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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:
Number of free condoms handed out by the Brazilian government in advance of Carnival this year:
The best way to measure happiness is simply to ask people how happy they are.
Following three weeks of clashes between protesters and government forces that killed at least 17 people, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro announced a two-day extension of Carnival. “Happiness will conquer the embittered,” he said during an appearance at a recreation center.
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”