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Flar Earth: Name calling

AT LEAST the telephone workers in Port Moresby thought that by invoking supernatural powers they could change things. The poor Albanians, during the grim 40-year regime of Enver Hoxha, were pretty well confined to brave but futile gestures of defiance such as naming their cattle after their loathed political masters - and could be jailed for it.

I learn from Liria, the weekly magazine of Albania's association of former political prisoners, that a veterinary surgeon, Nexhip Muraj, was given a year's hard labour for insulting the authorities, after he had registered his cows and oxen in the names of prominent communists in his village.