It turned out I was just as unprepared as most everyone else for the Swedish Academy’s selection of Doris Lessing to receive the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature. But the award has, as always, turned the just-turned-88 British/Rhodesian authoress into a hot property: her books are now in greater demand, and so are her opinions. And the Spanish newspaper El País has turned up as the big winner in the latter sphere, scoring the exclusive, (somewhat) extensive interview “War and Memory Never Stop” that the world’s other papers can only quote snippets from. (Yes, I don’t usually track the content on El País; I was alerted to the article by Le Nouvel Observateur’s treatment of such interview snippets.) Why El País? It’s nowhere totally clear, although it seems that Lessing has been thinking back quite a lot these days to the Spanish Civil War, something that is of course discussed in the interview. (more…)
Archive for October, 2007
From Germany’s third newsmagazine, the relatively Johnny-(or is that Johan?)-come-lately Focus comes word now comes that the EU is close to instituting a Europe-wide ban on smoking at the workplace. (For those who don’t already know, the previous and still-existing entrants on that German newsmagazine scene were, in order, Der Spiegel and Stern. And the initial inspiration for Der Spiegel – founded right after the War in 1947 – was of course Henry Luce’s Time magazine.)
Such things are apparently under the remit of the European Parliament, which next Wednesday is expected to pass such a law. The only allowed exceptions will be independent workers (I guess those who work by themselves anyway) and construction workers on-the-job. Marc Sapir, named as the Director of the Europäischer Gewerkschaftbund (basically the European organization of labor unions), is cited signalling his approval for the measure. In particular, he says, “The current anti-smoking laws are not enough to protect serving [e.g. waiters] and kitchen personnel.”
Over here on the European continent we perhaps a bit self-righteously presume that we’re in a somewhat better position to act against global warning – and to deal with the inevitable coming gasoline price-hikes, whether there is a war with Iran or no – than, say, North America due to a transport network that is not so predicated on the personal automobile. But then the German newspaper-of-record, the FAZ, comes out like it did today with an article entitled Train Travel Does Not Protect the Environment. (more…)
Meet Elsa: she just celebrated her “coming out” party. Her choice of venue might at first seem strange to you – it was the Milipol Internal State Security Exhibition that was just held in Paris – but not when you realize that Elsa is not a sweet-sixteen debutante, but rather a French-made remotely-piloted, camera-equipped unmanned flying vehicle. She’s not so much into overseas travel – she has no plans to go visit her American-made counterparts in Iraq, for example, mainly because France had the good sense to stay out of there from day one. No, as the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant reports today (Unmanned Aircraft Against Rioters), she’s just a stay-at-home sort of girl – with “far away eyes,” as the Rolling Stones would put it – developed to help the French police keep tabs on evil-doers. (more…)
Maybe we can turn this resuscitated weblog into an international scandal-sheet! You heard it here first!
What did you hear? That the marriage between the president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, and his wife Cécilia is on the rocks. Interestingly, it’s the foreign press, not the French, that is reporting that all that is lacking in the presidential couple’s break-up is the formal announcement. First of all, it was apparently American journalists (which ones or who they write for, however, are not specified) who picked up on remarks Nicolas Sarkozy made on 30 September to Georgian President Saakashvili – they were attending the France-Georgia match of the rugby world cup tournament – to the effect that he could easily see himself as a bachelor again in the near future. And the Nouvel Observateur reports that the Tribune de Genève maintains that the Sarkozys are essentially already separated. For one thing, the Sarkozy’s had been discussing all summer for the benefit of the press their detailed plans of finally moving into the presidential (Elysée) palace come September – yet September has come and gone, and nothing has happened. Then there was the recent state visit to Bulgaria, also noteworthy for Cécilia’s absence – and under normal circumstances she would have been very glad to go to Bulgaria, where authorities wanted to fête her there in grand style in thanks for the very personal role she played earlier this year in securing the release of five Bulgarian nurses, accused of infecting children in their care with AIDS, from their Libyan jail. (more…)
Perhaps it is a bit strange to begin one of my earliest posts for the new incarnation of EuroSavant with a limitation – i.e. a reminder of what I don’t cover – but it’s unfortunately the case that Sweden lies outside our press-review purview. This is especially inconvenient this time of year, for the on-the-scene-and-connected Swedish press, it seems, can be counted upon to provide the hottest tips about the year’s crop of Nobel Prize laureates, just before they are all announced to the world roughly in mid-October.
Fortunately, Germany’s Die Zeit is also willing to survey Swedish sources to cast its own look ahead (Literatur-Nobelpreis: Macht DeLillo das Rennen? = “Literature-Nobel Prize: Is DeLillo in the Running?”), and it is interesting material, if rather too brief. (more…)