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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

Boston bombing lawyer: 'It was him'  Wed, 04 Mar 2015 19:38:08 GMT
Defence lawyers do not deny Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's involvement in the deadly bombing but argue that he was coerced by his brother. 
Blast 'hits Aleppo intelligence HQ'  Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:48:33 GMT
Dozens of Syrian security personnel and rebels have been killed in an attack on an intelligence facility in the city of Aleppo, activists say. 
'First human' discovered in Ethiopia  Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:01:40 GMT
Scientists working in Ethiopia have uncovered a jawbone fossil which may push the origin of humans back 400,000 years. 
India vows rapist interview inquiry  Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:02:23 GMT
India's home minister promises an inquiry into how a TV crew was allowed to interview a death-row prisoner convicted over the Delhi 2012 gang rape and murder. 
UK bomb plot suspect found guilty  Wed, 04 Mar 2015 19:17:30 GMT
A Pakistani man extradited from the UK to the US has been found guilty of plotting bomb attacks in several countries. 
Leader of Mexico's Zetas cartel held  Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:52:25 GMT
Omar Trevino Morales, the leader of Mexico's Zetas drugs cartel and one of the country's most wanted men, has been captured, security officials say. 
Thirty feared dead in Ukraine mine  Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:59:52 GMT
Some 30 miners are feared dead in a suspected methane gas blast at a coal mine in a rebel-held region of eastern Ukraine. 
US will not charge Darren Wilson  Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:05:31 GMT
The US justice department has said it will not charge former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson over the killing of black teenager Michael Brown. 
Iraq in bid to encircle IS in Tikrit  Wed, 04 Mar 2015 13:13:41 GMT
Iraqi soldiers and Shia militiamen are seeking to surround Islamic State fighters in Tikrit, on the third day of an operation to retake the city. 
WW2 'Japan battleship wreck found'  Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:16:51 GMT
US billionaire Paul Allen announces he has discovered the famous WW2 Japanese battleship, Musashi, more than 70 years after it was sunk. 
Putin urges end to political murders  Wed, 04 Mar 2015 13:18:15 GMT
Russian President Vladimir Putin demands an end to "shameful" political killings in Russia, after the murder of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov. 
Mugabe sued over party sackings  Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:56:05 GMT
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is sued for wrongful dismissal by two former allies, accused of supporting an assassination attempt against him. 
VIDEO: Ford's white van with built-in bike  Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:19:53 GMT
The BBC's Dave Lee talks to Ford's chief design engineer Tom Thompson about the company's electric bike project. 
VIDEO: Rio at 450: The city in photographs  Wed, 04 Mar 2015 00:00:53 GMT
As Rio celebrates its 450th anniversary, a photographic exhibition offers an insight into the early days of the city's development. 
VIDEO: Black girl 'forced out of Alabama school'  Wed, 04 Mar 2015 00:32:27 GMT
As the BBC's Aleem Maqbool retraces one of the great civil rights journeys, the march 50 years ago from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama, he finds segregation still happening in a different form.