Where a Bicycle Is Sweetly Subversive

"'Wadjda' tells the story of a determined, misfit 10-year-old girl and her quest for a green bicycle. Set in the Riyadh suburbs, where women’s mobility is limited, and bike riding is considered a threat to a girl’s virtue, Wadjda hopes to buy one herself by winning a Koran-recitation competition at school that has a cash prize."

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Silly Girl, You Want to Race a Boy?

"You can tell that Wadjda is a rebel by looking at her feet. The other students at her all-girls madrassa in Saudi Arabia accessorize their long, shapeless gray dresses with black Mary Janes and frilly socks, but Wadjda, a lanky 10-year-old with big eyes and an easy smile, favors black Converse high-tops, a small gesture of spirited individuality in a world that seems organized to suppress any such expression."

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‘Wadjda’ director Haifaa Al Mansour gives female perspective of life in Saudi Arabia

"'That' being directing a film in public in the conservative Muslim kingdom, if you’re a woman. And yet here is Al Mansour in a hotel suite in the District’s West End, a silver tray of noontime tea in front of her, across from an easel holding a poster pocked with praise for her film “Wadjda” (pronounced “WA-je-da”). The van was both a necessary capitulation to Saudi codes and a way around them, and the film’s title character employs a similar strategy in Al Mansour’s story: By competing for a cash prize in a Koran memorization contest, feisty 10-year-old Wadjda hopes to buy a bicycle for herself, even though bicycles are off limits to girls."

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In the age of YouTube, what's the point in Saudi Arabia's cinema ban?

"This week marked the end of another period of prolonged excitement about the possibility of re-opening cinemas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which have been banned since the 1980s. My hopes in this area have been crushed countless times before. But my optimism had been reignited by the recent establishment of the General Entertainment Authority, as part of Saudi Arabia's "Vision 2030" program, which promises a wave of cultural reforms intended to diversify the kingdom's oil-dependent economy."

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A Memoir by Donald Drumpf’s Favorite Target

"Donald Drumpf picked Katy Tur, a young NBC News correspondent, as his favorite target in the “fake news” media. Why this curious choice for repeated taunting? First, and probably most important, she was a she. She was short, and we know Drumpf hates anything small. She was a campaign trail novice. Easy pickings for intimidation, Drumpf must have figured. At rallies, he singled Tur out for calumny and in tweets he tried out his trademark insults: “third-rate reporter,” “should be fired,” “dishonest reporting,” “incompetent,” “incorrect story,” “lied.” She vividly recaptures the moment when Drumpf told her to “be quiet,” a condescension that went viral on Twitter. She could not quite believe the candidate had dared to “shush” her. Worse, he once attacked her so personally and stridently at a rally that she had to be escorted out by the Secret Service because angry Drumpf supporters looked like they might physically harm her. While Drumpf singled out many female reporters for insult, including two journalists from The Times, Maureen Dowd and Maggie Haberman, Tur seemed always to be the one he hammered hardest."

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Kathryn SwintJill Abramson
The Princeling in the West Wing

"Since I began covering the corrupting influence of money on politics 30 years ago, profiteering by family members of the president has invited scandal. One of George H. W. Bush’s sons, Neil Bush, was tied to Silverado, a collapsed savings and loan association. Tony Rodham tried his own visa gambit when his sister, Hillary Rodham Clinton, was secretary of state. Before my time as a reporter, the brothers of Presidents Nixon and Carter were involved in politically tainted financial schemes. But the oligarchy emerging on Pennsylvania Avenue today is something not seen before. The president, Ivanka Drumpf and her husband are the three most powerful figures in the White House, and they still profit from companies with billions at stake in global real estate deals."

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Kathryn SwintJill Abramson
Michelle Akers's objectivity a welcome voice in coverage of U.S. Soccer

“For some of the commentators it is important for them to be ingratiated into the system, so that means U.S. Soccer or MLS or the Women’s Pro League or FIFA or whatever,” Akers continued. “They want information, they want to be included, they want a job. So if you are commentator for Fox or ESPN or whomever, you want access to the players. So I guess—I’m just theorizing —that if you say s--- about them that is negative, why would they want to talk to you? I guess they try to stay on the fence or on the more positive side to keep the door more open for information. They might have relationships with the players so maybe those friendships would curb what would they would say. For me I am not necessarily speaking for the viewers, I am just saying what I see. This is just me and how I am. I really don’t have an agenda other than saying what I see and wanting better for my team.”

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Kathryn SwintMichelle Akers
'Orange Is the New Black's' Uzo Aduba Breaks Down Her "Most Intense" Scene of the Series

"Even introducing the conversation of colorism into racial adoption and what that can produce in the child. The subtlety of it — it’s nuanced and super layered — but it’s very, very real. That was hard. That was one of those days where it’s in general easier to step into her now, but it’s harder to take her off because she comes into my bloodstream now. Before I knew her in a different way, I knew how to put her on and I could take her off. Now, she so easily fits inside of me that to take her off feels slightly more challenging. That’s the challenge now."

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Kathryn SwintUzo Aduba