In the old days, when a book came out it just had to compete with other books. But these days a book has to compete not only with other books, but also with blog posts and tweets and tumblrs and everything else in written form. There's only so much that readers feel like reading, and as a result, every year many good books get lost under a tide of prose.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The winner of the Tour de France gets a yellow jersey but let's focus now on the lanterne rouge. That's the term for the guy who finishes last. It translates to red lantern, like that found on the caboose of a train. Yesterday, 36-year-old Canadian Svein Tuft took the honor with his 169th place finish. It turns out that the lanterne rouge is hotly contested. Just finishing brings glory and lucrative appearances. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm David Greene with a tale of neither a bird nor a plane. Cecil Stuckless was fixing a Jeep in Salvage, Newfoundland with his son-in-law, who was working under the car. Stuckless told the CBC he was getting a tool when the car suddenly fell. He summoned all his strength and lifted the Jeep just enough to save his son-in-law. Impressive for anybody, let alone a 72-year-old.
Asked if he was Superman, Cecil said: No, I'm not super. I just did what I could.
Detroit last week became the biggest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy. And now we're learning about some of the tough decisions that may come with that. Assuming the filing goes forward, Detroit will have to figure out how to reduce billions of dollars of debt. Creditors will, of course, push for the most money they can get, which means they're eyeing some of the city's most treasured assets. Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reports.
While the GOP autopsy on the 2012 election talks explicitly about reaching out to women and minorities to expand the party, it does not get into detail about its Iowa problem. Specifically, the state GOP that begins the presidential nominating season is dominated by religious conservatives most resistant to a broader, more inclusive party message.
GlaxoSmithKline says that some of its executives appear to have violated Chinese laws. In response, the company is pledging changes in the way it operates — which would bring down the prices of some of its drugs in China. Chinese authorities accuse the company of bribing doctors and officials to boost sales and raise the price of medicines.
And after years of economic stagnation, Japan is experiencing growing confidence. And voters in Japan handed a big victory yesterday to the ruling party in parliamentary elections. The election gives Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ambitious economic agenda known as Abenomics quite a boost. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.
In India, the families of the children poisoned to death by a school lunch are still reeling from that tragedy. There have been no arrests since 23 children died last week after authorities say they ingested a toxic insecticide.
As NPR's Julie McCarthy reports, the lack of police action has deepened the anguish and anger of parents already crushed under the weight of poverty.
Alabama-born singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield broke through to a bigger audience last year by releasing an aching, bare-bones solo album. Her follow-up album came out in March. (This story originally aired on Weekend Edition Sunday on June 23, 2013.)
In these dog days of summer, a ceiling fan still offers an inexpensive way to cool down - except maybe in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., where a partisan battle is heating up over efficiency standards proposed by the Obama administration. The Energy Department is in the early stages of crafting new rules to encourage the spread of ceiling fans that use less electricity, but House Republicans want to put that idea on ice. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.
Pope Francis arrives Monday evening in Rio de Janeiro for a weeklong visit celebrating World Youth Day. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics have made the pilgrimage to see the Argentine-born pontiff, and he is expected to receive a rapturous welcome.
Still, Pope Francis's visit comes at a delicate time for the church in Brazil. Catholicism — the nation's main religion — is facing a huge challenge from evangelicals.
A century ago, New York could claim that much of its liquor was local, thanks to distilleries large and small that supplied a lot of the whiskey, gin and rum that kept New York City (and the rest of North America) lubricated. Then Prohibition arrived and the industry largely dried up, before trickling back to life in the 21st century.
Now, distillers in New York state are toasting a revival 80 years in the making.
On a scorching hot summer afternoon along the banks of the Little Bighorn River in Montana, seasonal ranger Mike Donahue brings the historical Battle of Little Bighorn to life with remarkable enthusiasm and passion.
At a recent presentation, Donahue welcomes a crowd to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. "Why did it happen in the first place?" he asks during the presentation. "Because you had two peoples that really didn't understand or appreciate one another very well."
Not so long ago, most people thought that the only good microbe was a dead microbe.
But then scientists started to realize that even though some bugs can make us sick and even kill us, most don't.
In fact, in the past decade attitudes about the bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes living all over our bodies has almost completely turned around. Now scientists say that not only are those microbes often not harmful, we can't live without them.
Richard Crompton stops on the street to talk to "George," a local supplicant and an inspiration for one of the characters in Crompton's first crime novel. Crompton says many of his characters are amalgams of people he met as a Nairobi journalist and resident.
If not for his earlobes, Detective Mollel would cut a classic figure of the crime fiction genre: moody, obsessive and a widower estranged from his son. But Mollel is a Kenyan from the Maasai tribe and the flesh of his earlobes is long and looped, stretched since childhood to hang below his jawline.
Cards depicting the 'royal baby' either as a boy or a girl, specially made by a games company as a publicity stunt are pictured, backdropped by members of the media waiting across the St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London on July 11, 2013.
People wait in line outside the Supreme Court in Washington on Feb. 27, 2013, to listen to oral arguments in the Shelby County, Ala., v. Holder voting rights case. In June, the court struck down a key provision of the law that established a formula to identify states that may require extra scrutiny by the Justice Department regarding voting procedures.
Credit Jacquelyn Martin / AP
Rep. John Lewis of Georgia testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Voting Rights Act on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand speaks to reporters Tuesday. With her Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, all of whom have endorsed her bill on military sexual assault.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is fighting for her bill to curb sexual assaults in the military. Her measure would give independent military prosecutors, rather than commanders, the power to decide which cases should be tried in military court.
Military leaders fiercely oppose moving that authority outside the chain of command, arguing that commanders are responsible for the health and welfare of their soldiers. Removing their authority would undermine their ability to lead, they say.
As NPR reported in May, the number of Americans with Alzheimer's disease is expected to triple by 2050. But studies published in the last two weeks based in European countries show signs of declining dementia.
In the 1980's, few bands bridged the gap between hardcore punk and what would become alternative rock quite like Minnesota's Hüsker Dü.
The personalities in the trio, however, were not as harmonious, and their partnership dissolved before the decade's end. Guitarist Bob Mould went on to a successful recording career. Bassist Greg Norton dropped out of music and became a chef. And that leaves ... drummer Grant Hart.
Meg Lukens Noonan's adventure began with a simple curiosity. She happened across a website belonging to a renowned, fourth-generation tailor, John H. Cutler, and noticed a photograph of a $50,000 coat.
It looked "like any old blue overcoat that you might find in Macy's," she tells NPR's Jacki Lyden. "I didn't recognize it as being special just by looking at it."