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Monday, November 02, 2009

The life and death of Trotsky, Indira: Great heroes make great mistakes,

The life and death of Trotsky - Tariq Ali on Trotsky by Robert Service and Stalin's Nemesis by Bertrand M Patenaude - Trotsky: A Biography - by Robert Service 600pp, Macmillan, £25
Stalin's Nemesis: The Exile and Murder of Leon Trotsky by Bertrand M Patenaude 352pp, Faber, £20
For over half a century, Isaac Deutscher's three-volume biography of Trotsky, a literary-historical masterpiece in its own right, was regarded as the last word on the subject. Many who were deeply hostile to the Russian revolution and all its leading actors nonetheless acclaimed these books: in 1997, asked to nominate his favourite book for National Book Day, the newly elected prime minister, Tony Blair, nominated the trilogy. Twelve years later the culture in this country has become so overwhelmingly conformist that any alternative to capitalism is considered outlandish.

New Martel book on Holocaust 'shocking' - British publisher Canongate has revealed that Canadian author Yann Martel's first book since his 2002 Booker Prize winner Life of Pi will focus on the Holocaust.

It is odd that a leader who was so adept at war in 1971 should prove so gullible in the subsequent peace process. No matter which way you look at it, the Simla Agreement of 1972 was an opportunity thrown away. The cease-fire line of 1948 should have been converted into the permanent border, sealing, thereby, the 1966 Tashkent Agreement in which India and Pakistan inked a commitment to respect this line. Mrs Gandhi held all the trumps in 1972, and lost the hand to Zulfiqar Bhutto. His successor, Zia-ul-Haq, took revenge for Bangladesh by helping foment the Punjab revolt: its apex, in 1984, saw the destruction of the Golden Temple, the assassination of Indira Gandhi, and the frenzied massacre of Sikhs. Zia-ul-Haq could not tear India apart, but he left a wound in India's heart. Indira: Great heroes make great mistakes -
By M J Akbar

EGYPT: A Big Catch Feed Millions - By Cam McGrath - CAIRO, Nov 1 (IPS) - As the sun rises over the Nile delta, workers at a fish farm in northern Egypt open a sluice gate and sort through the thousands of wriggling tilapia that pour out of a concrete holding tank. The fish are sorted, packed into crates and sent to supermarkets in Cairo and Alexandria, where they are sold as "the catch of the day". Commercial fish farming in Egypt began in the 1960s with mullet-rearing pens in coastal lakes and lagoons. The industry has witnessed explosive growth over the past decade. Total aquaculture production has grown by 500 percent since 1998 due to a shift to intensive rearing methods and faster growing species such as tilapia.


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