In Jess Walter's new novel, Beautiful Ruins, there's a beaten-down character named Claire who works in Hollywood reading scripts for a living. Claire is inundated with reality TV show pitches, many of them featuring drunk models or drunk sex addicts — in short, scripts so offensive that, Claire thinks, to give them the green light for production would be akin to "singlehandedly hastening the apocalypse."
Syria has expelled an Italian Jesuit priest for his outspoken criticism of the government's crackdown on a popular uprising. The Rev. Paolo Dall'Oglio has lived in Syria for 30 years, helping to restore a 1,000-year-old monastery that became a center for Muslim and Christian understanding.
Dall'Oglio's departure from Damascus on Saturday was sudden. More than a year ago, the government ordered him out, but a campaign on Facebook — "No to the Exile of Father Paolo" — delayed his expulsion.
"In a half dozen phone calls between a locked-up George Zimmerman and his wife, the couple talk about their love for each other, their confidence in the future and how to move around money," the Orlando Sentinel writes.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is riding through small towns in six states on his "Every Town Counts" bus tour. As NPR's Mara Liasson reported for Morning Edition, he's focusing on areas of GOP support in the battlegrounds of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan — all states President Obama won in 2008.