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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now it's time to go behind closed doors. That's the part of the program where we talk about difficult issues that are often kept hidden.

And in this election season we've been hearing a lot about why candidates take on the issues they've chosen to address. Sometimes it's because an issue is popular, but sometimes it's just too important to ignore, and sometimes it's also personal.

Former Aides Talk Strategy For Homestretch

Sep 10, 2012

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up: The designers are sending their creations down the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. And just in case your invitations to some of those big-name shows got lost in the mail, we will bring the runway to you. We'll talk with a reporter who's in the mix to tell us what's hot and what's not. That's later in the program.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for the occasional feature we call In Your Ear. That's where guests of the program tell us the songs they're listening to for a little inspiration. Today is a very special, probably stressful day for "MasterChef" contestant Christine Ha. Why?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "MASTERCHEF")

GARY RHODES: The person joining Josh in the "MasterChef" finale, that person is Christine.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now it's time to open up the pages of the Washington Post magazine. That's something we do just about every week for interesting stories about the way we live now. And today a story about the business of music.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIOLIN)

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll talk about how a master violin maker holds onto his art form in this struggling economy. Talk about that in just a few minutes.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula's second-in-command has been killed in Yemen, a government website reports.

Saudi national Saeed al-Shehri was killed in the Hadramawt area of southern Yemen along with six other militants, according to the website and ministry of defense officials quoted by the BBC.

Remember the dark days of 2008 when insurer American International Group Inc., better known as AIG, nearly collapsed under the weight of the mortgage crisis before Washington rode to the rescue to the tune of $182 billion?

Then there was the public outrage when AIG executives got millions in bonuses after receiving the largest of all of the Wall Street bailouts.

Since then, the New York-based insurance giant has been essentially a government-owned enterprise, with Uncle Sam holding a controlling share.

WVXU Political Reporter Howard Wilkinson talks with WVXU's Maryanne Zeleznik about the positives and negatives coming out of the political conventions and what to expect from candidate visits in the coming weeks.

Teachers in Chicago walked off the job Monday after contract negotiations fell through, leaving 400,000 students in the nation's third-largest district shut out of their classrooms.

Contract talks broke down late last night, and by Monday morning Chicago public school teachers, many wearing red T-shirts and carrying signs, were picketing around the city for the first time in a quarter-century.

T.C. Boyle's newest book is called San Miguel. It comes out this month.

When I was a teenager my reading was largely confined to liner notes (The Rolling Stones: England's Newest Hit Makers!), but at some point — later, rather than sooner — I stumbled across a book or two and got hooked. A whole panoply of things came rushing at me — Hemingway's stories, J.D. Salinger, Cannery Row, On the Road, Tolkien, Vonnegut — but it was Franz Kafka who really set my wheels spinning.

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