Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. This story starts as a business transaction in West Haven, Connecticut. A man ordered coffee at a drive-thru Dunkin Donuts. Then, according to NBC Connecticut, he announced a robbery and tried to climb through the window. Luckily, his hot coffee was ready so the clerk threw it in his face. She followed that with a whole pot. The man fled and the clerk recalled the Dunkin Donuts slogan: Go run on Dunkin, she called after him. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Whenever I think of the circus (which, admittedly, is rarely), the first thing that comes to mind is Bruce Davidson's famous photograph of a forlorn clown smoking a cigarette and clutching a fistful of wilted flowers in the mud outside a ratty circus tent. Fittingly, I first saw this striking image on the cover of Heinrich Boll's 1963 novel, The Clown. The titular protagonist isn't the creepy backyard children's entertainer we've come to associate with the form. He's troubled and high-strung, and sees himself first and foremost as an artist — and something of a mystic, to boot.
The world is speculating, furiously, about who will be the next pope. The wait was too much for one German man, who tried to sneak into a closed-door meeting of cardinals by impersonating one. The man, calling himself Basilius was spotted and thrown out by the Swiss Guard, after someone noticed his crucifix was too short and his sash was just a purple scarf. He claimed to be from the Italian Orthodox Church - which does not exist.
This is not the first time Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid has taken a risky approach to a novel. His The Reluctant Fundamentalist was written entirely in the second person. The bearded narrator of that book sits at a tea stall in Lahore, talking about his drift toward extremism while directly addressing "you," the reader, who is taken to be an increasingly jumpy and terrified American across the table.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm Renee Montagne.
Venezuela is in a state of mourning for its late president, Hugo Chavez. The outsized leader died yesterday in the capital, Caracas, after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 58. Hugo Chavez was both a polarizing and charismatic figure, and during his long rule he became an icon, beloved by Venezuela's poor and others in the region who admired his defiant stance toward the U.S.