At the start of the fall TV season, HBO gave us the best new series of the year with Boardwalk Empire, which was set in the Prohibition era in Atlantic City, N.J. This Sunday, HBO launches an ambitious, impressive five-hour miniseries — and as with Boardwalk Empire, it's set during the Depression.

It takes a deft hand to do justice to the ordinary. Most novelists don't even bother to try, which is why most novels are about a rip in the fabric of the routine. It's tough to find fiction ambitious enough to tackle the story of a run-of-the-mill job, a hum-drum family; but, if the mundane matters to you, then Stewart O'Nan is your man.

In California's Silicon Valley, the economy is finally showing signs of a turnaround. Social media companies like Twitter and Facebook are generating a lot of new excitement, and there's even been a slight uptick in hiring. Still, the recession has done considerable damage to the region's economy, and the unemployment rate remains high.

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It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

You simply cannot appreciate the brilliance of Angry Birds unless you play the game. So go get your iPhone or borrow one from a friend. You can download the first game for free.

There are many spoilers ahead in this piece, and by spoilers, we mean this: If you want to be surprised by the final few episodes of Big Love, you should not read or listen to this piece until you finish the season.

Transcript

SIMON: Warren Christopher was a famously meticulous man. When he stepped down as President Clintons secretary of State, the president referred to him as the only man ever to eat M&Ms on Air Force One with a fork.

Warren Christopher died last night at the age 85, at home in Los Angeles. He was the son of a North Dakota bank clerk who became a blue chip, L.A. lawyer in splendid suits, and a famously self-effacing diplomat.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host:

To baseball now. Jimmy Breslin, the great New York columnist, has written a new Penguin Lives biography of Branch Rickey, the great general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was the man who invented the minor league system, coined bromides like: Luck is the residue of design, and made American - not just sports history - by signing Jackie Robinson and integrating the game of baseball.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host:

Egyptians vote today in the first election since ousting Hosni Mubarak from power last month. At stake: nine amendments to the constitution that the former ruler helped create. Supporters say the referendum is the first step toward a real democracy in Egypt. But opponents argue the measures leave too much power in the hands of Egypt's future presidents and they want the constitution scrapped.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports voter turnout is unusually high in some districts.

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NOTE: this is a special holiday weekend encore of a show that originally aired July 13, 2017.

According to the state’s association of food banks, Kentucky’s rate of “food insecurity” is declining.

But still 17% of our fellow citizens lack the certainty  of always knowing where their next meal will come from, especially in Eastern Kentucky.


Fifty-eight people died and over 500 were injured while attending a country music festival in Las Vegas.

Twenty-six died when they were shot down while in church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. 


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Ohio Valley ReSource

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Napoleon famously said that an army marches on its stomach. Troops must be fed in order to fight. But what happens when that army faces hunger after marching back home?  

Federal statistics show tens of thousands of U.S. military veterans struggle with homelessness, hunger and food insecurity.

As the holiday season approaches, a pilot program in the Ohio Valley aims to serve those who served their country.


Nicole Erwin/Ohio Valley ReSource

Roberto Gonzales and six other workers came from Nayarit, Mexico, to work on a Garrard County, Kentucky, tobacco farm using a guest worker program called the H-2A visa

The Department of Labor program guarantees a wage in Kentucky of $10.92 an hour. But Gonzales said the workers were only getting between $3 and $8 per hour. So they went on strike


The U.S. Senate voted along party lines Wednesday, 52 to 46, to narrowly confirm President Trump’s nominee to lead the Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA. 

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