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TO BURY A KING...

Bones of contention...

King Richard III (credit: National Portrait Gallery)

In London, a court battle over the skeleton of an English King, Richard III, (1452 – 1485), has been adjourned.

The King in the Car ParkRichard III was the last of the Plantagenet Kings, the last King of the House of York and the last British King to die in battle.  He was immortalised (and arguably vilified) by Shakespeare’s “Richard III”, which portrayed him as a monstrous, hunchbacked, Machiavellian murderer. Richard was defeated and killed at the...

ART SCENE IN LONDON

Remembering Isabella Blow…

Isabella Blow, 1997 (crédit: Mario Testino)

A glorious exhibition showcasing the fashion diva’s collection of couture has opened at Somerset House in London...

The magazine editor, stylist extraordinaire and fashion muse, Isabella Blow, was a walking work of art.  Her idiosyncratic style was beyond colourful: it was both sculptural and surreal, drawing as much on Dada and Dali as designer runways.   She is widely credited with having launched the careers of the hat designer, Philip Treacy, the...

Invisible Strife in a Moribund Middle East

Sinai desert (copyright: BBM Explorer/Flickr/cc)

In a fractious, rife-with-conflicts Middle East, nothing is spared; worship houses are attacked; sport clubs, schools and markets become unsafe with continued upticks in violence. Now, attention is focused on the Syrian dilemma, which has been colored in a sectarian hue: Sunni- Shiite/Alawi conflict. Nevertheless, another invisible fray is taking place in that region, but it is so very dim that one might barely be aware of it.Though the dust of the coup in Egypt has not yet settled, a piqued US administration...

LITERATURE

"A Casual Vacancy"... J.K. Rowling's new novel is a scream....

J.K. Rowling promoting "Casual Vacancy"

The knives are out in J. K. Rowling’s first novel for adults, “A Casual Vacancy”, a witheringly misanthropic account of the battle for a vacant seat on the local council of Pagford, a chintzy market town in Middle England. Rowling’s narrative wizardry transforms the prosaic machinations of small town politics into a frenzied blood letting. Susan Shaw reports.  Snobbery, corruption and cronyism are amongst the milder of the human horrors unearthed in Rowling’s graveyard of souls. Gluttony, slander, financial...

THE FUN OF THE FAIR...

Frieze Art Fair celebrates 10 years of popularizing contemporary art

London’s fiercely fashionable Frieze Art Fair is in full swing.  It’s not too late to jump on Eurostar and join the party, as the art carnival continues across the weekend, and across the capital, with many satellite events, but you may have to elbow aside an oligarch or two to get a decent view of the work on display.  Alternatively, you could stay home and join a growing band of critics of the contemporary art market and Frieze in particular, who claim that it has become a “mega mall” of luxury goods, where ...

THE TITLE IS NW

London: Lost and Found in Zadie Smith's new novel

If you have ever taken a ride back home on a London night bus, from the centre of town to one of the outer boroughs,...

The poster girl of multicultural BritainReading Zadie Smith’s new novel, “NW”, is very much like getting onto one of those night buses.   A number 98, to be precise, the bus that will take you from suited and booted Holborn to the seething multiculturalism of Kilburn and Willesden, areas once densely populated by first generation Irish and Afro...

TOWARD A REFERENDUM

UK European Movement: Injecting balance into the debate over the EU

(crédit: Euromove)

Last January’s announcement by David Cameron of a planned referendum on UK membership of the European Union – whether...

 In speaking up, pro-Europeans in the UK suffer three core handicaps: they have no easily identifiable leaders of the ilk of Nigel Farage, they have no political party that will voice pro-European sentiments with conviction and consistency, and – in voicing the benefits of EU membership – they routinely lag behind the abilities of eurosceptics...

THE LADY AND THE RADICALS

Gaga, it need not be a bad romance with Muslims

photo of rapper Drake and singer Lady Gaga (credit:BooDiLaND/flickr/cc)

After a few appearances in public wearing a see-through burqa (a loose robe that covers the body, face and eyes), it...

Gaga is well within her rights to wear and sing about the burqa, but she should consider that the artistic liberties she takes may degrade an entire community. Despite some Muslims feeling upset, there’s still time for Gaga to become an ally for Muslims, just as she has been an ally to other groups. Burqa is not a costumeAs a Muslim African...

2014 Indonesian elections present an opportunity for female candidates

Indonesia - Jakarta (Credit:Yohanes budiyanto/flickr/cc)

With less than a year to prepare, Indonesian female candidates are gearing up for their 2014 general election...

An increasing number of women in Indonesia now hold important positions as ministers, supreme justices and mayors. Currently 18 per cent of Indonesia’s House of Representatives are women. However in contrast to the 2009 election, 2014 election candidates will likely have to deal with voter apathy. The 2013 local government elections which have...

LITERATURE - TOPPING THE CHARTS

Helen Fielding returns... Bridget Jones is "Mad About the Boy"

Female writers dominate many genres of the novel in the UK. J. K. Rowling and Jacqueline Wilson are the Queens of children’s novels. The two times Man Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel rules the historical genre.  E. L. James, the author of “Fifty Shades of Grey”, is the dominatrix of the erotic novel. Zadie Smith continues to wow with her multicultural, urban novels. P. D. James is the doyenne of crime fiction. And of course there’s the court jester of Chick Lit, Helen Fielding, who is back with a new Bridget...

MUSIC AWARDS

An Online Tour: Youtube's latest musical trick

youtube on fire (credits: maurits knook/flickr/cc)

The famous video website has decided to launch what could be the new international on-line phenomenon... Discover the...

To all internet users... your world wild video website is preparing what should transform your life... An online live concert with the best of the best!Youtube's official blog will be launching its own "Youtube Music Award" and an international celebration will be held all over the world to celebrate the hit artists and songs of this last year...

NASTY GERMANY?

Colored, she survived a Nazi family

Photo of Plaszow concentration camp (credits:Lars K. Jensen/flickr/cc)

Her grandfather was a Nazi Concentration Camp Commander but she is colored...

Hamburg, Germany - After Five years Jennifer Teege found in the central library a book wrapped in red. The title "I have to love my father, right?"Identical match?As Jennifer opened the book she noticed photographs that seemed familiar. Details about the woman and her family were the same as her own family. Quickly after she realized the book...

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