

That style brought Symonds into conflict with authority late in his career. In 2008 he missed Australia’s one-day series against Bangladesh after going fishing when he was required to attend a team meeting. He also was disciplined before the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup for breaching team rules around alcohol.

With dreadlocks and his face daubed with zinc cream, Symonds always cut a flamboyant figure in the Australian team.

His loss is another bitter blow for Australian cricket after the death in Thailand in March of legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne. Wicketkeeper Rod Marsh also died in March aged 74. 

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Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision Song Contest in the early hours of Sunday in a clear show of support for the war-ravaged nation.

The six-man band that mixes traditional folk melodies and contemporary hip hop in a purposeful defense of Ukrainian culture was the sentimental and bookmakers’ favorite among the 25 bands and performers competing in the grand finale. The public vote from home was decisive in securing their victory.

The band’s front man, Oleg Psiuk, took advantage of the enormous global audience to make impassioned plea to free fighters still trapped beneath a sprawling steel plant in the southern port city of Mariupol following the six-man band’s performance.

“I ask all of you, please help Ukraine, Mariupol. Help Azovstal, right now,” he said to the live crowd of about 7,500, many of whom gave a standing ovation, and global television audience of millions.

The plea to free the remaining Ukrainian fighters trapped beneath the Azovstal plant by Russians served as a somber reminder that the hugely popular and at times flamboyant Eurovision song contest was being played out against the backdrop of a war on Europe’s eastern flank.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave signs that he was watching from Kyiv and rooting for Ukrainian band.

“Indeed, this is not a war, but nevertheless, for us today, any victory is very important,” Zelenskyy said, according to a presidential statement. “So, let’s cheer for ours. Glory be to Ukraine!”

25 bands

Kalush Orchestra was among 25 bands performing in the Eurovision Song Contest final in front of a live audience in the industrial northern city of Turin, while millions more watched on television or via streaming around the world.

Fans from Spain, Britain and elsewhere entering the Italian venue from throughout Europe were rooting for their own country to win. Still, Ukrainian music fan Iryna Lasiy said she felt global support for her country in the war and “not only for the music.”

Russia was excluded this year after its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, a move that organizers said was meant to keep politics out of the contest that promotes diversity and friendship among nations.

The band’s song Stefania was written as a tribute to Psiuk’s mother but has transformed since the war into an anthem to the beleaguered nation, as lyrics take on new meaning. “I’ll always find my way home, even if all roads are destroyed,” Psiuk wrote.The six-member, all-male band received special permission to leave the country to represent Ukraine and Ukrainian culture at the music contest. One of the original members stayed to fight, and the others plan to return as soon as the contest is over.

‘World supports us’

Back in Ukraine, in the battered northeastern city of Kharkiv, Kalush Orchestra’s participation in the contest is seen as giving the nation another platform to garner international support.

“The whole country is rising, everyone in the world supports us. This is extremely nice,” said Julia Vashenko, a 29-year-old teacher.

“I believe that wherever there is Ukraine now and there is an opportunity to talk about the war, we need to talk,” said Alexandra Konovalova, a 23-year-old makeup artist in Kharkiv. “Any competitions are important now, because of them more people learn about what is happening now.”

The winner is chosen in equal parts by panels of music experts in each competing nation and votes by the viewing public — leaving room for an upset. Britain’s Sam Ryder and Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs are each given a 10% shot while the Italian duo of Mahmood & Blanco have a 6% chance of winning.

The winner takes home a glass microphone trophy and a potential career boost.

The event was hosted by Italy after local rock band Maneskin won last year in Rotterdam. The victory shot the Rome-based band to international fame, opening for the Rolling Stones and appearing on Saturday Night Live and numerous magazine covers in their typically genderless costume code.

Twenty bands were chosen in two semifinals this week and were competing along with the Big Five of Italy, Britain, France, Germany and Spain, which have permanent berths because of their financial support of the contest. 

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Fred Ward, a veteran actor who brought a gruff tenderness to tough-guy roles in such films as The Right Stuff, The Player and Tremors, has died. He was 79.

Ward died Sunday, his publicist Ron Hofmann said Friday. No cause or place of death was disclosed per the family’s wishes.

Ward earned a Golden Globe and shared the Venice Film Festival ensemble prize for his performance in Robert Altman’s Short Cuts, and played the title character in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. He also reached new heights playing Mercury 7 astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom in 1983′s Academy Award-nominated film The Right Stuff.

“Devastated to learn about the passing of my friend, Fred Ward,” tweeted actor Matthew Modine, who co-starred with Ward in Short Cuts and Alan Rudolph’s Equinox. “A tough façade covering emotions as deep as the Pacific Ocean. Godspeed amigo.”

A former boxer, lumberjack in Alaska and short-order cook who served in the U.S. Air Force, Ward was a San Diego native who was part Cherokee. One early big role was alongside Clint Eastwood in 1979’s Escape From Alcatraz.

“I mourn the loss of Fred Ward, who was so kind to me when we worked together on Remo Williams,” actor Kate Mulgrew tweeted. “Decent and modest and utterly professional, he disarmed with a smile that was at once warm and mischievous.”

Ward’s other roles included a rumpled cop chasing a psychotic criminal played by Alec Baldwin in George Armitage’s Miami Blues. He was a formidable and intimidating father to both Freddie Prinze Jr.’s character in Summer Catch and David Spade’s title character in Joe Dirt.

Ward played President Ronald Reagan in the 2009 Cold War espionage thriller Farewell and had a supporting role in the 2013 action flick 2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.

In the horror-comedy Tremors, Ward paired with Kevin Bacon to play a pair of repairmen who end up saving a hardscrabble Nevada desert community beset by giant underground snakes.

With the sexually charged, NC-17 Henry & June, Ward showed more than just grit. Based on the book by Anais Nin and directed by Philip Kaufman, Ward played novelist Henry Miller, opposite Maria de Medeiros as Nin and Uma Thurman as Miller’s wife, June. “My rear end seemed to have something to do with (that rating),” he told The Washington Post.

He also reteamed with Altman for the part of a studio security chief in the director’s 1992 Hollywood satire The Player, and played a union activist and Meryl Streep’s workmate in Mike Nichols’ Silkwood in 1983.

Ward demonstrated his comedy chops playing a terrorist intent on blowing up the Academy Awards in Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult in 1994.

On the small screen, he had recurring roles on NBC’s ER playing the father of Maura Tierney’s Abby Lockhart in 2006-07 and guest starred on such series as Grey’s Anatomy, Leverage and United States of Tara. Ward most recently appeared in the second season of HBO’s True Detective as the retired cop father of Colin Farrell’s Detective Ray Velcoro.

Ward is survived by his wife of 27 years, Marie-France Ward, and his son, Django Ward.

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