Omani writer wins Man Booker literature prize
Jokha Alharthi on Tuesday became the first Arabic author to win the Man Booker International prize for her novel “Celestial Bodies” which reveals her Omani homeland’s post-colonial transformation. “I am thrilled that a window has been opened to the rich Arabic culture,” Alharthi, 40, told reporters after the ceremony at the Roundhouse in London. Alharthi is the author of two previous collections of short fiction, a children’s book and three novels in Arabic. She studied classical Arabic poetry at Edinburgh University and teaches at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. The prestigious 50,000-pound (57,000 euro, $64,000) prize, which celebrates translated fiction from around the world, is divided equally between the author and the translator. Alharthi’s translator was US academic Marilyn Booth, who teaches Arabic literature at Oxford University.
India launches spy satellite
India yesterday successfully launched an earth observation satellite that would enhance the country’s surveillance capabilities among others. The 615kg satellite RISAT-2B (Radar Imaging Satellite-2B) is meant for application in fields such as surveillance, agriculture, forestry and disaster management support. A Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46), carrying the satellite, blasted off at 5:30am Indian time from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, our New Delhi correspondent reports. The satellite was successfully put into its orbit at a height of 555km above the earth about 15 minutes and 30 seconds after the lift-off of the rocket. The RISAT-2B is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar that can take pictures of the earth during day and night and also under cloudy conditions.
N Korea state media hits out at ‘imbecile’ Biden
North Korean state media yesterday slammed former US vice president Joe Biden as an “imbecile” and a “fool of low IQ” after he criticised leader Kim Jong Un. Biden, who served two terms as President Barack Obama’s deputy, has been on the campaign trail since announcing last month his candidacy for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2020 presidential election. And some of his comments about the North Korean leadership during campaigning appear to have angered Pyongyang, sparking the colourful commentary by its official news agency KCNA. At a rally in Philadelphia on Saturday, Biden had criticised Donald Trump’s approach to the leaders of North Korea and Russia, accusing the president of embracing “tyrants like (Vladimir) Putin and Kim Jong Un”.