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Israeli author Amos Oz dies at 79 | News

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Amos Oz, one of Israel‘s most famous authors, has died at the age of 79, his daughter confirmed on Twitter.

“My beloved father, Amos Oz, a wonderful family man, an author, a man of peace and moderation, died peacefully today after a short battle with cancer,” Fania Oz-Salzberger wrote on Friday.

Born in 1939 to a family of Eastern European Jews who moved to British-occupied Mandate Palestine, Oz fought in the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars but was later a critic of Israel’s occupation of land captured in those conflicts.

The novelist advocated a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, for which he said “painful concessions” needed to be made on both sides.

In recent years he became a critic of what he called the “growing extremism” of his government, especially Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a position that made him the target of anger from Israel’s far right. 

Palestinians and their supporters also voiced criticism of Oz, who they say shielded Israel from criticism over its occupation and for his support of Israeli wars in Gaza, as well as the 2006 Lebanon War.

British author and pro-Palestinian activist Ben White said Oz’s views “echoed white South Africans’ anxieties during Apartheid.

He referred to an opinion piece written for the Guardian at the start of the second Intifada, in which Oz said: “The Palestinian people are suffocated and poisoned by blind hate.”

“For Oz – a committed proponent of ethnic separation – a Palestinian majority in a single state was an apocalyptic prospect,” White wrote.

As an author, Oz was critically acclaimed, earning plaudits, such as the Goethe Prize, the Legion of Honor, the Franz Kafka Prize, and the Prince of Asturias Award in Literature.

He published dozens of books and was best known for his memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness, which actor and director Natalie Portman adapted for the screen in 2016.

“It was a tale of love and light, and now, a great darkness,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said in a statement eulogising Oz. “Rest in peace, dear Amos. You gave us great pleasure.” 






SPECIAL SERIES: The War in June 1967 (49:30)


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When Ontario declared a COVID-19 health emergency last spring, the first instinct of Ottawa entrepreneur Peter O’Blenis was to preserve cash.

“We basically stopped our discretionary spending,” said O’Blenis, the co-founder and CEO of Evidence Partners, which makes software for accelerating the review of scientific and medical literature, using artificial intelligence. “We cut investments in things meant to help us grow.”

It was a defensive posture born of experience. O’Blenis had 12 years earlier nearly been crushed by the global financial crisis. Another looked to be on the way.

In 2008, O’Blenis and his colleagues, Jonathan Barker and Ian Stefanison, hit a brick wall with their first venture, TrialStat, which helped hospitals manage patients’ electronic data. While TrialStat had secured $5.5 million in venture financing just a couple of years earlier, the founders had burned through most of it during a rapid expansion. When the financial world collapsed, so did their firm.

The trio played things far more conservatively with Evidence Partners, which has relied almost exclusively on customer revenues to finance expansion.

The caution proved unnecessary. Like so many other businesses, O’Blenis underestimated the government’s willingness to keep the economy afloat with easy money. Nor did he anticipate that COVID-19 would prove a significant catalyst for the firm’s revenues so soon.

Evidence Partners is hardly the only local firm with technology particularly suited for the war against COVID-19. Spartan Bioscience and DNA Genotek adapted existing products to create technology for identifying the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Ottawa-based units of Abbott Laboratories and Siemens Healthineers make portable blood analyzers that diagnose patients afflicted by the virus.

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Shepherds of Good Hope wants to expand ByWard Market operation with eight-storey housing complex

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The Shepherds of Good Hope plans to build an eight-storey building near its current shelter for the homeless in the ByWard Market that would include supportive housing for up to 48 people, a soup kitchen and a drop-in centre.

The organization says it wants to be part of the solution to the housing crisis that has fuelled a rise in homelessness in Ottawa.

People would be moved out of the emergency shelters and into their own tiny apartments in the complex, which would include a communal dining hall and staff available to help with mental health, addiction and medical problems, said Caroline Cox, senior manager of communications for the Shepherds.

Some residents in the neighbourhood are opposed, saying services for the homeless and vulnerable should not be concentrated in one area of the city.

“I was flabbergasted,” said homeowner Brian Nolan, who lives one block from the development proposed for 216 Murray St., where currently a one-story building houses offices for the Shepherds of Good Hope.

Nolan said that, in the 15 years he’s lived in the area, it has become increasingly unsafe, with home and car thefts, drug dealing, loitering, aggressive and erratic behaviour, urinating, defecating and vomiting on sidewalks and yards and sexual acts conducted in public on his dead-end street. Before he lets his son play basketball in the yard, he checks the ground for needles and his home security camera to see who is nearby.

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Carleton University Hosts the Forum Lecture: Towards a Feminist Post-COVID City

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evehe Carleton University Forum Lecture: Towards a Feminist Post-COVID City given by Leslie Kern launches Ottawa Architecture Week. Urban geographer, author and academic, Kern will discuss how the pandemic has highlighted long-standing inequalities in the design, use and inclusivity of urban spaces. The talk will share some of the core principles behind a feminist urban vision to inform a wider vision of justice, equity and sustainability.

When
: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.
Registration: https://alumni.carleton.ca/event-registration-architecture-forum-series-with-leslie-kern-2/.

About the Speaker

Kern holds a PhD in Women’s Studies from York University. She is currently an associate professor of Geography and Environment and director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Mount Allison University.

Kern is the author of two books on gender and cities, including Feminist City: Claiming Space in a Man-Made World (Verso). The book discusses how our cities have failed in terms of fear, motherhood, friendship, activism, the joy and perils of being alone, and also imagines what they could become.

Kern argues, “The pandemic has shown us that society can be radically reorganized if necessary. Let’s carry that lesson into creating the non-sexist city.”

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