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Douglas Stuart wins Booker Prize

LONDON: New York-based Scottish writer Douglas Stuart has won the prestigious 50,000-pound Booker Prize for his autobiographical debut novel ‘Shuggie Bain’, a coming of age tale of love and alcoholism set in 1980s Glasgow and “destined to be a classic”, beating Indian-origin author Avni Doshi’s ‘Burnt Sugar’. Stuart, 44, dedicated the book to his mother, who died of alcoholism when he was 16-years-old. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in London, he moved to New York to start a career in fashion design.”I cannot believe this. Shuggie is a work of fiction but writing the book was extremely healing for me; hugely cathartic,” Stuart said. “I always wanted to be a writer so this is fulfilling a dream. This has changed my entire life,” he said in his acceptance speech.

PDM refused permit to hold anti-govt rally

PESHAWAR: The provincial government in northwest Pakistan on Friday refused to allow the newly-formed Pakistan Democratic Movement, an alliance of 11 Opposition parties, to hold its scheduled anti-government rally here on Sunday, citing a sudden spike in coronavirus cases in the region. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party is in power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through Deputy Commissioner of Peshawar. The Commissioner’s office formally conveyed its decision of not allowing the PDM to hold the rally on November 22. In a short statement, it said that the second wave of coronavirus has taken an alarming shape in Peshawar. “We have to protect the lives of the people first. Therefore, the Opposition parties cannot be allowed to hold the rally at the cost of peoples’ lives,” it said.

Mexico 4th country to register 100,000 COVID-19 deaths

MEXICO CITY: Mexico passed the 100,000 mark in COVID-19 deaths Thursday, becoming only the fourth country — behind the United States, Brazil and India — to do so. José Luis Alomía Zegarra, Mexico’s director of epidemiology, announced that Mexico had 100,104 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. But the living will bear the scars too: along with their lost friends and loved ones, many surviving coronavirus victims in Mexico say the psychosis caused by the pandemic is one of the most lasting effects.

Netanyahu to undergo health examination

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will undergo a routine examination of his digestive tract on Friday while under sedation, his office said. Defence Minister Benny Gantz will serve as acting prime minister during the examination, it said. Netanyahu and Gantz are political rivals who battled to a stalemate in three hard-fought elections in less than a year. They formed an emergency unity government earlier this year to combat the coronavirus, but the coalition has been mired in political infighting. Under the unity agreement, Gantz is to become prime minister next November, but many Israelis expect new elections before then.

Top Pentagon official tests COVID-19 positive

WASHINGTON: Acting US Undersecretary of Defence for Policy Anthony Tata has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Pentagon said in a statement. Tata was one of the several senior US defence officials who on November 13 met Lithuanian Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis, who had later tested positive for the virus, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying on Thursday night. During his visit, Karoblis also met Acting Defence Secretary Chris Miller and the secretaries of the army, navy and air force. “We have and are continuing to conduct further contact tracing of DoD personnel who have had close contact with the Lithuanian delegation or Tata, “ the Pentagon statement said, adding that it will report additional positive cases as appropriate.