Nobel Literature Prize to German Author.
This year’s Nobel Prize in Literature goes to German writer Herta Müller. The Swedish Academy stated that Müller’s writings “with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed". Born in 1953 in a German-speaking enclave in Romania, she immigrated to Germany in 1987. Her mother spent five years in a work camp in present-day Ukraine and her father served in the Waffen SS during World War II. One of her most recent works, “Atemschaukel” (2009), portrayed the exile of German Romanians in the Soviet Union, where many German Romanians were deported at the end of the war. In the mid 1970s, Müller studied German and Romanian literature at the university in Timişoara, during which time she was linked with Aktionsgruppe Banat, a circle of young German-speaking authors who opposed Ceauşescu’s dictatorship. She later worked at a factory, but was fired after refusing to work as an informant for the secret police. Müller made her literary debut in 1982 with “Niederungen”, a collection of short stories, which was censored in Romania. She released an uncensored version in Germany two years later, while at the same time publishing a second book, “Drückender Tango”, in Romania. The two works depicted life in a secluded German-speaking village, detailing the corruption and oppression that came with it. While criticized in her own country, Müller was warmly received by the German press. In the 1990’s, Müller published several more novels which highlighted the challenges and despair of life in a dictatorship. She currently lives in Berlin, and since 1995 has served as a member of the German Academy for Language and Literature (Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung).

Split Nobel Chemistry Prize.
Three chemists will share the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work in revealing more about how cells go about using bits of DNA to form the blueprints for living organisms. The prize will be split three ways between UK-based chemist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz of the United States, and Ada E. Yonath of Israel "for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome", the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced. Found within cells, ribosomes use the information found in DNA molecules to produce proteins, which play vital roles in the chemistry of living organisms. Any of the thousands of different proteins created by ribosomes, from hemoglobin to insulin, affect and control the chemical processes, which create and sustain life. This year’s three Nobel chemistry prize winners have all created 3D models showing how various antibiotics bind to the ribosome. Through their models, each winner has shown what the ribosome looks like and how it functions at the atomic level, using a method called X-ray crystallography to map the position for each and every one of the hundreds of thousands of atoms that make up the ribosome. Ramakrishnan, a US citizen, was born in India in 1952 and earned a PhD in physics from Ohio University in the United States. He is currently a senior scientist at Cambridge University's MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Steitz was born in Wisconsin in 1940, earning a PhD in molecular biology and biochemistry from Harvard University. He now works as a professor at Yale University. Yonath was born in Jerusalem in 1939 and received a PhD in X-ray Crystallography from the Weizmann Institute of Science, where she is now a professor of structural biology.

ADVERTISEMENT

City of Women.
It’s a city where only women are allowed (it supposedly hosts 25,000 of them) and it was founded in 1820 in northern Swedish by a rich widow. It also features a medieval castle. Haven’t you heard of Chako Paul City? According to Chinese media, Chako Paul City is a place where women turn to homosexuality “because they cannot suppress their sexual needs”, men who wish to enter risk being beaten half to death by police, and a pair of blonde female sentries stand guard at the entrance of the citadel. Per Wilhelmsson, of the tourist office in Umeå in northern Sweden, says he is “fairly certain” Chako Paul City does not exist, and Claes Bertilson, a spokesperson for Sweden’s Association of the Local Authorities tells The Local: “I’ve never heard anything about it. At 25,000 residents, the town would be one of the largest in northern Sweden, and I find it hard to believe that you could keep something like that a secret for more than 150 years.”

Violence against women – top of list of police crimes.
Acts of violence against women made up most of the indictments against Swedish off duty policemen in the last decade, reports Dagens Nyheter. Almost a third of all indictments faced by officers between 1998 and 2008 related to the alleged assault of wives, ex-girlfriends or former partners, according to a review carried out by the newspaper. In all, 48 cases dealt with either assault or the related crime of gross violation of a woman's integrity ('grov kvinnofridskränkning'). The majority of cases in recent years have led to convictions. "We are the first to admit that this is a difficult situation. We must not hide the issue," said Liljemor Melin-Sving, deputy chairperson of the Swedish Police Union, to DN. In the ten-year period covered by the review, 30 police officers have been charged with common assault - the second most common indictment for off duty police officers - followed by drunk driving in third place, shoplifting or theft in fourth and child pornography in fifth place. Among the population at large, traffic offences accounted for the largest number of indictments from 1998 to 2008. This was followed by shoplifting or theft, and possession of narcotics for personal use. Assault cases in which men were the victims came in ninth on the list, while assault cases in which women were the victims constituted the 13th most common crime.