Good morning, here are our early stories:
And here are more early headlines:
Obama To Lay Out Rationale For Continued Drone Strikes. (Businessweek)
Washington State Man Charged With Mailing Ricin To Judge. (Reuters)
Japanese Stocks Plunge, Following Weak Chinese Economic Data. (Wall Street Journal)
Car Bombs In Niger Injure At Least A Dozen. (Al Jazeera)
North Dakota Dam Holding Under Pressure, Town Evacuates. (Grand Forks Herald)
Steep Decline In U.S. Teen Births Over Five Years. (CDC)
Twitter Adds Second Step To Login Process. (CNET)
Japanese Climber Is Oldest Man To Summit Everest. (Japan Times)
Each time I see James Blake and his band perform, I feel the extreme rush of hearing something for the very first time. The sound is sharp and visceral; it oddly vibrates the hair on my arms and, at moments of extreme bass, gets me feeling claustrophobic before the inevitable release when Blake sings. It's hopeful, mournful, always thoughtful.
These days, Blake seems to be in love, and the songs from his new album Overgrown reflect that emotional dance. As with love, the music isn't simple, isn't predictable and isn't always easy to comprehend, but it's intense and riveting. This concert took place on a Sunday night at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., and the relatively quiet crowd could have been mistaken for uncaring or laid-back. But as I walked around the room catching the faces of so many, it was clearly an intensely attentive audience.
On keyboards and voice, Blake performs alongside an innovative and intriguing drummer in Ben Assiter, as well as Rob McAndrews on keyboards, guitars that don't always sound like guitars, and the all-encompassing bass sound he generates using bass pedals — meant for the feet but played with his hands. This is 90 minutes of some of the most breathtaking music I've heard and seen all year. I'm so glad we captured the moment.
"Air & Lack Thereof"
"I Never Learnt To Share"
"To The Last"
"I Am Sold"
"Our Love Comes Back"
"Limit To Your Love"
"The Wilhelm Scream"
"A Case Of You"
Producers: Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton; Audio Engineering: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Christopher Parks, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Maggie Starbard; Special Thanks: The 9:30 Club; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
- American author Lydia Davis was awarded the Man Booker International Prize, worth about $90,000, at a ceremony Wednesday in London. Davis is renowned for her works of (very) short fiction. One story, "Samuel Johnson Is Indignant," reads in its entirety: "that Scotland has so few trees." Another, called "Certain Knowledge from Herodotus" says, "These are the facts about the fish in the Nile:" Sir Christopher Ricks, chairman of the judges, is quoted in the official announcement: "Should we simply concur with the official title and dub them stories? Or perhaps miniatures? Anecdotes? Essays? Jokes? Parables? Fables? Texts? Aphorisms, or even apophthegms? Prayers, or perhaps wisdom literature? Or might we settle for observations?" (In any case, Samuel Johnson was indignant about the lack of trees in Scotland, and Herodotus had some odd conceptions about the breeding habits of Nile fish.) Other finalists included American writer Marilynne Robinson, who was considered the frontrunner (her novel Gilead won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005), and the French novelist Marie NDiaye, whose Three Strong Women made a splash in 2012.
- Keith Richards, the wraith-like Rolling Stones guitarist, told The Sun tabloid that he owes 50 years' worth of library fines. The Sun said "experts" (economists? librarians? other irresponsible library patrons?) estimate that means about $30,000 in fines.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts will write a book about "fighting for the middle class," according to a press release sent out by her publisher, Henry Holt. Although parts will be autobiographical, it adds, "the main focus of the book ... will be the conflict America now faces between giant institutions and the needs of everyday citizens." The Democratic lawmaker's book, not yet titled, will be published in 2014.
- It's rumored that Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin also is coming out with a book. A report in the National Review cites "a source close to Ryan" who stressed that the book won't be a "tell-all" about the failed Romney-Ryan presidential campaign, but a combination of policy and autobiography.
- Amazon announced Wednesday that it will let writers of fan fiction sell their work through its site, though authors will share profits with the original copyright holder and with Amazon. Long a staple of Internet subculture, fan fiction has slowly begun to receive more serious academic consideration. (Check out Katherine Arcement's great essay about it for the London Review of Books.) But until now, it was illegal to sell fiction based on copyrighted works — books such as Fifty Shades of Grey, which began as Twilight fan fiction, needed to be substantially altered before they could be sold for profit.
One day after a British soldier was hacked to death on a busy southeast London street by two men who were heard claiming that they wanted to avenge the deaths of Muslims killed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Prime Minister David Cameron declared Thursday that "we will never give in to terror or terrorism in any of its forms."
Reuters adds that Cameron also said, "this country will be absolutely resolute in its stand against violent extremism and terror."
We're also learning more about the horrific incident near an army barracks in Woolwich and the heroism of some witnesses.
It began, authorities say, when the attackers apparently used a car to run down the soldier. Witnesses say the two men then got out of the vehicle and began stabbing and cutting the victim. When they finished the attack, the men then stayed nearby and started telling bystanders that they were avenging the deaths of Muslims killed by British soldiers.
The Telegraph interviewed Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, a 48-year-old Cub Scout leader and mother-of-two who "put her own life on the line by trying to persuade the soldier's murderers to hand over their weapons."
She tells the Telegraph that she was in a bus that passed by the scene and got off because she thought the soldier had been injured in a car accident and might need her help.
"And then when I went up, there was this black guy with a revolver and a kitchen knife," Loyau-Kennett told the newspaper. The man, she says, "had what looked like butcher's tools and he had a little axe, to cut the bones, and two large knives and he said 'move off the body.' "
According to Loyau-Kennett, she told the man that, "right now it is only you versus many people, you are going to lose, what would you like to do?" She says he responded that he would like to stay and fight.
When armed police arrived — 15 to 20 minutes after the attack — they ended up shooting and wounding the two men.
The Telegraph writes that "Mrs. Loyau-Kennett was not the only woman to show extraordinary courage. Others shielded the soldier's body as the killers stood over them. MPs praised the 'extraordinary bravery' of the women."
As we reported Wednesday, there's a considerable amount of video evidence from the scene because the attackers willingly spoke to people who were on the street.
On Morning Edition, NPR's Philip Reeves told host Renee Montagne that as police investigate the attack, they're anxious to find out if there's "an organization behind these two guys." Judging from the way the men waited at the scene, Phil added, it appears they didn't care "if they were caught or if they died."
Also Thursday morning, the BBC is reporting that "there were two separate attacks on mosques [overnight] — in Gillingham and Essex. Two men are under arrest."