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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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Merkel's bloc stumbles badly in Germany; horse-trading ahead

Germany's centre-left Social Democrats and outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel 's centre-right bloc both laid claim Sunday to lead the country's next government as projections showed the long-time leader's party heading for its worst-ever result in a national election.

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