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Archive for February 20th, 2009

no-kissing

A “No Kissing” sign in the Warrington Bank Quay railroad station, Cheshire, England. The sign was installed by Virgin Rail. (via The Guardian)

[And Don’t Sleep in the Subway, either!]

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Near Can Tho in the south of Viet Nam, along one of the smaller canals feeding into the Mekong River, an elderly woman transports ashes bought from one family to be sold to another that will use their purchase as fertilizer (December, 2006)

(Full photo)

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margaret-atwood-002“The acclaimed Canadian author Margaret Atwood has pulled out of a Dubai literature festival after the blacklisting of the British novelist Geraldine Bedell for potential offence to ‘cultural sensitivities’.

“Bedell’s novel The Gulf Between Us, a romantic comedy set in a fictional Gulf emirate, was due to receive its official launch at the event, which claims to be the ‘first true literary festival in the Middle East’.

“According to Bedell, organisers were initially keen to feature the book, but then backtracked, citing its discussion of Islam and its focus on the Iraq war, as well as the fact that a minor character is a gay sheikh with an English boyfriend.

“In a letter to Isobel Abulhoul, the festival’s director, Atwood wrote that ‘as an international vice-president of Pen, an organisation concerned with the censorship of writers, I cannot be part of the festival this year’.”

(via The Guardian)

Abulhoul’s response to Atwood’s withdrawal has been published on the Emirates Airline International Festival of Literature website.

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bibi“Can a hawkish Binyamin Netanyahu . . . surprise the world and sprout dovish wings?”

( via Foreign Policy)

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