NPR News & Stories From WUNC

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:

A 22-year-old man was taken into custody Friday afternoon after he drove his SUV through a mall in Schaumburg, Ill., police said, causing panic as social media erupted with reports of an active shooter.

The man drove through the Sears entrance of Woodfield Mall, about 13 miles from Chicago's O'Hare Airport, and continued through a hallway lined with kiosks until he was detained by mall patrons and two off-duty officers, Schaumburg Police Chief Bill Wolf said in a press conference.

Limericks

5 hours ago

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Lightning Fill In The Blank

5 hours ago

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now onto our final game, Lightning Fill In The Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as they can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

Predictions

5 hours ago

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now, panel, what will be the next big heist? Alonzo Bodden.

ALONZO BODDEN: It's only a matter of time before the matching gold litter box is also gone.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: True. Roxanne Roberts.

Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET

Friends, family, reporters and politicians gathered Saturday in downtown Washington, D.C., to remember journalist Cokie Roberts.

She was hailed as a "servant" of God and referred to as a "special singular soul" by those who delivered remarks.

Roberts died Tuesday at age 75 of complications from breast cancer. She had covered and commented on politics for NPR since 1978 and spent decades working for ABC News as well, including several years co-hosting the Sunday morning political show This Week.

Inspired by her father's passion for military service, Denise Baken joined the Army in 1975 at age 24, looking to follow in his footsteps.

But the retired colonel didn't realize how closely her father's experience in the military mirrored her own until she faced challenges — both as a woman and an African American — over her 28 years of service.

Cokie Roberts was fierce and funny, hard-nosed and kindhearted. She was steeped in politics, as the daughter of two Louisiana pols, Hale and Lindy Boggs, and enjoyed the game. But she also elevated politics with her elegant reporting.

Cokie wasn't fooled by the blather of politicians, but also wasn't smug about journalism. We covered a few primaries and papal trips together, and Cokie used to caution young reporters with preconceptions, "Stories are so simple until you actually cover them."

My Signature Song: 'Defying Gravity'

9 hours ago

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Kaley Johnson of Fort Worth, Texas, has a dramatic signature song, one so important to her, it's almost part of her identity.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DEFYING GRAVITY")

Copyright 2019 WNYC Radio. To see more, visit WNYC Radio.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Erin Shibley and Chirag Rathod are parents to Miko the cat. "Miko Angelo. Miko Angelo's his full name. Miko for short," Rathod says.

It's dinner time, and the smell of paninis is wafting from the kitchen of their apartment in Blacksburg, Va. It smells delicious, especially to Miko, who takes it as a signal that it's his mealtime, too.

"He is a vacuum eater, which means that he will just inhale his food," Shibley says.

Nearly the moment Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson announced his plans to resign late last month, rumors and speculation started flying about whom Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp would appoint to fill the seat.

Isakson plans to leave the office he has held for nearly 15 years at the end of 2019 for health reasons.

It's back-to-school time on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and in the border town of Matamoros, Mexico, migrant children are attending a different kind of classroom.

Volunteers have created a pop-up school on a downtown sidewalk in hopes of giving the kids some sense of stability.

"One, two, three, four ..." Tito, an asylum-seeker from Cuba, counts in Spanish in front of a group of children attending the sidewalk school recently.

He fled his native Cuba because he feared being persecuted for being gay, and he asked that we not use his last name.

The New England Patriots on Friday released wide receiver Antonio Brown, who had only been with the team for a short time, after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct.

The defending Super Bowl champions announced the move in a statement emailed to reporters, minutes after Brown posted on Twitter: "Thank you for the opportunity @Patriots #GoWinIt."

Twitter permanently suspended thousands of accounts in its ongoing effort to fight the spread of disinformation and political discord on its platform, the company announced Friday.

The accounts originated from six different countries. And they included the Twitter account used by Saud al-Qahtani, a former adviser to Saudi Arabia's crown prince and suspected of being involved in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

'Storm Area 51' Fails To Materialize

20 hours ago

The secrets of Area 51, the highly classified Air Force facility long rumored to house extraterrestrial artifacts, remain unseen.

Despite millions responding to the public Facebook event "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us," Nevada authorities say about 40 people gathered at the gates before being confronted and dispersed by law enforcement.

President Trump has authorized the deployment of additional U.S. forces to the Middle East to strengthen air and missile defenses around Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Pentagon announced late Friday.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper called the move a first step and said the deployment would be defensive in nature. He said the deployment comes in response to requests for help from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Just two days after the Trump administration revoked California's right to set its own emissions standards for automobiles, the state has fired back.

California, 22 other states and several major cities filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is the division of the Department of Transportation that issued the rule revoking California's authority.

Grief can feel like a new world emerging, swallowing up the reality you once knew and expanding into something entirely all-consuming. New York rapper Kemba used that monolithic feeling to create his major label debut album, Gilda, a record that pays tribute to his mother who passed away two years ago.

Kemba's mother raised him and his two brothers in The Bronx, N.Y., a place that gave him little choice but to be immersed in hip-hop

New England Patriots Cut Antonio Brown

21 hours ago

Copyright 2019 WGBH Radio. To see more, visit WGBH Radio.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled legislation this week that would give the federal government sweeping new authority to regulate and lower the cost of prescription drugs. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declared the bill dead on arrival and told Politico it amounts to "socialist price controls."

Walmart says it will stop selling electronic cigarettes, at namesake stores and Sam's Club locations. The nation's largest retailer is responding to growing health concerns around vaping, especially among young people.

Walmart cited "growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty regarding e-cigarettes," saying that its stores will stop selling e-cigarettes once the current inventory is sold.

The U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, is nearly empty these days, but President Trump is explicitly ruling out the possibility of sending thousands of captured Islamic State fighters there.

"The United States is not going to have thousands and thousands of people that we've captured stationed at Guantánamo Bay, held captive at Guantánamo Bay for the next 50 years and us spending billions and billions of dollars," Trump told reporters Friday during an appearance at the White House with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

While President Trump insists that his communications with world leaders are, quote, "always appropriate," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a different view. I sat down with her this morning for an interview where she described the whistleblower controversy this way.

When Belinda Qaqamba Ka-Fassie dresses in drag, she doesn't typically go for the sequins and feather boas worn by performers on RuPaul's Drag Race. A post-graduate student of education at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa, Ka-Fassie might put on a dress that resembles the white blanket typically worn by boys at a traditional male circumcision ritual, called ulwaluko, and she might add a multi-colored headpiece and beaded stick, both handmade and used by brides.

Pages