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Low-Key Extravaganza

The 55th Venice Film Festival, which will begin Sept. 3, has announced a pared-down program for this year of just 105 films, down from 1997’s 204 movies. Highlights will be honorariums for actors Sofia Loren and Sean Connery, above, and Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda. Festival director Felice Laudadio disparages the star system and Hollywood movies and is aiming for a low-key festival that promotes young directors and politically committed films. The movies that will compete for the Golden Lion, the festival’s premium award, have not been selected yet.


 

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Early exit polls show strong support to lift Ireland ban on abortion

UPDATED: 3:05 p.m.

Ireland’s referendum Friday represented more than a vote on whether to end the country’s strict abortion ban. It was a battle for the very soul of a traditionally conservative Roman Catholic nation that has seen a wave of liberalization in recent years.