Several writers decline recognition from PEN America in protest over its Israel-Hamas war stance

NEW YORK — Several authors have turned down awards and awards nominations from PEN America, citing unhappiness with the literary and free expression organization’s stance on the war in Gaza. This week, PEN announced its long lists in categories ranging from the $75,000 Jean Stein Award for best book to the $10,000 PEN/Hemingway award for … Read more

Polish lawmakers will vote on whether to lift a near-total abortion ban

WARSAW, Poland — Polish lawmakers are due to vote Friday on whether to lift a near-total ban on abortion, a highly divisive issue in the traditionally Roman Catholic country, which has one of the most restrictive laws in Europe. The party of centrist Prime Minister Donald Tusk wants to change the law to allow women … Read more

Australians travelling to Brazil required to share bank statements or payslips to enter country

2024 is shaping up to be the year of travel reprieves. Hot on the heels of the European Union postponing (again) its much-mooted ETIAS program, which will require visitors from most non-EU countries to obtain pre-travel clearance, Brazil has pushed back the start of its new visa system for travellers from the Australia, the US … Read more

O.J. Simpson, fallen NFL star acquitted of murder in ‘trial of the century,’ dies at 76

O.J. Simpson, the controversial former NFL star and broadcaster who was famously acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend, has died of cancer. His family announced on his official X account the 76-year-old died on Wednesday after battling prostate cancer. “On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer,” … Read more

Posthumous memoir by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to be published Oct. 22

NEW YORK — A memoir Alexei Navalny began working on in 2020 will be published this fall. “Patriot,” which publisher Alfred A. Knopf is calling the late Russian opposition leader’s “final letter to the world,” will come out Oct. 22. Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, said in a statement released Thursday by the publisher, “This book … Read more

Poland has a strict abortion law — and many abortions. Lawmakers are now tackling the legislation

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s parliament is finally holding a long-awaited debate on liberalizing the country’s strict abortion law. The traditionally Catholic nation has one of the most restrictive laws in Europe — but the reality is that many women terminate pregnancies at home with pills mailed from abroad. Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament … Read more

Card skimming warning for Australians using ATMS in Bali

Tourists are being warned to remain vigilant about ATM scams in Bali after a woman was this week deported for using credit card skimmers. Fresh alerts have been issued for travellers to be on the lookout for skimming devices and other signs of scams — including makeshift signs declaring ATMS are out of order. Tourists … Read more

Brazil again extends visa exemptions for US, Canada and Australia, this time until 2025

Brazil’s government has extended exemptions to tourist visa requirements for citizens of the U.S., Australia and Canada until April 2025, extending a program aimed at boosting tourism that had been scheduled to end Wednesday RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s government extended exemptions to tourist visa requirements for citizens of the U.S., Australia and Canada until … Read more

France is proposing to allow terminally ill patients to take lethal medication

PARIS — France’s government presented a bill Wednesday to allow adults with terminal cancer or other incurable illness to take lethal medication, as public demands grow for legal options for aid in dying. Many French people have traveled to neighboring countries where medically assisted suicide or euthanasia are legal. French President Emmanuel Macron has long … Read more

Track and field becomes first sport to pay prize money at Olympics. Paris gold medalists get $50,000

Track and field is set to become the first sport to introduce prize money at the Olympics, with World Athletics saying Wednesday it would pay $50,000 to gold medalists in Paris. The move is a symbolic break with the amateur past of the Olympics in one of the games’ most-watched events. The governing body of … Read more