From 'Morning Edition': Anthony Kuhn on the trial of Bo Xilai
Chinese authorities clamped down Friday on information coming out of the high-profile corruption trial of one-time rising political star Bo Xilai.
As NPR's Anthony Kuhn reported on Morning Edition, during Thursday's opening day in court Bo appeared to run circles around the judges and prosecutors. He denied any guilt, claimed a confession he gave had been coerced and called the testimony of his own wife "laughable."
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 6:24 am
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
N.B. β Book News is going on vacation next week. Your faithful correspondent will be in California sans laptop and praying that Jonathan Franzen doesn't choose that week to reignite any feuds with daytime talk show hosts. In the meantime, as always, leave your hot tips, scurrilous attacks and existential questions in the comments section or direct them to @annalisa_quinn on Twitter.
"I was born a colored man and don't you forget it," announces Henry Shackleford in the opening pages of musician and author James McBride's novel, The Good Lord Bird. A manuscript, supposedly discovered after a church fire cleanup, offers the first person account of Henry, a young slave living in the Kansas Territories in 1857, as he becomes involved β reluctantly β with the anti-slavery forces led by John Brown.
RENEE MONTAGNE: Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The NASDAQ says it was a software glitch that froze its trading worldwide for hours yesterday. So this time it wasn't the squirrel. The bushy-tailed rodents have halted the flow of capitalism before. In 1987 and again in 1994, squirrels chewed through a key NASDAQ computer cable. Not saying, but cables still exist in the NASDAQ's high tech world so it seems squirrels could strike again. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:05 pm
While the U.S. and its allies cannot move militarily against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime "without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence" that Assad's forces have used chemical weapons, the time within which a decision about such action must be made has been shortened, President Obama tells CNN.
A Canadian dentist bought one of John Lennon's molars at auction for $31,000. And now, Michael Zuk plans to use the tooth to clone the former Beatle. The DNA sequencing is already underway. But cloning technology is not quite there yet, so Zuk is biding his time in other ways. He released a parody song called "Love Me Tooth," as in...
(Singing) Love, love me tooth.
Sorry, I just did that. What would John Lennon think of all of this? Probably just say, let it be.
When there's room to spread out, we often take advantage of it. Think about a big car or an SUV. You're behind the wheel, you roll the window down. You might prop up your left elbow. The other arm is outstretched on the wheel. It all sounds nice and relaxing, but it could have some major consequences. There's new research suggesting that you are more likely to blow a stop sign or a red light and not even know it. NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam is here to explain this.
Despite promises by President Obama that people can keep the insurance they have once Obamacare is in full effect, millions will have to upgrade their policies to meet the benefit standards laid out by the Affordable Care Act. The measure will be in full swing this January.
The film "Short Term 12" has won awards on the festival circuit over the past year - and now it's opening in theaters. Critic Kenneth Turan likes it.
KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: This is a film of exceptional naturalness and empathy. It takes material about troubled young people that could have been generic and turns it into something moving and intimate. "Short Term 12" is named after the foster care group home where it's set.