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Florida and 24 other states have adopted "Stand Your Ground" laws thanks to a shadowy organization of state legislators and lobbyists. We hear the pros and cons of the group called ALEC. Also, India tests a nuclear missile, and without a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, what are readers — and publishers — going to do?

Banner image: Protesters gather outside the American Legislative Exchange Council's headquarters to protest against the laws protecting the 'justifiable homicide' passed in more than half of the US states. Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

Making News India Tests Nuclear Missile 7 MIN, 10 SEC

Less than a week since North Korea's spectacular failure, India said today it successfully launched a ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon 3100 miles in any director. Bruce Riedel is a former CIA officer, now senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Bruce Riedel, Brookings Institution (@BrookingsInst)

Main Topic A New Look at the Sausage Factory Where Laws Are Made 36 MIN, 7 SEC

The Trayvon Martin killing has sparked a national firestorm over Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. Now it turns out that 24 other states have similar laws because of a little known group called the American Legislative Exchange Council. "ALEC" brought state legislators from around the country together with lobbyists for the NRA to agree that Florida's law would become a model for other states. What other measures has ALEC originated?  Is it democracy in action, or a way to enact special interest legislation without public scrutiny?

Note: ALEC declined our invitation to participate in this program.

Lisa Graves, Center for Media and Democracy (@thelisagraves)
Stephen Moore, Heritage Foundation (@StephenMoore)
Rashad Robinson, ColorOfChange.org (@rashadrobinson)
Sheila Krumholz, Center for Responsive Politics (@skrmhlz)

Train Dreams

Denis Johnson

Reporter's Notebook Pulitzer Board Snubs Fiction 7 MIN, 13 SEC

Nothing sells fiction like the Pulitzer Prize, but this year — for the first time since 1977 — no fiction prize was awarded. Every year a jury of over-worked readers struggles through hundreds of novels to come up with three books to recommend to the Pulitzer board. This year, they chose Swamplandia by Karen Russell, Train Dreams by Denis Johnson and The Pale King by the late David Foster Wallace. The board turned them all down. Maureen Corrigan, Critic in Residence at Georgetown University and a columnist and book critic for NPR's Fresh Air, was a member of the Pulitzer jury.

Maureen Corrigan, Georgetown University

The Pale King

David Foster Wallace

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