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.

New Report Finds 4,000 Lynchings Took Place in the South From 1877-1950

Frederick Lowe

The Equal Justice Initiative on Monday published, “Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror.” They reported that 3,959 African Americans were victims of terrorist lynchings in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. More than 90 percent of terrorist lynching victims were black men, and some of the victims were boys as young as 12 and 13.

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. 

Sandip Roy’s Debut Novel Delves into Inner Turmoils of South Asian Family

Regina Bediako

In this unassuming way, through the lens of life-altering events that, as in the real world, just seem to happen, Sandip Roy’s debut novel Don’t Let Him Know gradually explores the arc of one South Asian family’s experience through a collection of sparkling vignettes. There’s Avinash, the man in that dusty Calcutta room who got married instead of getting away; Romola, his wife, who knows about Avinash’s ill-fated romance and hides one of her own; and Amit, their son, in the dark about his parents’ secrets and struggling to find his place between India, where he was born, and America, where he has chosen to build his life. 

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