World

Critics' Lists: Summer 2013
7:03 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Best Of The Summer: 6 Books The Critics Adore

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:30 pm

There is no one definition of a summer book. It can be a 1,000-page biography, a critically acclaimed literary novel, a memoir everyone is talking about — or it might be your favorite guilty pleasure: romance, crime, science fiction. Whatever you choose, it should be able to sweep you away to another world, because there is nothing like getting totally lost in a book on summer day. Here are a few books that swept away some of our favorite critics.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Tue July 9, 2013

What's Eating Her? A Writer Meditates On Food And Loneliness

iStockphoto.com

These days, it's often noted that food has displaced art, sport and even sex as the literary mind's propulsive muse. The single cookie that launched poor Proust on his interior odyssey feels shockingly modest compared with the vast smorgasbord today's writers seem almost compelled to revel in.

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Author Interviews
6:44 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Comedian Aisha Tyler Talks About Flipping Off Failure

Tyler says as a kid she stood out because of her height, her glasses, and her vegetarian lunches.
Aisha Tyler

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:50 pm

Comedian and actor Aisha Tyler brews beer, plays video games, tells dirty jokes, drinks fancy booze and ... writes books.

She has a new one out this week: Self-inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humilation. We sat down in the NPR studios over a mug of 18-year-old scotch to talk about her most embarrassing moments on the road to success. (No, really, we did. Listen to us toast.)

For those of you wondering who Aisha Tyler is, here's a quick breakdown (to be read quickly):

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NPR Story
5:01 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Companies Cash In On Royal Baby Watch

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 7:18 am

Britain's latest royal may arrive this weekend. Advertising Age reports Harrod's, the venerable British department store, is selling royal baby china. Others getting in on the action: Krispy Kreme is offering doughnuts with pink or blue filling, which color you get is a surprise — just like the baby's gender.

NPR Story
5:01 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch Resigns

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 7:01 am

Lynch's exit comes just two weeks after the bookseller announced it was shelving its goal of becoming a player in the tablet business. Lynch has a tech background, and as CEO focused his attention on the Nook digital business. But the quarter that just ended showed huge losses for the digital devices.

NPR Story
5:01 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Furloughed Pentagon Workers Run For Freedom

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 5:53 am

Some defense workers at the Pentagon, who have been furloughed because of sequestration cuts, are having fun and getting exercise with their extra time off. Renee Montagne and David Greene report on the Federal Furlough Five Mile Run Run For Freedom.

NPR Story
5:01 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Monday's Bloodshed Hardens Political Divisions

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 5:50 am

Egypt's interim president, who was installed by a military coup last week, issued a plan calling for parliamentary elections next year and giving himself sweeping powers in the meantime. His move came hours after the deadliest clash yet between security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

NPR Story
5:01 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Snowden's Leaks Puts National Security Agency In A Bind

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 6:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

As Larry just said, the Privacy Board can now openly debate NSA surveillance programs, thanks to the revelations from Edward Snowden. And this is just one example of how Snowden's leaks have put the NSA in a bind. To talk more about this we're joined by NPR's justice correspondent Carrie Johnson. Carrie, thanks for coming in.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Thank you.

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Political Crisis In Egypt
3:48 am
Tue July 9, 2013

What Egyptian State TV Says About The State Of Egypt

In an image from a video broadcast on Egyptian state TV, President Mohammed Morsi addresses the nation on July 2 — his final speech before the military deposed him.
Ismael Mohamad UPI /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 8:23 am

It sounded like a slip of the tongue. As millions of Egyptians took to the streets calling for President Mohammed Morsi to step down, state TV anchor George Heshmat casually used the word "revolution" instead of "protests."

This signaled that state TV was beginning to assert its independence from a government that was never a good fit for it anyway. It was clear that something had changed at the voice of the state — even before Morsi was pushed from power.

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Games & Humor
3:43 am
Tue July 9, 2013

A Zombie Horror Game, Inspired By ... A Nature Documentary?

In The Last of Us, a fungus called Cordyceps that commonly infects insects has jumped over to humans, creating a fungal zombie apocalypse.
Naughty Dog

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 11:20 am

The Last of Us is a new survival horror video game and it features — no big surprise — zombie-like creatures. But these are not the same old zombies that have dominated movie and TV screens in the past few years.

Neil Druckmann, creative director for The Last of Us, says he wanted a fresh new way to wipe out humanity — and he found it in a BBC documentary series called Planet Earth, which depicts the scary effects of the Cordyceps fungus.

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The Salt
3:39 am
Tue July 9, 2013

As Biotech Seed Falters, Insecticide Use Surges In Corn Belt

Crop consultant Dan Steiner inspects a field of corn near Norfolk, Neb.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 2:56 pm

Across the Midwestern corn belt, a familiar battle has resumed, hidden in the soil. On one side are tiny, white larvae of the corn rootworm. On the other side are farmers and the insect-killing arsenal of modern agriculture.

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Monkey See
3:38 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Pedal Power To Horsepower: Toys Point Toward Future Of Cars

Mark Takahashi is now one of the "car people" at Edmunds.com — but at the age of 2, the future automotive editor, like his co-worker Mike MaGrath, was more of a toy-car person.
Courtesy Mark Takahashi

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 11:46 am

Morning Edition has reported that the Toyota Camry is the best-selling car in the U.S., and the Ford Focus is the world's best-seller.

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Shots - Health News
3:37 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Treating The 'Body And Soul' In A Russian TB Prison

An inmate practices for the yearly talent show in the prison's concert hall. Such cultural activities are part of the hospital's treatment, which combines correction with education, medical and psychological therapy.
Konstantin Salomatin/for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 6:41 am

Igor Davydenko is rail-thin with dark circles under his eyes. He has a haunted look, reinforced by black prison overalls with reflective tape on the shoulders and cuffs.

Davydenko could be labeled as a loser in many ways. The 31-year-old is a drug addict, serving time for robbery and assault. He's serving his third stretch in a Siberian prison.

But Davydenko is about to become a winner in at least one way. If all goes well, he will soon be declared cured of one of the deadliest forms of tuberculosis.

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It's All Politics
6:06 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

With An Eye Toward 2016, Rick Perry Reboots

Texas Gov. Rick Perry announces he will not seek re-election as governor, Monday in San Antonio.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 6:37 pm

Picture the next 18 months of Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry's road to national relevance.

Appearances on the late-night comedy shows, where he'll banter with Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Jay Leno, maybe even Jimmy Fallon.

A rolling, cross-country road show during which he'll tout the Texas economy and charm grassroots voters and deep-pocketed donors.

Mixing it up back home in Austin with intensifying battles to limit legal abortion and push back against "Washington policies."

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Death Toll Rises To 13 In Quebec Train Explosion

The death toll has been raised to 13 in a freight train's derailment and explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, this past weekend.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 7:50 am

Police in a small town in Quebec, Canada, where a runaway freight train holding crude oil caused a massive explosion, say they have found the bodies of eight more victims, bringing the death toll in Saturday's incident to 13. The authorities say dozens of people are still unaccounted for.

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This Is NPR
5:28 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Coco O. Hearts NPR

Melissa Kuypers NPR

Singer Coco O. and musician/producer Robin Hannibal make up the Danish duo Quadron. They were introduced to each other as teenagers by a mutual friend, because they both love 70s soul music. The group's name comes from discovering that they are each a quarter black, and also because their sound isn't just one thing; it's a quarter soul, a quarter Scandinavian, and so forth. Coco O. came in to talk to Weekend Edition Sunday Host Rachel Martin about their new album Avalanche.

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Around the Nation
5:27 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

How Many Gay Couples Have Tied The Knot? Nobody Knows

Couples kiss at the Old Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana, Calif., earlier this month.
Amy Taxin AP

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:36 pm

Since the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June, many questions have emerged about what the ruling may mean for same-sex couples.

There's one question, though, that would seem easy to answer: How many legal same-sex marriages are there in the U.S.?

The Limitations Of Self-Reporting

It turns out the answer is actually very complicated — so complicated that even experts such as Bob Witeck, president and founder of Witeck Communications, a marketing firm specializing in gay and lesbian consumers, are stumped.

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Music Reviews
5:27 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

On Two New Albums, A Modern-Minded Brass Band Cuts Loose

Virginia's No BS! Brass Band adopts and ultimately expands the brass-band tradition.
PJ Sykes Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:36 pm

Brass bands often bring New Orleans to mind. But some 1,000 miles away from southeast Louisiana, there's a different kind of brass band at work: the No BS! Brass Band of Richmond, Va.

Since the late 1970s, the brass-band repertoire has morphed into a new sound with the addition of funk, hip-hop and post-bop jazz. With as many as 13 members, No BS! Brass Band picks up on — and expands — that new tradition.

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World
5:27 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Crews Still Searching For Missing After Quebec Train Accident

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:36 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In rural eastern Quebec, crews are still searching for dozens of people still reported missing after a train carrying oil and derailed and erupted into a fiery ball on Saturday. Authorities have confirmed five deaths. The accident comes as more oil than ever is moving by railroad, and that's raising questions about safety.

NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

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Africa
5:27 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood Has Long History In Egypt

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:36 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Muslim Brotherhood is not a passing feature on the Egyptian scene. To get some sense of where it may be heading, we're going to hear now about where it's coming from. We called on Yasser El-Shimy, an Egypt Middle East analyst for the International Crisis Group, to give us some background on the group, beginning with the Brotherhood's founding in 1928 when Britain effectively controlled Egypt.

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