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Quebecer Edith Blais talks writing and moving on after 450 days as hostage in Africa

Edith Blais' kidnapping and everything that happened in between, are chronicled in "The Weight of Sand," which was released in French earlier this year and is now being published in translation. It recounts the agonizing and dangerous months she spent as a hostage: being shuttled from camp to camp at gunpoint, sheltering under trees, enduring insects, sandstorms and crippling boredom, embarking on hunger strikes and, eventually, breaking free.

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German election to set direction after 16 years under Merkel

Germany's closely fought election on Sunday will set the direction of the European Union's most populous country after 16 years under Angela Merkel, whose party is scrambling to avoid defeat by its center-left rivals after a rollercoaster campaign. The environmentalist Greens also are eyeing at least a share of power.

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