Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Want to know how tight the presidential race is? President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney spent the week barnstorming across a handful of battleground states - mostly the same states, including Iowa, Ohio, Nevada and Colorado - to fire up supporters and make a pitch to win wavering voters. We're joined now by NPR's Scott Horsley, who's been covering President Obama's reelection campaign. He's in our studio. Thanks for being with us, Scott.
An Italian court on Friday sentenced former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to four years in jail for tax fraud in connection with the purchase of broadcasting rights by his Mediaset television company. Weekend Edition host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Sylvia Poggioli.
And this morning, we're following the progression of a major storm, hurricane Sandy, which is turning toward parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The National Hurricane Center briefly downgraded Sandy to a tropical storm, but this morning restored it to a category one hurricane. Parts of the east coast are bracing for destructive winds and heavy flooding once Sandy makes landfall in the coming days.
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. With just 10 days to go in a tightening race, both campaigns are out in force around the country trying to win over voters. Today, Governor Mitt Romney is in Florida. President Obama is in New Hampshire. We're joined now by Ben LaBolt. He's national press secretary for President Obama's 2012 campaign. He's on the line from Chicago.
Mr. LaBolt. Thanks for being with us.
BEN LABOLT: Good morning, Scott. Thanks for having me.
Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, known as the "Ten Commandments Judge," makes an appearance at a Tea Party rally in Mobile. The Republican is running for chief justice again despite being removed from the office nearly 10 years ago for defying a federal court order to remove a massive Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama judicial building.
Credit Mario Villafuerte / Getty Images
Roy Moore was ousted from his position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court because he refused to remove a marble statue of the Ten Commandments from the courthouse.
Credit Courtesy of Judge Bob Vance for Chief Justice
Bob Vance entered the race in August, upsetting the assumed victory of Roy Moore and siphoning off moderate Republicans uncomfortable with Moore's politics.
Republican Roy Moore, Alabama's controversial "Ten Commandments Judge," is back on the ballot this year, running for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court — despite being removed from that office nearly a decade ago.
In a state as red as they come, he is facing last-minute Democratic challenger Bob Vance, who is reaching out to moderate Republicans turned off by Moore's politics.
Peter Remine says he will know it's time to get serious about rights for robots "when a robot knocks on my door asking for some help."
Remine, founder of the Seattle-based American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Robots, says the moment will come when a robot in an automobile factory "will become sentient, realize that it doesn't want to do that unfulfilling and dangerous job anymore, and ask for protection under state workers' rights."
In this satellite image provided Friday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hurricane Sandy's huge cloud extent of up to 2,000 miles churns over the Bahamas, as a line of clouds associated with a powerful cold front approaches the East Coast of the U.S.
Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 7:53 pm
It's still unclear whether Sandy will be a devastating storm or just a bad one.
It is clear, however, that Sandy will be remembered as the storm that broke all the rules and baffled the nation's top weather forecasters.
Early Saturday morning, the National Weather Service downgraded the storm from a hurricane to a tropical storm — only to return it to hurricane status a few hours later. Either way, forecasters warn, "widespread impacts" are expected along the coast.
Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 6:17 pm
Six states and the nation's capital have recognized the legality of same-sex marriages, either by law or by court order.
But over the past decade and a half, each of the 30 states to consider constitutional amendments that would outlaw such unions has adopted the ban — from Alaska in 1998 to North Carolina earlier this year.
That may change on Election Day, when voters in Maryland, Washington, Maine and Minnesota — awash in money, messages and advertisements from both sides of the issue — will make their decision on whether to recognize gay marriage.
A midas fly touches down on the sands of the desert in the United Arab Emirates. A lake in the area has brought new forms of wildlife, but some scientists are concerned it could harm the habitat of the midas fly.
Credit Ari Daniel Shapiro for NPR
After desalinated water was pumped inland from the Persian Gulf, an oasis has appeared in the middle of the desert in the United Arab Emirates.
One place you don't expect to see waves lapping against the shore is in the middle of a desert. But that's exactly what's happening deep inside the United Arab Emirates, where a recently formed lake is nestled into the sand dunes, and a new ecosystem is emerging.
Drive through the desert in the United Arab Emirates, and all you see mile after mile are red, rolling dunes. Maybe some occasional trees or shrubs, but otherwise a dry, red sandscape.
And then, suddenly, a bright blue spot comes into view. It must be a mirage, you think. But it's not.
A young mother sets sail from Ireland after the potato famine to meet her husband in Canada; two gold prospectors seek their fortune in the frozen Yukon; a slave poisons his master and the master's wife escapes with him.
Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 5:40 pm
In a highly unusual step, the Food and Drug Administration has released a report of inspections it conduct this month of the Massachusetts pharmacy at the center of a national outbreak of fungal infections.
The Ansar Dine group in northeastern Mali is among the Islamist factions proliferating in North Africa and the Middle East. Officials have focused on possible links between these groups and al-Qaida, but counterterrorism experts say understanding the differences is just as important.
Jacques Barzun, one of the most influential historians, educators and thinkers of the 20th century, died Thursday, just one month shy of his 105th birthday. Barzun seemed to have a limitless capacity to understand and translate complex ideas — about the evolution of Western culture, what it means to be free, and even the value of American baseball. He shared his observations in numerous books and magazine articles and at Columbia University, where he held forth for half a century.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. The race for the Senate seat held by Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill, has seen some wild swings this year. Republicans initially thought their candidate, Congressman Todd Akin, had the race locked down. But that changed dramatically in August, when a controversial remark by Akin swung the race in McCaskill's favor. Now, Akin's recovered some of that lost support. NPR's David Welna has this update.
Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 7:07 pm
If you've ever found yourself anxiously wondering where a hurricane might make landfall, then you're probably familiar with "spaghetti charts" — the intertwined web of possible storm tracks put out by many forecasters.
Those lines represent hundreds of millions of observations from satellites, aircraft, balloons and buoys, all crunched from complex forecasting equations on some of the world's most powerful computers.
Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 4:37 pm
The U.S. economy remains in a gray area, so it's no wonder that the presidential race is essentially tied.
Gross domestic product grew at a 2 percent annual rate between June and September, according to figures out Friday. The White House says this means the economy has been growing for 13 straight quarters.
Now comes the debate over the debates. No matter who "won" or "lost," it's clear that there has been momentum building toward Mitt Romney since he first debated President Obama early this month in Denver. Plus, a look at the competitive Senate races. And the comment by Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock about rape, pregnancy and God has put a GOP Senate seat in jeopardy.
Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for this week's political roundup.