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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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Devin Nunes warns of ‘zombie apocalypse’ from homeless people: ‘We let our criminals out’

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Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) suggested on Sunday that homeless people are the "zombie apocalypse" even though they have not seen large numbers of infections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The situation out here in California with the homeless population is quite dire and that was before the coronavirus," Nunes explained to Fox News. "It's almost like zombie apocalypse. You've seen the pictures."

"I've got several thousand just in my district," he continued. "It's largely due because we let our criminals out. We pass laws that let multiple convicted drug abusers out. Now unfortunately, a lot of these people -- I call it zombie apocalypse because a lot of these people have done drugs for a long period of time. You know, they're just not well."

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‘A mockery of independence’: Trump to nominate White House lawyer to oversee $4.5 trillion coronavirus relief bill

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A late Friday announcement regarding President Donald Trump's nominee to oversee the implementation of the recently-passed $4.5 trillion coronavirus relief bill was regarded by government watchdogs as the president's latest attempt to protect the interests of powerful corporations while Americans are focused on the coronavirus pandemic.

The White House announced that Trump would nominate Brian D. Miller, a special assistant to the president and senior associate counsel in the White House Counsel office, to oversee the prevention of fraud and abuse in the relief program. The law includes minimal relief for the public and what progressives have derided as a $500 billion "slush fund" for corporations, allowing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to "bail out any corporation he pleases, with almost no conditions," as Patriotic Millionaires chair Morris Pearl wrote last month.

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Louisiana pastor grilled on CNN for plan to pack 27 buses full of worshipers and haul them to church during COVID-19 crisis

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A Louisiana pastor was put on the spot on Sunday morning by CNN's Victor Blackwell for his plan to load up his buses and haul worshipers to his planned Sunday service at a time when the highly-c0ntagious COVID-19 pandemic has claimed thousands of lives throughout the country.

Speaking with the CNN host, Life Tabernacle Church pastor Tony Spell said he was ignoring advice from local officials to not host the service because it would endanger the health of his followers.

Asked whether he planned to go forward despite warnings, the pastor replied, "This morning, yes, sir, 10:00 AM. We will actually run our buses. We have 27 buses that we cover in a 50-mile radius of our city. We bring people into the house of God, feed them natural food and spiritual food and then we go right back into our respective places. It takes us about eight hours to run into service on Sunday morning and then we come back in tonight."

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