3:59pm

Wed September 26, 2012
Books

Poverty Informs J.K. Rowling's New Novel For Adults

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 12:00 pm

Author J.K. Rowling arrives at the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in Leicester Square in central London.
Matt Crossick PA Photos/Landov
  • Listen to Part One of the Interview
  • Hear the Extended Interview

The extended interview above includes parts one and two of the Morning Edition interview, plus additional material.


J.K. Rowling has a new novel. She's moved away from Harry Potter, the boy wizard whose stories prompted millions of kids to obsess over books big enough to serve as doorstops. Having concluded that series, she's written a novel for grown-ups called The Casual Vacancy, a story of troubled teenagers and their even more troubled parents.

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3:33pm

Wed September 26, 2012
The Salt

Greek Credit Crisis Forces Winemakers, Food Canners To Adapt

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 5:54 pm

Winemakers like Stellios Boutaris, shown near his vineyard outside Naoussa, Greece, and other business leaders have been forced to pursue new financial tactics because credit is hard to come by.
Jim Zarroli NPR

When the economic crisis erupted in Greece and the bottom fell out of the domestic wine market, the Kir-Yianni vineyard outside picturesque Naoussa decided to adapt. Like other wineries in Greece, it has increasingly tapped the export market, successfully marketing and selling wine in Europe, the United States and even China.

"If you ask me, this crisis has been good for us," says Stellios Boutaris, the son of the company's founder. "It's going to make us stronger."

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3:29pm

Wed September 26, 2012
Pop Culture

Pow, Crash, Boom! Marvel Thrashes DC On Screen

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 5:54 pm

The Avengers has brought in more money than any other movie this year — upwards of $600,000,000 domestically. Based on characters in Marvel comics, The Avengers was released on DVD on Tuesday.
Walt Disney

The Avengers has brought in more money than any other movie this year — more than $600 million domestically. And it's only going to make more, especially with the DVD release this week.

The Avengers features characters from Marvel Comics, but the No. 2 movie of the year was based on a character from rival DC Comics — Batman. It's just the latest skirmish in a long, long, long-running battle between Marvel fans and DC fans.

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3:27pm

Wed September 26, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Scientists Go Deep On Genes Of SARS-Like Virus

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 2:51 pm

Cheryl Gleasner, a research technologist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, works with a genome sequencing machine designed for disease surveillance. Since the SARS epidemic in 2003, advances in sequencing technologies have greatly speed up the ability to detect and track a new virus.
Ross D. Franklin AP

When an unknown virus emerges, disease detectives turn to gene sequencers — not magnifying glasses — to identify the culprit.

So when a new type of coronavirus killed a man in Saudia Arabia and hospitalized another in the U.K., investigators got cracking.

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3:22pm

Wed September 26, 2012
The Two-Way

Freddie Mac Didn't Harm Homeowners, Inspector General Says

In January, NPR and ProPublica reported on a potential conflict of interest at Freddie Mac, a mortgage giant sponsored by the federal government. The stories noted that even as Freddie Mac was writing rules making it harder for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, it also was stepping up investments in securities that gain when homeowners remain stuck in high-rate loans.

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3:00pm

Wed September 26, 2012
Asia

Tokyo's Governor Stokes The Island Feud With China

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 2:25 am

China, Japan and Taiwan all claim the Senkaku-Diaoyu islands as sovereign territory. On Tuesday, coast guard vessels from Japan and Taiwan dueled with water cannons after dozens of Taiwanese boats escorted by patrol ships sailed into waters around the islands.
Yomiuri Shimbun AFP/Getty Images

Japanese politicians are prone to vague pronouncements and a lot of bowing. But not Tokyo's flamboyant, ultraconservative governor, Shintaro Ishihara.

Ishihara, now in his fourth term, thrives on outrageous statements and sensational headlines, and is a central figure in the dispute between China and Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

The islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan, and Diaoyu in China, have become the worst foreign policy crisis to embroil the two Asian superpowers in decades, stoked by nationalist feelings on both sides.

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2:32pm

Wed September 26, 2012
Author Interviews

'Sutton': America's 1920s, Bank-Robbing 'Robin Hood'

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 2:49 pm

Hyperion

After the global financial crisis hit in 2008, Pulitzer Prize winner J.R. Moehringer was so angry at banks, he says, he decided to write about the people who rob them — in the form of fiction, since he's not an economist.

"I thought it would be healthy to live vicariously through a bank robber at that moment that bankers were ruining the world," Moehringer tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

In his first historical novel, Sutton, Moehringer writes from the point of view of Willie Sutton, whom he calls the "greatest American bank robber."

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2:24pm

Wed September 26, 2012
Law

Human Trafficking Still A Problem In The U.S.

Federal prosecutors and law enforcement are working to eliminate human trafficking. How that happens and how they help victims, from the sex trade to agricultural work, differs. Writer Noy Thrupkaew, WGBH reporter Phillip Martin and Amy Bennett Williams of The News-Press explain.

2:15pm

Wed September 26, 2012
Middle East

Tensions With Iran, Center Stage At The U.N.

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 11:46 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Earlier today, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nations General Assembly while Israelis openly debate a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities and President Obama warned yesterday that time for diplomacy was not unlimited. President Ahmadinejad did not directly mention his country's nuclear program nor did he address the sanctions that strain Iran's economy. He did denounce what he called the hegemony of arrogance and laid out his vision for a new world order.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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2:01pm

Wed September 26, 2012
NPR Story

Crunch Time For The Presidential Campaigns

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 2:10 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Akin fights on, McCaskill unloads, Brown and Warren drop the gloves, and Ann Romney hits back at GOP critics. It's Wednesday and time for a...

ANN ROMNEY: Stop it.

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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