People: Oprah Winfrey gives grants to 'home' cities

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Oprah Winfrey gives grants to 'home' cities

Oprah Winfrey is giving grants to the cities she's called home through her $12 million coronavirus relief fund.

She announced Wednesday that her Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation will donate money to organizations dedicated to helping underserved communities in Chicago; Baltimore; Nashville, Tennessee; Milwaukee; and Kosciusko, Mississippi, where she was born.

"The reason I'm talking about it is because there is going to be a need for people of means to step up," Winfrey said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I mean, this thing is not going away. Even when the virus is gone, the devastation left by people not being able to work for months who were holding on paycheck to paycheck, who have used up their savings — people are going to be in need. So my thing is, look in your own neighborhood, in your own backyard to see how you can serve and where your service is most essential. That is the real essential work, I think, for people of means."

Song critical of Polish leader gone from chart

A song took aim at an alleged abuse of power by Poland's ruling party leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski. It rose to the top of the chart of a public radio station. Then it disappeared.

The public broadcaster is now accused of censorship. The scandal, which has been a top issue of public debate in recent days, has prompted several resignations from the station, Radio Trojka, and left some musicians vowing to boycott it.

The affair has created new worries about media freedom in Poland. Since Kaczynski's party won power in 2015, it has used public media as a propaganda tool in violation of its mandate to be neutral. In the past five years, Poland has fallen in the World Press Freedom Index from 18th to 62nd place.

Kaczynski isn't himself accused of ordering the removal of the song from a listener-voted chart, and members of the government have also been critical of what happened. Instead, the song's removal is seen as the kind of self-censorship that happens by overzealous underlings in a system where democratic standards are under threat.

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Italian woman wins $1.1M Picasso

An Italian accountant whose son bought her the raffle ticket as a Christmas present won a Pablo Picasso oil painting valued at $1.1 million in a charity draw Wednesday.

Claudia Borgogno summed up her amazement in one word: "Incredible."

"I have never won anything before," the 58-year-old told The Associated Press from her home in Ventimiglia, northern Italy.

The ticket was picked out in an electronic draw at the auction house Christie's in Paris.

The billionaire art collector who provided it, David Nahmad, said the work, "Nature Morte," is worth "at least two, three times" $1.1M.

The 51,140 tickets sold online for $109 each. Proceeds are going to provide water for villagers in Madagascar and Cameroon.

Today's birthdays: Actor Michael Constantine ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding," "Room 222") is 93. Songwriter Bernie Taupin is 70. Model Naomi Campbell is 50. Actress Maggie Q ("Insurgent," "Divergent") is 41. Actress Molly Ephraim ("Last Man Standing") is 34. Actress Anna Baryshnikov ("Superior Donuts") is 28.

— The Associated Press


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