The Fourth of July is America's favorite holiday to get together, grill barbecue, and celebrate what it means to be American. It's also probably our best opportunity to debate whose barbecue is the best. With its regional varieties, the rubs-vs.-sauce debates and the fiercely guarded recipe secrets, arguing about barbecue is almost an American pastime. Few foods better demonstrate the diversity of our country.
Jazz music has become a point of pride for the United States of America: a homegrown art form forged from folk traditions. But jazz recordings of American patriotic songs aren't abundant. Perhaps because many of jazz's foremost creators were black Americans who lived in a society which actively discriminated against them, many didn't think to tackle that material.
Dash Shaw is a graphic novelist and animator whose previous books, including Bottomless Belly Button and Bodyworld, seethe with dark, mischievous intent. He sets out to unsettle, using the unique tools the comics medium provides to expose discomfiting truths about relationships both familial and romantic. A proud experimentalist, Shaw often shuns tidy narrative conventions in favor of raw emotion.
Cathleen Schine can always be counted on for an enticing, smart read, and her latest novel, Fin & Lady, is no exception, but it's an odd duck, as quirky as its peculiarly named titular half-siblings. Neither as sparklingly funny as her most recent book, The Three Weissmanns of Westport, nor as brainy as her earlier Rameau's Niece, Fin & Lady is light, entertaining, and ultimately moving, butyou can't help wondering what Schine hoped to achieve with it.
Egypt is divided after Wednesday's military coup forced out President Mohamed Morsi. Cairo-based journalist Ashraf Khalil, an Egyptian-American and a contributor to Time magazine, tells Renee Montagne that the Muslim Brotherhood party has threatened violence and that the threat is very real.
Egypt is about to get a new ruler. A caretaker head of state is being ushered into power Thursday following Wednesday's dramatic military coup. President Mohammed Morsi was forced from power just a year after winning the country's first free election. He lost the public's trust amid a failing economy and fears that he was imposing an Islamist agenda.
And the Federal Communications Commission has apparently approved a deal giving the Japanese telecom giant SoftBank a controlling stake in SprintNextel, which is the third-largest wireless operator in the U.S. Experts say SoftBank's industry clout should help Sprint become a more robust competitor. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
On this Fourth of July, we've been following developments in Egypt, where the military has deposed the elected President Mohamed Morsi. President Obama says the U.S. is watching with, as he put it, deep concern. And he urged the generals to transition to an elected civilian government as quickly as possible.
NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley joins us now to talk about what role, if any, America plays in this situation. Good morning.
We are following the events unfolding in Egypt this morning following yesterday's military coup that removed the Islamist President Mohammed Morsi from power. With Egypt holding a leading role in Middle Eastern affairs, we wanted to get a sense of how this leadership change might reverberate through the region.
And to do that, we're joined by Shadi Hamid. He's with the Brookings Doha Center. And Shadi, welcome back to the program. Thanks for coming on.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And on this Independence Day, I'm Renee Montagne.
Egypt has a new president, a longtime judge who took the oath of office this morning. That official change in power came after several days of protests saw millions of Egyptians pour into the streets, demanding Mohamed Morsi step down. His refusal led to his ouster yesterday by Egypt's military. It was a stunning turnaround for the country's first democratically elected president.
This report is part of "Those Who Serve," an occasional series that looks at those who wear the military uniform during a time of war.
It's early afternoon at a small outpost in eastern Afghanistan, and U.S. Army Sgt. Chris Cunningham, with the 10th Mountain Division, heads into a long, dusty tent to teach Afghan soldiers the basics of map reading.
After the sun sets, American soldiers help Afghan soldiers outside the wire. They pop artillery shells containing what's called an illumination round.
Saying the United States is "deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsy and suspend the Egyptian constitution," President Obama calls on Egypt's military to preserve the rights and safety of its citizens.
Bolivian President Evo Morales is scheduled to land in his home country late tonight, a day after his return journey from meetings in Moscow was disrupted when several European nations withdrew permission for his plane to fly through their airspace.
The delay of more than 13 hours reportedly stemmed from suspicions that Edward Snowden, the former U.S. intelligence worker who leaked secret data, might have been aboard the plane.
It's too soon, obviously, to know how the Obama administration's decision to delay by a year the imposition of penalties on large employers that fail to provide health insurance to their workers will ultimately play out, politically.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
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SIEGEL: In Egypt, the military, backed by millions of protestors, has ousted President Mohammed Morsi. Celebratory fireworks and laser lights are lighting up the crowd in Tahrir Square. Elsewhere in Cairo, crowds are gathered to demonstrate on behalf of Morsi and, they say, mourn the death of democracy.