This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In a strange way, Barack Obama and Bashar al-Assad find themselves in the same dilemma today: initiate military action that both would prefer to avoid or look weak, even hypocritical. The American president faces a chorus of criticism after he decided to wait for more proof that Syria's government has crossed his red line on chemical weapons, while Syria's president must now decide whether to respond to Israeli airstrikes on his capital or leave his supporters to wonder why not.
Legend has it that the rainforest of Mosquitia hid La Ciudad Blanca, the White City. For centuries, explorers tried to find the fabled city in the jungle of Nicaragua and Honduras. Protected by white water, coral snakes, stinging plants and brutal topography, the White City remained an archeologist dream. But with a new application of recent technology, a documentary filmmaker, not an archeologist, found the White City.
Gail Godwin says one of the inspirations for her new novel, called Flora, is Henry James' ghost story The Turn of the Screw. Both stories take place in isolated old houses, and both revolve around mental contests between a governess character and her young charge. There are ghosts in Flora, too: specters that arise out of what our narrator calls her "remorse." Godwin had me at that word, "remorse": It's such a great, old-fashioned word, and it suggests that there'll be a lot of awful things going on in this novel that will need to be atoned for.
"Pink Champagne," a song on Caitlin Rose's second album The Stand-In, presents Rose's voice in its sparest purity and veiled shrewdness. She sends her voice skyward, the notes as buoyant and light as the bubbles of the pink champagne she's singing about. Her high trills could, with only a slight shift in tone and attitude, become self-conscious with a Betty Boop coyness, as they do once or twice on The Stand-In. But most of the time, Rose keeps her music grounded in the details of yearning, heartache and a welcome sense of gratefulness and enthused energy.
It turns out that the budget cuts that are affecting Head Start come at a time when spending on early childhood education is shrinking across the country. From 2011 to 2012, state funding for pre-kindergarten dropped by half a billion dollars - that according to her recent report from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University.
The director of the institute, Steve Barnett, is with us now. Welcome to you. Thank you so much for joining us.
Daytime television talk show host Wendy Williams is known for pushing the envelope and dishing the dirt on celebs. She got her start over 20 years ago, as a radio DJ and host. Williams quickly became known in New York as a "shock jockette" who never bit her tongue.
Her quick humor has made The Wendy Williams Show one of the most popular in daytime talk. But Wendy's road to stardom had its bumps.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. Being the first person to set foot on the moon would make anyone's heart skip a beat. Well, not apparently Neil Armstrong. An auction house in Amherst, New Hampshire, is about to take bids on Armstrong's EGK. It's a printout of the Apollo 11 astronaut's heart rate as he first stepped onto the surface of the moon in 1969. The printout is about six inches long and shows some fairly steady beats. Well, that's for one man. No word yet on mankind. It's MORNING EDITION.
When thieves in a small Belgian town tried to shake the cops, they dumped the safe out of the getaway car. The safe popped open, spilling $1.3 million worth of cash. People scrambled to pick it up. One woman even brought out a broom. Well, it's now two weeks later and police are asking for the money. They have setup a mailbox for people to drop off cash anonymously. Only half the money has been returned so far. Oh, and somebody has already broken into the mailbox.