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Iran intelligence leak proves influence in Iraq

BAGHDAD - Reports Monday on a trove of leaked Iranian intelligence documents drove home the depth of its influence in Iraq, where anti-government protesters have accused Tehran of meddling and overreach. The New York Times and online publication The Intercept reported that the hundreds of documents


Babel-17

Language, Warfare, and the Brain as Computer: Babel-1 When Samuel R. Delany wrote Babel-17 in 1965, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis was still new(ish) and popular, and the computer-driven Information Age era was dawning. Transhumanism was a popular idea in some circles. All of these aspects of the zei


Fresh clashes erupt in Iraq despite appeal for calm by top cleric Sistani

BAGHDAD- Fresh clashes between Iraqi security forces and anti-government demonstrators broke out in Baghdad on Friday as protests entered their third week, despite a call for calm by the country’s top Shiite cleric. Government leaders also appeared to have refused to backdown, closing rank in


US and Gulf countries sanction individuals and businesses linked to Iran and Hezbollah

LONDON - The US and Gulf countries on Wednesday placed sanctions on 25 entities and individuals linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah. The action was taken by the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, which was set up in Riyadh by Donald Trump along with the six GCC countie


Elif Shafak: 'Istanbul is a city of dreams... but it also has scars and wounds'

  The main protagonist in Elif Shafak’s new novel dies in the end, and no, this is not a spoiler. Perhaps she dies at the beginning. That all depends on how you view the science – it’s inconclusive, but some studies suggest the brain can function for up to 10 minutes after


Iran-backed militias deployed snipers during Iraq protests

Iran-backed militias deployed snipers on Baghdad rooftops during the Iraq’s deadliest anti-government protests in years, two Iraqi security officials told Reuters.The deployment of militia fighters, which has not been previously reported, underscores the chaotic nature of Iraqi politics amid m


Book reviews

  Growing up in a conservative Christian household meant that I was often sneaking around to share the experiences of my peers. But one day of adventuring stands out in particular—the day I first heard the intoxicating opening beat of Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On.&rdquo


'Anything Stephen Fry reads will sell': why it's time we took audiobooks seriously

To underscore the rise of audiobooks in the publishing industry, the Frankfurt International Book Fair this year hosted an in-house conference to discuss the growth of the genre.Speaking on the sidelines of the Audio Summit was Kathryn Taussig, the director of digital publishing house Bookouture.I


'My Past is a Foreign Country': how a feminist meets patriarchy on her terms

  “Patriarchy expects us to play our roles, and these roles are ­scripted,” states Zeba Talkhani in her breakout book titled My Past is a Foreign Country. Talkhani was raised in Jeddah, before living in India, Germany and England, and though she deplores the patriarchal norms


'My Past is a Foreign Country': how a feminist meets patriarchy on her terms

“Patriarchy expects us to play our roles, and these roles are ­scripted,” states Zeba Talkhani in her breakout book titled My Past is a Foreign Country. Talkhani was raised in Jeddah, before living in India, Germany and England, and though she deplores the patriarchal norms that info


Iran-backed militias deployed snipers in Iraq protests: Sources

Reuters - Thursday, 17 October 2019 - Iran-backed militias deployed snipers on Baghdad rooftops during the Iraq’s deadliest anti-government protests in years, two Iraqi security officials told Reuters. The deployment of militia fighters underscores the chaotic nature of Iraqi politics amid ma


Catalan separatist leaders handed jail terms for independence bid

Protesters have hit the streets in north-eastern Spain after the country's Supreme Court on Monday sentenced nine of the 12 accused Catalan separatist leaders to between nine and 13 years in prison. The 12 were accused of sedition over their roles in the region's 2017 failed bid for independence.


The best book you have to read

Three Women by Lisa TaddeoLisa Taddeo crossed the US for eight years talking to women about their sexual desires, and the result of her mission is a best-seller and one of this year’s most talked-about non-fiction books. In it, Taddeo focusses on three women in particular, and through their


Cameron's 'For The Record' unlikely to set many

Washington - by Laura Winter  - It always raises an eyebrow when one arrives at an author reading event and a volunteer is taking written questions in advance, saying "the questions are pre-selected - maybe you'll get lucky". Tuesday night's "sold out" event saw David Cameron - the former Unit


Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke win the Nobel Prize for Literature

Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk and Austrian author Peter Handke have both won the Nobel Prize for Literature.The prize has been awarded twice this year after it was withheld in 2018, following a sexual assault scandal that engulfed the Swedish Academy and "reduced public confidence" in the prize.T


Curtis Brown Creative courses arrive in Dubai to help budding writers

Budding young novelists will have the chance to learn from the best this weekend as a new creative writing initiative comes to Dubai for the first time.Co-hosted by the Emirates Literature Foundation in collaboration with the UK literary agency Curtis Brown, the two sets of workshops will be held ov


US Supreme Court takes up major Louisiana abortion case

The United States Supreme Court on Friday agreed to take up a major abortion case that could lead to new curbs on access to the procedure as it considers the legality of a Republican-backed Louisiana law that imposes restrictions on abortion doctors. The justices will hear an appeal by abortion pro


Widow can sue hotel group over top lawyer’s Egyptian safari death

The widow of a top international lawyer who died while on safari will have her case heard in a British court but under Egyptian law, a judge has ruled.Lady Brownlie has been permitted to sue an Egyptian offshoot of the Four Seasons hotel brand over the death of her late husband Sir Ian Brownlie, who


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