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Weekend America on News & Politics


  • Hurricane Ike

    Texas resident wades through high water from Ike.

    The city of Austin has been taking in evacuees fleeing Hurricane Ike from Galveston for days now. We hear an update from Mayor Will Wynn as the storm passes through Texas.

  • Coming Back, Fitting In


    Unlike the Civil War veteran, who had to trudge across muddy fields and back roads for weeks or even months before getting home, today's soldiers are put on a jet in Baghdad one day and are back home at Wal-Mart the next. Some military experts say the transition from combat to civilian life is too fast. And veterans say when they do get back they're strangers in their own country.

  • Letters: Purple Hearts, Barbies Forever and Air Taxis

    A Cirrus SR22, known for its parachute.

    Charlie Schroeder's piece about his father catching an air taxi from Culebra to Puerto Rico prompted some of you to say "air taxis?"

  • Saving Memories

    Edwin Harrison

    This weekend, New Orleans native Edwin Harrison is relieved. He was only a month away from moving back into his home destroyed by Katrina when Hurricane Gustav bore down on the Gulf Coast. This time, his house was spared. It wasn't easy to leave everything he'd rebuilt and flee to Atlanta to wait out the storm. But there was one thing Mr. Harrison didn't have to worry about this time. Earlier this summer, he entrusted one of his prized possessions to a stranger.

  • The Flight of Thomas Selfridge

    Thomas E. Selfridge and Orville Wright

    This weekend, aviation fans from all around are heading to Fort Myer, Va., for the Centennial of Military Aviation Celebration. It was there a hundred years ago that the U.S. military started looking into those new-fangled flying machines. A number of firsts happened pretty quickly--the first military test flights, the first military aviation school, the first long-distance flight. There was another first 100 years ago when Orville Wright rolled in to Fort Myer with the latest in flight technology.

  • RNC Undercover

    Jim and Hugh

    The Democratic and Republican conventions that have dominated the last two weeks show an increasingly partisan America. In many ways, American communities are becoming more and more like political conventions all the time. Studies show that most of us spend the majority of our time interacting with people who agree with us. But that's not the case with reporter Jim Gates. He's a Democrat, but he found himself at the Republican National Convention as a personal guest of an Arizona delegate.

  • Palin in Charge, Files on the Lam, and Citizen Enforcers

    Vigilante parking ticket writers?

    Citizens of Asheville, N.C., are taking the law, and a pad of parking tickets, into their own hands. Asheville is effectively deputizing anyone who completes a five-hour training course to write parking tickets for vehicles illegally parked in handicapped spots. Parking space vigilantism: Good news, bad news, or no news?

  • McCain's Real Summer Home

    Cornville, Arizona. Population 3,300.

    The names of presidential hometowns have a special ring to them, a sort of geographical charisma or gravitas. There was Hope, Arkansas. Plains, Georgia. Crawford, Texas and Kennebunkport, Maine. Well if John McCain is elected, the world will get to know a tiny town tucked in Arizona's Verde Valley. It's where McCain goes for weekend getaways. And it's not where you think.

  • Political Bets

    The big topic after the Republican National Convention seems to be Sarah Palin, an unknown when McCain picked her. The word you keep hearing is "gamble." She could flame out or pay off. It makes sense if you know that McCain likes to gamble. He's a craps player. Meanwhile, Barack Obama has stayed relatively quiet regarding Palin. As if he's sizing her up, reading her the way a poker player would. Turns out Obama loves poker.

  • An Extra Day

    Cimarron High, empty on a three-day weekend

    It's a three-day weekend for many Americans, an extended weekend to hit the beach one more time. Or a state fair to have one last food item on a stick. But more and more Americans get to enjoy a three-day weekend every week. An increasing number of towns and cities, even school districts, are adopting four-day weeks in an effort to curb energy use. It often means longer days at the office, working four ten-hour days, but there is that one extra day off.

  • Dread of Back to School

    Eleven-year-old Jennadya Davis

    This is back to school weekend. For parents, it's a relief. But for students and many teachers, it can create a feeling of dread. Even kids who like school and teachers who love their jobs get this feeling of resentment, fear, even animosity at the prospect of returning. Many adults, long after graduating, also report that feeling of dread at the end of summer. It's a serious thing. We wanted to hear from folks who are going through it right now.

  • One Delegate

    Tom Mayer

    John McCain, Sarah Palin, loads of other Republicans and approximately five billion members of the media are heading to St. Paul. It's the Republican National Convention. Delegates will be casting their votes and nominating the McCain-Palin ticket. Delegates are expected to unite behind the candidate since dissension could be seen as politically toxic. This was the case in 1972 as well, when the Republicans were united behind Richard Nixon. Well, almost united.

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