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.
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.
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.