Major American movies primarily star white actors; poor white students fall behind their black peers in the U.K.; and a Chinese college nixes its plan to prohibit PDA. These discoveries and more, below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

Why Are America’s Major Movies So Stubbornly White? Of the 30 highest grossing films from last year, only two featured major nonwhite characters.

Banking on Student Debt Colleges and universities are certainly banking on student debt—four-year schools so that they can raise tuition, for-profit schools so that they can engage in deceptive practices and outright fraud.

Donald Trump’s Personal Experience with Questionable Ivy League Admittance Standards Rather than pointing fingers at Obama for allegedly being admitted to Harvard and Columbia based solely on affirmative action, Trump should take a look at how members of his own family made it to Harvard.

An Arab Spring for Women The “Arab Spring” has received copious attention in the American media, but one of its crucial elements has been largely overlooked: the striking role of women in the protests sweeping the Arab world.

Poor White Pupils Lag Behind Black Peers in the UK White, British schoolchildren in the country’s poorest communities lag behind their black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi peers, a Financial Times analysis of more than three million sets of exam results reveals.

Tagging Outside an L.A. Street Art Exhibit Fuels Debate Authorities say the downtown Los Angeles show has spawned a rash of tagging near the museum. The museum says such ‘anarchic’ work was anticipated and is being cleaned up.

Working Best at Coffee Shops Why are many telecommuters most efficient in noisy public places with lots of distractions?

Chinese College Drops Plan to Discourage Kissing and Other ‘Uncivilized Behavior’ on Campus Nanjing Normal University Taizhou College (NNUTC) has withdrawn all notices posted on campus and on the school website regarding rewards for photos taken of student couples exhibiting inappropriate behavior, such as hugging and kissing.

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