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The final saw Holland playing Spain, two European colonizers on African territory. Before the game Nelson Mandela’s grandson complained that FIFA had put “extreme pressure” on the elderly hero to attend, despite the fact that he was in mourning for the loss of a great-granddaughter. “Their focus is on having this world icon in the stadium, yet not really paying attention to our customs and traditions as a people and as a family.” The miracle is that anyone ever imagined that FIFA might behave otherwise. –“FIFA’s Foul Play,” Tim Parks, NYRBlog
Stringent traffic rules prohibiting open-air performances have cut the rope-walkers’ lifeline. They used to display their skills on a high rope tied between two poles in open areas such as roads, parks or squares. This is no longer allowed. Bribing the traffic police can sometimes work, but the rope-walkers earn so little they can rarely justify an expense like that. Kishan Bharti, 26, who used to be a rope-walker now works as a tall man in the shopping malls and fairs around the city. At times, when nostalgia strikes, he will tie up his rope and put on a show inside the colony to entertain the children. –“New Delhi’s disappearing street magicians,” Sudhiti Naskar, The National
I had been briefed that he is a man of few words, who eats and sleeps very little and seems to survive on a diet of green tea. As I wait for this phenomenon to make an appearance, I study the menu. St John is favoured by the most enthusiastic of carnivores and the choice is Dickensian and sounds slightly stomach-turning: devilled kidneys, beef mince on dripping toast, smoked eels. In a dark corner, a Japanese tourist is eagerly scooping out the marrow from an ox-bone. –“Lunch with the FT: Oleg Deripaska,” Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
More from Rafe Bartholomew:
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Chances that a Republican man believes that “poor people have hard lives”:
A school in South Korea was planning to deploy a robot to protect students from unwanted seductions.
Nuremberg’s Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint against a 91-year-old woman who completed a crossword puzzle that was in fact a $116,000 piece of avant-garde Danish art.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”