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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 vote nearly even for Merkel's bloc, Social Democrats

Germany's centre-left Social Democrats were locked in a very close race Sunday with outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel's bloc in the country's parliamentary election, a vote that will determine who succeeds the long-time leader after 16 years in power, exit polls showed. Officials from both parties said they hope to lead the next government.

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