Hollande wins peace prize
He has been praised as a war chief in Mali. Now, President Francois Hollande has been awarded a UN-sponsored peace prize — barely a year into his presidency and just months after launching his first war against Islamic extremists. The prize givers and African leaders attending Wednesday’s awards ceremony, including Malian President Dioncounda Traore, say Hollande deserves UNESCO’s Felix Houphouet-Boigny prize precisely because they say the Mali intervention is about long-term peace for a volatile region.
US writer wins fiction prize
US novelist A.M. Homes has won this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction with her sixth novel, May We Be Forgiven. Homes beat bookmakers’ favorite Hilary Mantel and three other finalists to win the ￡30,000 (US$45,000) prize, awarded on Wednesday at a ceremony in London’s Royal Festival Hall. Previously known as the Orange Prize, the prize is one of Britain’s most prestigious literary awards. Actress Miranda Richardson, who chaired a panel of judges, praised Home’s novel, a story about two brothers, as a “dazzling, original, viscerally funny black comedy” and a “subversion of the American dream.”
US filmmaker expelled
Authorities have expelled a US filmmaker who claimed to be working on a documentary, but whom Caracas said was a spy, the government announced on Wednesday. Timothy Hallet Tracy was arrested in April at an airport near Caracas as he tried to leave the country, where he was said to be working on a political documentary tied to presidential elections to choose a successor to late president Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer in March. Caracas insisted that the American was a spy working to destabilize the nation — a charge which the US has denied. Interior and Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres in the past said that Tracy was linked to a protest movement known as “Operation Sovereignty,” in which demonstrators pressed for more information about Chavez’s health prior to his death.
Jackson’s child hospitalized
Late pop icon Michael Jackson’s daughter, Paris, was rushed to a California hospital on Wednesday after trying to commit suicide, a family source said, as her relatives appealed for privacy. The 15-year-old tried to cut her right wrist with a meat cleaver and wrote a suicide note, according to celebrity Web site TMZ. The teenager, whose father died in 2009, was put on a 72-hour psychiatric hold in hospital, the family source said, adding that Paris suffered from depression and had previously reported suicidal thoughts.
Leftist beaten by skinheads
The government says a far-left activist is hospitalized in grave condition after a fight with a group of skinheads near one of Paris’ main train stations. Interior Minister Manuel Valls said the fight between two groups of young people took place on Wednesday evening near the Saint-Lazare train station. At one point, the 19-year-old leftist was beaten by multiple skinheads, according to the statement from Valls. The attackers have not been arrested, the statement said. The victim, Clement Meric, is a student at Sciences Po, according to the school. The Party of the Left said Meric, one of its activists, was declared brain dead.