"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
- Bangladesh Islamist execution upheld Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:39:36 GMT
- Bangladesh Supreme Court upholds death sentence for Islamist leader Abdul Kader Mullah, convicted of crimes against humanity.
- Australia court bans gay marriage Thu, 12 Dec 2013 08:43:59 GMT
- Australia's High Court has overturned legislation allowing gay marriage in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), rendering 27 gay marriages invalid.
- Cave holds stunning tsunami clues Thu, 12 Dec 2013 02:06:49 GMT
- A cave on the northwestern coast of Sumatra holds a remarkable record of big tsunamis in the Indian Ocean stretching back thousands of years.
- Ukraine leader 'wants to sign' deal Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:38:02 GMT
- Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych still intends to sign an EU deal, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says, as protests continue in Kiev.
- Mandela signer 'has schizophrenia' Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:35:27 GMT
- The sign language interpreter accused of using fake hand signals at Nelson Mandela's memorial says he suffered a schizophrenic episode.
- Afghan capital blast 'an accident' Thu, 12 Dec 2013 06:42:42 GMT
- A powerful explosion in the Afghan capital, Kabul, was an accident at a depot for unexploded ordinance, Afghan officials say.
- Former Thai PM charged with murder Thu, 12 Dec 2013 08:26:07 GMT
- Former Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva is formally charged with murder over the 2010 crackdown, as protests continue in Bangkok.
- Boeing wins $6.5bn Air Canada order Thu, 12 Dec 2013 02:03:30 GMT
- Air Canada orders 61 Boeing 737 MAX planes worth $6.5bn (£4.2bn) at list prices, a big win for the planemaker over rival Airbus.
- Russia reviews Pussy Riot verdicts Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:16:22 GMT
- Russia's Supreme Court criticises the guilty verdicts which sent two Pussy Riot punk protesters to jail and orders a review.
- Syrian refugees hit by Lebanon storm Thu, 12 Dec 2013 00:23:07 GMT
- The UN is "extremely concerned" for Syrian refugees in Lebanon as a winter storm brings snow, high winds and freezing temperatures to the country.
- New Zealand drops Pike River charges Thu, 12 Dec 2013 04:35:19 GMT
- New Zealand's government drops charges against the head of a coal mine where 29 miners were killed in a 2010 blast, angering relatives of the miners.
- Football dominates UK Twitter chat Thu, 12 Dec 2013 05:07:14 GMT
- Football matches accounted for several of the biggest spikes in Twitter traffic seen over the course of 2013 - but which game topped the social network's list?
- Pope named Time's Person of the Year Wed, 11 Dec 2013 18:24:12 GMT
- Time Magazine names Pope Francis as its Person of the Year, saying he has pulled "the papacy out the palace and into the streets".
- VIDEO: Refugees 'burning shoes to survive' Wed, 11 Dec 2013 19:39:47 GMT
- Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees living in makeshift camps along the Syria-Lebanon border are being forced to improvise to survive harsh winter conditions without aid.
- VIDEO: Pop-up health clinic on a motorbike Thu, 12 Dec 2013 00:26:55 GMT
- A motorbike ambulance and pop-up clinic that can be used to reach remote villages in developing countries have been on show at the World Innovation Summit for Health.