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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

China clampdown on funeral strippers  Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:28:32 GMT
Chinese authorities vow to clamp down on strippers performing at funerals. 
Nasdaq and S&P 500 at record highs  Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:49:50 GMT
The Nasdaq and S&P 500 close at new record highs after US tech firms report strong first quarter profits. 
HSBC considers moving HQ out of UK  Fri, 24 Apr 2015 16:15:53 GMT
HSBC says it is considering whether to move its headquarters out of the UK, following "regulatory and structural reforms" in the banking industry. 
Ellen Pao faces $1m legal bill  Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:05:37 GMT
The woman who challenged sexism in Silicon Valley now faces a $1m legal bill unless she agrees not to appeal. 
Rail upgrade 'raises hack risks'  Thu, 23 Apr 2015 23:35:30 GMT
A government adviser warns that a new hi-tech rail signalling system could be hacked by terrorists to cause train crashes. 
Child star of US show kills himself  Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:29:11 GMT
Sawyer Sweeten, the child star of hit US show Everybody Loves Raymond, takes his own life at his family home in Texas. 
Native Americans quit Sandler set  Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:40:31 GMT
Several Native American actors walk off the set of an Adam Sandler comedy, claiming the film is "totally disrespectful" of Apache culture. 
Vast replica recreates ancient cave  Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:15:58 GMT
BBC Newsnight gets rare access to one of the most important cave art sites in the world - and visits its vast replica, which is about to open in France. 
Tinnitus mapped inside human brain  Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:00:38 GMT
For the first time, brain signals relating to the constant ringing noise of tinnitus have been mapped across a wide area inside a patient's brain. 
Hope over child malaria vaccine tests  Thu, 23 Apr 2015 23:01:19 GMT
Final clinical trials of a malaria vaccine - the first to reach this stage - suggest it could protect one third of children against malaria, according to data published in The Lancet. 
Niger schools shut over meningitis  Wed, 22 Apr 2015 12:24:22 GMT
All schools in and around Niger's capital, Niamey, are to stay shut until Monday because of a meningitis outbreak that has killed 85 people this year. 
Brathwaite ton frustrates England  Fri, 24 Apr 2015 21:57:45 GMT
England are frustrated by Kraigg Brathwaite's composed century as West Indies have the better of the fourth day of the second Test. 
Hamilton tops UK sport rich list  Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:01:14 GMT
Lewis Hamilton is the richest sportsman in Britain with earnings of £88m, as Wayne Rooney moves into second on £72m. 
Getting aid to a war zone in a swarm of drones  Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:05:30 GMT
A swarm of tiny drones has been developed by a US Air Force pilot in the hope that they will deliver aid into war torn Syria - 1kg at a time. 
The migrants who took over a Sicilian palace  Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:40:30 GMT
Many young Sicilians are poor and jobless, so they have something in common with migrants arriving from Africa - and sometimes even occupy empty homes together.