Vince Gill has been making records since he was a teenager. Paul Franklin plays pedal-steel guitar like few others have. The two country legends have a new album together titled Bakersfield.
It's a tribute to a particular kind of country music that came out of Bakersfield, Calif., and was created and championed by a couple of guys from that town named Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Gill says the Bakersfield sound grew out of musicians moving west in the hope of scratching out a living.
They talked about the Hillary Clinton documentary and miniseries. They talked about how well they're doing raising money. They talked about how they're building a state-of-the-art data mining and voter turnout operation.
Here's what the Republican National Committee members didn't talk about at their summer meeting, but, rather, talked around: their existential need to broaden their base of support, and how so far their traditional base is not exactly embracing the idea.
Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 5:35 am
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And this week, Egypt witnessed the bloodiest day in its modern history. More than 600 people were killed, most are in a security crackdown on supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi. And it isn't over. Dozens more people have died since, some in citizen on citizen violence.
Originally published on Sat August 17, 2013 6:19 pm
The bus-sized meteor that slammed into Russia in February, causing a massive shock-wave and injuring hundreds of people, sent a plume of dust into the stratosphere that circled the globe in just four days and lingered for months, NASA says.
The Feb. 15 meteor at Chelyabinsk near Russia's southern border with Kazakhstan measured 60 feet across and weighed 12,000 tons. It detonated 15 miles above the city.
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:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Republican National Committee held its summer meeting this week in Boston. The party's hoping to lay groundwork to try to turn things around by the next presidential election, exploring everything from better software to track voters to changing their nominating process. Yet they're also wrestling with a more fundamental problem - finding new voters to identify with the party.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Earlier this week, the eurozone emerged from an 18-month long recession. The trading bloc's gross domestic product grew by 0.3 percent in the second quarter of this year but is one good quarter a blip or a trend and will it have any impact on the U.S. economy?
Simon Johnson is a professor at MIT and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund. He joins us in the studios. Thanks very much.
Hundred dollar bills don't stretch as far as they used to. They're also getting a little frazzled. New 100 dollar bills were supposed to replace them over two years ago, but the Federal Reserve pushed back the date in 2010 because of a printing error.
This week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder proposed reducing mandatory minimum sentences for some drug offenders. Federal mandated drug-sentencing guidelines have been around since the 1980s and they are thought to contribute to the huge increase in the number of inmates in U.S. prisons. But what has the affect of mandatory sentencing been on courts and communities?
When Dylan Dethier graduated from high school a few years ago, he didn't go on to the local college, join the Army or hitchhike cross-country. He hit golf courses, on a trip across America to play a round of golf in each of the Lower 48 states.
He played the posh course at Pebble Beach, yes; but mostly public courses across the country, including one in hard-hit Flint, Mich., another in North Dakota and one in a corner of Alabama. Over the course of a year he slept with an ax under his car seat, lost his virtue, and looked at America from green to shining green.
Dolphins are washing ashore in alarming numbers in the Mid-Atlantic states this summer. More than 160 deaths of dolphins have been reported since early July and that's the worst fate in 26 years. Response teams from New York to Virginia are trying to determine just what's killing all these dolphins. Charlie Potter is working with one of those teams at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.
He would be probably the first to wish you a happy International Geocaching Day. Geo what?
DAVE PREBECK: Geocaching is basically a high tech scavenger hunt.
SIMON: That's Dave Prebeck, president of NOVAGO, the Northern Virginia Geocaching organization.
PREBECK: We have people go out and hide something and then they post the latitude and longitude on a website - geocaching.com is the primary one - and then those of us with GPS's get the latitude and longitude from the site and go out looking for them.
Immigrant and farm worker rights groups came from Los Angeles to Bakersfield, Calif., by the busload this week. Bakersfield, in the state's Central Valley, is farm country, and immigration is a complex issue here.
The groups were converging on the home of the third-most powerful Republican in the House, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.
Activists across the country are targeting a number of Republican members of Congress this summer, trying to pressure the House to take up the immigration reform bill passed in the Senate.
Few American mothers could fathom a situation that would force them to leave their country in order to put food in their children's bellies, clothes on their backs and send them to school. This is the reality for many Filipina women, who cross oceans in search of jobs that pay enough to provide for their families back home.
The Philippines is known worldwide for sending its citizens overseas to work, and a recent study has shown the country consistently deploys more women than men. In the United States, Filipinas are often nurses and caretakers; many work as nannies
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie agreed to ease restrictions on medical marijuana for chronically ill children, but he won't go as far as lawmakers would like.
NPR's Joel Rose reports that Christie, a Republican, has rejected part of a bill that would allow young patients access to an ingestible form of marijuana at state-approved dispensaries without the approval of a psychiatrist and pediatrician.
His partial veto sends the bill back to the Democratic-controlled Legislature for approval before it becomes law.
Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 5:04 pm
A new pipeline between the Central Asian republics of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan was until recently pumping away. Not oil, though — moonshine.
Customs and border officials in Kyrgyzstan uncovered the "makeshift underwater pipeline" on the bed of the Chu River, which divides the two countries. Officials think smugglers have sent thousands of liters of grain alcohol through the conduit from Kazakhstan.
In the digital world, almost everything you do to communicate leaves a trace. Often, emails are stored on servers even after they're deleted. Phone calls create logs detailing which numbers connected, when and for how long. Your mobile phone can create a record of where you are.
If you're a journalist trying to protect a confidential source, this is a very difficult world to work in.
This week, North Carolina's governor signed a new law requiring a state-approved photo ID to cast a vote in a polling place and shortening the period for early voting. The move comes just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which had required large parts of the state to get federal approval before changing voting laws.
Ancient North Americans gouged elaborate rock art into a heap of big boulders northeast of Reno, Nev., more than 10,000 years ago and perhaps 15,000 years ago. That makes the carvings the oldest known petroglyphs on the continent, according to a paper published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.