Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, says it's leaving the American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC. The conservative organization of state legislators and corporate lobbyists has drawn criticism for advocating Stand Your Ground laws and strict voter ID standards. NPR's Peter Overby reports.
Now, from the high flying Spurs to a 2,400 foot skydive with nothing but a wing suit and a pile of cardboard boxes to break the fall. That's exactly what Gary Connery did. He had a parachute, but he didn't use it and - spoiler alert - he survived the jump and joins us now to talk about it.
Welcome to the program.
GARY CONNERY: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
SIEGEL: I've just said that you jumped with a wing suit as if I know what that means. I want you to describe what the wing suit was.
What is it about Brandi Carlile's voice that gets right inside you? The power? Her range? It may be the way she can crack open a note, as she does in her best-known song, "The Story," which was prominently featured on Grey's Anatomy.
This month, NPR's Backseat Book Club hits the high seas for an adventurous novel called Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus. The book begins in 1841, and is based on the sprawling true-life tale of Manjiro, whose destiny was almost determined before birth as a son in a long line of fishermen. But a storm blew his life on a new course, and he became one of the first Japanese to set foot in America.
Love is in the air in the seventh installment of the Wimpy Kid series. <em></em>"There's so much humor to be mined in the world of middle school romance," Kinney says. <em>The Third Wheel</em> will be published on Nov. 13. <a href="http://www.wimpykid.com/">Click here to visit the Wimpy Kid website.</a>
"Let me just say for the record that I think middle school is the dumbest idea ever invented," laments <em>Wimpy Kid </em>protagonist Greg Heffley. "You got kids like me who haven't hit their growth spurt yet mixed in with gorillas who need to shave twice a day." <a href="http://n.pr/LiWSpO">Click here to read an excerpt from Diary of a Wimpy Kid<em>.</em></a>
Credit Jeff Kinney / Abrams
Jeff Kinney is an author, cartoonist and game designer. He lives in southern Massachusetts and has two sons. <a href="http://www.npr.org/contact/backseatbookclubdiary.html">Click here to submit your questions for Kinney</a>.
The next installment in NPR's Backseat Book Club heads back to where this all started: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney. It was our 2009 interview with Kinney that sparked the idea for a special book club dedicated to kids. On the day before Kinney arrived at our studios, we asked our youngest listeners to send us the questions they would put to the author of the blockbuster series. We were floored by the response. An avalanche of emails hit our inbox from kids all over the country.
Poised to triumphantly clinch the Republican nomination for president, Romney instead was upstaged Tuesday by supporter Donald Trump's new birther-on-steroids shtick that stole the headlines and the candidate's big moment.
Then on Thursday, ready to embarrass President Obama by holding a "surprise" press event in front of Solyndra, the Obama-touted California solar energy company that failed after getting a $535 million government loan guarantee, Romney was upstaged yet again.
A student in Pamplona, holding a sign in the Basque language, protests cuts Thursday in education and other public services by the government. Spain's financial position is weakening and there are fears the country will need a bailout.
Spain's borrowing costs hit record highs this week and European stock markets have slumped over fears Madrid can't afford the price tag required to prop up its ailing banks. It's looking ever more likely the country will need some kind of bailout.
After watching Greece from afar for years, many Spaniards now believe Spain's number is up.
A tourist in Madrid might wonder where the crisis is. Traffic is heavy and the tapas bars are packed.
But listen in on some of the conversations, and it's clear that Spaniards are scared.
If nothing else, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has apparently done President Obama a favor.
His Honor's proposed ban on the sale of supersized sugary fountain drinks in his city made the mayor, at least for some, the epitome of Big Government excess, a place many critics, particularly conservatives, typically reserve for the Obama.