Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:58 am
It's a bittersweet day in South Africa today: Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon who many consider the country's father, is celebrating his 95th birthday. But he is doing so from a hospital bed in Pretoria.
Adelle Waldman's debut novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., is fiction — but only just. It's a detailed, realistic depiction of the lives of the literary 30-somethings who frequent the "faux-dives and mysteriously hip restaurants" currently gentrifying Brooklyn, written from the perspective of Nate, a young Brooklyn writer with a book deal who dates mostly editorial assistants and Barnard graduates. So of course, I — as a recent Barnard graduate, now editorial assistant — read this book in four hours, hoping to discover all my boyfriend's secret thoughts.
And for Americans trying to understand how China has risen so far so fast, we turn now to Orville Schell and his fellow China scholar John DeLury. Their new book is "Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the 21 Century." It looks back at the original documents and writings that reveal the thinking of 11 key figures in China's modern past, from a famous satirist to a dowager empress to Mao. And it zeros in on the reformers who sowed the seeds of the current boom.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
As of this morning, Panama still doesn't know quite what to do with that North Korean cargo ship its impounded. The ship was going through the Panama Canal on its way from Cuba to North Korea. And when Panamanian authorities looked inside under thousands of bags of Cuban sugar, they found parts for missiles, jets and radar systems.
Here to help sort out this discovery is NPR's Tom Gjelten. Good morning.
While South Africa celebrates the 95th birthday of Nelson Mandela on Thursday, the former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate remains at a Pretoria hospital, where he's been hospitalized since June 8 with a recurring lung infection.
President Jacob Zuma's office has said that Mandela is in "critical but stable" condition, though Mandela's daughter Zindzi said Wednesday that her father was making "remarkable progress" and could be released soon.
Hari Kondabolu is a brainy comedian who cuts through the polite talk around race and gender. He's made a lot of key people laugh with his incisive anecdotes, including Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien and John Oliver.
A full-time writer on the FX show Totally Biasedwith W. Kamau Bell, he recently did a comedy bit on the National Spelling Bee, or "as I like to call it," he joked, "the Indian Super Bowl."
The past two weeks in Egypt have been a real test for the TV network Al-Jazeera. Accusations that the network is biased toward the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi have resulted in arrests, threats and resignations.
Before it became China's capital in 1949, Beijing was a fairly provincial little city of 2 million people.
Today, it has grown into a megalopolis of some 18 million people.
I've recently returned to the city after a few years away, the first thing that strikes me is: Who the heck are all of these 20-somethings and how did they get to be driving all these Ferraris and Maseratis?
In late July 1973, Joseph Crachiola was wandering the streets of Mount Clemens, Mich., a suburb of Detroit, with his camera. As a staff photographer for the Macomb Daily, he was expected to keep an eye out for good feature images — "those little slices of life that can stand on their own."
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., sent a shudder through the Olympic world Wednesday when he told American Olympic network NBC that the United States should consider boycotting the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics if Russia grants the asylum request of "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden.
We know. It's hard to admit that 2014 is on the horizon. The good news, however, is that mid summer brings with it the new NPR Wall Calendar, which is now available in the NPR Shop. Every year, we ask artists and illustrators to channel their NPR listening (and love) into art for the calendar, and starting today, we're sharing these designs with you. So without further adieu, the cover, by artist Rich Tu.
In an interview this week, Univision's Adriana Vargas asked President Obama if, in the event Congress failed to pass immigration legislation, he could simply use his presidential power to give amnesty to the estimated 11 million people currently in the U.S. illegally.
The president didn't exactly shut the door on that possibility, though he did strongly suggest it was a portal he'd rather not go through.