The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
The shortlist for the Man Booker Prize, Britain's most prestigious literary award, was announced Tuesday morning. Although the prize is limited to writers from the British Commonwealth and the Republic of Ireland, the list skews international, and includes authors from Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Canada. The complete shortlist is:
I'll be honest. I often judge books by their titles — and Someone, isn't promising. It's generic, vague. Flat. And in the hands of a less talented author, this beautifully intimate novel would have been just that.
On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Julie McCarthy, in New Delhi, speaks with Renee Montagne
Four men convicted Tuesday for the December rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in India are due to learn Wednesday whether they will be sentenced to death by hanging.
From New Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy reported on Morning Edition that there's great "political pressure ... to mete out the most extreme punishment." She called the guilty verdicts "a moment that the family [of the victim] and the country has been waiting for."
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. John Buckland and Troy Marcum of Milton, West Virginia were superheroes when they rescued a cat from a burning home. WCHS-TV reports the two men were mentoring children at an American Legion Post wearing Batman and Captain America costumes when they saw smoke at a nearby house. The masked crusaders rushed over and after the cat was resuscitated by Batman, it took one look and hissed. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
This next news story has been a tradition since roughly 1908. It's the story of a Chicago Cubs fan waiting to win the World Series. The News-Sun says Doris Davis has been a fan since 1926. In the days before TV, she listened on the radio while moving players around a diamond she made from a checkerboard. And she's still waiting for that championship. As the season nears its end, the Cubs are 22 games out of first.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The shooting last year at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut just before Christmas and leaving little children dead looked for a moment like it would change gun laws. It didn't, expect in a couple of places. New York was one. That state quickly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but it was hugely controversial, especially in rural parts of the state.
Virtually every president before President Obama has viewed the 1973 War Powers Act as unconstitutional, says historian Michael Beschloss. In a conversation with Renee Montagne, Beschloss analyzes Obama's decision to seek congressional approval for military action in Syria — and what it says about his presidency.
Russia seized on an idea voiced by Secretary of State John Kerry and urged Syria to put its chemical weapons under international control. Russia's state-run news agency said Syria welcomed the proposal.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. Congress did not expect to spend September debating Syria. Many Republicans, instead, were planning battles over the budget and over the healthcare law that's about to take affect. Tea Party activists are going ahead with meetings on their issues. One event comes in Washington D.C. today. NPR's Don Gonyea has been talking with activists.
And for today's last word in business, let's take a moment to remember one of the nation's most colorful car salesmen. Cal Worthington built an empire from West Coast car dealerships, and became a TV fixture thanks to his ads, which began running in the 1970s.
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UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Here's Cal Worthington and his dog, Spot.
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Singing) If you need a better car, go to Cal. For the better deal by car, go to Cal...
And we reported yesterday that Neiman Marcus was in the final stages of closing a big deal. Now the deal is done. The upscale retailer has just made its biggest sale ever - itself. The price: $6 billion. The buyers - the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and a U.S. private equity group.
NPR's business news begins with some excitement in the bond market.
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INSKEEP: You want to buy something, you may have to borrow. Verizon is creating shock waves with a planned sale of debt. This telecommunications giant is expected to try to raise $20 billion or more tomorrow in what would be the largest sale of its kind. Those bonds would help fund the company's buyout of Vodafone, which owns nearly half Verizon's wireless division. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
President Obama on Tuesday meets with Democratic senators to press his case for military action against Syria. Two moderate senators are offering an alternative plan. It would delay military action for 45 days, and give Bashar Assad another chance to get rid of his chemical weapons. Steve Inskeep talks to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota about the plan.
A judge in New Delhi has just delivered his guilty verdict for four men who raped and murdered a young woman on a city bus back in December. It was one of the most high profile cases in Indian history. The horrific crime stirred a national debate over the country's lax prosecution of crimes against women and became an international issue as well. We talk to NPR's Julie McCarthy who was at the courthouse. Good morning.
On Tuesday night, President Obama will address the nation — asking for support of his plan to punish the Syrian regime for a chemical weapons attack near Damascus last month. The president must deal with widespread skepticism about his plan.
Two prominent Democratic state senators could lose their jobs after lawmakers passed sweeping gun control laws following the theater shooting in Auro, Colo., and the Newtown school shooting in Connecticut. Gun rights activists collected enough signatures to force the historic recall elections.
The recalls follow a combative and bitter legislative session. Among the most controversial measures passed were universal background checks and limiting high-capacity magazines to 15 rounds.
On Aug. 30, 2005, a doctor climbed the stairs through a New Orleans hospital to the helipad, which was rarely used, and so old and rusted it wasn't even painted with the hospital's current name.
From that helipad over Memorial Medical Center, the doctor looked out over New Orleans, now flooding after Hurricane Katrina. He considered the more than 2,000 people in the hospital below — 244 of them patients.
Two hundred years ago today, a young U.S. naval captain named Oliver Hazard Perry penned the words, "We have met the enemy and they are ours ..."
Perry's remarkable victory over the British changed the course of the War of 1812, and a full-scale re-enactment — the largest sailing re-enactment ever attempted in the U.S. — recently commemorated the anniversary of the win in the Battle of Lake Erie.
At Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts on the south side of Milwaukee, kids are back in class and getting their bearings in the sprawling building. So is Lila Hillman, the school's brand-new principal. She has to figure out where everything is, who everyone is, how to run a school — and how to answer everyone's questions.
As Hillman walks through the halls, one teacher wants to know where to hang a cutout of a tree trunk. A few steps later, a janitor asks why all the lights went out in the school the night before.
Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 4:28 pm
Rep. Jim Himes is willing to vote against the wishes of his constituents. Probably not this time, though.
"Like the rest of the country, my constituency is pretty much opposed to the intervention in Syria," says the Connecticut Democrat. "Since health care reform, I haven't seen an issue that energized as many people."
His colleagues in the House and Senate report the same.
Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 5:16 pm
After much diplomatic wrangling, President Obama on Monday left open the possibility of a diplomatic solution in Syria, saying a proposal allowing Syria to give up its chemical weapons was a "potentially positive development."
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
In medieval times, the south bank of the River Thames in London was full of seedy theaters, brothels and scoundrels. But centuries later, it has become one of the world's finest centers for the arts. Recent plans to expand the arts center has revealed a uniquely, contemporary conflict. As NPR's Philip Reeves reports, this conflict is reviving grassroots activism in Britain's capital.