Don't let the theme fool you. These three books are anything but failures. They are, in fact, full of sharply rendered and utterly original characters who fail spectacularly in their attempts to do right (or what they think is right). They are men on a mission, variously heroic, harebrained, heartfelt, even cruel, but their good intentions are undeniable, if not always admirable.
The death toll from the tornados that slammed Midwestern and Southern states on Friday has now risen to 39. The latest victim is Angel Babcock, 15 months old. She died on Sunday in a hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. The toddler was found in the shattered remains of her family's home. Her parents and two siblings were also killed.
NPR's business news starts with more bad news for News Corp.
An FBI investigation of Rupert Murdoch's media company is now looking to Russia. A billboard company, News Outdoor Russia, owned until last year by News Corp, is being scrutinized over possibly bribing public officials. The FBI began looking into News Corps' operations after its British newspapers were embroiled in a bribery and phone hacking scandal.
Now just as the U.S. economy seems to be picking up, China's is not. The Chinese government has downgraded its economic growth target to the slowest rate in eight years. China's premier says the country needs to boost consumer demand, and address what he calls unsustainable development.
Lawyers for BP, and thousands of people affected by the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill, had been expected, for a long time, to be in a New Orleans courtroom this morning for a civil trial. Instead, they're reviewing a deal to settle the case.
BP estimates it would pay nearly $8 billion in the settlement. In exchange, the company would avoid revisiting, in a courtroom, what led up to the drilling rig explosion that killed 11 men and poured massive amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.