Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 2:43 pm
Jessica Francis Kane drew considerable attention for her artful historic novel, The Report, which explored the repercussions of a tragic incident in March 1943, when 173 people died while rushing into the Bethnal Green tube station for shelter during an air raid. Her portraits of wartime Londoners were psychologically acute and rich in evocative detail. She applies that same skill to her second collection, This Close, populated by 21st century Americans adrift in an increasingly complicated world.
And today's last word in business is: Life on Mars.
The TV show "Veronica Mars" starred Kristen Bell as a teenage detective. Critics loved it. It gained a lot of devoted fans, but the show was canceled in 2007 after three seasons.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Yesterday, the show's creator took to Kickstarter to raise money to make a movie version of the show. And in less than 12 hours, those devoted fans pledged more than $2 million, smashing the site's records along the way.
Alt-J's Joe Newman has a funny way of singing — especially for the uninitiated, it can seem cartoonish or, worse, affected. He bends his high, twisty voice in strange ways, wrapping it around inventive arrangements that burble and boom and otherwise ramp up a sense of unease. The easiest way to embrace Alt-J's idiosyncratic charm is to witness the band live; to hear how often Newman sings quietly and subtly, and to get a fuller feel for the prettiness at the core of Alt-J's songs.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A British man is learning the downside to Internet fame. The 62-year-old had been on sick leave from work due to stress for months, which is why his employer was surprised to see him wrestling a shark on an Australian beach in a video that went viral. He's seen dragging the six-foot animal away from shore.
The charity he worked for fired him, although in his defense, the man said the doctor had advised him to take a vacation. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
Not since the early centuries of the Roman Catholic Church has a pope come from outside Europe.
MONTAGNE: Pope Francis, the first pontiff ever to take that name, comes from Argentina. It's part of the zone commonly described as the Global South, regions that include sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, now home to hundreds of millions of Catholics.
Gunmen killed a woman in Pakistan yesterday. The news stories about this were formulaic for Pakistan, she was killed in a customary manner by assassins on motorcycles who rolled away with impunity. What's remarkable is the way she lived. Parveen Rehman came from Karachi, one of the world's largest cities. She helped thousands of poor people obtain basic services.
When I first met her in 2008, she told me she studied to become an architect, but doubted the value of the upscale buildings she learned to design.
Let's consider a company, now, that's had lots of ups and downs - General Motors. Most of GM's history is in the form of cars, and that history is housed in a nondescript warehouse in a suburb of Detroit. It's called the GM Heritage Center. Not open to the public, it's an automotive archive.
NPR's Sonari Glinton got a tour.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: There's probably no better job for a car nut than to be in charge of a vast auto archive for one of the biggest and oldest car companies.
Newly minted Pope Francis, as archbishop of Buenos Aires, was known for his humility, for standing with the poor, and for his staunch conservatism on church teachings. With no experience in Vatican administration, the strength of this first Jesuit pope is thought to be his intellectual vigor and his pastoral skills.
President Obama has been meeting this week with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to talk about long-term budget planning. On Wednesday, Obama met with House Republicans who offered mixed views on how the dialogue went.
During the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that begins Thursday, a slew of men who appear to want to try their hand at leading the GOP back to the White House in 2016 will be speaking, though not every potential presidential candidate was invited.
Yes, it's four years away, but that hasn't stopped Republican hopefuls from testing the waters. There are already polls — for whatever they're worth — of potential GOP candidates.
This week, about 2,000 bands from around the world are performing at various venues throughout Austin, Texas, for the South by Southwest music festival. Many of the musicians are young and have had plenty of experience performing in public.
And then there's guitarist Harry Taussig, who is nearly 72 years old. On Thursday, he'll be performing live for the first time ever.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 7:53 pm
Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church made history twice Wednesday, electing the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere and the first Jesuit.
In choosing 76-year-old Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio of Argentina, now Pope Francis, the College of Cardinals signaled the growing importance of Latin America, Africa and Asia in the church's fortunes.
But they also affirmed their commitment to traditional church doctrine.
Picture this: Your spouse or child has collapsed and isn't breathing. You call 911, and the paramedics rush in and take charge. But you are banished to another room while the medical people try to bring your loved one back to life.
It's about the most stressful scene imaginable. And it's what usually happens.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 7:03 pm
Several weeks ago, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said the U.S. is planning what to do about Syria's vast chemical weapons program once Bashar Assad's regime falls. The Syrians are believed to have hundreds of tons of chemical agents, including sarin, one of the deadliest chemical agents. A few drops can be lethal.
So the central question is this: How can those sites be secured so they don't fall into the wrong hands?
At the Vatican on Wednesday it was announced that Jorge Mario Bergoglio would be the first-ever Jesuit pope. Melissa Block speaks with Father Robert Ballecer of the Jesuit Conference of the United States about the significance of the first Jesuit pope.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 6:44 pm
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
More now on the direction of the Catholic Church under the new Pope Francis. I'm joined here in the studio by theology professor Chad Pecknold of the Catholic University of America. Thanks for coming in.
CHAD PECKNOLD: Thanks for having me, Melissa.
BLOCK: You know, when we were listening to this announcement and the name Pope Francis came forth, you said wow. You read a lot into just that choice. He is Pope Francis I. Talk a bit more about the symbolism of that.