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South Korea lifts ban on French erotic novel by Marquis de Sade

South Korea has lifted a ban on the erotic novel “The 120 Days of Sodom” by the 18th-century French nobleman and writer the Marquis de Sade, just weeks after barring it for “extreme obscenity”. The Korea Publication Ethics Commission, a state review board, accepted an appeal by publishing house Dongsuh…

Ebooks ‘enhancing erotic literature sales’

Flush with the success of “Fifty Shades of Grey”, erotic literature is increasingly finding ardent fans among women seduced by the discretion afforded by ebooks, publishers say. “The Perfect Submissive”, “Body Temperature And Rising” and “Dark Desires”, the titles issued by British specialist publisher Xcite leave little room for doubt…

Neurosurgeon has headache that leads to trip to heaven, sees millions of butterflies: book

Eban Alexander’s quick trip to heaven started with a headache. It was November 2008 and a rare bacterial meningitis was fast on its way to shutting down the University of Virginia neurosurgeon’s neocortex — the part of the brain that deals with sensory perception and conscious thought. “For seven days,…

Hobbit tourism scatters more of Tolkien’s magic across New Zealand

For millions, the Lord of the Rings films turned the country into Middle-earth. As the premiere of a second trilogy approaches, tour operators are ready for another bonanza This time last year, New Zealand was under the spell of the Rugby World Cup, with host nation enthusiasm going a long…

Mexico’s drug cartels target journalists in brutal killing spree

Scores of journalists have died in a country gripped by violence that has claimed an estimated 60,000 lives since 2006 He shakes as he speaks and at moments his eyes fill. “It’s certain that the people who killed my colleague were criminals,” he says. “The killing had the modus operandi…

Painting in Eric Clapton’s collection fetches record price for living artist at auction

German artist’s Abstraktes Bild (809-4), part of Eric Clapton’s art collection, sold by Sotheby’s in London for £21.3m An abstract painting by the German artist Gerhard Richter has sold for £21.3m, setting a new record for the price paid at auction for the work of a living artist. Abstraktes Bild…

From book to screen, filmmakers discuss challenges

Oscar-nominated director Stephen Daldry, most of whose films have been based on well-known books, believes novelists now more readily embrace the adaptation of their works onto the big screen. Daldry was among the movers and shakers from international film, publishing and multimedia industries to share their insight into storytelling at…

Reddit blocks Gawker in controversy over ‘creepshot’ photos

Free speech row after journalist sought to reveal identity of man running forums featuring extreme adult content Blog network Gawker has found itself engaged in a vicious exchange with users of content sharing and recommendations website Reddit’s sleazier sub-forums after a journalist began investigating extreme adult content on the site.…

Affleck film ‘Argo’ recounts Hollywood role in Iran crisis

AFP - Actor-director Ben Affleck’s latest movie tells the incredible story of Hollywood’s role in an attempt to get a group of US diplomats out of Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis. “Argo,” Affleck’s third film behind the camera, is set against the backdrop of the Iranian revolution and the international…

Indian state drops cartoonist’s sedition charge

AFP - Indian prosecutors dropped sedition charges Friday against a cartoonist whose arrest over his anti-corruption drawings outraged freedom of speech campaigners, his lawyer said. Aseem Trivedi, whose online cartoons include the national parliament depicted as a huge toilet bowl, was detained in Mumbai early last month before being released four…

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