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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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Middle West

Jul 22, 2013 — In softcover fiction, Laurent Binet plots an escape from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia and Hanna Pylvainen explores the fundamentalist religion of her youth. In nonfiction, Seth Rosenfeld explains the FBI's involvement with the 1964 University of California, Berkeley, student protest movement.
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Jun 3, 2013 — In softcover fiction, Barbara Kingsolver explores climate change, Jami Attenberg depicts an eating disorder, Dave Eggers sends a businessman to Saudi Arabia, and Vaddey Ratner fictionalizes life under the Khmer Rouge. In nonfiction, Jeffrey Toobin examines the Supreme Court and President Obama.
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Jun 2, 2013 — The award-winning children's book author has written more than two dozen books set in the American heartland. He's most famous for his intricate illustrations of the Midwest — sprawling prairie, family farms and his signature mischievous pigs.
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May 19, 2013 — John Williams' Stoner sold just 2,000 copies when it was originally published in 1965. It's now acknowledged as a classic work, is a best-seller across Europe and the No. 1 novel in the Netherlands.
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Apr 28, 2013 — Oftentimes, foodie fiction makes you hungry. But author Jessica Soffer recommends three books that deal with food yet aren't in love with it — books to read when you're on a diet, a desert island, or for whatever reason would like a peach tart to not be compared to a summer's day.
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Dec 13, 2012 — Susan Stamberg presents the year's best books, picked by independent booksellers around the country. Selections range from gritty, free-verse fairy tales to ballerina photographs and a grim Southern story about a small town that would rather its ghosts remain at rest.
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Nov 20, 2012 — Jami Attenberg's black comedy about the fallout of one woman's food addiction is a tough but affecting story about family members putting up with each other. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the novel's fragmented narration and jumpy timeline add to its emotional punch.
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Oct 24, 2012 — A few years ago, you might not have thought that something as basic as the food we eat would become trendy. But that's what's happened. Now a new novel takes on the subject of appetite and excess. Author Meg Wolitzer says The Middlesteins, by Jami Attenberg, is worth picking up.
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May 23, 2012This week, there's fresh fiction from Pulitzer finalist Denis Johnson, novelist Tom Perrotta and newspaperman Pete Hamill; plus, travel editor Mark Adams explores Machu Picchu; Melissa Coleman reminisces about growing up off the grid; and Howard Means looks at the life of Johnny Appleseed.
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Oct 12, 2011 — It's fall, and the mood has turned from silly to serious. In keeping with the buttoned-up season, author Martha Southgate lists her favorite books full of fastidious fellows. They might be fussy, but she knows deep down, they're a whole lot of fun.
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