MADISON, Wis. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has an idea for making colleges cheaper — ditch the instructors and start playing online videos for students.
The Republican senator from Wisconsin floated the idea during a question-and-answer session Thursday in Milwaukee.
He called higher education a “cartel” and suggested colleges could cut the number of instructors and increase use of online videos like Ken Burns’ 11½-hour documentary on the Civil War.
Johnson, of Oshkosh, is locked in a tight re-election battle with Democratic challenger Russ Feingold.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The British rock band Coldplay has released a video recorded in Mexico City for its new single “A Head Full of Dreams.”
The video released Friday caused a stir in Mexico’s capital in April when fans discovered the band was shooting scenes in a central neighborhood during appearances in the city. The song is the title track from the band’s seventh studio album.
The video intersperses street scenes with shots of residents looking straight into the camera and band members riding through the streets on BMX bicycles. Eventually they ride onto the stage for a concert before thousands of screaming fans.
Coldplay is touring in the U.S. with a weekend show at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles and another Sept. 1 in Las Vegas.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Apple Music has released new and long-awaited music from Grammy-winning singer Frank Ocean in the form of a 45-minute “visual album.”
The company tweeted a link to the music video “Endless” by the R&B artist on Thursday night. The link is only available to subscribers of Apple’s music streaming service.
The video shows black-and-white footage of Ocean building a staircase in a warehouse over new music, a different approach from the series of connected music videos that Beyonce released on HBO for her visual album, “Lemonade.”
Ocean is credited as the director of the video, and it features a cover of an Isley Brothers song and guest musicians James Blake, Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead and the London Contemporary Orchestra.
Ocean has been teasing information about his next album on his website boysdontcry.co, but representatives from Universal Music Group and Apple Music didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
Fans have been anxiously awaiting the 28-year-old singer’s first album in four years.
Ocean’s widely acclaimed debut album, “Channel Orange,” was released in 2012. The record featured the hit song “Thinkin bout You” and earned him two Grammy Awards, including best urban contemporary album.
Ocean is known for his previous association with the alternative hip-hop group Odd Future. He has also written songs for Beyonce, Justin Bieber, John Legend and Brandy. He appeared on two songs from Jay Z and Kanye West’s collaborative album, “Watch the Throne.”
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia’s second largest rebel group released the first proof-of-life video of a politician who handed himself over to the guerrillas to secure his brother’s release last April.
The National Liberation Army’s release of former Choco state Gov. Patrocinio Sanchez Montes de Oca was initially hailed by the government as a peace gesture. But to the amazement of otherwise war-weary Colombians, a darker truth later emerged — that his brother, Odin Sanchez, had taken his place in captivity at the rebels’ demand.
President Juan Manuel Santos, who has ventured further than any of his predecessors in bringing an end to more than 50 years of guerrilla warfare, was forced to break off incipient peace talks with the rebel group.
In the undated, 11-minute video that surfaced Thursday, Odin Sanchez, a former congressman, urges Santos to resume talks with the ELN. Surrounded by heavily armed guerrillas in an undisclosed jungle location, he also complains about living in inhumane conditions comparable to what he calls the “fourth world.”
“The government laid a trap for the people when it said it was ready to initiate conversations and then signaled that other conditions were required, like the liberation of those who are kidnapped, something that wasn’t fully agreed to,” Sanchez says in one of the fiercer critiques of the government in the video.
The ELN is Colombia’s second-largest rebel group, with an estimated 1,500 fighters, and largely finances its insurgency through extortion and kidnappings. Almost four-year-old negotiations with the bigger and far-stronger rebel movement, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, are expected to conclude in a peace deal in the coming weeks.
Sanchez’s family expressed relief and say they share his wish that Santos resume talks with the ELN. The rebels are demanding a $1 million ransom for Sanchez’s release.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department says it can’t determine who ordered several minutes of videotape deleted from a news briefing about nuclear negotiations with Iran.
Spokesman John Kirby said Thursday the department also couldn’t say why the tape was edited.
A seven-page report says facts remained unclear after 34 interviews of current and former officials, and email searches. The report was shared with Congress.
The deleted section from the Dec. 2, 2013, briefing with then-spokeswoman Jen Psaki (SAH’-kee) included questions about another official’s months-old denial of then-secret U.S.-Iranian negotiations. Psaki said, “There are times where diplomacy needs privacy.”
The department confirmed Thursday the tape was deliberately edited.
Kirby said a technician couldn’t recall who ordered the cut and the tape may have been edited because of a technical glitch in the recording.
NEW YORK (AP) — Britney Spears is returning to the MTV Video Music Awards stage after 10 years.
MTV said Tuesday that Spears will perform her latest single, “Make Me…,” at the Aug. 28 show at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Spears last performed at the 2007 VMAs.
Rapper G-Eazy will hit the stage alongside the pop star this year.
The 34-year-old Spears will release her new album, “Glory,” two days before the VMAs. Spears’s VMA career has included five wins and 28 nominations.
Beyonce is this year’s leading nominee with 11, followed by Adele, who earned eight nominations. They will compete for video of the year along with Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Drake.
Rihanna will also perform at the live show and receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.