Arts & Life

Arts and lifestyle coverage from around the globe and Illinois.

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Lloyds Banking Group said Sunday that it would no longer allow the use of its credit cards to purchase Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

"Across Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA, we do not accept credit card transactions involving the purchase of cryptocurrencies," a company spokeswoman said in an email, according to Reuters.

Lloyds said it would block attempts to buy cryptocurrencies starting on Monday — a move that would make Lloyds, the largest British bank, the first to impose such a ban.

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The Winter Olympics start this week in South Korea. NPR's Melissa Block brings us the story of one athlete who is astonished just to be there. Here's her story.

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: She's an accidental Olympian.

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How do you live after you've died? That's the weighty question behind The Afterlives, a new novel by Thomas Pierce, a former producer at NPR who has become an award-winning author.

The book's main character, Jim Byrd, suffers sudden cardiac arrest at age 30 — and survives.

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Super Bowl LII was a terrific football game, especially if you're an Eagles fan. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans was watching for the halftime show and the commercials between the plays on the field.

(SOUNDBITE OF SUPER BOWL LII)

North Korea's ceremonial leader, Kim Yong Nam, will visit South Korea as part of a high-level delegation attending the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics this week amid somewhat eased tensions between the bitter rivals.

Kim is the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly and is the nominal head of North Korea, although nearly all real power is concentrated in the hands of third-generation hereditary ruler, Kim Jong Un.


You'd be forgiven if you went to bed early having chalked up another win for New England.

Three and a half hours east of Los Angeles lies the Salton Sea, a manmade oasis in the heart of the Mojave Desert. It was created in 1905, when a canal broke and the Colorado River flooded the desert for more than a year. The Sea became a tourist hotspot in the 1950's, perfect for swimming, boating, and kayaking. But now, people are coming here looking for something else.

The Trump administration has reversed a key policy for protecting migrating birds. Officials say a century-old federal law is outdated and poses a burden for utilities and energy companies.

Editor's note: An unedited Web version of this story that had been inadvertently published has been removed.

If you've been following any of the news stories in recent years about famous men behaving horribly, then you've surely seen Gloria Allred. And while stories about sexual misconduct have been making headlines for many months now, Allred has been talking about those issues, filing lawsuits and holding press conferences for four decades.

It's February, which means it's Black History Month, the time designated by Congress to focus on the contributions of African Americans to this country. Often that focus will turn to a celebration of the civil rights movement, and its many heroes and heroines: Rosa Parks, John Lewis and of course the Rev. Martin Luther King. What could be wrong with that?

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Cape Town Copes With Water Crisis

Feb 4, 2018

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To an outsider, this most Balkan of conflicts looks absurd: two countries fighting over a name and a historical icon who lived 25 centuries ago.

But the 26-year-old dispute between two southeastern European neighbors — Greece and Macedonia, over who owns the name "Macedonia" — is seen by both sides as existential and essential to national identity.

Greece, which prizes its ancient history above everything else, is especially sensitive.

Some might chalk it up to bad luck; others, to karma.

Robert Meilhammer, 51, of Crapo, Md., was struck in the head Thursday by a dead Canada goose that plunged from the sky after a fellow waterfowl hunter fired a blind shot on a flock overhead. Meilhammer was in the midst of a hunting party with three friends in Easton, Md.

Egyptian archaeologists unearthed a well-preserved 4,400-year-old tomb from Egypt's Fifth Dynasty, a prosperous era where pharaohs ruled, palaces were erected and pyramids were built.

Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany said that the tomb belonged to Hetpet, a priestess to the goddess of fertility Hathor. Female priests were not common in ancient Egypt. Hathor, who also represented music and dance, had a number of them in her priesthood, reports National Geographic.

A lot of people watch the Super Bowl every year.

You know that. Last year about 111 million people watched. The game three years ago became the most-viewed ever, with 114 million people watching.

But football ratings overall have dropped in the past couple years. Numbers for the 2017 season were down 9.7 percent, continuing a decline from the year before.

To be clear, the audience for football is still enormous and dwarfs almost everything else on TV.

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New Orleans Tries Different Carnival Music

Feb 4, 2018

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