This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 2 The family of an American detained in Russia for nearly four years said Thursday that the Biden administration “made the right decision” in agreeing to a prisoner exchange that freed WNBA star Brittney Griner but they are “devastated” that Paul Whelan remains behind. “As the family member of a Russian hostage, I can literally only imagine the joy she will have, being reunited with her loved ones, and in time for the holidays,” David Whelan, Paul's brother, said in a statement. “There is no greater success than for a wrongful detainee to be freed and for them to go home. The Biden Administration made the right decision to bring Ms. Griner home, and to make the deal that was possible, rather than waiting for one that wasn’t going to happen.” Whelan is a Michigan corporate security executive who has been jailed in Russia since December 2018 on espionage charges that his family and the U.S. … [Read more...] about Family of American prisoner Paul Whelan backs Griner deal
Risking a public appeal while caged in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison speaks volumes about the depth of my despair. I have suffered quietly as nearly 2,500 of what should have been the best and most productive days of my life were lost behind these bars. But I am compelled to break that silence now because I believe that the Biden administration’s approach to rescuing Americans in distress in Iran has failed spectacularly so far and unless the president intervenes immediately, we are likely to languish in this abyss for the foreseeable future. I was incarcerated in October 2015 and handed a 10-year sentence after a closed-door trial. The judge ruled that activities such as speaking at university conferences, holding fellowships at Washington think tanks and even having a connection to the World Economic Forum were tantamount to attempting to overthrow the regime in collaboration with a hostile foreign government — meaning the United States. A probe by the United Nations called my … [Read more...] about I’m an American, Why Have I Been Left to Rot as a Hostage of Iran?
Click here to read the full article. We Might as Well Be Dead ,” from first-time filmmaker Natalia Sinelnikova. The 2023 theatrical distribution of the film in the U.S. and Canada will be a partnership between the two companies and be followed by a digital release later in the year. Jordan Mattos of Aspect Ratio will oversee the non-theatrical distribution. The rights deal was struck with the film’s Amsterdam- and Beijing-based sales agent Fortissimo Films. More from Variety Rising Filmmaker Natalia Sinelnikova on Embracing Fear and Chaos in Her Berlinale, Tribeca Debut 'We Might as Well Be Dead' The film, which focuses on the residents of an apartment block situated on the edge of a forest and the inhabitants’ increasingly paranoid behavior, had its world premiere in February this year in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino section of the Berlin film festival. “At the film’s center is the power of fear – a self-replicating system that can shatter social cohesion, … [Read more...] about Dystopian German Film ‘We Might as Well Be Dead’ Sets North American Release
The painter Philip Guston (1913-1980) had a lifelong love of Italy and Italian Renaissance painting and liked to recount a story of once visiting the Accademia museum in Venice in the company of a Russian man who spoke no English. So the two communicated simply by calling out the names of the masters on the walls: “Giorgione! Piero! Tintoretto!” If the artist were there later this year, he could add “Guston!” to that roll call. Beginning May 10, to coincide with the opening of this year’s Venice Biennale, the Accademia will present the work of Guston in a major exhibition, “Philip Guston and the Poets,” featuring 50 major paintings and 25 drawings dating from 1930 until his death. The exhibition, believed to be the first of an American artist in the halls of the Accademia, the greatest storehouse of Venetian painting, will relate Guston’s work to that of five poets he loved: D. H. Lawrence, W. B. Yeats, Wallace Stevens, Eugenio Montale and T. S. Eliot. … [Read more...] about The American Painter Philip Guston to Be Featured in Venice
Brittney Griner may have been the highest-profile American whose detention abroad was deemed wrongful by the U.S. State Department, but she was hardly the only one: The number of American citizens unjustly or wrongfully detained by foreign governments has risen sharply in recent decades, researchers have found. The State Department has not released an official tally of how many Americans are being unjustly held by state actors. But researchers working for the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, which advocates on behalf of both hostages and wrongful detainees and their families, have found that the number of Americans being unjustly held by foreign governments has been rising. “Over the last 10 years we’ve seen a 175 percent increase in incidents of Americans being wrongfully detained,” Cynthia T. Loertscher, the director of research, hostage advocacy, and government affairs for the Foley Foundation, said in an interview. A State Department spokesman did not immediately respond … [Read more...] about The number of Americans ‘wrongfully detained’ by other nations has risen.
Venezuela’s authoritarian government on Tuesday released at least two imprisoned Americans, a potential turning point in the Biden administration’s relationship with Russia’s staunchest ally in the Western Hemisphere. The release followed a rare trip by a high-level U.S. delegation to Venezuela over the weekend to meet with President Nicolás Maduro, part of a broader Biden administration agenda in autocratic countries that may be rethinking their ties with President Vladimir V. Putin in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The talks with Venezuela, which has enormous proven oil reserves, assumed new urgency after President Biden announced Tuesday that the United States would ban Russian oil and gas imports because of the invasion. That move is expected to further tighten the availability of crude oil on the global market, and could raise gas prices at a moment when inflation has climbed at its fastest pace in 40 years. “This is a step that we’re taking to inflict … [Read more...] about Venezuela Releases Imprisoned Americans After Talks With U.S.