Blog Posts by Holly Bailey, Yahoo News

  • 50 years later, the JFK assassination lives on in film and television

     A scene from the 1991 Oliver Stone film "JFK," recreates the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. Photo by: Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett CollectionA young president gunned down in the prime of his career, his glamorous wife at his side. A mysterious assassin who fired the fatal shots with almost unbelievable precision and who was shot to death before he could answer questions about whether he’d acted alone.

    Rumors of mysterious figures around the grassy knoll. Questions about the so-called “magic bullet.”

    The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, not only was a monumental tragedy for the country, it offered up one of the most compelling murder mysteries of our time — a story that seemed almost as if it had been scripted for Hollywood.

    So it’s no surprise that over the past 50 years, the Kennedy assassination has played out again and again in film and television, a sign of the endless fascination with a story that shocked the world.

    “It remains this insoluble question because the absolute positive proof of what happened that day is probably irretrievable. The people who could ultimately clear it up

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  • Donald Rumsfeld tries to shape his legacy in new Errol Morris documentary

    Not unlike other veterans of George W. Bush’s administration, Donald Rumsfeld has insisted he doesn’t dwell on how the public regards his time as secretary of defense and his handling of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    “I don't spend a lot of time in recriminations, looking back or second-guessing decisions made in real time with imperfect information by myself or others,” Rumsfeld wrote in his 2011 memoir, “Known and Unknown.”

    Yet Rumsfeld’s latest turn in the spotlight seems to acknowledge he cares more about his legacy than he would publicly suggest. The former secretary of defense is the star of “The Unknown Known,” a documentary directed by Errol Morris that examines Rumsfeld’s strategy for invading Iraq against the backdrop of his long tenure in public life, including his time in the Nixon and Ford administrations.

    The 90-minute film, which premieres Thursday as part of the DOC NYC Film Festival in New York and opens nationwide in December, is culled from roughly 34 hours of

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  • Finding Vivian Maier: A new doc tries to unearth clues about the life of a mysterious street photographer

    Four years ago, Vivian Maier was a literal unknown, a reclusive former nanny whose name had been printed in the paper only when a trio of brothers she used to care for paid to run her obituary in the Chicago Tribune.

    Maier had died at age 83 in April 2009, confined to a nursing home after she had slipped on ice and hit her head the year before. She had no money, no family and few friends. And even to the dozens of kids and families whom she had helped care for during a half-century as a nanny, she had been an eccentric mystery, memorable in part by the old Rolleiflex camera she carried everywhere she went.

    But it turns out Maier wasn’t just “Mary Poppins with a camera,” as one of her charges later described her. When she died, Maier left behind 3,000 prints, more than 100,000 negatives and about 700 rolls of undeveloped film — a prolific body of work that no one had ever seen.

    Much of that work ended up in the hands of John Maloof, a young Chicago historian who paid $400 for a box of

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  • Santorum headed to Iowa ― to promote a movie

    Rick Santorum may be dodging the question of whether he’ll run for president again, but his new day job is at least helping him keep that prospect alive by giving him an excuse to travel to key early primary states.

    On Monday, the former Republican presidential hopeful who is now head of the Dallas-based film company EchoLight Studios, is heading to Des Moines, Iowa, to promote “A Christmas Candle,” a family film his company is backing. Iowa traditionally holds the leadoff presidential caucuses.

    The film, which is being touted as the “feature film debut” of “singing phenomenon” Susan Boyle, is based on Max Lucado’s book about Christmas miracles in a small English village.

    Santorum, whose conservative views on social issues have largely fueled his political career, has scheduled a media availability in Des Moines before an invite-only screening of the film primarily for pastors and staff. That group would be an important base of support should Santorum decide to seek the GOP nomination

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  • Photographers document war and its aftermath in new exhibit

    To some, the idea of war photography immediately invokes the image of soldiers on the battlefield, a visual story that has been documented again and again throughout conflicts dating back over the past century.

    But after a decade in which thousands of people were killed and thousands more severely injured in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the concept of war has become something more human and more personal — in part because of the efforts of photojournalists.

    Through photos, they’ve sought to more fully document how war isn’t confined to the battlefield — but that the daily reality of conflict has a lasting impact well beyond the battle zone, where the scars, both emotional and physical, are hard to heal.

    That’s part of the driving force behind “War/Photography: Images of Conflict and Its Aftermath,” an exhibition that opens Friday at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. The exhibit, which originated at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, features nearly 400 photographs spanning more than

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  • After a bitter election, Bloomberg and de Blasio look to make peace

    NEW YORK — They spoke in voices so hushed it was hard to judge exactly what the conversation was about, but their body language said it all.

    Just hours after New York voters overwhelmingly picked Democrat Bill de Blasio to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the two political nemeses met for the first time, sitting across from one another at a wooden conference table inside the mayor’s office at City Hall.

    The post-election night get-together has been a long tradition in New York politics, a sign of two rivals putting aside the bitterness of the campaign to move forward for the good of the city. But this meeting was of particular curiosity — given that de Blasio, who currently serves as the city’s public advocate, rode to a landslide victory over his Republican rival by essentially casting himself as the anti-Bloomberg.

    Unlike past efforts by political rivals to make nice with each other in front of cameras, De Blasio and Bloomberg skipped any pretense of jocularity and didn't speak to

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  • Mayor Bloomberg focused on his legacy as he prepares to leave office

    NEW YORK — Mayor Michael Bloomberg was trailed by a small army of reporters as he showed up Tuesday morning at a public school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to cast his vote in an election to determine his successor.

    “Mommy, why are all those cameras here?” a boy asked, as the mayor and his entourage passed him on his way inside the polling room.

    “That man is probably on the ballot,” his mother replied, not immediately recognizing the outspoken billionaire mayor who will leave office next month after three terms at City Hall.

    But she wasn’t the only one. Moments later, as Bloomberg picked up his ballot, a poll worker looking to cross his name off the voter roll apologetically asked the mayor to remind her of his first name.

    “Michael,” he politely said.

    If Bloomberg was bothered by his sudden lack of celebrity, he didn’t show it. But it was a notable oversight in a city where Bloomberg is likely to go down in history as a transformative leader — thanks to his efforts behind

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  • What will New York look like under Mayor Bill de Blasio?

    Bill de Blasio has waged his campaign to be the next mayor of New York City by casting himself as a progressive antithesis to incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

    But with the Democratic hopeful on the cusp of what appears to be a win by a historically large margin next Tuesday, the focus is turning to what kind of mayor de Blasio will be and how he plans to deliver the sweeping changes he’s promised.

    De Blasio, a former City Council member who is now the public advocate, has repeatedly described himself as a “Democrat with a capital D” who will bring liberal values to a mayor’s office that has been effectively under Republican rule for more than two decades.

    It’s a tricky balance. Polls show voters are ready to turn the page on Bloomberg — a data-driven billionaire criticized for cosseting the wealthy while turning a tin ear to the needs of New York’s poorer neighborhoods. But his three terms in office, following Republican Rudy Giuliani's eight years as mayor from 1993 to 2001, have

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  • 2 politicians, 2 responses to Sandy anniversary

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg marked the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy Tuesday by revisiting three of the city's hardest hit neighborhoods to call attention to a proposed long-term resiliency project he says could protect the city from another dangerous storm.

    In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie marked the anniversary by appearing on three national TV morning shows, speaking at a statewide memorial service and making quick stops at affected cities all over the state, where he met with storm survivors, volunteers and rescue workers.

    It was two different approaches from a pair of high-profile political leaders who were both widely praised for their handling of Sandy and its aftermath. But each had vastly different goals as they marked the deadly storm’s anniversary.

    For Bloomberg, an independent who has dodged questions about his post-mayoral political future, it was about his legacy. With just over two months left in office, he’s trying to implement as many resiliency

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  • Chelsea Clinton makes sure Sandy’s devastation is remembered

    Chelsea Clinton in Far Rockaway, Queens, NY. Click image for SLIDESHOW. (Photo by Gordon Donovan/Yahoo News)

    FAR ROCKAWAY, N.Y. — Chelsea Clinton knew from a young age how damaging severe weather could be. Growing up in Arkansas on the cusp of the nation’s tornado alley, Clinton had experienced firsthand the fury of bad storms and seen the severe damage left in their wake.

    But she never expected to see that kind of devastation in her new hometown of New York City, where coastal areas were wrecked by Superstorm Sandy one year ago this week. Visiting the Rockaways only days after the storm, Clinton was stunned by the damage.

    “So much of what I saw here was eerily reminiscent of what I had seen throughout Arkansas as a kid,” recalled Clinton, who had multiple friends whose parents lost their homes to Sandy.

    Clinton returned to the Rockaways on Saturday, as she led several hundred volunteers in a “day of action” aimed at helping parts of the area that are still struggling. The event was modeled after a volunteer effort she had organized last year with her father, former President Bill Clinton.

    The

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