Stockholm, Swe­den

The Week Middle East - - News -

Knockin’ on Dy­lan’s door: A mem­ber of the Swedish Academy has de­scribed Bob Dy­lan as “im­po­lite and ar­ro­gant” for fail­ing to ac­knowl­edge that it had awarded him the 2016 No­bel Prize in Literature. The Amer­i­can mu­si­cian (pic­tured) has ig­nored re­peated phone calls from Stockholm, and has made no men­tion of the award in pub­lic. A brief ref­er­ence to it did ap­pear on his web­site, only to be swiftly re­moved – and the Academy has no idea whether he will at­tend its cer­e­mony on 10 De­cem­ber. If he doesn’t get in touch, he will still be listed as the 2016 No­bel lau­re­ate, but is un­likely to be given the $900,000 prize: in or­der to re­ceive the cash, win­ners must give a lec­ture re­lat­ing to “the work for which the prize has been awarded” within six months.

Geneva, Switzer­land

Dead­li­est year for refugees: This year is set to be by far the dead­li­est yet for refugees and other mi­grants cross­ing the Mediter­ranean to Europe, ac­cord­ing to the UN Refugee Agency. In the cal­en­dar year to 25 Oc­to­ber, some 3,740 peo­ple had been killed at­tempt­ing the cross­ing – a num­ber cer­tain to rise sub­stan­tially as win­ter ap­proaches. Last year, the death toll for the en­tire year was 3,771. “This is by far the worst we ever have seen in the Mediter­ranean,” said a spokesman for the Geneva-based agency. He blamed the rise on smug­glers or­gan­is­ing more cross­ings in very bad weather, and send­ing thou­sands of peo­ple in flimsy boats out to sea at the same time, mak­ing res­cue ef­forts much more dif­fi­cult.

Madrid, Spain

Im­passe bro­ken: Mar­i­ano Ra­joy, Spain’s care­taker prime min­is­ter (right), is on the verge of form­ing a new per­ma­nent ad­min­is­tra­tion, end­ing a ten­month im­passe. Ra­joy’s cen­treright Peo­ple’s Party won the most votes in elec­tions last De­cem­ber and again in June, but both times fell far short of achiev­ing a ma­jor­ity, leav­ing Spain – which faces se­ri­ous eco­nomic chal­lenges and the threat of Cata­lan se­ces­sion – rud­der­less. This week the main op­po­si­tion party, the So­cial­ists, voted not to block Ra­joy’s re-elec­tion – clear­ing the way for the for­ma­tion of a govern­ment and avoid­ing a third elec­tion.

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