3:00pm

Sat October 1, 2011
Around the Nation

Veterans Celebrate 150 Years Of The Medal Of Honor

More than 50 of America's most decorated war heroes are in Louisville, Kentucky, this weekend to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor. Three men have received the honor in the last year — the first time the Congressional Medal of Honor Society has welcomed new living members since Vietnam. Reporter Brenna Angel of member station WUKY, reports on how they shared their stories across generations.

3:00pm

Sat October 1, 2011
Middle East

Al-Qaida's Continuing Loss Of Leadership

Originally published on Sat October 1, 2011 6:33 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, Host:

Now, that al-Qaida leader killed this week, Anwar al-Awlaki, he was born in New Mexico. And a decade ago, he was already branding himself as a kind of spokesman for Muslim Americans. Here he is as a guest on NPR's TALK OF THE NATION back in 2001, two months after 9/11.

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2:21pm

Sat October 1, 2011
Around the Nation

A Losing Battle? The Fight To Save The Postal Service

More than half a million people work for the U.S. Postal Service making it the seventh largest employer in the world. But like a lot of other businesses, this one is being hit hard by the tough economy and transformed by the Internet.

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12:31pm

Sat October 1, 2011
Author Interviews

Zen And 'The Art of Fielding': Baseball As Life

iStockphoto

Chad Harbach's debut novel, The Art Of Fielding, is about baseball in the same way Moby-Dick is about whaling. Or in the same way Friday Night Lights is about football.

Which is to say, it is — and it isn't.

Harbach's protagonist, Henry Skrimshander, is a prodigal shortstop at a small, midwestern liberal arts college called Westish University. Henry is destined for the big leagues, until a debilitating mental slump lands him on the bench.

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12:00pm

Sat October 1, 2011
Africa

Democracy Steadily Takes Root In Africa

Originally published on Sat October 1, 2011 5:19 pm

Zambia's newly elected President Michael Sata (right), a long-time opposition figure, is shown at his swearing in ceremony in Lusaka on Sept. 23. Seventeen of the 49 sub-Saharan nations in Africa are holding elections this year.
Thomas Nsama AFP/Getty Images

The international spotlight has been on North Africa this year, where Arab autocrats have been overthrown by government opponents seeking democracy in three separate countries – Libya, Egypt and Tunisia.

But farther south on the continent, a less dramatic democratic trend has been playing out for years.

Seventeen of the 49 nations in sub-Saharan Africa are holding national elections this year. That's partly an accident of timing. But it's also a sign that holding power in Africa these days increasingly requires a leader to hold regular elections.

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8:23am

Sat October 1, 2011
World

Conditional Aid For Pakistan: Change Not Guaranteed

Pakistani security personnel stand alert on a street in Quetta in September. Proposed appropriations bills in both the U.S. House and Senate make economic and military assistance to Pakistan conditional.
Banaras Khan AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan is a leading recipient of U.S. economic aid, receiving billions of dollars every year in both civilian and military support. However, the recent rocky patch between the two countries is pushing many members of Congress to reevaluate the assistance package.

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8:13am

Sat October 1, 2011
Middle East

Turkey's Quiet Deal Keeps U.S. Close, Israel Not Far

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 3:41 pm

President Obama meets with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday in New York City. Turkey has agreed to a U.S. radar installation as part of a NATO missile defense system.
Pool Getty Images

Turkey's leaders have called Israel the "West's spoiled child," and the "bully" of the eastern Mediterranean. When a Tel Aviv soccer team showed up in Istanbul recently for a match, the welcome was less than warm.

In September, Turkey kicked out the Israeli ambassador, suspended military and trade deals and threatened legal and naval action to challenge Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.

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8:00am

Sat October 1, 2011
Simon Says

White House Visit No Happy Ending For '85 Bears

The Chicago Bears showed some skills off the field and on the stage in 1985 when they recorded the "Super Bowl Shuffle."
Paul Natkin NFL via Getty

Next week, the Chicago Bears, who won the 1985 Super Bowl, will finally be received at the White House — now that a Bears fan lives there. Their original visit was canceled when the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded in January 1986.

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8:00am

Sat October 1, 2011
Television

'Homeland' Stars Torture And Terrorism, But Truth?

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 3:41 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

"Homeland" premieres tomorrow night on Showtime. It's a psychological espionage thriller that centers on a CIA officer, played by Claire Danes, who hears about a conspiracy when she gets a tip from a terrorist who is about to be executed by the Iraqi government.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SERIES, "HOMELAND")

CLAIRE DANES: (as Carrie Anderson) You said you were an important man. You said you had information about an attack on Abu Nasir.

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8:00am

Sat October 1, 2011
Around the Nation

Pumpkins At A Premium, Thanks To Hurricane Irene

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 3:41 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

There's something missing this year from the fall scenery in the Northeast, especially in upstate New York. The state is normally a top pumpkin producer, but about a third of its crop was destroyed in the recent tropical storms.

Marie Cusick, of NPR member station WMHT in Albany, takes us to one farm that was spared.

MARIE CUSICK: There's no shortage of pumpkins at the Black Horse Farms roadside stand in Athens, New York. But some customers still aren't taking any chances.

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