The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
The shortlist for the Man Booker Prize, Britain's most prestigious literary award, was announced Tuesday morning. Although the prize is limited to writers from the British Commonwealth and the Republic of Ireland, the list skews international, and includes authors from Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Canada. The complete shortlist is:
I'll be honest. I often judge books by their titles — and Someone, isn't promising. It's generic, vague. Flat. And in the hands of a less talented author, this beautifully intimate novel would have been just that.
On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Julie McCarthy, in New Delhi, speaks with Renee Montagne
Four men convicted Tuesday for the December rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in India are due to learn Wednesday whether they will be sentenced to death by hanging.
From New Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy reported on Morning Edition that there's great "political pressure ... to mete out the most extreme punishment." She called the guilty verdicts "a moment that the family [of the victim] and the country has been waiting for."
A judge in New Delhi has just delivered his guilty verdict for four men who raped and murdered a young woman on a city bus back in December. It was one of the most high profile cases in Indian history. The horrific crime stirred a national debate over the country's lax prosecution of crimes against women and became an international issue as well. We talk to NPR's Julie McCarthy who was at the courthouse. Good morning.
Russia seized on an idea voiced by Secretary of State John Kerry and urged Syria to put its chemical weapons under international control. Russia's state-run news agency said Syria welcomed the proposal.
And for today's last word in business, let's take a moment to remember one of the nation's most colorful car salesmen. Cal Worthington built an empire from West Coast car dealerships, and became a TV fixture thanks to his ads, which began running in the 1970s.
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(SOUNDBITE OF CAL WORTHINGTON AD)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Here's Cal Worthington and his dog, Spot.
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Singing) If you need a better car, go to Cal. For the better deal by car, go to Cal...
NPR's business news begins with some excitement in the bond market.
(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)
INSKEEP: You want to buy something, you may have to borrow. Verizon is creating shock waves with a planned sale of debt. This telecommunications giant is expected to try to raise $20 billion or more tomorrow in what would be the largest sale of its kind. Those bonds would help fund the company's buyout of Vodafone, which owns nearly half Verizon's wireless division. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
President Obama on Tuesday meets with Democratic senators to press his case for military action against Syria. Two moderate senators are offering an alternative plan. It would delay military action for 45 days, and give Bashar Assad another chance to get rid of his chemical weapons. Steve Inskeep talks to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota about the plan.
On Aug. 30, 2005, a doctor climbed the stairs through a New Orleans hospital to the helipad, which was rarely used, and so old and rusted it wasn't even painted with the hospital's current name.
From that helipad over Memorial Medical Center, the doctor looked out over New Orleans, now flooding after Hurricane Katrina. He considered the more than 2,000 people in the hospital below — 244 of them patients.
At Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts on the south side of Milwaukee, kids are back in class and getting their bearings in the sprawling building. So is Lila Hillman, the school's brand-new principal. She has to figure out where everything is, who everyone is, how to run a school — and how to answer everyone's questions.
As Hillman walks through the halls, one teacher wants to know where to hang a cutout of a tree trunk. A few steps later, a janitor asks why all the lights went out in the school the night before.
Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 6:28 pm
Rep. Jim Himes is willing to vote against the wishes of his constituents. Probably not this time, though.
"Like the rest of the country, my constituency is pretty much opposed to the intervention in Syria," says the Connecticut Democrat. "Since health care reform, I haven't seen an issue that energized as many people."
His colleagues in the House and Senate report the same.
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 4:22 pm
Starting in January, it will get a lot easier for millions of people across to the country to qualify for Medicaid.
Adults making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($15,856 in 2013) will be able to sign up for Medicaid, under an expansion paid for entirely by the federal government between 2014 and 2017.
Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 7:16 pm
After much diplomatic wrangling, President Obama on Monday left open the possibility of a diplomatic solution in Syria, saying a proposal allowing Syria to give up its chemical weapons was a "potentially positive development."
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
In medieval times, the south bank of the River Thames in London was full of seedy theaters, brothels and scoundrels. But centuries later, it has become one of the world's finest centers for the arts. Recent plans to expand the arts center has revealed a uniquely, contemporary conflict. As NPR's Philip Reeves reports, this conflict is reviving grassroots activism in Britain's capital.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
We begin this hour with an unexpected twist in the story of Syria and its alleged use of chemical weapons. Russia is now urging Syria to give up its stockpile to avoid a U.S. military strike. Though the offer appears to be in response to a comment this morning from the secretary of state, NPR's Michele Kelemen reports the U.S. is skeptical.
From the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, comes a new poll on U.S. airstrikes against Syria. The bottom line: Most Americans are against the idea. In fact, comparing the numbers Pew found since last Wednesday with those found in a similar sample a few days earlier, opposition to airstrikes is rising.
Well, Michael Dimock is director of the Pew Research Center and joins us. Welcome to the program once again.
Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 2:18 pm
Ten years ago rye whiskey was on the brink of extinction.
Despite its venerable history as the whiskey made by George Washington, only a handful of distillers were bottling this quintessentially American spirit. And you definitely couldn't order a rye Manhattan at your local cocktail lounge.