Two iconic filmmakers, Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee, are competing for the most coveted Oscars this year: Best Director and Best Picture. Spielberg’s drama Lincoln has received 12 Oscar nominations, and Ang Lee’s Life of Pi is trailing with 11. It’s unclear who, among the five nominees for Best Director, will win but both Spielberg and Lee have left their mark on contemporary American cinema. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
French and Malian troops are consolidating their gains after driving Islamic militants from key population centers in the northern part of the country. And the U.S. has reached a military agreement with the neighboring country of Niger that could lead to a base for drones to gather intelligence on al-Qaida-linked groups in western Africa. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel has details from Washington.
French forces pushing Islamist militants out of their last strongholds in northern Mali have been met with cheers and gratitude. Only there may not be time for much celebration. French officials are already hinting their forces may leave as soon as possible. And, as VOA's Jeff Seldin reports, the threat to Mali and all of northern Africa and the Sahel is far from over.
The Nairobi slum of Mathare is home to more than half a million people, but it has only three government schools. Low-cost community schools attempt to fill the gap. But most of these educators are inadequately trained -- so one organization is now teaching the teachers. Jill Craig has more for VOA from Nairobi.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who steps down as America's top diplomat Friday, has repeatedly been seen by the public as the world's most admired woman, according to surveys by the Gallup organization. Scott Stearns reports.
A U.S. soldier who lost all four limbs in Iraq was released from a hospital near Washington Tuesday after a rare double arm transplant. [[ TAKE VIDEO ]] Twenty-six-year-old Brendan Marrocco told reporters it is "amazing" to have arms again after losing them to a roadside bomb in 2009. He is the first U.S. soldier from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to survive losing all four limbs.
African heads of state gathered in Addis Ababa during the past few days to consider tough action aimed at confronting crises across the continent. Top on the agenda was Mali. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has more from the Ethiopian capital.
A group of eight Democratic and Republican senators has outlined a plan for sweeping reform of the U.S. immigration system, including a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already living in the United States. President Barack Obama is expected to announce his own immigration proposal on Tuesday. As VOA’s Cindy Saine reports, civil rights and immigrant groups are welcoming what they see as momentum for change.