Raquel Jaramillo's debut novel, Wonder, written under the pen name R.J. Palacio, was born out of a rather embarrassing incident. The author was out with her two sons, sitting in front of an ice cream store. Her oldest had just finished fifth grade, and her youngest was still in a stroller. They spotted a girl whose face had been deformed by a medical condition.
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In the southern French city of Toulouse, police are in a stand-off with a man suspected of carrying out a series of shootings. The suspect is described as a 24-year-old French citizen, of North African heritage. He is said to be an al-Qaida sympathizer.
It's not easy being one of the last soaps standing, as Neda Ulaby reports on today's Morning Edition. For fans, the shuttering of iconic shows like All My Children and Guiding Light has upended routines that, for some, date back to childhood. When I was in high school, my soap of choice was Days Of Our Lives, which Neda says has changed a lot since that era — well, it's changed and it hasn't.
Italy's next step in a crisis is at the top of NPR's business news.
Italian prime minister Mario Monti is trying to restructure the economy so his country has a better shot at paying its debts. Today, he sits down to negotiate with the country's powerful trade union leaders. Monti hopes to weaken legal protections that make it almost impossible to fire employees. He blames these rules for slow economic growth and high unemployment in Italy.
We're following up now on the fatal shooting of a black teenager by an Hispanic neighborhood watch leader. That shooting took place three weeks ago in the central Florida town of Sanford. So far, no charges have been filed against George Zimmerman, who says he was acting in self-defense when he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The African-American community is frustrated. And yesterday student protestors were out in Sanford demanding the shooter be arrested. Mark Simpson of member station WMFE in Orlando has this report.
Now, one way governments raise money is by issuing bonds: you or your pension fund lend them the money, and they then pay a set amount of interest for a set amount of time, say 10 or 20 years. Well, Britain's finance minister, George Osborne, is reportedly ready to announce that the UK plans to issue a bond that only your great-grandchildren will be able to cash in. It matures in a hundred years.
When 21-year-old Kevin Smith decided he wanted to be a filmmaker, his sister gave him some advice: "Don't say you want to be a filmmaker; just be one." So he did. He made his first film, Clerks, on a shoestring, shooting at the convenience store where he worked.