Saturday, December 16, 2017

Top 5 Songs for Week Ending Dec. 16

We’re gathering the five most popular songs in the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles chart, for the week ending Dec. 16, 2017.
Winter is fast approaching here in the Northern Hemisphere, and sure enough, the chart freezes up this week, yielding no new titles.

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Number 5: Imagine Dragons “Thunder”
Imagine Dragons retreats a slot to fifth place with “Thunder.” This Las Vegas band was rock’s biggest crossover success story with two Top Five singles in 2017.
“Believer” and “Thunder” are streaming smashes, with nearly one billion combined plays. The group may also soon grab more Grammy wins: “Radioactive” took Best Rock Performance in 2014, and this year, “Thunder” and the “Evolve” album are both competing in separate Pop categories. <a class="wsw__a" href="http://www.grammy.

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Musician Helps Toddlers Learn to ‘Pass the Peace’

WASHINGTON — 
On a recent Saturday, BloomBars was filled with energy. “Give me the peace sign,” announced Baba Ras D, holding up his two forefingers in the “V” that is known in the U.S. as the peace sign.
“Pass the peace, pass the peace,” he said, touching his fingers with those of some of the toddlers in his audience, before beating on his drum. “Give me the peace sign!” The toddlers beat on drums, too.
The nonprofit community arts center in Washington rocked with sound and movement, some of it rhythmical, some of it not.
“They are children who can’t say peace. They can’t say the word, but they know how to pass it,” Baba Ras D says about his audience.
His program is called Harambee, which means “all pull together” in Swahili. Baba Ras D, who has Trinidadian and Caribbean roots, created it more than 25 years ago.
“I was not born in Africa; Africa was born in me,” he said.

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Singer Inspires Peace and Unity Among Young Audiences

They say young children are like sponges. They soak up information from all around them unconsciously, and build on that core foundation for the rest of their lives. Baba Ras D, a corrections-officer-turned-singer, is a firm believer in the theory. He created a program for children that inspires peace and unity in the community. And the children love him and the program. VOA’s June Soh met him at a performance in Washington.

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Walmart, Book Distributor Suspend Ties with Tavis Smiley

NEW YORK — 
Walmart and a book distributor distanced themselves from Tavis Smiley on Thursday after PBS said an investigation found “troubling allegations” of sexual misconduct by the radio and TV host.
The moves came a day after PBS said it was suspending Smiley following an independent investigation by a law firm. PBS said the firm uncovered “multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.” His show’s page at PBS was scrubbed on Thursday.
Smiley has denied any wrongdoing.
Walmart, which had been a sponsor of Smiley’s talk show and an upcoming touring theatrical show, cut ties with him. “We take these issues very seriously and are troubled by the recent allegations,” the retail giant said in a statement. “As a result, we are suspending our relationship with Mr. Smiley, pending the outcome of the PBS investigation.

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Retiring ‘New York Times’ Publisher to Be Replaced by His Son

NEW YORK — 
The publisher of The New York Times Co. is stepping down after 25 years and will be succeeded by his 37-year-old son, the Times announced Thursday.
Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. will retire as of Dec. 31 but will remain as chairman of the board of directors, the Times said. His son and current deputy publisher, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, will take over as publisher.
“It is the greatest honor to serve The Times — and the people who make it what it is — as the next publisher,” the younger Sulzberger, known as A.G., said in a staff-wide email.
Sulzberger praised his father as “the only publisher of his generation who took the reins of a great news organization and left it even better than he found.”
A.G. Sulzberger will be the fifth generation of the Ochs-Sulzberger family to serve as publisher since Adolph Ochs, his great great-grandfather, bought the Times in 1896.
The outgoing publisher, who is 66, took over from his own father, Arthur O.

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India Orders Movie Moguls to Avoid the Weinstein Effect

MUMBAI — 
India has issued a rare diktat to its powerful movie moguls, reminding Bollywood to keep women safe from the sort of sex abuse allegations poisoning the U.S. film industry.
India’s minister for women and child welfare Maneka Gandhi wrote to major production houses on Wednesday, asking them to comply with the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, which stipulates a series of processes to protect women at work.
“Bollywood filmmakers are ethically and legally accountable for the safety of not only their direct employees but of all outsourced and temporary staff as well,” read a tweet posted by Gandhi’s ministry, quoting from her letter.
Indian firms with 10 or more employees must set up committees to look into complaints of sexual harassment and ensure that female staff know their workplace rights.

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Homes Go All Out with Christmas Light Displays

Christmas is not Christmas, for some people, unless there are colorful lights and decorations. Some homes have spectacular outdoor displays. VOA’s Deborah Block takes us to Alexandria, Virginia, to show us a couple of houses with over-the-top Christmas spirit.

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Working in Hollywood as an Undocumented Immigrant

A Hollywood actor originally from West Africa recently announced that he is an undocumented immigrant and a recipient of DACA. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, enacted under the Obama administration, allows undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children to live and work legally, in what was meant to be a temporary solution. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee has the story of actor Bambadjan Bamba, and why he is revealing his immigration status now.

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PBS Suspends TV Host Tavis Smiley for ‘Troubling Allegations’

PBS television suspended broadcasts of Tavis Smiley’s late-night talk show because of what it calls “troubling allegations” against him.
“The inquiry uncovered multiple credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS,” a network statement said late Wednesday.
PBS did not specify the complaints against Smiley.
But the show business newspaper Variety says they include alleged sexual relations between Smiley and a number of female employees who say they believed their jobs depended on whether they had sex with him.
Variety says others described Smiley as verbally abusive and that he created a threatening work environment.
The host has not yet commented on the allegations.
Smiley’s Los Angeles-based interview series began in 2004 and airs on a number of public television stations.
He is the latest of a number of well-known celebrities who have been fired or suspended from their jobs because of allegations of sexual misconduct.

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Pakistan’s High Court Halts Release of Ex-Taliban Spokesman

WASHINGTON — 
Pakistan’s Peshawar High Court on Wednesday ruled that Ehsanullah Ehsan, the former spokesman of U.S.-designated terrorist group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), be kept in captivity.
The ruling came after concerns that Pakistani authorities might release Ehsan as part of a deal with TTP’s commander. The court asked the state to continue the investigation of Ehsan.
In a detailed response to the court, the government said it would continue to keep him under custody and investigation.
Ehsan was captured by Pakistani authorities in April. The government has reportedly been questioning him about TTP.
The Provincial Court issued its verdict following a petition filed by a resident of Peshawar who lost his son in the 2014 Army Public School massacre that claimed more than 130 lives, mostly children.
TTP claimed responsibility for the attack. Ehsan was the group’s spokesman at the time.

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