Book Reviews
12:27 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

'10:04': A Strange, Spectacular Novel Connecting Several Plotlines

I admired Ben Lerner's last novel a lot; in fact, I ended my review of Leaving the Atocha Station by saying that "reading it was unlike any other novel-reading experience I've had for a long time." I could say the very same thing about Lerner's brilliant new novel, 10:04, which leads me to wonder: Just how many singular reading experiences can one novelist serve up? And if every one of Lerner's novels is singular, doesn't that make them, in a way, repetitive?

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12:20 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Can NATO Find A Way To Contain Russia?

Pro-Russian rebels prepare their weapons in the eastern city of Donetsk on Aug. 31. Russia's role in Ukraine has raised tensions between Russia and NATO to their highest level since the Soviet breakup more than two decades ago.
Mstislav Chernov AP

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 1:44 pm

Ever since the Cold War ended, the armies of NATO and Russia have been moving warily toward each other while their political positions keep moving further apart.

Twelve Eastern European countries have joined NATO since the Soviet breakup, and NATO is now on the verge of creating a rapid-reaction force for the region. Russia has sent troops into two former Soviet republics, Ukraine and Georgia, that have relationships with NATO, but not membership.

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The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Bucking Legal Trend, Federal Judge Upholds La.'s Ban On Gay Marriage

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 4:00 pm

Bucking a long judicial trend, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Louisiana's ban on gay marriage is constitutional.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman acknowledged that his ruling "runs counter to all but two other federal decisions," but he goes on to say that other judges went too far in their opinions.

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It's All Politics
11:56 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Cantor's Wall Street Move Highlights Disclosure Law Loophole

Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor speaks during a Capitol ceremony earlier this summer. Cantor lost his GOP primary in June to political newcomer David Brat.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 7:31 am

It was no secret that Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, who lost in his June GOP primary, spent the summer job-hunting. But it came as a surprise when the CEO of a Wall Street investment bank announced this week that he had hired the former House majority leader as managing director — for at least $3 million in cash and stock over the next year and a half.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Organizers Of New York St. Paddy's Day Parade Lift Ban On Gay Groups

Artist Gilbert Baker, designer of the Rainbow Flag, is draped with the flag while holding a banner that reads "Boycott Homophobia" before the start of the St. Patrick's Day parade in March in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 11:38 am

For the first time in its centuries-old history, the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City will include a gay group marching under its own banner.

The organizers of the world's largest parade of its kind said Wednesday that they were dropping their ban on the participation of gay groups.

The Associated Press reports:

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Goats and Soda
8:44 am
Wed September 3, 2014

A Liberian Health Worker Aims To Keep Ebola Out Of His Rural Region

Lorenzo Dorr works at the grass-roots level to help deliver health services in far-flung areas of Liberia. In July, he was on his way to meet with community health providers in Konobo, one of Liberia's most remote rural districts.
Courtesy of Tiyatien Health/Last Mile Health

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 9:28 am

Lorenzo Dorr is facing one of the most important challenges of his career as a Liberian health outreach worker: trying to keep Ebola from taking hold in the southeastern part of the country.

In the weeks ahead, Dorr will be talking with our blog, Goats and Soda, about his mission.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Wed September 3, 2014

LISTEN: President Obama Delivers An Ode To Democracy In Estonia

President Obama speaks Wednesday at Nordea Concert Hall in Tallinn, Estonia.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 10:59 am

In a speech delivered on the eve of an important meeting of the 28 NATO nations in Wales, President Obama vowed to defend the sovereignty of all members of the alliance.

Obama spoke in Estonia, one of the Baltic countries that has seen Russia's military involvement in Ukraine as a threat to its own sovereignty.

"You lost your independence once," Obama said. "But with NATO you will never lose it again."

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Detroit Man Sentenced To At Least 17 Years In Porch Shooting Case

Theodore Wafer (center) and his attorney Mack Carpenter sit in the back of the courtroom Jan. 15 before his arraignment in Detroit in the shooting death of Renisha McBride.
Rebecca Cook Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 9:02 am

A Detroit man convicted of second-degree murder over the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager has been sentenced to at least 17 years in prison.

The AP reports that before the judge handed down the sentence, Theodore Wafer, who is white, apologized to the family of 19-year-old Renisha McBride.

"I will carry that guilt and sorrow forever," Wafer said according to the AP.

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Goats and Soda
8:28 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Locusts Eat The Crops Of Madagascar — And Each Other, Too

via YouTube

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 9:45 am

For the third year in a row, skies over Madagascar are black with millions of locusts — the insects of biblical fame that gobble up crops and ravage landscapes, mostly in countries where people barely get by.

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Shots - Health News
7:58 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Drugstore Chain CVS Kicks Tobacco Habit A Month Early

An unnamed CVS employee removes tobacco products from the store shelves in East Greenwich, R.I.

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 2:59 pm

CVS Caremark has pulled cigarettes from its shelves a month ahead of schedule.

In February, CVS, one of the nation's largest drugstore chains, said it would stop selling tobacco products by October, despite the profits they brought the company. Now cigarettes in the company's stores are history.

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