March 06, 2015 21:31 UTC

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Young Writer’s Plays Explore Race, Identity in America

02/26/2015
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' latest play 'An Octoroon,' is showing at a theater in New York City. It is based on a 19th Century work by Dion Boucicault. It tells about a white man who falls in love with a woman who is part black. At the time, mixed race marriage was banned in southern US states. More

Audio Politics Share the Stage at the Oscars

Racial equality was not the only political or disputed issue performers discussed last night. Some used their acceptances speeches to talk about immigration, women’s rights, illness, suicide and government surveillance. And the movie of an American sniper continues to fuel the debate.

'Birdman' Takes Oscars for Best Picture, Director

The movie won four Academy Awards in all. 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' also earned four Oscars. The Best Actress award went to Julianne Moore for 'Still Alice' and Eddie Redmayne was honored with the Best Actor Oscar for his work in 'The Theory of Everything.' 'Whiplash' took home three Oscars.

Video ‘Fifty Shades of Grey:’ Big Audiences, Bad Reviews

The movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” opened last week and sold more than $300 million worth of tickets worldwide. That is more than seven times the amount it cost to make the film. The movie has not done nearly as well with the critics. Several movie critics called the film “boring” and “tedious.”

Audio The Language of Love: How Not to Write a Love Letter

Sometimes, you fall in love so hard that you must, simply must, tell the person in a love letter. But love is complicated. Love is hard to explain. And it's even harder to write about. If you chose to write one in English, this story may help. Here are a few suggestions on what not to do.

Video Sudan's 'Lost Boy' Becomes US Chess Champion

In the middle of the 1980s, thousands of boys from Sudan escaped the country's civil war by walking. One of them learned a game to help him ignore his hunger in a refugee camp. His name is Majur Juac. He now shares his chess skills with students in schools and chess camps.

Audio Singer Sam Smith Wins Big at the Grammys

The British singer won four of the biggest awards. Musician Beck was the surprise winner of the major award, Album of the Year. There were also some winning performances by Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett and Rihanna, Paul McCartney and Kanye West. And as always, the fashion was hotly debated on Twitter.

Audio The Epidemic of Cheating in Sports

Throughout time, cheating in sports has caused debate and dispute. Athletes often do whatever it takes to win in competition. Some take drugs that are meant to improve their performance, such as steroids. These might make them run faster or hit a baseball harder.

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

Can animals be artistic? Some experts think so. Painting and music are part of efforts to keep animals happy at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Zookeepers there believe that animals need enrichment just like people do. Their unique pieces of art are popular items.

Superbowl Sunday: The Patriots, the Seahawks and Katy Perry, Too

The National Football League championship game is hugely popular with sports fans and television advertisers. Tens of millions of people watch the game for the competitive play and for the funny commercials broadcast throughout. Many also enjoy the halftime show. This year Katy Perry will entertain.

Video New York's 'Underground Museum' Pleases Passersby

For the past thirty years, artists have been asked to create works of art for New York’s huge subway and train system. The works often relate to city life or to the neighborhood of a station. Some people call it New York’s “underground art museum," with over 250 pieces of original artwork.

Video Rare, Important Art Is Now Only a Click Away

The public has never seen the majority of works in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museums of Asian Art. Now they can be downloaded from the Internet -- in many cases for free. The Freer and Sackler Galleries worked for over 15 years to make digital copies of more than 40,000 objects.

Video Several Surprises in Oscar Nominations

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced this year’s Oscar nominations. As usual, not everyone is happy about the choices. The nominees were announced Thursday morning in Hollywood, California. Few people of color received nominations this year.

Video Elvis Presley's Airplanes for Sale

Elvis Presley is a music legend known around the world. On January 8 of this year, the king of Rock and Roll would have turned 80 years old. This weekend, two of his personal jets will be sold in an auction to the highest bidder. The interest in his planes is just another example of "Elvis mania."

Audio Happy New Year!

There is a song millions of Americans hear every New Year’s Eve. It is called “Auld Lang Syne.” It is the traditional music played during the New Year’s celebration. Auld Lang Syne is an old Scottish poem, and it means “old long since." The song describes the need to remember old friends.

Video Sony Criticized for Cancelling 'The Interview'

The company acted after a group of computer hackers attacked the company and threatened to attack movie theaters that show the film. Most people have criticized Sony’s decision to cancel the release. The US says North Korea was behind the cyber attack. North Korea denies the accusation.

Video Filmmakers Create New Technology for 'Big Hero 6'

Directors Don Hall and Chris Williams wanted the film to be based on some real science, to make it believable. 'We don’t have any super-powered people in this movie. It’s all super technology.' The film was just nominated for a 2014 Golden Globe award for best animated film.

Video Could North Korea Have Hacked Sony Pictures?

United States federal agents have joined an investigation of an attack on computers belonging to Sony Pictures Entertainment. The Federal Bureau of Investigation says the cyber-attack on the film producer took place last month. Many people are wondering if North Korea was responsible.

Video One Direction Breaks Billboard Chart Record

The British boy band's latest album 'Four' has gone to number one on the Top Two Hundred albums chart in its first week of release, just as the group's other three albums did. Billboard Magazine says One Direction is the only group in the history of the ratings chart to do that.

Video With Bonerama, Three Trombones Lead the Big Parade

The New Orleans-based group brings together funk, rock, blues and jazz, creating a gumbo for the ears. Bonerama has horns like many bands. But, unlike most groups, the trombone players lead this band. Reporter Jonathan Evans performed with the band and wrote about it for American Mosaic.

Learn with The News

  • Video A Year Later, Still No Word on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

    Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared one year ago on a flight from Malaysia to China. The flight was carrying 239 people. Malaysian officials have declared the plane’s disappearance an accident. But families with loved ones on the plane still want to know exactly what happened. More

  • Video Trail Rides Kick off Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

    Trail rides are a big part of tradition for horse and bull riders from all over the huge state of Texas. It is a tradition that dates back to 1952. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is where all of them show up to participate in the largest event of its kind in the world. More

  • Audio India Bans British Rape Documentary

    Officials in India have blocked the showing of a British documentary about a rape that shocked the world two years ago. The film includes comments from one of the six men who carried out the attack. His words angered many Indians. Some people say banning the film is not a solution to the problem More

  • U.S. ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, right, covers a slash on his face as he leaves the Sejong Cultural Institute in Seoul, after he was attacked by an armed assailant, in Seoul, March 5, 2015.

    Audio US Ambassador to South Korea Injured in Attack

    Ambassador Mark Lippert is said to be in stable condition after a man in Seoul stabbed him. Ambassador Lippert was left with 80 stitches in his face. In other news, Liberia has released its last confirmed Ebola patient. The World Health Organization said Liberia reported no new cases last week. More

  • Video US Cities Protect Civil Rights Heritage to Increase Tourism

    President Barack Obama will visit Selma, Alabama, to mark the 50th anniversary of a day known as “Bloody Sunday.” On March 7, 1965, police officers brutally attacked peaceful demonstrators in Selma. The protesters were part of a campaign to get voting rights for African-Americans. More

Featured Stories

  • Video Dealers Show Marijuana Products at DC Show

    Industry representatives demonstrated smoking equipment and marijuana plant growing systems. Some even gave business advice about what supporters hope will be a successful industry. But the drug itself was not on display at the show. It is still a violation of federal law to possess marijuana. More

  • FILE - An embryologist works on a petri dish at a London fertility clinic.

    Audio 'Three-Person Babies' Debate Goes Beyond Science and Religion

    Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy uses the genetic material from three people to create babies. The stated purpose of the therapy is to help mothers avoid passing genetic mutations to their babies. Some say MRT will lead to 'designer babies.' Others say it is dangerous, immoral or just wrong. More

  • Steam and smoke is seen over the coal burning power plant in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009. Coal power plants are among the biggest producer of CO2, that is supposed to be responsible for climate change.

    Audio Capturing CO2 Is Costly and Difficult

    Most scientists agree that increasing amounts of carbon-dioxide gas in the atmosphere is partly to blame for climate change. Climate change can have a big effect on weather conditions around the world. Scientists are looking for the best and least costly methods for capturing the gas. More

  • Kerry and Declan Reichs (Courtesy Photo)

    Video Choosing to Be a Single Mother

    U.S. officials say birth rates for unmarried women over age 40 have been rising in recent years. In fact, the rate in 2012 was almost 30 percent higher than just five years earlier. There are single mothers by choice. They are generally older, successful, well-educated, and financially secure. More

  • Audio Young Writer’s Plays Explore Race, Identity in America

    Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' latest play 'An Octoroon,' is showing at a theater in New York City. It is based on a 19th Century work by Dion Boucicault. It tells about a white man who falls in love with a woman who is part black. At the time, mixed race marriage was banned in southern US states. More

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