Daily Archives: October 13, 2016

France 24 : Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize in Literature

Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize in Literature


Bob Dylan, regarded as the voice of a generation for his influential songs from the 1960s onwards, has won the Nobel Prize for Literature in a surprise decision that made him the only singer-songwriter to win the award.

The 75-year-old Dylan – who won the prize for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition” – now finds himself in the company of Winston Churchill, Thomas Mann and Rudyard Kipling as Nobel laureates.

The announcement was met with gasps in Stockholm’s stately Royal Academy hall, followed – unusually – by some laughter.

Dylan’s songs, such as “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “The Times They Are a-Changin'”, “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “Like a Rolling Stone” captured a spirit of rebellion, dissent and independence.

More than 50 years on, Dylan is still writing songs and is often on tour, performing his dense poetic lyrics, sung in a sometimes rasping voice that has been ridiculed by detractors.

Some lyrics have resonated for decades.

“Blowin’ in the Wind”, written in 1962, was considered one of the most eloquent folk songs of all time. “The Times They Are A-Changin'”, in which Dylan told Americans “your sons and your daughters are beyond your command”, was an anthem of the civil 
rights movement and Vietnam War protests.

Awarding the 8 million Swedish crown ($930,000) prize, the Swedish Academy said: “Dylan has the status of an icon. His influence on contemporary music is profound.”

Swedish Academy member Per Wastberg said: “He is probably the greatest living poet.”

Asked if he thought Dylan’s Nobel lecture – traditionally given by the laureate in Stockholm later in the year – would be a concert, replied: “Let’s hope so.”

Over the years, not everyone has agreed that Dylan was a poet of the first order. Novelist Norman Mailer countered: “If Dylan’s a poet, I’m a basketball player.”

Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Nobel Academy, told a news conference there was “great unity” in the panel’s decision to give Dylan the prize.

Dylan has always been an enigmatic figure. He went into seclusion for months after a motorcycle crash in 1966, leading to stories that he had cracked under the pressure of his new celebrity.

He was born into a Jewish family but in the late 1970s converted to born-again Christianity and later said he followed no organised religion. At another point in his life, Dylan took up boxing.

Dylan’s spokesman, Elliott Mintz, declined immediate comment when reached by phone, citing the early hour in Los Angeles, where it was 3 a.m. at the time of the announcement. Dylan was due to give a concert in Las Vegas on Thursday evening.

Literature was the last of this year’s Nobel prizes to be awarded. The prize is named after dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and has been awarded since 1901 for achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will. 


BBC News: US election: FBI investigating hacking of Clinton campaign chief

US election: FBI investigating hacking of Clinton campaign chief – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2016-37634520

BBC News: How attacks are forcing Germany to examine civil freedoms

How attacks are forcing Germany to examine civil freedoms – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37059830

Today’s Holiday:National Fire Prevention Week

Today’s Holiday:
National Fire Prevention Week

October 9 is the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which killed more than 250 people and destroyed more than 17,000 structures. Every year since 1925, the week in which October 9 falls has been observed nationwide as National Fire Prevention Week. Each year the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announces a theme for National Fire Prevention Week and sets up programs to educate the public about a particular aspect of fire prevention. For example, one past theme was the importance of keeping smoke detectors in good working order.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday:Lillie Langtry (1853)

Today’s Birthday:
Lillie Langtry (1853)

Born on the Isle of Jersey, Emilie Charlotte Le Breton married diplomat Edward Langtry in 1874. A famous beauty, she caused a sensation when she became the first society woman to go on the stage, making her debut at the Haymarket theater in 1881 after her husband failed financially. “Jersey Lily,” as she became known, played to enthusiastic audiences in England and the US and later remodeled and managed London’s Imperial Theatre. With what future monarch was Langtry once romantically involved?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History:Ankara Replaces Istanbul as Capital of Turkey (1923)

This Day in History:
Ankara Replaces Istanbul as Capital of Turkey (1923)

Ankara was an important commercial center for millennia, but in the late 19th century it experienced a decline. By the early 20th century, it was just a small town known primarily for its mohair production. After WWI, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk made Ankara the seat of his provisional nationalist government. In 1923, it replaced Istanbul as Turkey’s capital, partly to break with tradition and partly because of its central location. Who, according to Phrygian lore, founded the city in about 1000 BCE?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day:Kate Wiggin

Quote of the Day:
Kate Wiggin

Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, but only one mother in the whole world.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day:Edgar Allan Poe’s “Eureka”

Article of the Day:
Edgar Allan Poe’s “Eureka”

Famed poet and writer Edgar Allan Poe considered his 1848 essay “Eureka” to be his career masterpiece. Though described as a “prose poem” by Poe, who wished it to be viewed as art, the work is also a notable scientific and mystical essay unlike any of his other works and includes a cosmological theory that touches on black holes and the big bang theory about 80 years before the 2 subjects gained widespread recognition. Poe claimed “Eureka” was more important than what major scientific discovery?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day:matriarch

Word of the Day:

Definition: (noun) A woman who rules a family, clan, or tribe.
Synonyms: materfamilias
Usage: When the matriarch of the clan appeared in the doorway, all conversation immediately ceased.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch


Tuberculosis epidemic larger than previously thought

October 13, 2016

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Two out of five people who fell sick with tuberculosis — caused by a bacteria that infects the lungs and makes people cough up blood — went undiagnosed and untreated

Two out of five people who fell sick with tuberculosis — caused by a bacteria that infects the lungs and makes people cough up blood — went undiagnosed and untreated (AFP Photo/Cris Bouroncle)


Washington (AFP) – The tuberculosis epidemic is larger than previously thought, infecting 10.4 million people last year, while research into vaccines and cures is “severely underfunded,” the World Health Organization warned on Thursday.

This was in contrast to last year’s report by the UN health agency which said 9.6 million people were sickened with TB worldwide.


Deaths also rose across the planet, with 1.8 million people dying of TB last year, 300,000 more than a year earlier, according to the WHO’s Global TB Report 2016.

“We face an uphill battle to reach the global targets for tuberculosis,” said Margaret Chan, WHO Director General.

“There must be a massive scale-up of efforts, or countries will continue to run behind this deadly epidemic and these ambitious goals will be missed.”

Two out of five people who fell sick with the disease — caused by a bacteria that infects the lungs and makes people cough up blood — went undiagnosed and untreated.

Nearly half a million people were diagnosed with multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB), with about half of those cases in India, China, and the Russian Federation.

“WHO’s annual look at the global state of tuberculosis this year makes for a shockingly bad report card,” said a statement from Doctors Without Borders.

“The WHO Global TB Report is a wake-up call to break the status quo in how TB, and its drug-resistant forms, are being diagnosed and treated.”

– India underestimated –

Six countries accounted for 60 percent of the new cases: India, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.

According to the report, the size of the epidemic rose largely because researchers realized that earlier estimates in India from 2000-2015 were too low.

Better data has allowed experts to improve their assessment of the size of the problem, Ariel Pablos-Mendez, assistant administrator for Global Health at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) told reporters at a press conference in Washington.

Despite the larger size of the epidemic, looking back over the past 15 years, TB deaths still fell by 22 percent, said the report.

But TB remained one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide last year, and while the overall rate of TB infection worldwide is falling, the pace is not fast enough, the WHO report warned.

“Worldwide, the rate of decline in TB incidence remained at only 1.5 percent from 2014 to 2015,” it said.

“This needs to accelerate to a four to five percent annual decline by 2020 to reach the first milestones of the End TB Strategy.”

The goal aims for a 35 percent reduction in the absolute number of TB deaths and a 20 percent reduction in the TB incidence rate by 2020, compared with levels in 2015.

Governments at the World Health Assembly and at the United Nations General Assembly have called to for a 90 percent reduction in TB deaths and an 80 percent reduction in TB cases by 2030 compared with 2015.

– Cash problem –

Cash shortages are also a persistent problem.

“Funding during the decade 2005–2014 never exceeded $0.7 billion per year,” said the report.

The amount of money being spent on research and development for TB treatments needs to be at least $2 billion per year, it added.

“The resources deployed against TB, the leading infectious killer in the world, are falling short,” said Pablos-Mendez.

“The development aid community needs to step up more investments now, or we will simply not end one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases.”



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What to Read Next

Who were the Knights Templar? – Ask History



Who were the Knights Templar?

OCTOBER 17, 2012





Origins of the Knights Templar

The Knights Templar trace their origins to the Crusades.

After Christian fighters captured Jerusalem during the First Crusade, groups of pilgrims from across Western Europe began visiting the Holy Land. Around 1118, a French knight named Hugues de Payens founded a military order devoted to protecting these pilgrims, calling it the Poor Knights of the Temple of King Solomon (later the Knights Templar). In 1129 the knights received the formal endorsement of the Catholic Church, and new recruits and lavish donations began pouring in from across Europe. Known for their austere code of conduct and signature style of dress (white habits emblazoned with a red cross), the Templars established new chapters throughout Western Europe. They developed a reputation as fierce warriors during the Crusades and set up a network of banks, gaining enormous financial sway. At the height of their influence, they boasted a sizable fleet of ships, owned the island of Cyprus and served as a primary lender to European monarchs and nobles.

Muslim soldiers retook Jerusalem and turned the tide of the Crusades in the late 12th century, forcing the Templars to relocate their base of operations to Paris. There, King Philip IV resolved to bring down the order, perhaps because the Templars had denied the indebted ruler additional loans. On October 13, 1307, scores of French Templars were arrested and brutally tortured until many confessed to false charges. Three years later, dozens were burned at the stake in Paris. Under pressure from King Philip, Pope Clement V reluctantly dissolved the Knights Templar in 1312.

While most historians agree that the Knights Templar fully disbanded 700 years ago, some people believe the order went underground and remains in existence to this day. In the 18th century, certain organizations, most notably the Freemasons, revived some of the medieval knights’ symbols and traditions. More recently, stories about the legendary Templars—that they dug up the Holy Grail while occupying the Temple Mount, for instance, or harbored a secret capable of destroying the Catholic Church—have found their way into popular books and films.


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