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Weekend America on News & Politics


  • Dubious Honor for a Departing Bush

    Brian McConnell, left, and Michael Jacinto

    In San Francisco this weekend, a group of activists will be gathering signatures for a special ballot initiative to rename a sewage treatment plant after George W. Bush. They've gotten enough signatures to put the initiative on the bill and if it passes, the official re-naming ceremony will take place on Inauguration Day.

  • Japanese-American 'No No Boys'

    A patriotic suspect

    During World War II, Japanese Americans put into internment camps were given a questionnaire. How they answered those questions would determine their quality of life behind the fences -- and the answers to two questions in particular about military service changed the lives of the so-called "No No Boys."

  • Three-Day Weekend: The Code Hunters

    Big Group Mystery

    Another three-day weekend is upon us. Time to revisit our three day weekend series of stories about what we all do with one more day in our weekends. For the past decade, Francis Heaney and Dan Katz have spent the MLK weekend at MIT every year. They go to compete in the MIT Mystery Hunt, which recently celebrated its 29th anniversary. Weekend America's Charlie Schroeder recently talked with them about why they return to play the hunt year after year.

  • DINKs vs. Breeders

    Our panel of non-experts tackle the top issues of the past week: John Ridley, author of the "Visible Man" blog at NPR.org; Yale University professor Amy Hungerford; and Jesse Thorn, host of public radio's "The Sound of Young America."

  • An Indian Sacrament Behind Prison Walls

    Spiritual leader Robin Guillen exits sweat lodge

    At San Quentin State Prison in California, there's a place of worship for everyone -- a Protestant chapel, a Jewish synagogue, a Catholic church, a mosque and what's called the San Quentin Indian Reservation, where many of the American Indian inmates go every Saturday for a traditional sweat ceremony.

  • Express Rant? Free Express Car Wash!

    Getting soaked by high gas prices

    It's not news that rising fuel prices are causing many a cash-stretched customer to vent their frustration at the hapless employees working at the gas station. What is novel is how one gas station owner found a way to help both his clients and employees cope with the rising prices and mounting stress.

  • Zimbabwe's Spritual Instrument


    These days, when you think of Zimbabwe, the elections are probably your first thought. But for a lot of people, their first association is the mbira -- a musical instrument that's also called a thumb piano. There are many people living in the United States who play mbira -- we tracked a couple of them down.

  • No Crying in Court, Swift Boat Sinks

    Our panel of non-experts suss out the most controversial headlines of the past week: Author and conservative commentator Nancy French; comedian Dana Gould; and Stacey Grenrock Woods, former "Daily Show" correspondent and sex advice columnist for Esquire magazine.

  • Three Decades of Bakke's Mixed Legacy

    Supreme Court of the United States

    Thirty years ago today, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of U.C. Regents v. Bakke that public institutions can't put quotas on minority student enrollment. But the ruling wasn't clear-cut about the role of affirmative action. Desiree Cooper talks with University of Houston professor Cathy Horn about the ruling's impact.

  • Economy, War and Military Recruiting

    Fresh recruits

    All branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, with the exception of the Army National Guard, have been either meeting or exceeding their monthly recruiting goals. That's a surprise, given American discontent over the war in Iraq. MIT professor Cindy Williams has studied military recruiting trends, and says there is more to the numbers than people think.

  • The Beauty and Wrath of Nature

    Under the weather

    The damage from floods in the Midwest could run into the billions of dollars. James Galvin teaches poetry at the Iowa Writers Workshop in Iowa City. And it turns out, he's also a part-time rancher in Wyoming. He's given weather -- its simultaneous power of beauty and destruction -- a lot of thought:

  • Obama's Cash Campaign, TV Hurls

    Our non-experts tackle the weighty issues of the past week -- Fashion maven Damali Ayo; Luke Burbank, host of the talk radio show "Too Beautiful to Live"; and "New Yorker" cartoonist Bob Mankoff.

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