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July 29, 2014 | NPR · House and Senate negotiators reached a compromise, $17 billion agreement to improve medical care for veterans. The deal comes in the final week before Congress leaves town for a monthlong recess.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · Washington Post reporter Liz Sly tells Renee Montagne that U.S. arms may be flowing to moderate Syrian rebels, but the aid seems to be too little too late to affect the course of the civil war.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · The militant group threatens to kill parents who immunize their children. As a result, polio has come roaring back in Pakistan. Eradication now hinges on whether the country can control the virus.
 

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July 28, 2014 | NPR · A new salvo has been fired in the fight over teacher tenure. A group led by former TV anchor Campbell Brown filed a complaint in New York state court, arguing that tenure laws are preventing the state from providing every child with the "sound, basic education" its constitution guarantees.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · Why are so many low-income and minority kids getting second-class educations in the U.S.? That question is at the center of the heated debate about tenure protections and who gets them.
 
July 28, 2014 | NPR · Only one movie in July, Transformers: Age of Extinction, has broken the 100 million mark during its opening weekend. Box office receipts all summer have proven anemic. Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with RENTRAK, talks to Audie Cornish about the box office slump.
 

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July 26, 2014 | NPR · Hezbollah has been a longtime ally of Hamas, but during this most recent conflict between Israel and Gaza they've taken a sideline role. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the BBC's Kim Ghattas in Beirut.
 

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July 27, 2014 | NPR · Fighting in Ukraine near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has international investigators staying away. NPR's Arun Rath talks with OSCE's Michael Bociurkiw about the investigation.
 

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Dystopias

Sep 5, 2013 — Do recent events have you wishing for more insight into Syria? Critic Marcela Valdes — with some help from experts on the region — recommends five great reads. From the diaries of a threatened novelist to a study of Syrian lingerie, these books reveal new facets of a complex country.
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Jul 27, 2013 — Marcus Sakey's new novel, Brilliance, imagines an America where superhumanly talented savants are hunted by a rogue government agency. Sakey says the titular "brilliants" are "objectively superior to the rest of us. Which is a scary concept to normal people."
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Jun 30, 2013 — Novels dealing in privacy-free futures aren't new. But they're rapidly becoming more relevant. Author Max Barry chooses three dystopian novels that are both thought-provoking and chillingly plausible. What's your favorite futuristic novel? Tell us in the comments.
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Mar 5, 2013The Silence and the Roar doesn't explicitly take place in Syria, but the similarities between its setting and author Nihad Sirees' home country are undeniable. Sirees' work has been banned from publication in Syria, where he's considered an opponent of the government.
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Feb 26, 2013 — Ariel Djanikian's debut novel, The Office of Mercy, imagines a dystopian future America where government euphemisms mask state-sponsored murder. Reviewer Michael Schaub finds traces of George Orwell in the book, which he calls "an indisputable page turner with a surprising ending."
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Aug 7, 2012 — More than 75,000 of you voted for your favorite young-adult fiction. Now, after all the nominating, sorting and counting, the final results are in. Here are the 100 best teen novels, chosen by the NPR audience.
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Apr 18, 2012 — Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo is back, along with filmmaker Albert Brooks, whose first novel is about America in the year 2030. There's also Jo Ann Beard's debut novel about a 14-year-old in the 1970s; James Tate's selected poems; and technology writer Stephen Baker's look at the computer that competed against humans on Jeopardy!
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Jan 12, 2012 — Chan Koonchung's smart, incendiary new novel takes place in a dystopian (but all too believable) future, after the collapse of the global economy. Only China has emerged unscathed — and mysteriously, an entire month has been erased from the public memory.
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Sep 1, 2011 — For a writer, each novel is a labor of love. But what about the reader's toil? Author Jesmyn Ward explains why the beautiful and brutal Death in Spring, by Catalan author Merce Rodoreda, is worth its weight in trials and tribulations.
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Aug 11, 2011 — More than 5,000 of you nominated. More than 60,000 of you voted. And now the results are in. Explore the winners of NPR's Top 100 Science-Fiction and Fantasy survey — an intriguing mix of classic and contemporary titles.
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