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Improbably, however, a number of foreigners did continue to make the trip. Some wanted to witness the war firsthand. Others, such as a visitor from suburban St. Louis, just “wanted to see what this place looked like.” Indeed, it was not until 1974 that the travel publisher Fodor’s saw fit to cease its Vietnam coverage. By that time, of course, most tourists had long since decided that a visit was not worth the risk. Seeing Vietnam would simply have to wait. But wait they did. If the idea of tourism in Iraq today sounds positively crazy, its planners can look hopefully on the Vietnamese case. By the close of the twentieth century, the one-time divided state wracked by decades of brutal warfare had emerged as one of the fastest growing destinations on the planet. In 2001 it received over two million visitors. By 2008 that annual figure had nearly doubled. –“Iraq: Your Next Holiday Destination,” Scott Laderman, History News Network
Israel has admitted that pathologists harvested organs from dead Palestinians, and others without the consent of their families – a practice that it said ended in the 1990s, it emerged at the weekend. The admission, by the former head of the country’s forensic institute, followed a furious row prompted by a Swedish newspaper reporting that Israel was killing Palestinians in order to use their organs– a charge that Israel denied and called “antisemitic.” –“Doctor Admits Israeli Pathologists Harvested Organs Without Consent,” Ian Black, the Guardian
Some time ago I was interviewed via e-mail for an article and, as I often do, after providing answers to the nine questions, I asked the following: “Mind if I republish these answers in full on my blog after the piece goes live?” It turned out that the journalist actually did mind. In fact, in the correspondence that followed, the journalist explicitly refused me permission to publish my own answers before changing her mind and saying I could– but without the accompanying questions she had supplied. So who owns the interview? –“E-Media Tidbits,” Paul Bradshaw, PoynterOnline
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”