Flannery O'Connor said short stories need to have a beginning, a middle and an end, though not necessarily in that order. But what about novels? Kate Atkinson seems to believe there can be a beginning, a middle and an end, and then another beginning, plus several more middles ... and why not have a beginning again?
A vow Tuesday from North Korea that it will restart a nuclear reactor that eventually could make about one bomb's worth of plutonium a year further escalates tensions that were already high due to that nation's almost daily threats, NPR's Louisa Lim tells our Newscast Desk.
According to Louisa, who filed her report from Beijing:
For Cuban-Americans, Miami's Freedom Tower is almost a holy place — a former immigration intake center where thousands came in the 1960s after they fled the island's communist rule.
But across the street from the hall, where Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez spoke Monday, there were protests. A dozen anti-Castro activists repudiated some of Sanchez's past comments, including her support for lifting the long-standing U.S. embargo of Cuba.
Steve Inskeep talks to Zanny Minton Beddoes, of The Economist, about the long-term impact of the Cyprus crisis on European economies. Beddoes offers the view from Germany. That country is now turning its attention to its own general elections in September.
India's Supreme Court says drug maker Novartis can't hold onto its patent for the pricey cancer drug Gleevec simply by tweaking its chemical formula. That means generic drug makers can keep making a form of the drug at a tenth of Novartis's price — for the Indian market and for other low- and middle-income markets. Consumer advocates call it a major advance for access to generic drugs. Novartis and drug industry allies say it will chill companies' willingness to produce innovative products.
Much has changed since last November, when Afghans were praising Pakistan for saying it would no longer support the Taliban and would instead work for peace.
"We believe that relations between the two countries are deteriorating," says Aimal Faizi, spokesman for President Hamid Karzai.
Faizi says the downward slide started last month. The two countries had agreed to convene a conference of religious scholars, or ulema, to denounce suicide bombing. But the conference fell apart at the last minute, with each country blaming the other for undermining the effort.
Singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen makes his 10th appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. One of roots music's most beloved and enduring performers, Keen first gained notice for his holiday song "Merry Christmas From the Family." But it was the release of his album Picnic in 1997 that demonstrated his depth as a songwriter — and helped herald the coming of the Americana genre.
The newly elected pope's focus on the poor and the marginalized has instilled great faith among many Catholic women. They hope the papacy of Pope Francis will promote a leading role for women in the church.
A group of American nuns and Catholic women recently made a pilgrimage to Rome to make their requests heard.