Sunday, June 20, 2010


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LISBON, Portugal (UPI) -- Portugal announced two days of mourning this week for controversial novelist Jose Saramago, winner of the Nobel Prize, who died June 18 at the age of 87.

Saramago's body was brought to Lisbon from his home in the Canary Islands Saturday by an air force plane and was escorted by his widow and the Portuguese cultural minister, reported.

Saramago received the Nobel in 1998 for a body of work that included the incendiary novel "The Gospel According to Jesus Christ," and "Blindness," which was turned into a 2008 film by the same name.

The Washington Post said Sunday that Saramago was noted for his surrealistic stories and a dense writing style that had single sentences taking up an entire page.

His 1991 book "The Gospel According to Jesus Christ" irked the Catholic Church with its depiction of Jesus having sex with Mary Magdalen and its portrayal of God as a manipulator.

At the same time, his 1984 work "The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis" had critics comparing his depiction of Lisbon in the 1930s with James Joyce's Dublin and Franz Kafka's Prague, according to the Post.

Saramago was cremated Saturday and his ashes will be spread at his home in the Canary Island and the Portuguese farm village of Azinhaga where he was born in 1922.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

This news arrived on: 06/20/2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sectarian killings plague Pakistan city

KARACHI, Pakistan (UPI) -- Sectarian violence in Pakistan has claimed the lives of at least seven people in separate incidents during a 24-hour period, Pakistani police say.

Among the victims were an elderly man and a religious activist, both shot dead in different parts of Karachi, the Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported Tuesday.

Religious leaders and scholars condemned the latest killings and said the government has failed to put an end to ongoing sectarian violence that began this month.

Monday night, youths hurled stones at vehicles passing through one Karachi neighborhood, prompting police to use teargas to disperse them.

A police spokesman told Dawn each incident was being investigated separately.

"In several cases, we have found evidence that suggest these were, indeed, sectarian killings," the spokesman said.

The sects involved weren't reported.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

This news arrived on: 06/15/2010