Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
7:15 am
Tue July 31, 2012

A World On The Page: Five Great Travel Memoirs

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 12:56 pm

Sartre was wrong. Hell isn't other people. Hell is tourists — specifically, other tourists. When traveling, there's nothing more dispiriting — not exchange rates or dengue season — than coming across a compatriot. Is it because we travel not so much to see how other people live, but to imagine the other lives we might have led? (Me, I'm small and rather rumpled.

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Strange News
7:04 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Police Use Their Heads To Hem In Runaway Hamster

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Strange News
6:56 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Olympic Volunteers Cash In On Ceremony Souvenirs

The Telegraph reports that props from the Olympics opening ceremony are appearing on eBay — everything from an "Industrial Revolution" costume, to pieces of confetti that erupted as Great Britain's team entered the stadium. Some of the performers are calling it "crass." But a seller pointed out it is in the spirit of the games — because it could "help me achieve my own ambitions."

The Two-Way
6:50 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Reports: GOP Lawmakers Blame Five ATF Officials For 'Fast And Furious'

"Republican congressional investigators have concluded that five senior ATF officials ... are collectively responsible for the failed Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation that was 'marred by missteps, poor judgments and inherently reckless strategy,' " the Los Angeles Times reports.

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Election 2012
6:45 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Controversy Followed Romney On Overseas Trip

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 1:02 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, wrapped up a week-long foreign trip today, with a speech in Warsaw, Poland. His trip overseas, which began in London and then on to Jerusalem, was designed to bolster Romney's foreign policy credentials, but instead it's been riddled with gaffs and controversy.

Joining us now from Warsaw, is NPR's Eric Westervelt. Good morning.

ERIC WESTERVELT, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Massive Failure: 600 Million In India Lose Power; Grid Collapses For Second Day

Passengers waited for trains Tuesday at a railway station in New Delhi. Another grid failure cut power, causing chaos.
Raveendran AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 1:38 pm

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NPR Story
6:19 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Punk Band's Case Tests Putin's Tolerance For Dissent

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 6:52 am

Three women charged with blasphemy went on trial Monday in Russia in a case that's being seen as a major test of President Vladimir Putin's tolerance for dissent. The women are members of the band Pussy Riot. They were arrested after staging a punk rock protest at the altar of a Moscow cathedral.

Book Reviews
6:03 am
Tue July 31, 2012

'The Chocolate Thief': A Delectable Summer Bonbon

Laura Florand's new novel concerns a romance between a French chocolatier and an American candy-bar magnate.
Nikki deGroot iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 4:03 pm

Some despair at the idea the world will end in fire or ice. To my mind, given that the earth is our only source of chocolate, it hardly matters how the supply is cut off. I think woe and joy are best addressed with chocolate, whether it is shaped into a kiss or comes from an Ecuadorian plantation.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
4:07 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Is Housing Recovery Real? Not Everyone Is Convinced

A construction worker carries lumber while working on new homes in San Mateo, Calif., in March. Homebuilding is at its highest level in nearly four years.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 4:08 pm

Housing, the sector that led us into the recession, now looks to be one of the brighter spots in the economy. Homebuilding is at its highest level in nearly four years. More homes are selling, and at higher prices.

The question, of course, is whether this is a solid enough foundation to sustain a full housing recovery.

Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says housing woes are largely behind us.

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Dead Stop
4:07 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Rediscovered Headstones Hold Clues To Earthquake

The Gilliam Cemetery, near Sebastopol, Calif., received its first grave in 1852. Many of its older headstones have disappeared over the years.
Cindy Carpien NPR

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 7:55 am

The Gilliam Cemetery, which lies 60 miles north of San Francisco, appears to be gaining residents lately. But it's not only because new people have been interred there. Instead, headstones that wound up being buried a century ago have been found and resurrected.

The cemetery's story begins in 1850, when a wagon train of pioneers left Missouri and settled near what is now Sebastopol, Calif. The Gilliam Cemetery was started in 1852, when Polly Gilliam Sullivan and her husband, Isaac, needed a place to bury their stillborn son.

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