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  • Hosted by Erin OToole, Steve Inskeep, Renee Montagne, David Greene

NPR's Morning Edition gives you news, analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports. Stories are told through conversation as well as full reports. It's up-to-the-minute news that prepares listeners for the day ahead.

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The prestigious literary magazine Granta, based in London, has been anointing the best new writers for decades, often predicting some of the world's biggest names (they discovered a new writer on the scene named Salman Rushdie, for example). But for the winter issue this year, the editors turned away from Britain and America and to Spain and Latin America, choosing to dedicate an issue to the best new writing emerging from the Spanish-speaking world.

European leaders are convening in Brussels on Thursday to discuss ways to steer the continent out of a debt crisis that shows few signs of abating, despite two multibillion-euro bailouts and European Central Bank moves to buy bonds of debt-ridden countries.

Most people travel for fun or because they have to, but for a select few, travel is a competition. The goal: See as much of the world as possible.

Robert Bonifas and Don Parrish are two such travelers, a sort of extreme Hope and Crosby.

I met the two Americans over breakfast one morning at the Acropole, a hotel in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. They had come to Khartoum to see the sights and check off one more place in their quest to see the entire planet.

When it comes to America's approach to food, poet Maya Angelou says too much rushing around -- and too many rules -- are enough to crush good cooking. Eating good food, she says, should be a time to enlighten the spirit.

Talking with Morning Edition guest host Don Gonyea about the food of her childhood in Stamps, Ark., Angelou says her family always ate vegetables from her grandmother's garden.

If there's one kind of book that you'd think might be safe from the digital revolution it's the cookbook.

It's hard to imagine how the Web could replicate a cookbook's well-organized recipes or enticing illustrations -- and, of course, a book doesn't freeze or short out after a cooking accident. And cookbooks make the perfect gift for the foodie on anyone's list, which is why they're a mainstay of publishing at this time of year.

On the whole, far less attention is paid to women's team sports than to women's individual sports. The most recognized female stars are invariably tennis players, swimmers, skiers –– whereas most popular male heroes are team players.

After all, these guys are on our teams. They're playing for us. Women's teams have never enjoyed that sense of the possessive.

Richard Holbrooke, an American diplomat who covered many of the globe's trouble spots in a career spanning nearly a half-century, died Monday. The U.S. special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan suffered a tear in his aorta and collapsed on Friday while at the State Department. He had been hospitalized since. He was 69.

If you know Anthony Mackie, you probably know him as "the black guy from The Hurt Locker" -- the tightly wound sergeant butting heads with a rule-breaking bomb tech. Since then, he's landed roles in a slew of films; some are still in post-production, but one -- Night Catches Us -- is playing in art-house theaters now.

There was a time, not so long ago, when chain bookstores had a pretty bad reputation. Barnes & Noble and Borders were seen as predators eager to destroy local booksellers -- and neighborhood bookstores were weathering threats from all sides. Megastores like Costco started selling bestsellers and encroaching on local shops. Then came a little company called Amazon, and the rise of online book buying. The indies were struggling to make ends meet, and many had to close their doors.

Update at 9:15 a.m. ET: We've added some material from Morning Edition's report to this post, as well as an audio clip at the end and a little background on the current proposal.

One sticking point in the ongoing debate over taxes in Washington is the question of estate taxes.

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