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#1428: A Conversation With Best-Selling Author Sapphire

Ilene Cutler/SUNY Ulster

On this week’s 51%, we bring you an interview with bestselling author and poet Sapphire. You’ll hear about her novels, social consciousness and thoughts on the presidential election.

Best-selling author Sapphire recently appeared at SUNY Ulster, a State University of New York community college in Ulster County, as part of a writers series. Sapphire’s first novel “Push,” about a heavy-set, African-American, illiterate, HIV-positive teen abused by her parents, impregnated by her father, was made into the 2009 Academy-Award winning film “Precious.” Her second novel, a 2011 follow-up to “Push,” is “The Kid.” 

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is allowing all priests to absolve the faithful of the "grave sin" of abortion, extending indefinitely the special permission he had granted for the duration of the recently-ended Holy Year of Mercy. Francis wrote in a document made public by the Vatican "there is no sin that God's mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart," while staunchly reiterating that "abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life." A top Holy See official told a news conference at the Vatican that the pope's words applied also to those who were involved in an abortion, "from the women to the nurse to the doctor and whoever supports this procedure.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Here’s a first. A veteran state trooper and her rookie daughter have become the first mother and daughter to serve in uniform at the same time in the nearly century-long history of the New York State Police. Trooper Meagan Hartmann graduated from the State Police Academy, joining her mother Bethany Lamphere as a uniformed trooper. The mother and daughter work at separate stations 60 miles apart in central New York. Lamphere was already a mother of three children ages 6, 10 and 12 when she became a trooper in 2001. Her career has included a two-year stint as an investigator. The state police, founded in 1917, accepted its first women recruits in 1973.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

And that's our show this week. Thanks to Patrick Garrett for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. If you’d like to hear this show again, sign up for our podcast, or visit the 51% archives on our web site at wamc.org. And follow us on Twitter @51PercentRadio  

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