Gallaudet University in Washington hosted its first undergraduate commencement ceremony since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. Gallaudet is the only university in the world where deaf, deaf-blind and hard-of-hearing students live and learn bilingually in American Sign Language and English. Keynote speaker Apple CEO Tim Cook and Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin, among others, addressed the graduating students. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has the story
Colin Cantwell, the man who designed the spacecraft in the "Star Wars" films, has died. He was 90. The Hollywood Reporter reported Sunday that Sierra Dall, Cantwell's partner, confirmed that he died at his home in Colorado on Saturday. Cantwell designed the prototypes for the X-wing Starfighter, TIE fighter and Death Star. He also worked on films including "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "WarGames." Cantwell was born in San Francisco in 1932. Before working on Hollywood films, Cantwell attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he got a degree in animation. He also attended Frank Lloyd Wright's School of Architecture. In the 1960s, he worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA on educational programs about flights. Cantwell worked with NASA to feed Walter Cronkite updates during the 1969 moon landing. Cantwell wrote two science fictions novels. He is survived by his partner of 24 years, Dall.
Taras Topolya is a Ukrainian rock singer. From the first day of the war in Ukraine, he has been working as a paramedic with the country’s Territorial Defense. But when he has a break, he plays with big names in the Western music industry. Lesia Bakalets has the story, narrated by Anna Rice. VOA footage by Yuriy Zakrevskiy.
At Colorado’s Adventure Room Selfie Museum, it’s the visitors who make the art, shooting social media videos and photos in a variety of colorful settings. For VOA, Svitlana Prystynska went to have a look.
Irish rock group U2's frontman Bono and his bandmate The Edge performed a 40-minute concert in a metro station in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Sunday and praised Ukrainians fighting for their freedom from Russia. "Your president leads the world in the cause of freedom right now ... The people of Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom, you're fighting for all of us who love freedom," Bono told a crowd of up to 100 gathered inside the Khreshchatyk metro station. He was referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Russia, which calls its action in Ukraine a "special military operation," continues to carry out missile strikes across Ukraine. However, some life has returned to Kyiv even though air raid sirens sound regularly. Bono rallied the crowd between songs during his performance. "This evening, 8th of May, shots will ring out in the Ukraine sky, but you'll be free at last. They can take your lives, but they can never take your pride," he said.
During Ramadan, communal iftars, or breaking of fasts for Muslims in mosques, are the norm in the United States, but since the coronavirus pandemic began, drive-through food distributions have become popular. VOA's Faiza Bukhari takes us behind the scenes at one of Virginia's Islamic centers, where a daily drive-through iftar for roughly 800 people is organized. Camera and video editing by Qazafi Babar.
The Buenos Aires design and architecture firm Estudio Normal is honoring Argentina’s iconic butterfly chair in a towering art installation at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California. From the festival, Genia Dulot has the story. Camera: Genia Dulot
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought changes to the lives of many people, and for some, new jobs. Mike O’Sullivan spoke with Max Miller, whose love for history and food led to a post-pandemic career as YouTube creator.
Cristiano Ronaldo took to social media on Monday to say one of his newborn twins has died. "It is with our deepest sadness we have to announce that our baby boy has passed away," the Manchester United striker wrote in a post also signed by his partner, Georgina Rodriguez. "It is the greatest pain that any parents can feel." Ronaldo announced last year that the couple was expecting twins. "Only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness," he wrote on the social-media post. "We are all devastated at this loss," the post added, "and we kindly ask for privacy at this very difficult time. Our baby boy, you are our angel. We will always love you." The family had four children before the twins.