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:
Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 1:53 pm
For the sake of argument, let's agree that when we use the word "inauguration" in this particular post, we are talking about the multiday, ball-bestrewn, soiree-soaked, tuxedo-dappled extravaganza that costs tens of millions of dollars and often leaves many Americans out in the cold — figuratively and literally.
As President Obama and congressional leaders started negotiations Friday to find a way to avoid the nation's going over the fiscal cliff, it was fairly plain that even some of those who are wisest in the ways of Washington couldn't agree on whether policymakers would actually be able to prevent the federal government from becoming a cliff diver.
Sierra Leone's "blood diamonds" helped fuel atrocities in the impoverished West African nation in the 1990s. The war has now been over for a decade, and the country's most valuable resource is no longer known as the product of a conflict. But it remains a contentious issue.
President Obama hasn't even named his choice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who plans to step down at the end of this term. But there's been a lot of heated rhetoric this week over one of the front-runners, Susan Rice.
Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, spoke on behalf of the administration on five Sunday talk shows days after the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. At the time, she suggested the attack began as a spontaneous protest over an anti-Muslim video. U.S. officials now say it was a terrorist attack.
Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 12:16 pm
David Petraeus' resignation from the CIA further complicated the debate over the September attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Petraeus, a key figure in the events, stepped down as director after admitting to an extramarital affair. But members of Congress were so anxious to hear from him that they brought Petraeus back to Capitol Hill on Friday to get his version of the Benghazi story.
Fresh off his re-election, a politically fortified President Obama summoned the top four congressional leaders to the White House on Friday for the first of what could be many rounds of talks for a deal to avert fiscal calamity.
The meeting was part of the opening moves to keep the nation from sailing over the so-called "fiscal cliff" — those across-the-board tax hikes and deep spending cuts set to kick in at year's end.
In welcoming the quartet of lawmakers, Obama struck a conciliatory note.
Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 4:00 pm
Rep. Peter King caused a row coming out of the closed-door hearings on the attack of the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
In an interview with Fox News, King, a Republican from New York, said that when former CIA Director David Petraeus said he believed from the start that this was a terrorist attack, he was contradicting earlier testimony.
The tech industry has been lobbying hard for an update to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the 1986 law governing online privacy.
Under an umbrella group calling itself Digital Due Process, companies and civil liberties groups have argued that the law is too loose with the privacy of data stored online, especially Web-based email and other documents on the cloud.
Ever since Hurricane Sandy ripped through the New Jersey coast, some of the hardest-hit towns have been closed altogether. Authorities say gas leaks and unstable buildings have made them too risky to visit.
This week, residents were allowed to enter Seaside Heights for a few hours each day to get a firsthand look at the damage. Many are struggling with whether to rebuild their homes.
Now, on to our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players has 60 seconds to answer as many questions as they can, each correct answer now worth two points. Carl, can you give us the scores?
CARL KASELL: Charlie Pierce and Faith Salie have a tie for the lead, Peter. Each of them has three points, and Mo Rocca has two.
Randy Sprecher came to Milwaukee years ago to make beer for one of the big breweries. But he didn't like the beer he was making so he founded his own brewery ... and now, his friends keep showing up at his door all the time with lame excuses.
We've invited Sprecher to answer three questions about Carrie Nation, the famously violent prohibitionist.
Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 4:56 pm
A Florida judge on Friday denied Republican Rep. Allen West's last-ditch bid for a recount of early-voting ballots in the close and ugly re-election race he is losing to Democrat Patrick Murphy.
West's effort to wrest the race from Murphy, who is leading in a race that has yet to be officially called, now goes to the St. Lucie County elections board, which was scheduled to review his complaint late Friday.
Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 4:22 am
When it comes to diabetes, just about everyone has heard there's an epidemic upon us.
In 2010, about 18.8 million people of all ages in the U.S. had been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another 7 million had diabetes but hadn't been diagnosed.
How much have things changed?
Back in 1995, about 4.5 percent of adults in the U.S. had been diagnosed with diabetes. By 2010, the prevalence had zoomed to 8.2 percent.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
Now, to an unusual drama playing out in the NBA. It involves the Houston Rockets and their first-round draft choice, the 6-foot-8-inch-tall forward named Royce White. White suffers from general anxiety disorder, and the illness is complicating his transition to life in the NBA. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins us now as he does most Fridays. Hi there, Stefan.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. The Twinkie, the snack cake with incredible staying power on the shelf and in the marketplace, may have reached its expiration date. Hostess Brands says it is liquidating, going out of business after 82 years. The company wants to sell off all of its brands. The decision comes one week after a strike.