VENICE, Dec 5 (Reuters) – If you find the crowds that swirl
around St Mark’s Square and the Rialto a little dismaying, why
not take a look at Venice through the eyes of a different type
of visitor — the writers who have haunted its canals and
The list is long. One website describes nearly 200 literary
works with links to Venice, from “The Merchant of Venice” to
“Death in Venice” and, more recently, Michael Dibden’s “Dead
Lagoon”, an Inspector Aurelio Zen mystery. (bit.ly/11uRrlG)
VENICE (Reuters) – After the Clooney wedding and the film festival, Venice played host at the weekend to a gathering concerned more with literature than glitz: the annual conference of the Anthony Powell Society.
One of the most subtle of English novelists, Powell created an intricate comedy of manners that skewers socialites and bohemians alike as their lives unfold and interlock over the course of a 12-volume “A Dance to the Music of Time”.
JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) – Israel will go on fighting Hamas in the Gaza Strip even after the army completes its core mission of destroying the cross-border tunnels used by Palestinian militants to attack its territory, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday.
As Israeli television showed live footage of some tanks withdrawing from Gaza in an apparent winding down of the 25-day campaign, Netanyahu said Hamas would pay an “intolerable price” if it continued to attack Israel.
Jan 28 (Reuters) – The burning of a library housing
thousands of ancient manuscripts in Mali’s desert city of
Timbuktu is just the latest act of destruction by Islamist
fighters who have spent months smashing graves and holy shrines
in the World Heritage site.
The United Nations cultural body UNESCO said it was trying
to find out the precise damage done to the Ahmed Baba Institute,
a modern building that contains priceless documents dating back
to the 13th century.
LONDON (Reuters) – Algeria’s swift use of lethal force against Islamist fighters who seized one of its main gas fields raised concerns in the West but came as no surprise at home and showed clearly how the government would respond to future jihadist attacks.
By the time special forces had cleared the In Amenas complex at the weekend, nearly 70 hostages and militants lay dead. Some Western leaders seemed unaware of what was happening on the ground, complaining that they had not been consulted about the decision to go in with foreign hostages’ lives at stake.
LONDON (Reuters) – Shoppers in euro zone nations battered by years of recession and crisis are on the hunt for bargains, delaying their purchases until the last minute, or simply not buying at all as post-Christmas sales get underway.
Britain and Sweden appeared to buck the trend, however, with the number of people visiting shops on Wednesday, the day when clearance sales traditionally start, well up on last year and sales volumes high.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian Islamists are planning a mass protest in Alexandria on Friday in a move likely to raise tensions on the eve of a divisive referendum that will determine the political future of the Arab world’s biggest nation.
The Muslim Brotherhood called for the rally after a violent confrontation between Islamists and the liberal, secular opposition in Egypt’s second city last week ended with a Muslim preacher besieged inside his mosque for 14 hours. Rival factions were armed with clubs, knives and swords.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian Islamist groups are planning a mass protest in Alexandria on Friday, a move that will raise tensions a day before the final stage of a referendum on a new constitution that has split the nation.
The rally announced by the Muslim Brotherhood responds to a violent confrontation between Islamists and their liberal and secular opponents in Egypt’s second city last week that ended with a Muslim preacher besieged inside his mosque for 14 hours.
CAIRO, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Egypt’s opposition plans new
protests on Tuesday against a planned Islamist-backed
constitution that looks set to be approved in the second round
of a referendum next weekend.
Islamist President Mohamed Mursi obtained a 57 percent “yes”
vote for the constitution in initial voting on Saturday, his
party said, less than he had hoped for.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s opposition called for nationwide protests against a constitution backed by President Mohamed Mursi, after a vote exposed deep divisions that could undermine his efforts to build consensus for tough economic measures.
The Islamist leader won a 57 percent “yes” vote for the constitution in a first round of a referendum at the weekend, according to state media, a margin that was less than his party had hoped for and which is likely to embolden the opposition.