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Oscars Tweak Nominations

Rules change in foreign language film, original song categories

(Newser) - After perceived snubs in the foreign language film nominations and complaints about the way Enchanted dominated this year's original song race, both categories will undergo "formidable" overhauls, an Academy honcho tells the Hollywood Reporter. "It will ensure that that the oversight that we had this past year would... More »

Top Vacations Off-Limits to Americans

Iran, North Korea, Somalia have charms ... if you can get there

(Newser) - Here are top spots for an exotic foreign trip—except that Washington has labeled them off-limits or far too dangerous. Foreign Policy lists five:
  • Mt. Kumgang is North Korea's "unspoiled spiritual retreat," but Americans will be quarantined by Pyongyang if they can even get in.
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9 Dead, 100 Wounded in Iran Mosque Blast

Attack scatters meeting of extremist Shiite organization

(Newser) - A bomb killed nine and wounded more than 100 in an Iranian mosque today, scattering members of an extremist Shiite group, the BBC reports. Police and militia have cordoned off the area while medics attend to victims and local media call for blood donations. No one has claimed responsibility for... More »

Treasure Shines Again

National Treasure: Book of Secrets keeps top spot as Alvin out-sings Legend

(Newser) - National Treasure: Book of Secrets shone in the top spot again this weekend as filmgoers kept flocking to the movies, Variety reports. Alvin and the Chipmunks crooned its way into second, humbling I Am Legend, as Mike Nichols-directed Charlie Wilson's War claimed fourth over Juno, an offbeat dramedy that nabbed... More »

Persepolis an Animated Triumph

Critics enthralled with 'landmark in animation'

(Newser) - Persepolis isn’t just a good animated movie. “It’s a small landmark in feature animation,” writes Nick Pinkerton of the Village Voice. Rendered with handcrafted charm in black and white, it tells the poignant-yet-funny story of a girl growing up amidst the Iranian revolution. But “bare... More »

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