Yasar Kemal, Turkey’s Great Novelist, dies at 91

Ayla JeanYackley

Kemal's birthplace, the fertile Cukurova plain, was the setting for most of his stories, including his best-known work, "Memed, My Hawk" from 1955, about a bandit hero who exacts revenge on a cruel overlord. The novel eventually earned him a nomination for a Nobel Prize in 1973. "No writer can be a great novelist without their own Cukurova," Kemal once said.

Russians March in Solidarity With Slain Putin Critic Boris Nemtsov

Polina Dewitt and Maxim Rodionov

Tens of thousands of Russians marched through central Moscow on Sunday, carrying banners declaring "I am not afraid" and chanting "Russia without Putin" in memory of murdered Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov. Families, the old and young walked slowly, with many holding portraits of the opposition politician and former deputy prime minister who was shot dead while walking home from a nearby restaurant on Friday night.

Heirs of Jewish Dealers Seek To Recover German Art Collection

Alexandra Hudson

The heirs of Jewish art dealers who say their families were forced to sell the Nazis a trove of medieval church treasure worth some $250 million today have turned to a U.S. court to reclaim it, after failing in their attempts in Germany. The collection, known as the Guelph Treasure, consists of 44 gold, jewel and pearl-encrusted pieces which have belonged to the city of Berlin's art collection since their purchase in 1935.

Tackling America’s Growing Education Debt Crisis

Laura Storch

According to the College Board, "The average cost of tuition and fees for the 2013-2014  school year was $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for state residents at public colleges, and $22,203 for out-of-state residents attending public universities." Multiply that number by two to get the average cost of an Associate's degree, by four for a Bachelor's degree, and any degree higher is even more expensive, with no help offered through financial aid past the Bachelor's point. 

U.S. Tobacco Companies Settle $100 Million Lawsuit

Jessica Dye

Three major U.S. tobacco companies including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, Lorillard Inc and Altria Group’s Philip Morris USA will pay $100 million to settle hundreds of federal lawsuits over smoking, according to an announcement from plaintiffs’ lawyers on Wednesday. The agreement will cover more than 400 lawsuits filed in federal court in Florida by smokers or their families, according to the announcement.

‘Whiplash,’ ‘Big Hero 6’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

In “Whiplash,” J.K. Simmons plays Terrence Fletcher, a college music professor so brutal and intense that he is literally capable of making students ill. It’s a role Simmons inhabits completely, and it has, quite correctly, become one of the most celebrated performances of the movie awards season. Fletcher is, in the simplest sense, a monster. But he is also capable of inspiring his students to greatness.

A Big Night for ‘Birdman’ at the Oscars

Lisa Richwine and Nichola Groom

The dark comedy "Birdman" held up a mirror to Hollywood and its struggling actors and in return received the film industry's highest recognition on Sunday, the Academy Award for best picture. Director Alejandro G. Inarritu's story of a washed-up, former superhero actor attempting an improbable comeback on Broadway won four Oscars in its nine nominations.

Modern African Poetry Finds Its Voice Online

Lisa Vives

From the pages of private notebooks to the dog-eared copies of rare published editions, the works of modern African poets are emerging with great fanfare thanks to a dedicated handful of writers and teachers building a network of libraries and websites on the Internet. The South African Badilisha Poetry X-change is one such group which recently posted its archive of poems and writings on a “mobile-first” site. 

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