Week in Review: Booker, Obama and Fahim

Here’s a quick roundup of the week’s news:

It’s the 40th anniversary of the Booker Prize and, as part of the celebration, they’ve decided to hand outRushdiesigns
a Best of the Booker award this year. Among the contenders for the award are Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things (1997) and Salman Rushdie, author of Midnight’s Children. Back in 1993, on the 25th anniversary of the prestigious literary award, Rushdie’s novel was selected as the Booker of Bookers, setting the stage for Heather Locklear to be selected as the Looker of Lookers and Heidi Fleiss to be selected as the Hooker of Hookers.

Barack Obama cruised to his 11th straight victory over Hillary Clinton in the race to be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. Obama not only triumphed in Hawaii and Wisconsin, he won the Democrats Abroad primary, as well as the Democrats Underground and Democrats in Outer Space primaries. Clinton did have one victory though, edging out Obama in the Democrats Committed primary.

Republican candidate John McCain spent much of the week denying he had an affair with a lobbyist named Vicki Iseman. "At no time have I ever done anything improper," McCain said. Democratic Party spokesman Mike Davis immediately called him a liar and demanded that he explain why he pulled a little girl’s hair in kindergarten.

Opposition parties shared a victory in Pakistan’s general election, winning at least 154 of the 268 contested seats in the National Assembly. Veteran politician Makhdoom Amin Fahim, 68, is the favorite to become Pakistan’s next prime minister, with many party leaders wearing buttons that say: "I’m Fahim. You’re Fahim. We’re all Fahim!"

The US Navy fired a missile and shot down an out-of-control spy satellite as it traveled over the Pacific Ocean, showing how amazingly precise military technology can be. "It’s the type of technology we can use to shoot and kill Osama bin Laden," Navy spokesman John Roberts said. "All we need to do is find a way to get him into outer space."

Ralph Nader announced that he’s running for president again as a third-party candidate, hoping to "shift the power from the few to the many." In 2000, Nader, running as a Green Party candidate, won 2.7 percent of the vote, siphoning votes away from Al Gore and bringing George W. Bush into power, causing many Democrats to loathe him and many Republicans to conclude, quite logically, that Nader was responsible for starting the Iraq War. Nader fared worse in 2004, when he ran as an independent candidate and garnered only 0.3 percent of the vote, staging a campaign that received little media attention and mainly consisted of Nader traveling around the country to make speeches in front of members of his extended family.

Photo by Wignut

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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