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Nyad progressing in swim from Cuba

U.S. endurance swimmer Diana Nyad’s representatives say she’s covered about two-thirds of her route from Cuba to Florida.

Late Sunday night, Nyad’s team tweeted that she had about 32 miles away from Florida. Overall, the swim was expected to be about 100 miles if she’s able to complete it.

Her team posted on Facebook on Sunday afternoon that she had “swum farther north than the farthest end point of any of her previous attempts.”

During feeding earlier, Nyad mentioned pressure in her lungs. Doctors checked her vitals and reported that her blood pressure was normal and her lungs were clear.

The 64-year-old is trying to become the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. It’s her fourth try in three years.

If she’s successful this time, she expects to take about 80 hours to reach the Florida Keys.

‘Spirited Away’ director to retire

Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki’s animation studio says “The Wind Rises,” in competition at the Venice Film Festival, will be his last film.

Koju Hoshino announced Miyazaki’s intention to retire Sunday but declined to take questions, deferring to an upcoming news conference in Tokyo. “He wants to say goodbye to all of you,” the Studio Ghibli president said.

Miyazaki was not in Venice for the international premiere. His Italian distributor said he stayed in Japan for the domestic release.

Miyazaki, 72, is one of animation’s most-admired and successful directors. He won an Oscar for “Spirited Away” in 2003 and a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement in 2005.

“The Wind Rises,” Miyazaki’s 11th feature film, is a fantasy-filled look at the man who designed Japan’s World War II fighter planes.

Gia Coppola looks for her own voice

First-time director Gia Coppola, 26, says she is trying to find her own voice as a filmmaker, so she didn’t seek much help from either grandfather Francis Ford Coppola or aunt Sofia Coppola.

“It was important for me to find my own voice and try to do it on my own,” she said in an interview Sunday before the debut of her film “Palo Alto” out of the main competition at the Venice Film Festival.

“Palo Alto,” based on a book by James Franco and starring the actor, explores the vulnerability of teenagers through the lives of four high school students in Palo Alto, Calif.

The birthday bunch

Dancer-actress Marge Champion is 94. Jazz musician Horace Silver is 85. Singer Sam Gooden (The Impressions) is 74. Actor Mark Harmon is 62. Actress Linda Purl is 58. Actor Keanu Reeves is 49. Actress Salma Hayek is 47. Actress Cynthia Watros is 45. Singer K-Ci (K-Ci and JoJo) is 44.


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Prominent Baptist leader removed as head of Texas seminary

new  A former head of the Southern Baptist Convention was removed Wednesday as president of a Texas seminary following allegations of “unbiblical teaching” through sexist and demeaning comments to women who he suggests should tolerate abuse.