Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 10:16 am
If Isabella Robinson had a Facebook account in 1858, her relationship status would be "It's complicated." Unhappily married to civil engineer Henry Robinson — a most "uncongenial partner" — Isabella set her lonely sights on the dashing and very much attached hydropath Dr. Edward Lane. In a perfect world, Isabella and Edward's respective spouses would die quick and painless deaths, freeing the paramours to be joined in holy, socially sanctioned matrimony. But Victorian England was not a perfect world.
Science fiction is a genre of contradictions. It's an entertaining escape from the dreary everyday, but it also invites you to rethink your everyday life. It can be cheesy but profound, fantastic but sharply political. And like all literature, it's rarely about what it seems to be on the surface. That's why the best sci-fi writers manage to turn space battles into philosophical debates, and zombie hordes into political satire.
Later this week in Egypt, the official results of the presidential election will be announced. Steve Inskeep talks to Egyptian journalist and commentator Issandr El Amrani about why there haven't been mass protests over the military council's power grab during the election.
President Obama disagrees with Russia's president Vladimir Putin over what to do about Syria. The U.S. thinks it's time for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to go. The Russians aren't so sure. The American and Russian leaders met yesterday during a summit of global leaders and they at least agreed that they prefer a political solution to Syria's problems. They hope to avoid a civil war. They just don't agree how to do it. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
A federal jury has acquitted baseball pitching ace Roger Clemens on all charges. The jury found Clemens not guilty of lying to Congress and of obstructing a congressional investigation into performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg was in the courtroom. She has this report.
The Federal Reserve starts its latest two-day meeting Tuesday, and analysts around the globe are wondering whether the central bank will end ease monetary policy. The meeting follows some tough U.S. labor data and the recent Greek elections.
Now in Hollywood last night, Microsoft unveiled its newest product: a tablet computer to compete with the iPad. Putting out a computer is an unusual move for Microsoft, which is mostly known for software.
NPR's Mandalit del Barco was at the announcement.
MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: At Milk Studios in Hollywood, a photo studio for the stars, Microsoft engineers revealed their snazzy new tablet, which they call Surface.
And today's last word business is about a bank takeover that was more of a fake over. Businessman Li Chunping made headlines in China earlier this year. He spoke in the Chinese media of how he took over an American bank - the Atlantic Bank of Delaware, which he said went bankrupt in 2008.
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The story got him plenty of public praise. The communist party touted him as a model citizen, rising from poverty to be a successful businessman in the rice trade. He even got a position as a government adviser.
In southern Texas and in Arizona, people are paying a lot of attention to the presidential election - Mexico's presidential election. From member station KJZZ, Peter O'Dowd explains why millions of Americans are awaiting July 1st, Mexico's election day.