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Oliver Stone son in Iran to plan documentary

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TEHRAN — The son of triple Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone, who annoyed Iranians with his 2004 movie “Alexander,” is in Iran to make arrangements for a documentary, Iranian news agencies reported on Tuesday.

“Sean Stone is in Iran to make arrangements for filming a documentary,” the ILNA news agency quoted an Iranian film producer as saying. “He will talk about his plans on Wednesday.”

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The Mehr news agency reported that Sean Stone would start searching for locations soon and was scheduled to be joined by his father in three weeks.

Iran regarded Stone’s “Alexander” as an affront to national pride and refused to give it a cinema release.

Stone made a 2009 documentary about the rise of leftist politicians in Latin America entitled “South of the Border,” in which he talked to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Cuban leader Raul Castro, Bolivian President Evo Morales and then Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

But in 2008, the entertainment industry journal, Variety, reported that Stone had denied reports he was planning a movie about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Visits by Hollywood figures are a rarity in Iran, whose government dubs the United States the “Great Satan.”

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The then president of the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organises the Oscars, Sid Ganis, visited Iran accompanied by a number of Hollywood stars in March 2009.

Iran has a flourishing film industry, which has bagged several prestigious awards at international film festivals in recent years despite complaints of censorship.

Sean Stone, 26, has had minor roles in his father’s films, including the Oscar-winning 1989 movie “Born on the Fourth of July.”

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Russia tells US to ‘mind own business’ over media freedom

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Moscow has told the US embassy to "mind your own business" after Washington's diplomatic mission raised concern about curbs on media freedom in Russia.

Rebecca Ross, the spokeswoman for the US embassy, on Tuesday expressed concern about a clampdown on journalists in Russia.

"Watching arrest after arrest of Russian journalists – it's starting to look like a concerted campaign against #MediaFreedom," she tweeted.

"Mind your own business," the Russian foreign ministry tweeted in response late Tuesday.

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Brain problems linked to even mild virus infections: study

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Potentially fatal COVID-19 complications in the brain including delirium, nerve damage and stroke may be more common than initially thought, a team of British-based doctors warned Wednesday.

Severe COVID-19 infections are known to put patients at risk of neurological complications, but research led by University College London suggests serious problems can occur even in individuals with mild cases of the virus.

The team looked at the neurological symptoms of 43 patients hospitalized with either confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

They found 10 cases of temporary brain dysfunction, 12 cases of brain inflammation, eight strokes and eight cases of nerve damage.

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Russian region near Mongolia testing rodents for plague

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Russia said Wednesday that a remote Far Eastern region near Mongolia had begun testing rodents for bubonic plague after cases of the disease were confirmed in Mongolia and China.

Rospotrebnadzor, the state consumer safety watchdog, said tests had begun on rodents such as marmots in the eastern Siberian region of Burytia, which borders Mongolia.

The results of serologic and other tests to "detect plague antigen conducted in 2020 have been negative," the watchdog's regional branch said in a statement.

Public health officials have appealed to residents of the mountainous Tuva and Altai regions not to hunt or eat marmots after two bubonic plague cases were confirmed in Mongolia last week.

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