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‘Sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film’: Robert Frank, photography titan, dead at 94

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Robert Frank, a pioneering documentary photographer whose raw style placed him among the 20th century’s greats, has died, according to The New York Times. He was 94 years old.

The Swiss-born photographer rose to fame with the publication of his landmark book “The Americans,” an unflinching look at US society that proved hugely influential.

Born on November 9, 1924 in Zurich, Switzerland, he grew up in a family of German Jewish industrialists, and became passionate about photography at the age of 12. He trained as a photo assistant in Zurich and Basel from 1940 to 1942.

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After World War II, Frank moved to the United States, doing fashion and reporting photography for magazines that included Fortune, Life, Look and Harper’s Bazaar.

But he grew “tired of romanticism,” and, armed with his gut and a pair of Leicas, Frank began recording scenes of daily life.

His seminal book — published in France in 1958 and stateside one year later — emerged out of a series of road trips across the United States with his family in the mid-1950s, a journey akin to those made by his friend and writer Jack Kerouac and others from the “Beat Generation.”

Classic photographic techniques were of little use to Frank, who snapped away as telling vignettes presented themselves, producing 28,000 images that were boiled down to 83 for a book that rewrote the rules of photo-journalism.

At lunch counters and drive-in movie theaters, on Route 66 and at champagne get-togethers, his gritty, subjective style laid bare a wide range of emotions and relationships, notably racial, that were rarely found in the popular illustrated magazines of the time.

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As Kerouac wrote in the preface to the book’s US edition, Frank “sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film.”

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US Supreme Court agrees to decide if taxpayer funded religious adoption agencies can discriminate against LGBTQ people

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The U.S. Supreme Court has announced it will hear a case that could determine if taxpayer-funded religious organizations, including adoption and foster care agencies, can legally discriminate against LGBTQ people. Monday morning the conservative-majority court agreed to hear Fulton v. Philadelphia, which is being litigated by the far right wing Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

Catholic Social Services is claiming it has a First Amendment right to discriminate against same-sex couples and LGBTQ people, – including refusing to allow them to adopt or foster children – while still accepting taxpayer funds.

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Julian Assange lawyer tells court: After pardon fell through, Trump administration resorted to ‘extortion’

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An attorney for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accused the Trump administration of extortion in a London court on Monday.

The WikiLeaks attorney appeared at Woolwich Crown Court along with U.S. prosecutors, who argued that Assange should be extradited the United States, where he faces 18 charges and up to 175 years in jail.

Attorneys for Assange previously told the court that former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) tried to broker a pardon deal between the White House and Assange if he would agree to say that Russia was not the source of hacked Democratic Party emails.

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Black teens shocked after basketball announcer calls their names ‘disgusting’

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A longtime announcer at high-school basketball games in Oklahoma sparked outrage last week when he said that black players on the Crooked Oak High School lady's basketball team had "disgusting" names.

Local news station KFOR reports that the announcer made the remarks during a game between Crooked Oak and rival Newkirk High School on Friday.

In a video taken at the game, the announcer can be heard saying, "The Crooked Oak Lady Ruff Necks, now their names are pretty disgusting."

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