Oscar Villalon is book editor at the San Francisco Chronicle. A member of the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle, he's also a long-time juror of the California Book Awards, sponsored by the Commonwealth Club. His writing has appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review and The Believer, and his reviews have aired on KQED's The California Report. He lives with his wife and son in San Francisco.

The Two-Way
8:51 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Before Obama's Plan Is Out, NRA Calls Him An 'Elitist Hypocrite'

National Rifle Association

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 10:50 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Ari Shapiro reports

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Inflation Rate Slowed Sharply In 2012; Prices Were Flat In December

The cost of a gallon of gas kept rising last year, but not at the torrid pace of 2010 and 2011. That helped keep inflation in check.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 9:21 am

Consumer prices rose just 1.7 percent in 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. That's about half the pace of 2011 — when prices went up 3 percent.

In December, BLS says, prices were unchanged.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Interior Sec. Salazar Is Latest Member Of Cabinet To Announce Departure

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 8:58 am

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar intends to step down at the end of March, his office confirms to NPR's Jeff Brady.

Word of Salazar's plan broke over night. According to The Denver Post, the former senator from Colorado intends to "return to Colorado to spend time with his family."

As the Post writes:

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Fireball, Panic As Helicopter Crashes In London

A firefighter walks toward some of the wreckage at the scene of today's helicopter crash in London.
Andy Rain EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 9:00 am

At least two people were killed today in London when a helicopter struck a tall crane, exploded and came crashing to the ground in a ball of fire.

Reporting from London, NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast Desk that "the wreckage landed close to a very busy commuter station at Vauxhall, and not far from a rail line running into Waterloo. ... Several cars caught fire."

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The Two-Way
6:39 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Blast Rocks Kabul; Dozens Wounded, Attackers Killed

Debris littered the street at the scene of today's attack in Kabul.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 7:57 am

Men wearing bombs strapped to their bodies and traveling in two vehicles carrying more explosives wounded dozens of civilians in Kabul today when they attacked a government security office, NPR's Sean Carberry reports from the scene.

Sean tells the NPR Newscast desk that the Taliban is claiming responsibility and that:

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Chaos Expected As NYC School Bus Drivers Strike; 152,000 Students Affected

All locked up: School buses sat idle this morning in the Jamaica section of New York City.
Justin Lane EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 9:20 am

It's been a rough morning for many parents and their children in New York City, where about 8,000 school bus drivers and monitors have gone on strike — meaning about 152,000 students had to get to school some other way.

According to The New York Times:

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Around the Nation
6:11 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Mass. Pub Names Changed Until After Playoff Game

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 6:12 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Years ago, I had a drink at a bar called The Raven. Great name for a bar, invoking a poem by Edgar Allen Poe. A Massachusetts man would agree. He owns the Raven's Nest and the Mad Raven. The trouble is, he's in New England, and pro football's New England Patriots are prepping for a playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens. The bar owner did what he had to do. He temporarily renamed his bars the Patriot's Nest and the Mad Patriot. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed January 16, 2013

'Tropic Death' Presents Life's Horrors In Beautiful Prose

Liveright

Tropic Death, the blunt, specific title for Eric Walrond's story collection, first published more than 85 years ago, couldn't be more apt. These 10 stories indeed have tropical settings — namely, British Guiana, Barbados and the Panama Canal Zone — and death is ever present, as palpable as the bludgeoning heat and suffocating racism that characterize many of these tales.

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Around the Nation
6:02 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Wayne Dobson Doesn't Have Your Lost Cellphone

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne with a message: Wayne Dobson does not have your cell phone. Many cell phones allow you to track them using GPS if they go missing. But the Las Vegas Review Journal reports that technical glitch has, for two years, directed some Sprint customers, who've lost their phones in Vegas, to the home of Wayne Dobson. Sprint says it's researching the problem. Meanwhile, Dobson has come up with his own low-tech solution, a sign on his door reading: No lost cell phones.

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