In Clyde Edgerton's new novel, The Night Train, the main characters are friends, but no one knows it.
The two boys, Larry Lime Nolan and Dwayne Hallston, work side by side at Dwayne's father's furniture store. They both love the music that's taken hold of the country in 1963, the time the novel is set. But in their hometown of Starke, N.C., Dwayne, who is white, and Larry, who is black, have to keep their friendship concealed like some family embarrassment.
U.S. officials are sounding increasingly frustrated that they and other big donors can't mount the kind of humanitarian operation that is needed in Somalia. Violence in Mogadishu this week is just the latest of their troubles.
Aid work is never easy, but the troubles add up quickly in a conflict zone like Somalia, says Assistant Secretary of State Eric Schwartz.
For lawmakers in Washington, D.C., it's another working weekend as they try to come to a deal to raise the debt ceiling and prevent a government default next week. NPR's Scott Horsley brings us up to date on negotiations.
After an initial delay, the UN has begun airlifting emergency food relief supplies into Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. Families fleeing hunger and conflict in other parts of the failed state continue to arrive there, seeking refuge and food. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.
After several days of arm-twisting, the House on Friday approved a two-stage plan to raise the federal debt ceiling and make sharp cuts in federal spending. But the proposal was almost immediately rejected by the Senate, where Democrats introduced their own debt ceiling plan. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.