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Weekend America on News & Politics


  • Veeps, Fastballs, and Slow Death.

    Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

    Republican John McCain has chosen as his running mate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Is that Good News, Bad News or No News?

  • After the Floods

    David Connor in front of FEMA trailer

    It was three years ago that Katrina made landfall in the southeastern corner of Louisiana. Within a day, New Orleans was filling with water. But small towns along the coast were also devastated by Katrina, and by Hurricane Rita, which would follow less than three weeks later. We take a road trip to the hurricane-ravaged bayous along the Southern Louisiana coast to see how the recovery is going.

  • Searching for Pig's Eye, Minn.

    Maharaja's owner John Pfeifer

    As the Republican Party gathers in St. Paul, Minn., few people following the convention will realize that "St. Paul" is not the city's original name. It was originally "Pig's Eye Landing" after French settler and bootlegger Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant, then later changed to the more pious and proper sounding "St. Paul." It's kind of like what happens to a city when a big event comes to town; things are tidied up and made to look sharp. But what about those old Pig's Eye elements to St. Paul?

  • Biloxi's Luck

    Betty Davis in her FEMA trailer.

    It's been three years since Hurricane Katrina. The damage to flooding and botched response to the flooding in New Orleans has gotten the most attention. But it was actually Mississippi that received the full brunt of Katrina's 120 mile-per-hour wind and 27-foot storm surge. In Biloxi, Miss., the casinos that sat on huge barges in the bay were washed inland and destroyed. But the coastal casinos are now making record profits, more than one-billion dollars in revenue last year.

  • Letters: Share Your Harvest

    Volunteer Norm Bell collects citrus fruit

    We received a few scoldings from listeners for our story about backyard gardeners selling their extra produce to grocery stories and restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. We were reminded that food banks need your extra veggies. It turns out the food bank movement was launched on just this idea.

  • How To Ride A Bike


    The 1970s and '80s were a more laissez-faire parenting time. When leaning how to ride a bike, adults pretty much stayed out of the way. You try, fall, try, crash, try and succeed. Not anymore. As technology brings us car seats, padded playground surfaces, and Web pages devoted to bad nanny sightings, we do the modern urban-parent thing when it comes to teaching bike-riding: we outsource it.

  • Political Houses, Smart Guns, and Ethical Dogs

    Are dogs learning ethics from humans?

    Researchers report that dogs are learning ethics from people. They've acquired an awareness of fair play and a distaste for foul play. Is this Good News, Bad News or No News?

  • Myths About Blacks

    This week, Radio One, Inc. published a major survey of the African-American community. Researchers polled more than 3000 people about their attitudes toward everything from religion to health insurance. Turns out blacks are evenly divided over what they want to be called--black or African American. But that's not the only surprising finding.

  • This Weekend in 1968: Democratic National Convention

    Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy supporters

    Forty years ago this weekend, the world watched as the Democratic National Convention in Chicago descended into chaos. Inside, the party splintered on the convention floor. Outside, the "Yippies" led a protest that not only had a lasting effect on politics, but also led to a revolution in protesting. Since then, public safety and control have radically transformed the institution of protest.

  • Barbies Forever

    Desiree and her Barbies

    The iconic Barbie doll is having a great summer. Last week, Barbie won a court battle against her modern competitor, the Bratz dolls. And last month, Mattel issued an Alpha Kappa Alpha Barbie in honor of the nation's oldest black sorority. This weekend, we do what millions of girls do every weekend worldwide -- play with our old Barbies.

  • Denver, Meet the DNC

    Democrats from around the country are headed to Denver, by plane, train, and Prius, for their party's national convention. On Monday the delegates, regular and super, will get down to business, hammer out this year's party platform, pump themselves up--and the rest of America, they hope--for the general election season. But Denver's not waiting until then to get their party started.

  • The Amethyst Initiative

    We are now in late August, and that means back to school. And on college campuses, there is a heated debate raging about alcohol. More than 100 college presidents have signed a petition calling on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18. Proponents say the current age limit encourages dangerous behavior such as binge drinking, While opponents say easier access to booze will cause more problems like DWIs.

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