Where reality ends and fiction begins in the stomach-turning novel Amok is the central task before the jury in Poland’s trial of the decade. Four years after he published his bloody bestseller, Krystian Bala has found himself on trial for the same torture and murder that he detailed in his novel.
Amok, Mr Bala claims, was inspired by news reports of the murder of a Polish businessman, whose mutilated body was fished out of the Oder river in the town of Wroclaw, close to the German border in southwest Poland, in December 2000. Police identified the dead man as Dariusz J, the owner of a small advertising agency. His death had been a grim one. His body bore the marks of torture, his limbs were distended. His hands were bound and tied to a noose around his neck.
Initial inquiries showed that he was well liked, successful and solvent. With no motive or suspect, the police were stumped. The case was broadcast on Poland’s version of the BBC television programme Crimewatch but it produced no serious leads — only some strange e-mails sent from internet cafes in Indonesia and South Korea, describing the murder as “the perfect crime”.
Johnson & Johnson said it has had exclusive rights to use the trademark on certain commercial products - including bandages and first-aid cream - for more than 100 years.
It contends that the Red Cross is supposed to use the symbol only in connection with nonprofit relief services.
The term is hateful and deeply sexist, said Councilwoman Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn, who has introduced a measure against the word, saying it creates “a paradigm of shame and indignity” for all women.
But conversations over the last week indicate that the “b-word” (as it is referred to in the legislation) enjoys a surprisingly strong currency — and even some defenders — among many New Yorkers.
And Ms. Mealy admitted that the city’s political ruling class can be guilty of its use. As she circulated her proposal, she said, “even council members are saying that they use it to their wives.”
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