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British filmmaker Alan Parker, director of ‘Midnight Express’, dies at 76

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British filmmaker Alan Parker, whose movies included “Bugsy Malone,” “Fame”, “Midnight Express” and “Evita,” has died at 76.

A statement from the director’s family says Parker died Friday in London after a long illness.

Parker was one of Britain’s most successful directors, whose diverse body of work includes “Mississippi Burning, “The Commitments” and “Angela’s Ashes.” Together his movies won 10 Academy Awards and 19 British Academy Film Awards.

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(AP)

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Desecrated: blast leaves old Beirut’s heritage gems in ruins

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The monster explosion that levelled Beirut's port darkened the Lebanese capital's future but also blasted its past into oblivion, ravaging many beloved architectural and cultural treasures.

Gems of the city's heritage, including some of the region's most elegant Levantine villas with their triple-arch windows, were damaged beyond repair.

Many of old Beirut's remaining colonial-era and earlier landmarks had already been damaged by 15 years of civil war and decades of government neglect.

The August 4 blast finished the job.

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Arizona swing voters are rejecting Trump’s law-and-order attacks on Joe Biden: focus group

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A focus group of Arizona voters held by NPR has found that President Donald Trump's claims that former Vice President Joe Biden will abolish the police are falling flat.

The focus group showed voters a Trump campaign ad featuring a fictitious elderly woman frantically dialing 911 when an intruder entered her house -- only to be told that the entire police department had been defunded thanks to Biden.

However, even Trump voters in the focus group found the ad to be way over the top.

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Face masks mandatory in Paris as US hits 5 million virus cases

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Face masks became compulsory in tourist hotspots in Paris on Monday amid warnings of a resurgence of coronavirus cases, as infections in the world's worst-hit country the United States topped five million.

The requirement came as France along with much of Western Europe sweltered in a heatwave, with temperatures soaring above 35 degrees Celsius (95 F).

The blistering heat sent crowds flocking to beaches at the weekend despite health warnings about the risk of infection.

In Berlin, thousands of children returned to school on Monday after the summer break, sporting masks which are compulsory in common areas like school courtyards. Schools in some other German regions also reopened, though with differing rules on masks.

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