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2:59pm

Sat April 7, 2012
The Two-Way

Ploompf!! Pillow Fights Erupt Across The Globe

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:53 am

A pillow fight in London's Trafalgar Square in London, April 7, 2012.
Olivia Harris Reuters /Landov

If it's not already marked on your calendar, here's your warning: Today is International Pillow Fight Day. Cities around the world are taking the holiday seriously — as serious as a pillow fight can be, anyway.

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1:40pm

Sat April 7, 2012
The Two-Way

Chinese Teen Sells Kidney For iPad And iPhone

A report that a 17-year-old sold a kidney to buy an iPhone and an iPad has citizens worried about consumerism among China's youth.
Vincent Thian AP

An iPhone and iPad were worth more to a Chinese teenager than his kidney, according to a report Friday from China's Xinhua news agency. Now five people in southern China face charges of illegal organ trading.

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9:15am

Sat April 7, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Paul McCartney, Aziz Ansari

Originally published on Sat April 7, 2012 1:11 pm

Paul McCartney.
Courtesy of the artist

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:

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8:43am

Sat April 7, 2012
Simon Says

Bosnia Remembers When The World Looked Away

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:53 am

Red chairs fill a main street in Sarajevo on Friday as the city marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the Bosnian war. Officials lined up 11,541 chairs in 825 rows to represent the 11,541 Sarajevans who were killed during the siege.
Amel Emric AP

I think that one of the great works of humankind runs below an airport runway in Sarajevo.

Sixty-six feet of a 3,000-foot-long tunnel built during the Siege of Sarajevo have been restored. Twenty years ago this weekend, the city was surrounded by Serb armies, who rained down mortar, rockets and sniper fire.

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8:00am

Sat April 7, 2012
NPR Story

On A Mission: What The U.N. Faces In Syria

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

So, what's the situation facing the United Nations team on the ground in Syria this weekend? For more on the kinds of challenges that Norwegian Major General Robert Mood and his staff will face, we're joined by Peter Harling. Mr. Harling is Middle East project director with the International Crisis Group. He's in and out of Syria frequently, and he joins us by Skype from Cairo. Mr. Harling, thanks for being with us.

PETER HARLING: Thank you.

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8:00am

Sat April 7, 2012
NPR Story

Embattled D.C. School District Has A New Vibe

Originally published on Sat April 7, 2012 12:16 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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8:00am

Sat April 7, 2012
NPR Story

Your Letters: Racial Terms And Baseball Legends

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF LETTERS THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: A particular phrase we used in last week's coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting prompted many listener comments. In our profile of Angela Corey, the Florida state attorney directing Florida's investigation into the circumstances surrounding Martin's death, we described George Zimmerman the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin in February as a white Latino.

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8:00am

Sat April 7, 2012
NPR Story

Unemployment Fell, But More Ended Job Hunt

Just when it seemed to be gaining steam, the U.S. job market pretty much stalled in March. Employers added a net 120,000 jobs during the month, defying the higher expectations of a lot of economists. And though the unemployment rate fell, it did so for the wrong reasons.

Over the past few months, the economy has been adding jobs at a good, if not spectacular, pace, and all the signs suggested that trend had continued through March. As it happened, jobs increased at a rate that barely keeps up with population growth.

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8:00am

Sat April 7, 2012
NPR Story

Obama Makes A Pitch To Working Women

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A weaker than expected jobs report is a setback for President Obama as the election nears. The president says that while private employers have added some four million jobs over the last two years, economic security remains elusive. The president spoke yesterday at a White House conference on women in the economy, and as NPR's Scott Horsley reports, voters who are women may be the key to the president's political future.

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8:00am

Sat April 7, 2012
NPR Story

Congressional Races, Strategies Take Shape

Originally published on Sat April 7, 2012 12:16 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The race for the Republican presidential nomination has hit a lull. The next group of primaries isn't for more than two weeks, so it might be a good time to look around at another campaign for control of the U.S. House of Representatives. After all, they control the federal budget. Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute devotes his attention to Congress year round, and he joins us from their studios. Thanks very much for being with us, Norm.

NORMAN ORNSTEIN: Oh, my pleasure.

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8:00am

Sat April 7, 2012
World

U.S. Marines In Australia: What's The Message?

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

This week, U.S. Marines landed in northern Australia. Just a couple hundred Marines, but they are the first wave of a deployment that will eventually increase to 2,500.

The Chinese military has expressed disapproval. Last fall, an official with the Chinese Defense Ministry said the U.S. military build-up in the region reflected a Cold War mentality.

We're joined now from Canberra, by the U.S. Ambassador to Australia, Jeffrey Bleich.

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8:00am

Sat April 7, 2012
Religion

The 'Heart Of Spiritual Life': Joy, Not Happiness

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Tomorrow, Christians all over the world will observe Easter Sunday with joy. But what is joy? Not just happiness, laughs, or satisfaction, but joy? We turn to Father James Martin. He's a Jesuit priest, a contributing editor to America Magazine, and the author of "Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter Are at the Heart of Spiritual Life." He joins us from our studios in New York.

Jim, thanks for being with us.

FATHER JAMES MARTIN: My pleasure.

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7:20am

Sat April 7, 2012
Middle East

U.N. Team Arrives In Syria Amid Heightened Violence

Originally published on Sat April 7, 2012 12:16 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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7:20am

Sat April 7, 2012
Sports

Pregame Speech Reignites NFL Bounty Scandal

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

The bounty scandal of the National Football League got even worse this week. A documentary filmmaker released audio of New Orleans Saint's former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams giving a locker room speech to his players before a game against the San Francisco 49ers and commanding them to inflict specific disabling injuries on their opponents, including running back Frank Gore.

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6:35pm

Fri April 6, 2012
It's All Politics

Partisan Fight For Female Vote Uses Monthly Jobs Report As Weapon

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 7:18 pm

Job seekers in Boston in February, 2012.
Elise Amendola AP

With the possibility that women voters might prove decisive in November's presidential election, each major party is obviously looking for opportunities to argue why its policies are better for women and the opposition's worse. The latest came Friday with the release of the March jobless figures.

The report was a surprise on the downside because the economy added far fewer jobs for the month — 121,000 — than economists had forecast even as the jobless rate declined a tenth of a percentage point to 8.2 percent.

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6:31pm

Fri April 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Bill Gates: Making Teacher Evaluations Public 'Not Conducive To Openness'

Bill Gates addresses an energy innovation summit in Maryland in February. The Microsoft chairman told NPR in an interview for Weekend Edition that teachers should be evaluated, but that the reviews should not be made public.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Bill Gates is of course better known as the co-founder of Microsoft. But his foundation, The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation, which contributes to NPR, is known for pouring millions into education reform.

Gates made a splash back in February when he came out against making Teacher Data Reports — or evaluations — public in New York City. Los Angeles Public Schools released similar data.

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6:19pm

Fri April 6, 2012
Media

News Corp. Coverage: A Climate Change Case Study

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 7:27 pm

News Limited is the Australian arm of Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire.
Tim Winborne Reuters /Landov

Part 4 of four

Some weeks ago, I paid a visit to an eggshell-blue house in Newtown, a neighborhood on the west side of Sydney, to Wendy Bacon and her husband, Chris Nash.

As we sat on the porch of their book-lined home, they pointed with pride to the Australasian trees and blooms defining their interior courtyard.

And then Bacon delved into her own harvest: the results of a case study about how the country's newspapers handled a pressing and contentious issue.

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5:46pm

Fri April 6, 2012
Election 2012

In General Election Ads, It's Game On Over Gas Prices

In a campaign video, the Mitt Romney campaign accuses President Obama of "spending millions to sling mud — or oil — at Mitt Romney."
MittRomney.com

5:21pm

Fri April 6, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

FDA's Stance On Online Pharmacies May Go Too Far, Study Says

Each year, millions of Americans don't fill their prescriptions because they can't afford to.
Maya Kovacheva Photography iStockphoto.com

The Food and Drug Administration has warned people about the many dangers of buying medications from foreign pharmacies over the Internet. While some sites might offer high-quality medicines, there are plenty that sell bogus and potentially dangerous products.

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5:04pm

Fri April 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Current TV Answer Keith Olbermann's Lawsuit With One Of Its Own

Keith Olbermann hosted a commentary show on Current TV.
Current TV

Current TV has filed a countersuit against its former lead anchor Keith Olbermann. As we reported, Current fired Olbermann last week. Olbermann, who also abruptly left MSNBC, went on the offensive, bad-mouthing his former employeer on Letterman and eventually filing a lawsuit for wrongful termination yesterday.

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4:59pm

Fri April 6, 2012
Music Interviews

Rascal Flatts: 'Rekindling The Fire' Of Its Country Roots

Originally published on Sat April 7, 2012 12:16 pm

Rascal Flatts is one of the most popular country groups of the last decade.
Courtesy of the artist

Rascal Flatts is one of the most successful country crossover acts of the past decade. The award-winning trio has released eight studio records in 10 years and sold more than 21 million albums.

So why did the group recently consider breaking up?

"We had reached a crossroads to where we needed to dig deep to see if we, in fact, had the fire and hunger that we did when we first started out — to keep trying to forge ahead and be better than we'd been and push ourselves to be creatively energized again," bass player Jay DeMarcus says.

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4:52pm

Fri April 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Grandmother In High-Profile Shaken Baby Case Has Sentence Commuted

Shirley Ree Smith, whose prison sentence was commuted by California Gov. Jerry Brown, began creating greeting cards for her grandchildren while she was incarcerated. While she was out of custody after a series of legal appeals, until today, she still faced the possibility of returning to prison.
Courtney Perry for NPR

A California grandmother convicted of shaking her 7-week-old grandson to death will not return to jail, because Gov. Jerry Brown has commuted her sentence.

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4:49pm

Fri April 6, 2012
Law

Faith In Seattle Police 'Shaken' By DOJ Investigation

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 6:23 pm

Protesters demonstrate at City Hall in Seattle on Feb. 16, 2011, after the announcement that police officer Ian Birk would not face charges for the fatal shooting of John T. Williams.
Ted S. Warren AP

Police departments have come under increased scrutiny from the Obama administration as the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division steps up investigations of corruption, bias and excessive force.

Some of the targeted law enforcement agencies have had ethical clouds hanging over them for years — the New Orleans Police Department being the prime example — but others, like the Seattle Police Department, aren't exactly usual suspects.

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4:42pm

Fri April 6, 2012
Movie Reviews

To Be Or Not To Be (The Pope) Is The Question

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 7:01 pm

IFC Films

When the College of Cardinals gathers in the Vatican to choose a new church leader — formally the Bishop of Rome — it announces its selection with the Latin phrase "Habemus papam" ("We have a pope").

But suppose that, when a cardinal steps out onto a balcony in St. Peter's Square to utter those fateful words, the gentle soul in white sitting behind him, out of sight of the crowd, develops stage fright.

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4:37pm

Fri April 6, 2012
It's All Politics

When It Comes To Delegates, Santorum May Have A Math Problem

Rick Santorum speaks in Mars, Pa., on Tuesday, after Mitt Romney swept primaries in Wisconsin, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. In his speech, Santorum declared that it's "halftime" in the race for delegates and the GOP nomination.
David Maxwell EPA/Landov

In presidential nominating contests, the delegate count really matters — right up until the moment where it doesn't.

Unfortunately for Rick Santorum, that moment seems ever more imminent in this spring's Republican presidential race.

Mitt Romney's overwhelming wins this week in three states (including Wisconsin, where Santorum not too long ago had been leading in the polls) seem to have reconfirmed the sense that he has cleared all the major hurdles, and the rest is mere formality.

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4:23pm

Fri April 6, 2012
Music Interviews

Gotye: 'Less Of A Musician, More Of A Tinkerer'

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 10:47 am

Australian pop singer Wouter "Wally" De Backer is better known as Gotye.
Courtesy of the artist

The Australian artist Gotye has been big in his home country for several years, but this winter, one particular song started an avalanche. "Somebody That I Used to Know," from the album Making Mirrors, has been a massive hit everywhere it's landed: the U.K., Germany, South Africa, Israel and now here in the U.S. It even inspired a YouTube cover that's become a runaway hit all its own.

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4:16pm

Fri April 6, 2012
Strange News

Small Town's Police Blotter Is A Riot

Originally published on Sat April 7, 2012 12:16 pm

Unalaska's Sgt. Jennifer Schockley has earned fans worldwide for her local police blotter.
Alexandra Gutierrez KUCB

In one Alaskan fishing village, crime is a laughing matter. It's not the crimes that have residents chuckling so much as how they're written about. The Unalaska crime report is full of eagle aggression and intimate encounters gone awry in the Aleutian Islands.

When Sgt. Jennifer Shockley heads out on patrol each day, she's got the police blotter on her mind. Her goal is to paint a detailed picture of the town's often ridiculous crimes.

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4:12pm

Fri April 6, 2012
The Salt

Indian Engineers Build A Stronger Society With School Lunch Program

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:54 am

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a nonprofit based in Bangalore, partners with the government to make close to 1.3 million nutritious meals a day for schoolchildren throughout India.
Ryan Lobo for NPR

At a government-run public middle school in Bangalore, the blackboard's cracking, the textbooks are tattered and most of the students are barefoot.

But with all those challenges, the biggest obstacle that teachers face in keeping kids in school is hunger. Many students show up at school having had nothing to eat for breakfast.

On mornings one student comes to school hungry, the thought of school makes her break down, she says.

"When I had to get on the bus, I would start crying," says K. Suchitra, 13.

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3:24pm

Fri April 6, 2012
The Two-Way

With Some Profanities Edited, 'Bully' Receives PG-13 Rating

Alex, one of the kids who struggles with bullies in Lee Hirsch's documentary Bully.
Lee Hirsch The Weinstein Company

The Motion Picture Association of America and The Weinstein Co. have finally come to an agreement: After editing some profanities, the MPAA walked back its R-rating and Bully, a documentary about school bullying, will be released on April 13 with a PG-13 rating.

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3:20pm

Fri April 6, 2012
Europe

Homelessness Becomes A Crime In Hungary

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 10:25 pm

Two homeless men lie on mattresses in central Budapest in 2010. Hundreds of people live on the streets in the Hungarian capital; many refuse to stay in night shelters for fear of having their goods stolen.
Karoly Arvai Reuters/Landov

Hungary's new anti-vagrancy laws — the toughest in Europe — now mean that homeless people sleeping on the street can face police fines or even the possibility of jail time.

Advocacy and human-rights groups are alarmed by the new efforts to crack down on and effectively criminalize homelessness, where the ranks of the needy have increased during the country's dire financial crisis.

Debt, joblessness and poverty are on the rise. The country's bonds have been downgraded to "junk" status, and the nation's currency, the forint, has dropped sharply against the euro.

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