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Egyptian Author Sentenced To Prison For Book 'Where Is God?'

Egyptian author and human rights activist Karam Saber has been sentenced to five years in prison, after a court found his writings to have insulted religion, reports the Egyptian news website Aswat Masriya.

The complaint against Saber and his book Ayn Allah (Where Is God?) was initially filed in 2011, months after the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak's regime. Saber's was reportedly the first blasphemy case of its kind after Egypt's revolution.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information condemned the charges against Saber when they were made, citing "deep concern of the return of religious and political Hesba cases."

Hesba cases (also written as hisbah) stem from Islamic Sharia law, allowing "all Muslims the right to file lawsuits in cases where an exalted right of God has been violated, even if this does not directly harm them," as ahramonline reports.

Saber plans to appeal the decision and his prison sentence; Wednesday, he told Aswat Masriya that his book, a collection of short stories, should not be judged by religious standards.

"Who are these institutions to evaluate works of literature?" he asked.

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NPR

In An Alternate 19th Century London, Sins Are Marked With 'Smoke'

NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Dan Vyleta about his novel, Smoke. It's set in an alternate 19th century London, where the morally corrupt are marked by a smoke that pours from their bodies.
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D.C.'s Public Schools Select New Lunch Providers

D.C. Public Schools is abandoning longtime school food provider Chartwells in the wake of allegations of poor food quality and fraud and moving forward with new vendors for 2016. But, questions remain about the selection process and future oversight.

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Creating A D.C. State Constitution

We explore the historic process of crafting a constitution for D.C. statehood nearly three decades after the last attempt, and find out how drafters are preparing for the June constitutional convention.

NPR

$81 Million Bangladesh Bank Heist Sparks Push For Stepped-Up Cybersecurity

The head of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication acknowledged at least two security breaches in addition to February's spectacular theft involving Bangladesh's central bank.

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