"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":

Donald Trump wrapped up his public tryout of potential vice presidential candidates in Indiana Tuesday night with Gov. Mike Pence giving the final audition.

The Indiana governor's stock as Trump's possible running mate is believed to be on the rise, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also atop the list. Sources tell NPR the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is close to making a decision, which he's widely expected to announce by Friday.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The unassuming hero of Jonas Karlsson's clever, Kafkaesque parable is the opposite of a malcontent. Despite scant education, a limited social life, and no prospects for success as it is usually defined, he's that rarity, a most happy fella with an amazing ability to content himself with very little. But one day, returning to his barebones flat from his dead-end, part-time job at a video store, he finds an astronomical bill from an entity called W.R.D. He assumes it's a scam. Actually, it is more sinister-- and it forces him to take a good hard look at his life and values.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


'Windeye': Gripping Tales Of Horror And Mystery

Jun 21, 2012

As if wooing Sisyphus, I push hungrily through the 25 stories in Brian Evenson's new collection, Windeye, trying each time to get to The Answer. Is the man a maniacal killer, or trapped in an experiment? What happens in the caves? Will the dead boy be avenged? Can Halle survive until the end of the oxygen shortage?

Foolish me. Evenson's stories, as puzzling as they are, never get to The Answer — or, if they do, it's not likely there is a Question. These stories don't end, but rather leap off cliffs and out of sight ("It was as if none of them really knew what was happening to them: none of them understood it, yet none of them were able to stop. And then it got worse." — "The Tunnel"). Instead of an ambiguous shrug at the end of a suspenseful story, there is a glimmering, jeering, three-dimensional absence ("And then he couldn't manage to think even that." — "The Oxygen Protocol").

Evenson, acclaimed author of the virtuosic Mormon murder thriller The Open Curtain, and the creepy post-apocalyptic novel Immobility, has a well mapped-out moral universe. The territory is familiar — identifiably his. Bloody, ruthless, symbolist, bodily physical and atmospherically hollow. With his junky blend of horror, sci-fi and Beckett, Evenson solves many writerly problems: how to systematically destabilize exposition; how to upend the "it-was-all-a-dream" ending; how to use the imagination to get out of the mind and into the body. His stories are narrative events, and his formalism has earned him a devoted, even cultish following among writers.

It makes sense. The stories that work here work exceedingly well. They haunt and bleed and force the reader into contemplation, each one introducing a kind of unique metaphysical problem.

The title story, "Windeye," which won a PEN/O'Henry Award in 2011, is exquisite. It begins in a nostalgic, almost songlike mode: "They lived, when he was growing up, in a simple house, an old bungalow with a converted attic and sides covered in cedar shake." The house, it turns out, is not entirely simple, for there is an extra window on the outside, a "windeye," that has no correlating window inside. In trying to figure out the mystery of the window, the boy narrator discovers that the they isn't a simple matter either:

"Over the years there were moments when he was almost convinced, moments when he almost began to think — and perhaps even did think for weeks or months at a time — that he never had a sister. It would have been easier to think this than to think she had been alive and then, perhaps partly because of him, not alive. Being not alive wasn't like being dead, he felt: it was much, much worse."

"They," "Them," "The Voice," and "The Man" — frequently weak, embryonic or overly political prepositions in fiction, serve noble purpose in Evenson's work. In "The Drownable Species," the unreliable narrator/psycho-killer is drafting his story for a friend. He is then "informed by my friend that I have been showing my writings not to a him but to a them, to a series of different men." They go on to clarify that they are not friends so much as "interlocutors." The shifting nature of the interlocutors mirrors the shifting perspective of the madman trying to untangle his multiple delusions.

Madness is perhaps the most inert threat in Evenson's world; at least it is emotionally logical. Some of the most terrifying and remarkable stories take up issues of agency — particularly the lack of agency such as befalls a young orphan who gets caught up in a supernatural murder spree in "Grottor." As the boy Bernt "solves" the mystery, he becomes increasingly unable to escape it. The paralysis of a nightmare. "He is going to kill him, thought Bernt, yet he could make no effort to stop him." The horror in this especially unsettling tale comes neither from the "boo" nor the blood (and there is a lot of both) but from the ritual irrationality of Grottor's evil, his unnamed cosmology, his beast.

Evenson is intense. Anything goes in his work, and often it goes very badly. But his sensibility is so loose-limbed and nimble — so late-night-television, so literary. Reading him is basically the most fun you can have contemplating your own mortality.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.