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Nate Parker appeared to be poised for an Oscar nomination for his film "The Birth of a Nation" until old accusations of rape came to light. (Associated Press)

Nate Parker rape accusation casts cloud over ‘Birth of a Nation’

“The Birth of a Nation” rocked the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, with critics calling the film about Nat Turner’s 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia a searing, violent, thematically rich work. It won the festival’s biggest prize, was sold for a record amount, and had huge early Oscar buzz at a time when the Academy Awards were being criticized for nominating few or no black artists.

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Melvin Gaitan washes down alleyways in Miami Beach, one of the two Florida neighborhoods reporting mosquito-borne Zika cases. High-pressure water set to 250 degrees kills bacteria and mosquito larvae. (Associated Press)

Zika fears, misunderstandings hard to swat away

- The Washington Times

Despite a mosquito hot spot that popped up last week in Miami Beach, Florida, Zika remains overwhelmingly a travel-related disease, challenging the public's understanding of the infection and policymakers' attempts to manage the outbreak.

Illustration on Republican support for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

What Republican turncoats forget

I asked a successful businessman the other day what he thought about Donald Trump. He turned his thumb down. Wow. Are you going to vote for Hillary? I asked with trepidation. "Of course not," he replied almost insulted by the question. "I understand the concept of a binary decision."

President Barack Obama is seated in the presidential vehicle as his motorcade leaves after playing a round of golf at Farm Neck Golf Course in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on Martha's Vineyard, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The humiliation of a president

- The Washington Times

"We do not pay ransom. We didn't here, and we won't in the future." Barack Obama might like to have that one back this morning, to stick a pin in the moving finger that writes. But the finger done writ, and it won't come back to cancel a single line of the president's fatuous fib that the United States didn't pay $400 million to ransom four hostages taken by the president's friends in Tehran.

Trousdale Turner Correctional Center is shown Tuesday, May 24, 2016, in Hartsville, Tenn. Tennessee's newest prison has had to halt new admissions after just four months of full operation. A memorandum from a state prison official about the privately run facility says guards there do not have control of the housing units, aren't counting inmates correctly, and are sending them to solitary confinement for no documented reason. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) ** FILE **

Federal government to phase out use of privately run prisons

- The Washington Times

The Justice Department plans to curtail and eventually end the use of privately run prisons, with officials saying that such facilities do not offer significant cost savings and do not maintain the same level of safety and security as prisons run by the federal government.