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Lloyd Morrisett, who helped launch ‘Sesame Street,’ dies

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Lloyd Morrisett, who helped launch 'Sesame Street,' dies

Lloyd Morrisett, the co-creator of the beloved children’s education TV series “Sesame Street,” which uses empathy and fuzzy monsters like Abby Cadabby, Elmo and Cookie Monster to charm and teach generations around the world, has died. He was 93.

Morrisett’s death was announced Tuesday by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit he helped establish under the name the Children’s Television Workshop. No cause of death was given.

In a statement, Sesame Workshop hailed Morrisett as a “wise, thoughtful, and above all kind leader” who was “constantly thinking about new ways” to educate.

Morrisett and Joan Ganz Cooney worked with Harvard University developmental psychologist Gerald Lesser to build the show’s unique approach to teaching that now reaches 120 million children. Legendary puppeteer Jim Henson supplied the critters.

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“Sesame Street” is shown in more than 150 countries, has won 193 Emmys, 10 Grammys and in 2019 received the Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime artistic achievement, the first time a television program got the award (Big Bird strolled down the aisle and basically sat in Tom Hanks’ lap).

Born in 1929 in Oklahoma City, Morrisett initially trained to be a teacher with a background in psychology. He became an experimental educator, looking for new ways to educate children from less advantaged backgrounds. Morrisett received his bachelor’s at Oberlin College, did graduate work in psychology at UCLA, and earned his doctorate in experimental psychology at Yale University. He was an Oberlin trustee for many years and was chair of the board from 1975 to 1981.

The germ of “Sesame Street” was sown over a dinner party in 1966, where he met Cooney.

“I said, ‘Joan, do you think television could be used to teach young children?’ Her answer was, ‘I don’t know, but I’d like to talk about it,’” he recalled to The Guardian in 2004.

The first episode of “Sesame Street” — sponsored by the letters W, S and E and the numbers 2 and 3 — aired in the fall of 1969. It was a turbulent time in America, rocked by the Vietnam War and raw from the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. the year before.

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Children’s programming at the time was made up of shows like “Captain Kangaroo,” “Romper Room” and the often violent cartoon skirmishes between “Tom & Jerry.” “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” was mostly teaching social skills.

“Sesame Street” was designed by education professionals and child psychologists with one goal: to help low-income and minority students aged 2-5 overcome some of the deficiencies they had when entering school. Social scientists had long noted kids who were white and from higher-income families were often better prepared.

The show was set on an urban street with a multicultural cast. Diversity and inclusion were baked into the show. Monsters, humans and animals all lived together peacefully.

It became the first children’s program to feature someone with Down syndrome. It’s had puppets with HIV and in foster care, invited children in wheelchairs, and dealt with topics like jailed parents, homelessness, women’s rights, military families and even girls singing about loving their hair.

It introduced the bilingual Rosita — the first Latina Muppet — in 1991. Julia, a 4-year-old Muppet with autism, came in 2017 and the show has since offered help for kids whose parents are dealing with addiction and recovery, and children suffering as a result of the Syrian civil war. To help kids after 9/11, Elmo was left traumatized by a fire at Hooper’s store but was soothingly told that firefighters were there to help.

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The company said upon the news of his death that Lloyd left “an outsized and indelible legacy among generations of children the world over, with ‘Sesame Street’ only the most visible tribute to a lifetime of good work and lasting impact.”

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Reham Khan deflects criticism over marrying younger guy

Reham Khan deflects criticism over marrying younger guy

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Reham Khan deflects criticism over marrying younger guy

Appearing in Hafiz Ahmed’s podcast, Reham Khan addressed criticism on her marriage with a younger boy.

Talking about it, she said, “When people see me, they say, ‘Oh, she married a younger guy,’ but they don’t know that I was first married to a man who was 16 years older than me.

Then, I married a man who was 22 years older than me. So, why don’t they criticise men for marrying younger women?

And as a woman, if I am a divorcée, it becomes a tag, but men, despite getting multiple divorces and engaging in multiple marriages, are never labeled”.

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Talking about whether she allows her husband for a second marriage, she said, “I am not in favour of men having multiple marriages simultaneously.

If my husband wants to marry again, he will have to leave me. I agreed to marry him after seeing the divorce papers.”

Reham Khan is a brilliant host, writer and a social media influencer who began her career from international media as a weather reporter.

She, later on, shifted to Pakistan where she became a prominent Pakistani news anchor.

Reham Khan became a known figure after her marriage to former PTI founder.

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The marriage didn’t last longer. It was Reham Khan’s second marriage.

In December 2022, Reham Khan tied the knot with Mirza Bilal.

Reham Khan is currently spending time in Pakistan with her husband.

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Saheefa Jabbar speaks out against tossing money at weddings

Saheefa Jabbar speaks out against tossing money at weddings

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Saheefa Jabbar speaks out against tossing money at weddings

Model Saheefa Jabbar Khattak has shared her stance on some degrading customs prevalent at wedding parties.

Known for her proactive engagement, she criticised certain customs that perpetuate demeaning portrayals.

She said this in the context of weddings where people as a tradition toss a deck of money in the air.

This act symbolises wealth, and it is intended to be donated to the less fortunate.

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However, Saheefa Jabbar strongly disapproves of this tradition. She stated: “It is the happiest day of your life and your family.

“I understand that I wish nothing but lifelong happiness and a great future ahead.
With this, I would like to add that it doesn’t have to include less privileged individuals picking up money from the ground and bending in front of you.”

According to her, the spectacle of individuals scrambling to grab the money perpetuates an undignified and degrading portrayal of those in need.

She continued: “When you have millions of followers on various platforms, it’s important to conduct yourself with responsibility.

“Putting an end to such customs and traditions is something we people with influence should focus on and the responsibility lies with you.”

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She has raised her concerns over such matters in the past as well and viewers highly respect her for her sensitivity.

One person said: “This is why I love Saheefa. She always talks about important things that no one even pays much attention to.”

Another wrote: “They did this at my wedding too.
“I feel so guilty as I remember little children, barefoot, trying to get the money before anyone else does.”

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London Fashion Week show at British Museum irks Greece

London Fashion Week show at British Museum irks Greece

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London Fashion Week show at British Museum irks Greece

The Greek Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni, expressed her anger late on Saturday after a London Fashion week show took place in front of the Parthenon Marbles at the British Museum.

Designer Erdem Moralioglu chose the impressive setting of the Athens Parthenon sculptures showroom at the British Museum to present the autumn winter 2024 collection of his eponymous brand Erdem, inspired by Greek singer Maria Callas and her interpretation of the opera Medea in 1953.

“By organising a fashion show in the halls where the Parthenon Sculptures are exhibited, the British Museum, once again, proves its zero respect for the masterpieces of Pheidias,” Mendoni said in a statement.

“The directors of the British Museum trivialize and insult not only the monument but also the universal values that it transmits. The conditions of display and storage of the sculptures, at the Duveen Gallery, are constantly deteriorating. It is time for the stolen and abused sculptural masterpieces to shine in the Attic light,” she added.

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The sculptures were taken from the Parthenon temple at the Acropolis in Greece in the early 19th century by British diplomat Thomas Bruce, the earl of Elgin.

Athens maintains the marbles, which are a major draw for visitors at London’s British Museum, were stolen, while the UK claims they were obtained legally.

The 1963 British Museum Act prohibits the removal of objects from the institution’s collection.

But officials at the museum, which is under pressure to repatriate other foreign antiquities, have not ruled out a possible loan deal.

Late November, a diplomatic spat raised eyebrows when Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his “displeasure” over UK counterpart Rishi Sunak’s last minute cancellation of a bilateral meeting set to discuss their long-running dispute over the Parthenon Marbles.

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At issue for London was the Greek leader’s comments in a BBC interview a day before the meeting about ownership of the 2,500-year-old marbles.

Sunak was allegedly angry about Mitsotakis’s comments that having some of the marbles in London and others in Athens was like cutting the Mona Lisa in half. 

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