TIME Books

French Novelist Patrick Modiano Wins Nobel Prize in Literature

French novelist Patrick Modiano poses for a photograph. Patrick Modiano of France has won the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature.
French novelist Patrick Modiano poses for a photograph. Patrick Modiano of France has won the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature. AP—AP/Gallimard

Modiano is well known in his home country of France

Patrick Modiano, a French author whose work deals with memory, identity and the impact of the Nazi occupation on his home country, won the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday.

The Swedish prize worth roughly $1.1 million was awarded to Modiano “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.”

Modiano’s father was of Italian Jewish origin, and his work often focuses on the effect of the Nazi occupation of France, according to the Associated Press. Some of his works, including “Villa Triste,” “A Trace of Malice,” and “Honeymoon” have been translated into English.

Peter Englund, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, said that Modiano, 69, has written some 30 books, primarily novels, the Guardian reports. “Those are his important themes: memory, identity, and time,” Englund said. “He is a well known name in France but pretty well not anywhere else.”

He beat out several presumed front-runners for the prize, including Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami and the Kenyan poet Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. Canadian short story author Alice Munro won the prize last year.

TIME conflict

India and Pakistan Clash Over Kashmir After Peace Talks Falter

Relatives of Rajesh Kumar, who was killed in mortar shell firing allegedly from the Pakistan's side, weep inside their residential house at Masha da kothe village, in Arnia Sector near the India-Pakistan international border, about 30 miles)from Jammu, India, on Monday.
Relatives of Rajesh Kumar, who was killed in mortar shell firing allegedly from Pakistan's side, weep inside their house at Masha Da Kothe village, near the India-Pakistan border, about 30 miles from Jammu, India, on Oct. 6, 2014 Channi Anand—AP

Hope for long-term peace unraveled after India called off a round of talks last month

Tens of thousands of villagers have fled their homes in Kashmir amid some of the worst violence between India and Pakistan since a 2003 cease-fire agreement.

Shelling from both sides that began on Friday has killed at least nine civilians, Reuters reports. Both sides have accused each other of starting the clashes, which coincide with the Eid al-Adha festival for Muslims in both countries.

Newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised expectations for a warming of ties between the two countries when he invited Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his inauguration in May. But Modi called off peace talks last month because Pakistan planned to meet with Kashmiri separatists.

The two countries have fought three wars over the disputed region, and Muslim separatists have targeted Indian forces since 1989.

Thousands of people from Indian villages along the border have been evacuated to government shelters and underground bunkers, the Associated Press reports. Authorities in Pakistan say four civilians, including two children and a woman, have been killed in the clashes. An Indian official said five people were killed by Pakistani shelling.

[Reuters]

TIME faith

The Hajj Airlift You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Hajj
Pilgrims arriving at Mecca's Grand Mosque on Oct. 10, 2013, during the hajj pilgrimage Fayez Nureldine—AFP/Getty Images

After thousands of pilgrims were stranded in Beirut on their way to Mecca, one American diplomat saw an opportunity to lend a helping hand.

The annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca kicks off this week, with some 2 million people expected to join. The religious occasion is considered to be the largest annual mass gathering in the world and is, unsurprisingly, accompanied by a litany of logistical hurdles, ranging from transportation to accommodations.

But it could be worse: in 1952, the problem was particularly acute. As TIME reported then, far more pilgrims were headed for Saudi Arabia, where Mecca is located, than had been expected, in part because Saudi Arabia had waived an entrance fee for pilgrims that year. As a result, flights from Beirut–a common layover–were overbooked, and thousands of people found themselves stranded in Beirut on their way to Mecca.

One American diplomat in Lebanon, Harold Minor, saw an opportunity to lend a helping hand and, in so doing, also attempt to mend the U.S.’s then-shaky relations with the Arab world. Here’s TIME’s account of the ensuing “miracle in Washington:”

Minor promptly dashed off a “night action” (most urgent) cable to Washington, pointing out that here was a real chance for the U.S. to make friends in the Arab world. Something of a miracle then happened: the State Department got the point. At Rhein-Main airport in Wiesbaden, Germany, at Wheelus Field in Tripoli, at Orly Field in Paris, U.S. airmen were suddenly alerted for special duty. Three days later, the first of 13 huge U.S. C-54s landed at Beirut’s airport. Next morning Operation Hajj was under way…

Five days later the last of 3,763 stranded pilgrims was loaded aboard the last flight. The airlift had traveled a total of 121,800 miles. Some of the U.S. airmen had spent 27 out of 40 hours in the air, but the trips had been more than worth it. The pilgrims’ airlift had done more good than any other act of the U.S.’s otherwise fumbling and unimaginative action and inaction in the Middle East. It was the one success U.S. diplomacy could claim in a week of continued crises.

The operation was reportedly a huge success and drew praise from Arab leaders and TIME readers alike. Wrote one reader, Nashville resident Robert Alvarez:

What a thrill—to read of our big, bumbling State Department actually showing a little imagination. This is the kind of thing they ought to be doing every day in the year—instead of once a decade . . .

Read the 1952 story about Operation Hajj: Airlift for Allah

TIME Supreme Court

Supreme Court Passes on Gay Marriage Debate for Now

Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States Phil Roeder—Getty Images

The top court could still decide to hear one of the seven gay marriage cases pending before it.

The Supreme Court skipped an early opportunity to wade back into the national debate on gay marriage Thursday.

The nation’s top court did not include the seven different pending cases regarding same-sex marriage on a list of arguments it has agreed to hear that was released Thursday, ahead of the beginning of a new term on Monday, USA Today reports.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Supreme Court won’t weigh in on the cases this term. The court often holds off on deciding whether to hear high-profile cases until later in its term.

The cases in question revolve around gay marriage bans in five states: Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana and Wisconsin. The Supreme Court last year ruled that the federal government could not deny benefits to same-sex couples but did not take a position on whether states are constitutionally allowed to ban same-sex marriage.

According to USA Today, 31 states currently have marriage bans in place. But since last year’s Supreme Court ruling, judges in more than a dozen of those states have overturned the bans, leaving them in place pending appeals.

[USA Today]

TIME privacy

Celebrity Lawyer Threatens Google With $100 Million Suit Over Nude Selfies

The Daily Front Row Second Annual Fashion Media Awards - Arrivals
Model Kate Upton attends The Daily Front Row Second Annual Fashion Media Awards at Park Hyatt New York on September 5, 2014 in New York City. Rommel Demano—Getty Images

“Google’s ‘Don’t be evil’ motto’ is a sham.”

Updated 2:54 p.m. ET Thursday

A lawyer representing more than a dozen celebrities whose personal and sometimes nude photos were stolen and shared on the Internet issued a scathing letter to Google that accuses the tech giant of helping the images spread and threatens a $100 million lawsuit.

The letter, written by lawyer Marty Singer and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, calls Google’s conduct “despicable” for what it says is Google’s failure to remove the images and its “facilitating and perpetuating the unlawful conduct.”

A Google spokesperson said via email Thursday afternoon that “We’ve removed tens of thousands of pictures — within hours of the requests being made — and we have closed hundreds of accounts. The Internet is used for many good things. Stealing people’s private photos is not one of them.”

Indeed, the firm has removed some images from its sites and links to the images from its search engine. Still, the letter says lawyers have asked Google more than a dozen times to remove the images from Google sites like BlogSpot and YouTube, but some of the images are still available several weeks after the initial breach.

Google “has acted dishonorably by allowing and perpetuating unlawful activity that exemplifies an utter lack of respect for women and privacy,” the letter says. “Google’s ‘Don’t be evil’ motto’ is a sham.”

[THR]

TIME ebola

100 People Came Into Contact With Texas Ebola Patient

Texas Hospital Patient Confirmed As First Case Of Ebola Virus Diagnosed In US
A medical transport van moves past Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas where a patient has been diagnosed with the Ebola virus on September 30, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. Mike Stone—Getty Images

Four family members of the first confirmed Ebola patient in the US have been ordered to stay at home as a precautionary measure

Updated 1:15 p.m. ET Thursday

Health workers have identified about 100 people who came into first- or second-degree contact with the first confirmed Ebola patient in the U.S. or with his family, officials said Thursday, as the patient’s family was ordered to stay at home in isolation.

Health experts have been tracking down anyone who could have come into contact with the patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, who first went to a Texas hospital for medical care on Sept. 25, days after arriving in the U.S. from Liberia. Duncan was initially sent home despite having told hospital staff of his recent travel from Ebola-ridden West Africa, but he was brought back two days later as his symptoms worsened.

The group of 100 people were not necessarily close to the patient but may have had some level of contact with him, Zachary Thompson, the director of the Dallas County Health and Human Services told NBC.

Health officials in Texas have also ordered four family members who had contact with Duncan to stay at home and not have visitors, the Department of State Health Services said in a statement. The family members, who have not shown symptoms, are legally compelled to comply until at least Oct. 19, when the incubation period for the virus will have passed. The virus is not contagious until symptoms appear.

“We have tried and true protocols to protect the public and stop the spread of this disease,” David Lakey, the Texas health commissioner, said in a statement. “This order gives us the ability to monitor the situation in the most meticulous way.”

Separately, a man in Hawaii is being treated in isolation for what health officials say is a potential Ebola case, though he could be sick with some other ailment. The virus has infected more than 7,200 people primarily in Western Africa and killed more 3,300, making it the most deadly Ebola outbreak ever.

This post has been updated to reflect an increased number of people who are being monitored for Ebola-like symptoms and to clarify the degree of their contact with Duncan as well as details about Duncan’s initial hospital visit.

TIME Football

Long Island High Schooler Dies After Football Collision

Tom Cutinella is the third high school football player to have died in recent days.

A Long Island high school junior died late Wednesday after colliding with an opponent in a varsity football game.

Tom Cutinella, a junior at Shoreham-Wading River High School who plays guard/linebacker on the school’s football team, was pronounced dead after sustaining a head injury in the third quarter of the afternoon game, Newsday reports.

Cutinella was hospitalized after the hit and placed in the intensive-care unit after undergoing surgery. His death came as a shock to the community and to the 60 friends, relatives and teammates waiting in the hospital, Newsday reports.

“We’re a small community and we’re all devastated,” Jack Costas, a member of the Shoreham-Wading River school board told Newsday. “It’s always tragic when someone so young and so full of life has their life ended. It’s going to be a very, very difficult road ahead from this.”

The risks of injury and death in football have come under increasing scrutiny in the wake of tragic deaths of high school football players and growing evidence that the game can have long-term effects on professional players. Two other high school student players have died of potentially football-related injuries since Friday, according to ESPN.

[Newsday]

TIME ebola

Man in Isolation in Possible Hawaii Ebola Case

Ebola
Getty Images

"It's still an if. This is not a 'for sure' thing."

A man is being treated in isolation in Hawaii for what health officials say is a potential Ebola case, local ABC affiliate KITV reported Thursday, though he could be sick with some other ailment.

Authorities stress that they are being especially cautious amid concerns over the deadly virus, two days after the first confirmed case in the United States was identified in Texas. They did not release details about the patient or the hospital where he is being treated, according to KITV.

“The hospital is being very careful, as they should be, to take precautions making sure the patient is in isolation and making sure the people and the public stay safe,” Dr. Melissa Viray, an official with the Hawaii Department of Health, told KITV. “That being said, it’s still an if. This is not a ‘for sure’ thing.”

Health officials in Texas are tracking down anyone who may have come into contact with the Ebola patient in Texas and monitoring a second potential case. The virus has infected more than 7,200 people primarily in Western Africa and killed more 3,300 in the worst Ebola outbreak on record.

[KITV]

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