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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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Jess Walter

Jan 24, 2014 — Welcome to awards season. Between the Golden Globes, the SAG awards, and the upcoming Oscars, it's enough to make anyone question America's fixation on movies. But author Kevin Roose says that Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins, a novel with a funny take on the movie industry, shows that there's something important going on behind the glitz.
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Apr 1, 2013 — In softcover fiction, Maria Semple chronicles a daughter's search for her missing mother, Jess Walter imagines a glimmering but futile courtship, and Lionel Shriver delivers a tongue-in-cheek take on terrorism. In nonfiction, Victoria Sweet recounts her unusual medical training.
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Dec 13, 2012 — 2012 was a very jittery year — what with the presidential election, extreme weather events and the looming "fiscal cliff." Fresh Air critic Maureen Corrigan found that her favorite fiction and nonfiction this year directly confronted the atmospheric uncertainty of the age.
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Jun 18, 2012 — Jess Walter's latest novel spans decades and traverses the Atlantic to create a kaleidoscopic collection of "beautiful ruins." Characters include a hotelier, a young script reader and real-life movie star Richard Burton. NPR's Maureen Corrigan says the book is a "literary miracle."
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Dec 23, 2009 — Many of the picks from Fresh Air's book critic look back at tough times from earlier eras, or lives upended by disaster. The best books of the year include a work of nonfiction that reveals the hidden fantasy land of a founder of American industry, and a novel that doesn't apologize for the bad behavior of its characters. Plus, a bonus mystery pick.
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Dec 23, 2009 — Day-to-day tragedy collides with modern internet culture in this novel about love, poetry, and life 2.0. Jess Walter's The Financial Lives Of The Poets manages to be just the right balance of satire and heart.
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Nov 15, 2006 — Jess Walter is the author of four novels. His latest, The Zero, is a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award. Walter is also an investigative reporter. He lives in Spokane, Washington.
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Jul 11, 2006 — There are some books that are so good that you just can't get on with your life until you've turned the last page. Nancy Pearl offers books that make it tempting to call in sick just to be able to read to the end without stopping.
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Dec 22, 2005Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan lists her favorite books of 2005, including novels by Mary Gaitskill and Kazuo Ishiguro, and memoirs by Joan Didion and J.R. Moehringer.
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