Conference championship Sunday is almost as big as the Super Bowl, but without all those distracting halftime wardrobe malfunctions. Host Scott Simon is joined by NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman to discuss the upcoming games.
Debris from the tsunami that hit Japan last March is just now starting to show up on the far northwestern shores of the U.S. Some fishermen are worried the floats and other rubble may tangle their nets and affect their livelihood. Ashley Ahearn of the public media collaboration EarthFix headed out to Washington State's Olympic Peninsula to see what's coming ashore.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon, and the polls are open in South Carolina; first southern state to hold a primary in the race for the Republican presidential nomination of 2012, the stakes are critical. The state has picked the eventual nominee in every year since 1980, and it's sure been a turbulent week with Rick Perry dropping out, Iowa declaring Rick Santorum the winner of its caucuses and Newt Gingrich closing in on Mitt Romney.
Clemson University political scientist Dave Woodard has spent the past week polling South Carolina voters ahead of Saturday's primary. Host Scott Simon talks to the former Republican political consultant about South Carolina politics and the results of his Palmetto Poll.
Nigeria is again gripped by deadly religious violence. Friday night, a coordinated series of bomb and gun attacks ripped through the largest city in the nation's Muslim north. The attacks were claimed by a militant sect that seeks to impose Islamic law in Nigeria. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton.
Police have closed down dozens of toy shops for selling Barbie dolls in Iran, part of a decades-long crackdown against "manifestations of Western culture." Host Scott Simon looks at what's being called a "cultural Trojan horse."
One hundred years ago this week, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott reached the South Pole with a small crew of men. They all perished on the return trip. In 2008 on Weekend Edition, NPR's Daniel Zwerdling reported from the South Pole on Scott's tragic journey. To mark the 100th anniversary, we reprise that story.
SIMON: Last week, we spoke with Clay Johnson, an open-source advocate and digital strategist, about his new book, "The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption."
CLAY JOHNSON: You know, our minds are really wired to be affirmed and to be told that we're right. And that's the central premise of "The Information Diet." It's really, who wants to hear the truth when they can hear that they're right?
China appears to be rethinking its reliance on oil from Iran. Here, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (right) visits with the members of the Saudi Arabia-China Friendship Association on the outskirt of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, earlier this month.
China's premier, Wen Jiabao, was in the Persian Gulf this week talking about oil.
China has become increasingly concerned about all the threats of conflict with Iran in the Persian Gulf, which supplies China with a great deal of its oil.
In fact, China is Iran's biggest customer. But Iran was not a stop on the Chinese itinerary — Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were.
An illustration from Joseph Lecornu's 1903 book La Navigation Aerienne depicts Swedish explorer S.A. Andree taking off in a hydrogen balloon on an ill-fated expedition to the North Pole in July 1897.
Credit Sara Barrett / Knopf
Alec Wilkinson is a staff writer at The New Yorker and recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.
In the late 19th century, scores of celebrated, valorous explorers attempted to reach the North Pole. Groups of explorers from the U.S., Europe and Scandinavia invented clever new equipment, raised money, stirred national pride and enthralled the world by attempting to march, sail or sled to the most cold, remote and unseen place on Earth.
But it was a perilous business: Of the 1,000 people who tried to reach the North Pole in the late 1800s, 751 died during their attempt, author Alec Wilkinson tells NPR's Scott Simon.
Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum shakes hands with supporters prior to speaking during a campaign stop at Captain Steve's Restaurant on Jan. 20 in Fort Mill, S.C. Fort Mill is just over the line from North Carolina, and some voters wish they could cross over for the GOP primary on Saturday.
Credit Mark Wilson / Getty Images
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich speaks during an event on Jan. 11 in Rock Hill, S.C., just over the border from North Carolina.
South Carolina voters have a pivotal role Saturday in narrowing the field of Republican presidential candidates.
But after that, South Carolina will get very little political attention. It's solidly Republican and simply not worth the time or money of Democratic presidential hopefuls.
North Carolina, on the other hand, could go either way, and the Obama campaign is already digging in. The Charlotte region straddles both states and leads a sort of "double life" in politics.
Michael McFaul, the architect of the reset of relations with Russia, is now the U.S. ambassador to Moscow as the countries work through a series of difficult issues. Here, McFaul is shown at his Jan. 10 swearing-in at the Sate Department, a ceremony presided over by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Justice Department's massive copyright case against the file-sharing website Megaupload.com had the Internet world hopping this week. But it also got lawyers talking, about the scope of a criminal investigation that spanned eight countries and the hard-nosed tactics that the government deployed.
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:
Rick Santorum is officially the winner of the Jan. 3 Iowa Republican presidential caucus. The state Republican Party reversed itself from a previous assertion that it would not declare one, given problems at eight precincts, as The Des Moines Register reported.
In a news release late Friday, the party said it called the race "in order to clarify conflicting reports and to affirm the results released Jan. 18 by the Republican Party of Iowa."
When the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI shut down the web site Megaupload yesterday, there were many responses, from outrage to confusion to applause, and nearly as many questions. One that stood out was simple: If Megaupload provides a service that can be used for legal pursuits, are they legally responsible for the users who use it to illegally share copyrighted material?
The album Little Spark evokes a sound you might have heard 40 years ago, piercing through the static of your AM radio. The big string sections and angelic choruses are all there, echoing the hallmarks of classic orchestral pop. But Little Spark is the work of a modern singer-songwriter named Jessie Baylin.
Javier Sicilia is a novelist and a poet. In 2009, he was awarded Mexico's prestigious Aguascalientes National Poetry Prize. This September, he read a poem dedicated to his son, Juan Francisco, at a rally:
A member of Colombia's secret police, or Administrative Department of Security, listens to intercepted telephone calls in 2009. Reports of illegal wiretapping by secret police contributed to President Juan Manuel Santos' 2011 decision to close the agency.
President Juan Manuel Santos announced late last year that he was liquidating Colombia's troubled intelligence agency, and the country, he said, knew exactly why.
The Administrative Department of Security, or DAS, had been mired in scandal by reports of agents illegally wiretapping government critics and selling classified information to drug lords.
Despite a furious lobbying effort by the Catholic Church, the Obama administration today said it won't weaken new rules that will require most health insurance plans to offer women prescription contraceptives at no additional out-of-pocket cost.