New York-Based Railway Fans Help Fan Awareness of Trains

There are fans for all kinds of things, from sports to birds to stamps. This is true for trains as well. VOA’s Aunshuman Apte reports.

ЄС виключив колишнього російського голову Севастополя з санкційного списку

Раніше суд ЄС ухвалив виключити Овсяннікова з санкційного списку, тому що більше не обіймає посади, за роботу на яких він потрапив під санкції

ГУР заявляє, що «Газпром» створює власну ПВК. Росія каже про «охоронну організацію»

У ГУР кажуть, що таким чином в Росії продовжується «гонка озброєнь» серед основних політичних гравців, які активно створюють приватні армії»

Землетрус у Туреччині й Сирії: відомо про загибель понад 5000 людей

Зруйновані тисячі будинків, постраждали десятки міст. Рятувальні роботи тривають

ЄС зробив два винятки зі стелі цін на російські нафтопродукти

З 5 лютого почали діяти стелі цін на російські нафтопродукти, які узгодили країни «Групи семи», Євросоюз та Австралія для скорочення доходів Росії, які допомагають їй продовжувати війну проти України

Кадиров запропонував після України «денацифікувати» Польщу і боротися там «із сатанізмом»

Кадиров додав, що «неодноразово заявляв, що боротьба із сатанізмом має продовжуватися по всій Європі і в першу чергу на території Польщі»

Землетрус у Туреччині і Сирії: число загиблих зросло до понад 4300

Землетрус магнітудою 7,8 стався в обох країнах на світанку 6 лютого, поваливши цілі житлові будинки, зруйнувавши лікарні й залишивши тисячі людей без даху над головою

Rushdie Says ‘Very Difficult’ to Write After Stabbing

British author Salman Rushdie said he finds it “very difficult” to write after being stabbed last year, in an interview published Monday ahead of the release of his new novel Victory City.

Rushdie, whose “epic tale” of a 14th-century woman who defies a patriarchal world to rule a city hits U.S. shelves Tuesday, said the attack had scarred him mentally.

“There is such a thing as PTSD you know,” the 75-year-old told the New Yorker magazine in his first interview since the August 12 stabbing at a conference in Chautauqua in upstate New York.

“I’ve found it very, very difficult to write. I sit down to write, and nothing happens. I write, but it’s a combination of blankness and junk, stuff that I write and that I delete the next day. I’m not out of that forest yet, really,” he added.

The award-winning novelist, a naturalized American citizen who has lived in New York for 20 years, lost sight in one eye and the use of one hand, his agent said in October.

Rushdie told journalist David Remnick that “big injuries are healed” but he was not able to type very well because of a lack of feeling in some fingertips.

“I’ve been better. But, considering what happened, I’m not so bad,” said the Indian-born author, describing himself as “lucky.”

Rushdie lived in hiding for years after Iran’s first supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ordered his killing for what he deemed the blasphemous nature of The Satanic Verses, published in 1988.

The attack shocked the West but was welcomed by extremists in Muslim countries such as Iran and Pakistan.

Words ‘the only victors’

Rushdie was asked whether he thought it had been a mistake to let his guard down in recent decades.

“I’m asking myself that question, and I don’t know the answer to it,” he said. “Three-quarters of my life as a writer has happened since the fatwa. In a way, you can’t regret your life.”

Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old from New Jersey with roots in Lebanon, was arrested immediately after the attack and pleaded not guilty to assault charges.

“I blame him,” said Rushdie, simply.

Victory City purports to be a translation of a historical epic originally written in Sanskrit. It’s his 15th novel and was penned before the attack.

The much-anticipated work tells the tale of young orphan girl Pampa Kampana who is endowed by a goddess with magical powers and founds the city, in modern-day India, of Bisnaga, which translates as Victory City.

While not personally promoting the book, Rushdie has begun to communicate via social media on Twitter, most often to share press reviews of his new novel.

An icon of free speech since he was subjected to the fatwa that forced him into hiding, Rushdie is still an outspoken defender of the power of words.

His new work follows a heroine on a mission to “give women equal agency in a patriarchal world,” according to publisher Penguin Random House’s summary.

The book tells the tale of Pampa Kampana’s creation of a city and of its downfall.

A triumph

“Over the next 250 years, Pampa Kampana’s life becomes deeply interwoven with Bisnaga’s, from its literal sowing from a bag of magic seeds to its tragic ruination in the most human of ways: the hubris of those in power,” it added.

The novel concludes with the statement: “Words are the only victors.”

U.S. author Colum McCann wrote in The New York Times that his friend Rushdie was saying “something quite profound” in his new novel.

“In the face of danger, even in the face of death, he manages to say that storytelling is one currency we all have,” said McCann.

The Atlantic magazine called it a “triumph — not because it exists, but because it is utterly enchanting.”

Born in Mumbai in 1947, Rushdie published his first novel Grimus in 1975, and gained worldwide fame six years later with Midnight’s Children, which won him the Booker Prize.

Victory City will be released in Britain Thursday.

Antique Rugs From Caucasus, Iran, Turkey Reflect History in Patterns

Centuries-old weavings from the Caucasus, Iran and Turkey show the individual stories and intertwined histories of the region in a museum exhibit in the Western U.S. state of Colorado. VOA Correspondent Scott Stearns has our story.

США запровадять мито в розмірі 200% на російський алюміній – Bloomberg

Головним російським експортером алюмінію є компанія «РусАл», заснована бізнесменом Олегом Дерипаскою. Дерипаска був включений до списку санкцій ще до широкомасштабного російського вторгнення в Україну

США не повернуть Китаю повітряну кулю, збиту поблизу атлантичного узбережжя

Повітряна куля мала висоту близько 60 метрів і переміщувала корисний вантаж вагою кількасот кілограмів

Singer Shervin Hajipour’s Grammy Win Thrills Iranian Social Media Users

Iran-based singer Shervin Hajipour’s Grammy Award for a song he produced last year in honor of Iran’s peaceful protest movement against Islamist rule has prompted an outpouring of positive reactions from Iranian social media users.

U.S. first lady Jill Biden announced Hajipour’s win of the U.S. Recording Academy’s first-ever Song for Social Change Special Merit Award at Sunday’s annual ceremony in Los Angeles.

Hajipour produced the award-winning song “Baraye” in September with lyrics drawn from social media posts in which other Iranians stated what they were protesting “for” and “because of.”

The song, which he posted on his Instagram account, became an instant hit and a protest anthem, garnering 40 million views in its first 48 hours. But it also led to his arrest by Iranian security forces on September 29. He was released on bail on October 4 but still faces charges of spreading anti-government “propaganda” and “instigating violence.” He also has been barred from leaving the country, according to Iran’s Human Rights Activist News Agency.

Social media reactions to Hajipour’s Grammy were overwhelmingly positive, as observed by VOA Persian.

The singer was seen reacting to his win early Monday morning Iran time in an Instagram video posted by his friend Amirparsa Neshat.

The video showed Hajipour with several other people in the living room of a home inside Iran, watching a TV screen showing the U.S. first lady announcing his award. The people in the room erupted in cheers and embraced the singer, who appeared to wipe away tears.

Neshat also posted a video of himself hours later saying, “Wow, I cannot believe it. We didn’t sleep from last night. It was worth it. It was a great feeling. I hope when you are waking in the morning, you get the good news instead of [execution] news!”

Hajipour’s own response to the award was a simple “We won” message posted to his Instagram account along with a black-and-white photo of himself.

Some Iranians loyal to the country’s ruling Islamist clerics tried to discredit Hajipour’s award, posting social media messages calling it a political move. 

But in a sign of how much the song resonated within Iran, an Iranian activist posted an audio clip Monday on Twitter with a recording of what he said was a group of prisoners in the Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary singing “Baraye” in a phone call made from the prison sometime in the last few months.

The activist who posted the video, Shahriyar Shams, was recently freed from prison after being jailed for his involvement in the protests that began in September.

In the recording, the voices singing the song are interrupted several times by a recording that appears to be a typical automated announcement of a phone call being made from the prison to someone on the outside. 

Manchester City Accused of Misleading Premier League over Finances

Manchester City was accused by the Premier League on Monday of providing misleading information about its finances over a nine-year period when the club was attempting to establish itself as a force in English and European soccer following its takeover by Abu Dhabi’s ruling family.

The explosive development came at the end of a four-year investigation by the world’s most popular soccer league in the wake of leaked club emails and documents from City officials that were published by German magazine Der Spiegel in November 2018.

The Premier League released a long statement detailing a list of about 80 alleged breaches of its financial rules by City from 2009-18, the first nine full seasons under Abu Dhabi ownership. In that time, the team won three Premier League titles — in 2012, 2014 and 2018 — in what has become the most successful period in City’s 143-year history.

The league also accused City of 30 more breaches relating to its alleged failure to co-operate with the investigation since December 2018.

The league said it has referred the breaches to an independent commission ahead of a confidential hearing.

In a statement, City said it was “surprised” by the allegations, “particularly given the extensive engagement and vast amount of detailed materials that the EPL (English Premier League) has been provided with.

“The club welcomes the review of this matter by an independent commission to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position,” City said. “As such we look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all.”

The Premier League has accused City of breaching rules requiring provision “in utmost good faith” of “accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position” between 2009-18 and failing to give “full details of manager remuneration in its relevant contracts” from 2009-13. Roberto Mancini was manager during that period.

The third and fourth offenses are a failure to comply with UEFA regulations from 2013-18 and the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules from 2015-18.

For the fifth offense, City is accused of breaching rules requiring clubs to “co-operate with and assist the Premier League with its investigations” from December 2018 to the present day.

City, the defending Premier League champion and a team owning some of the world’s top players like Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne, could be at risk of severe punishment. The league’s rule book gives a disciplinary commission powers to impose a range of sanctions plus the wider scope of “such other penalty as it shall think fit.”

A large fine seems inevitable if the charges are proven. Also in play is a point deduction, a title nullified or even being expelled from the league, according to league rules.

City never disputed that the documents leaked by Der Spiegel were authentic, but has argued the evidence was stolen and reported out of context.

While City was under investigation by the Premier League, the club had a two-year ban from European club competitions overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2020 after UEFA ruled City committed “serious breaches” of financial fair play regulations from 2012-16. That case arose on the back of the leaked information, too.

City was not fully cleared of wrongdoing, though the court said some of the allegations were not proven or could not be judged because of a statute of limitations in UEFA rules. There are no such time limits on the finances under investigation by the Premier League.

CAS also fined City 10 million euros (then $11.3 million) for failing to cooperate with investigators. The club’s “blatant disregard” should be “strongly condemned,” the court’s judges said.

City has been transformed into an English soccer power since being bought in September 2008 by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family.

Under its Abu Dhabi ownership, City — which previously lived in the shadow of neighbor Manchester United — has won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and six English League Cups.

The team is in second place in the Premier League midway through this season, five points behind Arsenal having played one game more.

Україна готова направити велику групу рятувальників до Туреччини – Кулеба

Землетрус магнітудою 7,8 стався на півдні Туреччини і на півночі Сирії в ніч на 6 лютого. За останніми даними, загинули понад 1300 людей, тисячі поранені. Вдень 6 лютого стався ще один землетрус магнітудою 7,7

Hmong Immigrant Story by Cambodian Filmmaker Set for Premiere

The success of the critically acclaimed 2022 film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has put a spotlight on Asian representation in the U.S. film industry. Now, an American actor of Hmong descent and a Cambodian American filmmaker have made a new movie about the Asian experience in the United States. VOA’s Chetra Chap reports.

Кремль: голова МАГАТЕ не зустрінеться з Путіним під час візиту до Москви

Речник Кремля Дмитро Пєсков заявив журналістам 6 лютого, що Ґроссі зустрінеться із представниками державної атомної енергетичної компанії «Росатом» і Міністерства закордонних справ, і що Москва очікує «предметного діалогу»

Землетрус у Туреччині і Сирії: за останніми даними, понад 1300 людей загинули

Десятки урядів країн і міжнародних організацій зголосилися надати допомогу постраждалим від землетрусу

Beyonce Is Most Decorated Grammy Artist

Beyonce’s four wins were one of many highlights of Sunday’s Grammys, making her the artist with the most Grammys ever.

Beyonce, the Queen Bee, can now proudly wear the crown of most decorated artist in Grammy history, breaking the 26-year record held by the late Hungarian-British conductor Georg Solti.

However, she was not in the room when she broke Solti’s record. Host Trevor Noah said she was stuck in traffic, clearly news to some of her Beehive fans, and showing that the Queen suffers some of the same problems as mere mortals.

Beyonce was up for album of the year but was beat out by Harry Styles for that honor.

Sunday’s show was a lively mix of music, musicians, fans and U.S. First Lady Jill Biden.

In fact, a 70-plus-year old fan read the card announcing Styles’ best album victory.

Earlier in the show, there was video of the senior citizen fan attending a Styles concert with her granddaughter.

Beyonce bypassed Solti’s record with her win for best dance/electronic music album for “Renaissance.” After thanking her family in her acceptance speech, she also thanked “the queer community for your love and for inventing the genre.”

Biden introduced a new category — Best Song for Social Change category. She also announced the Grammy for best song.

The first winner of the social change category was Iranian singer and songwriter Shervin Hajipour for the song Baraye which Biden described as a “powerful and poetic call for freedom and women’s rights.” It contains the phrase “women, life, freedom” that has become synonymous with the Iranian protests.

Biden also presented Bonnie Raitt with the best song Grammy for “Just Like That.”

Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ “Unholy” won for best pop duo-group performance. Petras told the audience that she is “the first transgender woman to win the award.”

Another highlight of Sunday’s show was a wonderful array of hip hop artists celebrating the 50th anniversary of the genre. What could be better than The Roots playing for Missy Elliot, Salt ‘N Pepa, Queen Latifah, Run DMC, Busta Rhymes, Grandmaster Flash, and Public Enemy.

Actor Viola Davis won a Grammy in a part of the show that was not televised. Her Grammy for the narration of her memoir initiated her into that rarified EGOT group — artists who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.