Eli Yassif

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DHS Considers Carry-On Laptop Ban On Flights From Europe

Almost two months after the Department of Homeland Security instituted a ban on large electronics on U.S.-bound flights from several countries in the Middle East, the agency is considering expanding the prohibition to flights from Europe.<p>The current ban applies to 10 airports in eight …

Immigration

Guardian first book award shortlist 2015

American coasts and suburbias, sibling rivalry in Nigeria, sculpting muscular poetry, Putin as Simon Cowell, a father, a son and a crow ... Extracts and introductions from all the shortlisted authors<p>Diane Cook<p>Man v Nature<p>I spent years working as a producer for the radio programme This American …

The Poems of TS Eliot: The Annotated Text review – a monumental achievement

Eliot went from starchy student to Nobel laureate who could pack out baseball stadiums on an American tour. This landmark study provides the background to a groundbreaking body of work<p>Buying an edition of Dante’s <i>Divine Comedy</i> in Florence as a student, I was struck by its resemblance to the flood …

5 Korean Novels You Should Read Now

South Korea is becoming a major player on the world’s literary scene, beginning with last year’s London Book Fair, which spotlighted Korean literature. In particular, the country’s literary scene is making a name for itself with dark, transgressive fiction by female writers, some of which might not …

Books

A Dazzling Flow Motion Time-Lapse Tour of Istanbul

Back in February, time-lapse photographer Rob Whitworth captured the world’s imagination with his insane “Dubai Flow Motion” project, which took the …

Videography

The 100 best novels: No 98 – Underworld by Don DeLillo (1997)

A writer of ‘frightening perception’, Don DeLillo guides the reader in an epic journey through America’s history and popular culture<p>As this series approaches the present, the process of making a final selection from great contemporary fiction becomes progressively more contentious. In the …

Best holiday reads 2015

From a study of beachcombing to the year’s best crime fiction, leading authors recommend favourites and reveal what books they’ll be packing for the summer holidays<p>The Observer’s best holiday reads<p><b>Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie</b><p>I have long been meaning to read the classic novel set in Ghana, <i>Search Sweet</i> …

How the Talmud Became a Best-Seller in South Korea

About an hour’s drive north of Seoul, in the Gwangju Mountains, nearly fifty South Korean children pore over a book. The text is an unlikely choice: the Talmud, the fifteen-hundred-year-old book of Jewish laws. The students are not Jewish, nor are their teachers, and they have no interest in …

Did Obama “Abandon Israel”?

Michael Oren, the former Israeli Ambassador to Washington, made news last week—as well he might, since he’s publishing a book. Yesterday marked the release of a memoir of his years representing Benjamin Netanyahu, which he summed up in last Monday’s <i>Wall Street Journal</i>, in an article titled “How …

Bethlehem Star Exclusives

<b>MARY: PREGNANT AND ALONE?</b><p>In a shocker that stunned Nazareth, <b>Mary</b>, twelve, formally announced her pregnancy, ending baby-bump speculation. But life in Galilee hasn’t been all birth plans and nesting. According to a source, Mary—who still lives with her parents—has been getting the cold shoulder from …

ISIS, Saudi Arabia, and A New Wave of Terrorist Violence

On Friday, within the space of several hours, militants launched attacks on three continents, raising the spectre of further assaults during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The attacks began in southern France, when a deliveryman crashed his truck into an American-owned chemical plant, apparently …

Nabokov’s America

On February 3, 1954, Vladimir Nabokov wrote to James Laughlin, the founder of New Directions, “Would you be interested in publishing a timebomb that I have just finished putting together? It is a novel of 459 typewritten pages.” The novel was “Lolita,” the tale of a middle-aged pedophile’s sexual …

11 Things You Didn't Know About Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway took his life on this day, July 2, back in 1961.<p>Below are obscure facts about the novelist's life, pulled from old interviews and personal accounts by the writer.<p><b>1. Hemingway apparently once lived, got drunk and slept with a bear.</b><p>Former New Yorker staff writer Lillian Ross had a …

Why Tel Aviv Is One of Street Art's Most Important Hubs Right Now

It's no secret that some of the best art comes out of social turmoil and, in recent years, nothing is a better reflection of this than the burgeoning street art scene in Tel Aviv. Appreciation for art and architecture runs deep in the city's history; at Tel Aviv's center, you'll find the UNESCO …

Streetwear

Childlike Stars

A PBS documentary broadcast last weekend, “Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler,” breezes by the bigger implications of an exemplary life story. For instance, the irreparable emotional wounds of a supreme virtuoso who was mercilessly pressured by a Tiger Dad in his early childhood. And the furious drive …

New York City buses must show 'killing Jews' ad, judge rules

<b>A judge has ruled that New York City's buses must display a controversial ad that refers to Muslims killing Jews.</b><p>New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) had opposed the advertisement, arguing it could incite terrorism and violence.<p>But Judge John Koeltl rejected the argument and said …

Religion

‘I got a scheme!’ – the moment Saul Bellow found his voice

Ten years after his death, Bellow is still considered the greatest US prose stylist of the 20th century. His biographer Zachary Leader explores how he transformed fiction, and looks at the day in Paris that changed the course of his career<p>From the age of 49, when the publication of <i>Herzog</i> in 1964 …

The 100 best novels: No 83 – A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood (1964)

Christopher Isherwood’s story of a gay Englishman struggling with bereavement in LA is a work of compressed brilliance<p>Christopher Isherwood made his famous declaration of artistic intent in 1939: “I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking… Some day all this will …

TS Eliot: the poet who conquered the world, 50 years on

TS Eliot, once a subversive outsider, became the most celebrated poet of the 20th century – a world poet, who changed the way we think. Yet, fifty years after his death, we are still making new discoveries about him<p>It’s 2015, the year of the Bullshit Centenary. One hundred years ago a young …

Orfeo: looking back at Monteverdi’s masterpiece

Don Paterson thought writing a singable English version of a 17th-century Italian opera would be a breeze, until he found himself ‘fitting a set of spanners into a velvet box made for a dinner service’<p>L<i>’Orfeo</i> wasn’t quite the first opera, but the consensus seems to be that it was the first that was …

Michael Morpurgo: 'I didn't believe in the Bible's Nativity so I rewrote it'

The War Horse author says there is a flaw in the Biblical account of Christ's birth<p>Last Christmas I found myself yet again reading my usual Lesson from the Nativity in my tiny village church in Devon.<p>Years ago, <b>I’d asked to read the passage</b> from Luke when an angel visits the shepherds and tells them …

The Best Books Of 2014? Here's The Ultimate List

Last week we shared an infographic created by designer David McCandless that suggests <i>To Kill a Mockingbird</i> is likely the most-recommended novel of all time (or at least of recent times). But what are critics and readers suggesting you pick up this year?<p>HuffPost Books assembled a list of our …

Reading group: Why The Maltese Falcon is built to last

The powerful prose and plot, the morality and the smouldering Spade … There are many reasons why Dashiell Hammett’s detective novel is such a classic<p>I’m one of the few people moderately literate who take the detective story seriously. I don’t mean that I necessarily take my own or anybody else’s …

Word Origins as Comics: A Holiday Special: Santa Claus, His Life and Times, The Story Behind the Man

Follow Larry Paros @<p>insomanywords.net<p>Take words with Larry @<p>twitter.com/wordswithlarry<p>facebook.com/wordswithlarry<p>pinterest.com/wordswithlarry<p>More fun with words by Larry<p>bawdylanguage.com<p>Follow Larry Paros on Twitter: www.twitter.com/wordswithlarry

7 Bizarre Predictions That Actually Came True

<i>The following is an excerpt from Unbelievable!: The Bizarre World of Coincidences [Michael O'Mara Books, $16.95]:</i><p>Whether or not you believe in the power of prophecy, it’s always unnerving when predictions turn out to be true. Surely they’re nothing but lucky guesses -- right?<p><b>Nosta-damned-us</b><p>Michel …

Nicholas Lezard on Dante

<b>1. He might well be the greatest poet who ever lived</b><p>Coming at the top of the list, this might sound like a meaningless statement, but it's important. …