Absinthe has inspired many great authors of the last 150 years – and may have ruined some as well. Jane Ciabattari investigates the green spirit’s peculiar power.
Arthur Rimbaud called absinthe the “sagebrush of the glaciers” because a key ingredient, the bitter-tasting herb Artemisia absinthium or wormwood, is plentiful in the icy Val-de-Travers region of Switzerland. That is where the legendary aromatic drink that came to symbolise decadence was invented in the late 18th Century. It’s hard to overstate absinthe’s cultural impact – or imagine a contemporary equivalent.
At least 22 people have died in renewed clashes between protesters and police in central Kiev after a truce agreed on Wednesday broke down, eyewitnesses say.
Witnesses reported live rounds, petrol bombs and water cannon at the main protest site, Independence Square.
A meeting between EU foreign ministers and President Viktor Yanukovych is now under way, officials say, contradicting earlier reports that the ministers had flown out without seeing him.
The EU will discuss sanctions later.
Eyewitnesses have told international news agencies that they have counted between 21 and 27 protesters’ bodies.
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