Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 10:57 am
Tuesday's news from Afghanistan underscores the challenges that remain as the U.S. and its allies try to hand over security to that nation's military and police.
-- "5 Afghan Police Killed In Suicide Attack In East": The Associated Press writes that "eight suicide bombers attacked a police headquarters in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Tuesday, killing five officers and wounding four others, a security official said."
Good morning. I'm David Greene. The movie "Argo" told the story of a fake film that was a cover to get hostages out of Iran. Well, think of this as the "Argo" of tax fraud. Five people have been jailed in the U.K. for orchestrating quite a tax scam. The group pretended to make a movie to secure millions in tax credits from the British Film Commission.
As snow blanketed parts of the country yesterday, many turned their anger towards a weather predictor. Last month, Punxsutawney Phil forecast an early spring. One shivering Ohio prosecutor filed a lighthearted criminal indictment against Phil for fraud. But the president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club says it's not Phil's fault. He says he misinterpreted the groundhog's message, which has the prosecutor reconsidering charges.
Meg Wolitzer returns with The Interestings, a big and deliciously complicated novel that follows a group of summer-camp friends through the decades. Jules, Ash, Ethan and Jonah first dubbed themselves "the Interestings" as teenagers in the sweltering confines of Boys Teepee 3 at the artsy camp Spirit-in-the-Woods. All of them are bright, talented kids — artists, musicians, actors — but what happens to close friendship and early promise when you grow up? For the Interestings, that question will have very different answers.
What's a reader to believe, especially when confronted with an unreliable narrator? Which of the many versions spun by the self-confessed liar and aspiring writer in Kristopher Jansma's far-flung, deliberately far-fetched, hyper-inventive first novel, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards, should we buy? Does the seductive actress he pines for marry a) an Indian geologist on the edge of the Grand Canyon; b) a Japanese royal; or c) a Luxembourg prince?
Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 10:18 am
Amanda Knox, the young American whose murder conviction in Italy captured attention around the world, learned Tuesday that Italy's highest court has overturned a lower court's 2011 decision to dismiss that verdict.
And out next business story fits in the category of what were they thinking? Ford Motor Company is apologizing for ads sketched up by an agency in India - ads that have been decried as demeaning to women. They are cartoon drawings showing off how spacious a Ford trunk can be. One spoofs Italy's former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. He's at the wheel, and in the trunk, three women, tied up.
Now to a debate over abortion that has escalated after some recent moves by states. The North Dakota legislature just passed a series of bills, including the strictest abortion ban in the country. And lawmakers there voted to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot next year which would end abortion entirely. Earlier this month, Arkansas passed a 12-week ban. NPR's Kathy Lohr reports that more states are debating stricter laws with hopes of getting one of them before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Amazing but true, Popeye and Frosty the Snowman have something in common with General Douglas MacArthur and Mark Twain. They're all known for smoking a corn cob pipe. Corn cob pipes have made a comeback in recent years, welcomed news for the last company in the U.S. mass producing them. It's located in Washington, Missouri, about an hour west of St. Louis.
Still, as St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann reports, last summer's brutal heat and drought have been a big challenge.
Cyprus has reached a bailout with the European Union. One of the hardest hit groups in this deal is super wealthy Russians. David Greene talks to professor Alena Ledeneva of University College London about the culture of the ultra rich in Russia, and the role they played in Cyprus' economy.
Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 12:04 pm
Henrietta Lacks was an African American tobacco farmer and mother of five. She died in 1951, but her cells were kept and studied by scientists without the knowledge of her family. The cells have been genetically sequenced once again without consent. Renee Montagne talks to Rebecca Skloot, the author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, about an Op-Ed she wrote in Sunday's New York Times examining this development.