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"If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skulls, then why do we read it? Good God, we also would be happy if we had no books and such books that make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves. What we must have are those books that come on us like ill fortune, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside us."

—Franz Kafka (1883-1924) Austrian writer, The Metamorphosis, The Trial

 

World News From BBC

Israel steps up bombardment of Gaza  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:10:47 GMT
More than 100 Palestinians are said to have been killed on Tuesday as Israel intensifies its bombardment of Gaza and warns of a long conflict ahead. 
China investigates ex-security chief  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:32:17 GMT
China's former security chief Zhou Yongkang has been placed under investigation for "serious disciplinary violation", state media say. 
OKCupid experiments with 'bad' matches  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:47:43 GMT
Dating website OKCupid reveals that it experimented on its users, including putting the "wrong" people together to see if they would connect. 
EU set to widen Russia sanctions  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:23:51 GMT
The European Union is set to back new sanctions against Russia, targeting its finance, energy and defence sectors over the conflict in Ukraine. 
Jewish Museum suspect extradited  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:45:53 GMT
Mehdi Nemmouche, the suspected gunman in a fatal shooting at a museum in Brussels in May, has been extradited to Belgium from France. 
Migration changes 'to put UK first'  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:03:29 GMT
Britain is to cut from six to three months the amount of time out-of-work EU migrants can claim benefits without realistic job prospects. 
Italy to 'help douse' Libya fire  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:53:53 GMT
Italy offers to help extinguish a huge blaze that has engulfed the biggest fuel storage facility in the Libyan capital, Libya's government says. 
Xinjiang violence 'kills 13 people'  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:07:48 GMT
A Chinese official tells the BBC 13 people were killed on Monday in the latest outbreak of violence in the western region of Xinjiang 
US: Russia 'violated missile treaty'  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:46:18 GMT
The US accuses Russia of violating a Cold War arms treaty by testing a nuclear cruise missile, saying the breach is "very serious". 
Japan girl 'admits dismemberment'  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:19:44 GMT
The Japanese schoolgirl arrested on Sunday has reportedly confessed to killing and dismembering her classmate, say local media 
Liberia bans football over Ebola  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:11:58 GMT
Liberia suspends all football activities in an effort to control the spread of Ebola, as the number of people killed by the virus in West Africa reaches 672. 
Bankers should 'swear ethics oath'  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:40:22 GMT
An oath for bankers should be introduced to raise accountability and standards in banking, says a think tank. 
VIDEO: British dancer returns from Russia  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:02:28 GMT
A dancer from Hull who became the first British dancer to be employed by the Mariinsky Ballet in Russia returns to the UK to perform with the company at Covent Garden. 
AUDIO: Fifty shades of red face: Is it a 'date' film?  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:13:36 GMT
Diana Mather and Rosamund Urwin discuss who it is appropriate to invite to the cinema to watch Fifty Shades of Grey. 
VIDEO: Star Trek star Takei's life on film  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:53:52 GMT
Star Trek star George Takei talks about being his childhood experience of living in an internment camp during World War Two.