Arts and Culture

Legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim dies aged 91

  Legendary Broadway songwriter Stephen Sondheim, widely credited with revolutionizing American musical theater, died Friday at the age of 91. Rick Miramontez, the publicist for the ongoing Broadway production of Sondheim’s musical “Company,” confirmed to AFP that the musical theater titan had passed away. Sondheim’s attorney F. Richard Pappas said Sondheim — known for works including “West Side Story” and “Sweeney Todd” — died suddenly in his Roxbury, Connecticut home the day after celebrating Thanksgiving […]

Bird watching for peace in Colombia

by Hervé BAR Agence France-Presse PLANADAS, Colombia (AFP) – As a bird perches on a telegraph pole, two young girls are deep in consultation — is it “Tiranus melancholicus,” or perhaps “Pyrocephalus rubinus?” The answer is “rubinus,” a sparrow with a bright red breast. In the center of Colombia, among the leafy mountains of Planadas, this ornithological debate by indigenous children might seem surprising. With their eyes scanning the mountain, around 30 people, adults and […]

34,000 protest in Greece on anti-junta revolt anniversary

ATHENS, Greece (AFP) – Tens of thousands of people joined protests in Greece’s two largest cities on Wednesday, marking the anniversary of a 1973 student revolt against a US-backed junta, an annual event that often sparks violence. Twenty thousand turned out in the capital Athens, according to police. Most of the marchers were students, unionists and members of leftist parties. A further 14,000 marched in the second city Thessaloniki. Police were deployed in their thousands […]

Porters carry Istanbul’s trade traditions on their backs

by Remi BANET Agence France-Presse ISTANBUL, Turkey (AFP) – Just blocks from Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, porter Bayram Yildiz waits his turn in a dark alley to heave a huge bale on his back nearly double his bodyweight. A few others linger beside him, picking up textiles from a lorry and lugging them to local shops before sunrise, their heads bowed and their knees bent. “I am half Hercules and half Rambo,” the muscle-bound 40-year-old joked, […]

Planet vs people as Panama’s mangroves are turned into coal

by Moises AVILA Agence France-Presse Elieser Rodriguez emerges blackened from the thick smoke of burning pyres slowly transforming the limbs of mangroves into charcoal — a livelihood much maligned by environmental and climate campaigners in Panama. He says he has no other choice for a living. “This is the daily survival of my family, of my children, of my wife,” Rodriguez told AFP in El Espave, a town about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Panama […]

As COP looms, Prince William awards debut Earthshot Prize

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) – Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson Prince William presented the inaugural Earthshot prizes at a ceremony in London on Sunday, with  projects from Costa Rica, Italy, the Bahamas and India picking up prizes. The new annual awards were created by Prince William to reward efforts to save the planet in the face of climate change and global warming. Five winners were announced, each receiving a million pounds ($1.4 million). The build-up to […]

China’s tutoring ban hits overseas teachers and cultural links

by Laurie Chen and Poornima Weerasekara Agence France Presse BEIJING, China (AFP) — Every morning, Sam Josti logged on from her US home to teach children halfway around the world, just one of thousands of foreign language tutors giving Chinese students a rare window into Western culture. But tutors like Massachusetts-based Josti have taken a sharp financial hit after Beijing’s harsh crackdown on extracurricular classes pulled down the blinds over the world outside for Chinese […]

Treats and tradition in Tehran’s oldest, tiniest teahouse

by Sammy Ketz and Ahmad Parhizi TEHRAN, Iran (AFP) — With his trimmed beard, red scarf and bronze-colored waistcoat, Kazem Mabhutian serves a steady stream of customers in the smallest and oldest teahouse in Tehran, but at 63 years old, he is counting on God to find him a successor. Tucked in an alleyway of the Grand Bazaar, wedged between a clothes shop and the door of a mosque, his 1.5-square-meter chaikhaneh (tea house) is […]

Lightning cuts short NYC Homecoming Concert

  By Joanne Soriano EBC New York Bureau (Eagle News) — The much anticipated “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert” in Central Park was cancelled halfway through the five-hour program due to lightning. An announcement was made for attendees to quickly and calmly exit due to approaching severe weather. The show was initially suspended with attendees asked to find a safe place to shelter, then cancelled. Before the concert, Mayor Bill De Blasio had also […]

A look at the curious “white houses” of Thorn in The Netherlands

  By Marilou Francisco EBC Europe Bureau/ Eagle News Service (Eagle News) — If the United States has the White House, the Netherlands has these old historical white houses which can be found in the town of Thorn in the Dutch province of Limburg, to the south of the country. The town is dubbed as the “White Village” because of these centuries-old white brick houses in the historical center of the town. Although Thorn is […]

Revisiting Heidelberg and Wilhelmsfeld in Germany where Dr. Jose Rizal wrote the last chapters of Noli Me Tangere

(Eagle News) — Know more about Heidelberg and Wilhemsfeld in Germany, and how these places were an important part of the life of Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippine national hero. Wilhelmsfeld is where Rizal wrote the last chapters of his novel, “Noli Me Tangere” from April to June 1886. Heidelberg is a university town in Germany which was also close to the heart of our national hero. Both belong to the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg. […]

Russia’s Ambassador Pavlov, PHL envoy Sorreta laud opening of NEU Russian Studies Center

Note importance of efforts to promote bilateral cooperation on culture and humanitarian spheres between Russia and the PHL   (Eagle News) — The New Era University School of International Relations has officially opened the Russian Studies Center which is seen to further strengthen cultural and educational ties between the Philippines and Russia. The Russian Studies Center aims to foster a better understanding of Russia from its geography and history to language and culture, science and […]