Colin Dwyer

Jonas Mekas, an underground filmmaker whose influence looms as large as the archives he helped create, died Wednesday morning at the age of 96. The Lithuanian-born director, critic, archivist and poet died "peacefully at home, with family at his side," according to the Anthology Film Archives that he co-founded.

The organization did not specify the cause of his death.

It has been a long, long time since New York City's newsstands have been bereft of copies of The Forward. Founded as a Yiddish-language daily in 1897, the newspaper once known as The Jewish Daily Forward endured a host of major changes over its long life span — but through them all, the small publication reliably went to press with news that its predominantly American Jewish audience often couldn't find elsewhere.

But that will change come springtime.

Less than a week after hundreds of Christian protesters descended on the Haifa Museum of Art, clashing with police in a demonstration against a controversial sculpture, the Israeli city's mayor says the object of their outrage is getting withdrawn. Einat Kalisch-Rotem announced Wednesday that McJesus, a work of art depicting a crucified Ronald McDonald, "will be removed and returned as soon as possible."

Updated at 5:24 p.m. ET

With the U.K. fast approaching the March 29 deadline for when it will leave the European Union, the prospects for an orderly, on-time Brexit — or even any Brexit at all — have dimmed considerably. On Tuesday evening, British lawmakers rejected the deal Prime Minister Theresa May had reached with the EU, opening a Pandora's box of possible outcomes to be considered in the weeks to come.

And the result of the critical vote wasn't even particularly close.

Updated July 16 at 3:06 p.m. ET

R. Kelly is no stranger to unsettling allegations.

The R&B superstar born Robert Kelly ushered in 2019 dogged by a slew of damaging headlines — prompted by TV's Surviving R. Kelly. But the roots of the broad case laid out in the six-part Lifetime docuseries, filled as it is with claims of abuse and statutory rape, date back about a quarter century at least.

Updated at 8:15 a.m. ET Thursday

Jill Rorem, like many Americans, had made some special plans for the holidays. The Chicago native, whose legal work often brings her to Washington, D.C., was finally going to get to see the nation's capital with her arts-obsessed kids.

Black directors had a "banner year" in 2018, according to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. The organization, which tracks diversity in Hollywood, says there were 16 black directors with films among last year's 100 top-grossing scripted movies — a big leap from 2017, when there were only six.

The tally in 2018 is by far the most the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative has recorded in a single year, and it doubles the number found in 2007, the group's first year of data.

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Updated at 8:55 p.m. ET

Police in Sussex, England, say they have made two arrests in the disruption of flights because of drone sightings at busy Gatwick, the U.K.'s second-largest airport.

Flights had already resumed on Friday, after suspensions starting Wednesday night and a complete shutdown on Thursday night, leaving weary travelers longing for their holiday destinations.

President Trump's plan to withdraw all U.S. military forces from Syria has triggered disparate responses — from worries in liberated Raqqa and Kurdish-controlled areas to approval from Syrian and Russian officials.

Trump declared victory over ISIS, saying in a video Wednesday night, "We've beaten them and we've beaten them badly. We've taken back the land and now it's time for our troops to come back home."

Three days before voters were finally to cast their ballots for president, authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared something that's become familiar: another delay. The electoral commission announced Thursday that elections to replace President Joseph Kabila already two years behind schedule, have been postponed to Dec. 30.

South Africa is not done with Grace Mugabe yet.

In another twist to a saga fit for a small-screen soap — but writ large on the international stage — the country's authorities have issued an arrest warrant for the former first lady of Zimbabwe. They want her in custody for allegedly assaulting a young woman in a Johannesburg hotel room last year.

A third Canadian citizen has been detained in China, according to Global Affairs Canada, the country's foreign ministry. A ministry spokesperson declined to identify the citizen, citing provisions of Canada's Privacy Act.

"Consular officials are providing assistance to the family," the spokesperson added in a statement to NPR. It remains unclear what led to the detainment.

China's Foreign Affairs Ministry reportedly has said that it was not aware of a third Canadian detained in China.

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