TIME Books

Tennessee Williams Story Published For First Time

Previously unpublished story is set on a university campus, and supposedly based on playwright's college relationship with Anna Jean O’Donnell

A previously unpublished short story from the celebrated American writer Tennessee Williams was revealed for the first time Tuesday.

The story is entitled “Crazy Night,” and is believed to have been written in the 1930s. It was unearthed and published by U.S. literary journal The Strand.

The story’s main character is Anna Jean, a girl who has an intimate meeting with the story’s narrator on a university campus before eventually leaving him for another student. Jean is thought to have been inspired by Anna Jean O’Donnell, whom Williams briefly dated while attending the University of Missouri, reports the BBC.

Although Williams previously wrote poetry about O’Donnell, she was only mentioned in passing in Williams’s memoirs and notebooks. The title is a reference to a college ritual where students binged on drink and drugs.

The editor of The Strand, Andrew Gulli, claims the short story’s publication could be the “missing piece of the puzzle” regarding a romantic encounter that was a formative experience for Williams. After several early attempts at forming heterosexual relationships, the playwright came to terms with his homosexuality by the late 1930s.

[BBC]

TIME Middle East

Syrian Rebels Seize Town Near Turkey

The area was known as an Assad stronghold

Rebels seized the small town of Kassab on Sunday, taking a strategic area in northeastern Syria near the border of Turkey.

The area is known as being a stronghold for Syrian President Bashar Assad. The rebel fighters who captured it came from a range of armed opposition groups including the Nusra Front, the Associated Press reports, which has strong links with al-Qaeda

The Kassab offensive came as a welcome morale boost to rebels fighting against the Assad regime, as they had suffered a string of recent battlefield defeats when forces linked to Assad captured towns near Syria’s border with Lebanon.

In a video posted online, two opposition fighters were shown standing on a roof near a smashed statue, supposedly of Assad’s late father.

[AP]

TIME Africa

Pistorius Girlfriend Said ‘I’m Scared of You Sometimes’

Olympian sprinter Oscar Pistorius with his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg in Jan. 26, 2013.
Olympian sprinter Oscar Pistorius with his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg in Jan. 26, 2013. Waldo Swiegers—AFP/Getty Images

Reeva Steenkamp told Oscar Pistorius she feared him in a long message, sent weeks before he shot her in February 2013, that was shown today to the South African courtroom hearing the double-amputee athlete's murder case

The girlfriend of South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius professed her fear of him just days before the double-amputee known as “Blade Runner” killed her early last year, according to court proceedings Monday.

“I’m scared of you sometimes and how u snap at me and of how you will react to me,” the model Reeva Steenkamp wrote in a WhatsApp message to Pistorius on Jan. 27, 2013, CNN reports. “You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together but I am not some other b—h you may know trying to kill your vibe.”

The message concerned a fight the two had after an engagement party. Pistorius shot Steenkamp on Feb. 14. He’s accused of murdering her after the two had another fight, but he says he killed her accidentally when he fired at what he thought was an intruder behind a closed bathroom door. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

The message from Steenkamp to Pistorius, shown during his murder trial on Monday, offers a window into their troubled relationship.

“Today was one of my best friend’s engagements and I wanted to stay longer I was enjoying myself but it’s over now,” Steenkamp wrote. “You have picked on me incessantly since you got back from CT and I understand that you are sick but it’s nasty. Yesterday wasn’t nice for either of us but we managed to pull through and communicate well enough to show our care for each other is greater than the drama that attacked us.

“I was not flirting with anyone today,” she continued. “I feel sick that you suggested that and that you made a scene at the table and made us leave early. I’m terribly disappointed in how the day ended and how you left me. We are living in a double standard relationship where you can be mad about how I deal with stuff when you are very quick to act cold and offish when you’re unhappy. Every 5 seconds I hear how you dated another chick. You really have dated a lot of people yet you get upset if I mention ONE funny story with a long term boyfriend. I do everything to make you happy and to not say anything to rock the boat with u. You do everything to throw tantrums in front of people.”

Earlier on Monday, a woman who lived near Pistorius testified that she heard “terrified” screaming and gunshots the night Pistorius is accused of murdering Steenkamp. Annette Stipp said she heard both a man and woman scream at about 3 a.m. on the day last February when Pistorius’ girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp died, BBC reports.

TIME Middle East

3 Dead in Lebanon in Spillover Clashes from Syria

11 more people are injured as city close to Syria's border sees fighting between opponents and supporters of Assad

Three people were killed in fighting in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Friday as clashes broke out between opponents and defenders of Syria’s government.

Two men were declared dead after violet outbreaks occurred overnight between ethnic Sunnis from the city’s Bab al-Tabbaneh district and the neighborhood of Jebel Mohsen, which is dominated by ethnic Alawites, Reuters reports. An elderly civilian man was also shot dead by a sniper, and medical officials said 11 others were wounded.

The city of Tripoli is only 30 miles from the border of Syria and its ethnic divisions have been exacerbated by the civil war. Many Sunnis support Syria’s rebels, while the minority Alawites, who are from the same sect as Syrian President Bashar Assad, support the Syrian government. Each side frequently accuses the other of using the city as a base for shipping personnel and weapons in and out of Syria.

[Reuters]

TIME europe

Stocks Tumble in Russia After U.S. Adds Sanctions

Shares in banks and energy were down

Stock markets in Russia plummeted on Friday as investors appeared spooked by the latest sanctions from the United States.

Shares in Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, fell by 2.9% while gas company Gazprom was down by 2.5% and steel company NLMK fell by 2.9 %, BBC reports. The sell-off came a day after President Barack Obama leveled sanctions against more allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin and held out the possibility of harsher economic sanctions, and as Russia was finalizing its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, which has been condemned by Western countries.

The MICEX share index dropped by 3% and the RTS index by 3.6%.

[BBC]

TIME Middle East

45% of Syria’s Chemical Weapons Removed

OPCW aims to have all chemical weapons shipped off for destruction by end of June 2014

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons claimed Thursday that almost half of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile has been removed from the country’s control.

A total of 10 consignments of Syria’s most dangerous chemicals were loaded onto cargo vessels and shipped out of Latakia over the past week, BBC reports. They contained 45.6% of all the chemicals due to be taken from Syria to be destroyed, including blister agents like sulphur mustard.

The OPCW aims to get rid of all Syria’s chemical weapons by the end of June. The government in Damascus agreed to the initiative in 2013 after hundreds of people reportedly died in a chemical weapons attack just outside the city.

[BBC]

TIME Asia

India Convicts 4 Men Accused of Gang Rape

The incident stoked public outrage across the country

A court in India declaredthe four men accused of gang raping a photojournalist last year to be guilty.

The men were charged with gang rape, unnatural sex and the destruction of evidence, BBC reports. They are due to be sentenced on Friday. A fifth man who was thought to have been under 18 at the time of the incident is due to be tried in a juvenile court.

The 22-year-old journalist was attacked by the five men in a deserted mill in August 2013 while she was on assignment. The male colleague who was with her was violently beaten during the incident. The Home Minister for the state of Maharashtra, R.R. Patil, said that justice had been served.

“The verdict will send a strong message to criminals,” he said. “It will deter such crimes in future.”

The incident stoked public outrage across the country, particularly since it came not long after a 23-year-old student died from injuries sufferd while being gang-raped on a bus in Delhi in December of 2012.

[BBC]

TIME Middle East

Iranian Woman Saved From Stoning Death

Iranian authorities said the sentence was reduced to 10 years in prison after agreement was reached with her dead husband's family

An Iranian woman who was sentenced to death in 2006 for adultery was released from prison on Tuesday, sparing her a stoning.

The head of Iran’s human rights council told local media that Sakineh Mohammedi Ashtiani was “granted leave,” the Telegraph reports. The sentence was not formally dropped, and her punishment was instead set to a 10-year prison sentence after an agreement was reached with the husband’s family.

She was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery and playing a part in the killing of her husband in 2006. Her two sons began a campaign against the verdict, sparking worldwide condemnation leading to vigils in cities, pressure from the European Union to overturn the sentence, and arguments between human rights activists and Iran. Ashtiani reportedly tried to kill herself in February 2014.

Mohammed Javad Larijani, the head of Iran’s human rights council, acknowledged there was “a lot of noise on this case because of the international scene” but attacked what he saw as “outside interference.”

[Telegraph]

TIME 2016 Election

Clinton Calls Russia’s Actions in Crimea ‘Illegal’

The potential 2016 presidential candidate warns that other neighboring countries could suffer a similar fate as Ukraine

Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton warned late Tuesday that other countries near Russia could be in danger if Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Crimea goes without consequences

Clinton, whose comments on foreign policy are being closely watched as she mulls a possible 2016 presidential bid, described Russia’s annexation of the disputed territory from Ukraine as a violation of international law, the Associated Press reports. Speaking at an event in Montreal, she recommended sanctions against Russia and more support for Ukraine’s new government.

“If [Putin's] allowed to get away with that, I think you’ll see a lot of other countries either directly facing Russian aggression or suborned with their political systems so that they are so intimidated that in effect they are transformed into vassals, not sovereign democracies,” Clinton said.

Clinton also said Europe needs to decrease its dependency on Russian oil and gas by utilizing alternative energy sources. She described Russia’s actions as symptomatic of a “clash of values” and “an effort by Putin to re-write the boundaries of post-WWII Europe.”

[AP]

TIME Israel

Israel Attacks Syrian Military Targets After Golan Bombing

Israeli air force strikes a training centre, some artillery batteries and a military headquarters in response to Tuesday's attack on the Golan Heights. “Our policy is very clear: we hurt those who hurt us,” says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel says it has attacked a number of Syrian army sites in response to a bombing of the Golan Heights on Tuesday that wounded 4 Israeli soldiers.

The targeted areas included a training centre, some artillery batteries and a military headquarters, reports the BBC. The Syrian army claimed on Wednesday that the attacks killed 1 soldier and wounded 7.

The Israeli air force has been launching occasional strikes in Syria since the uprising began three years ago. They are believed to have helped halt the flow of rocket supplies from the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad to Hizballah, the Lebanese Shia Islamist movement currently giving its support to the Syrian state. However, the most recent strikes were thought to be in direct retaliation to the attack by the Syrian army.

“Our policy is very clear: we hurt those who hurt us,” commented Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

[BBC]

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