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Weekend America on News & Politics


  • Mortuary Band

    A Mortuary Band Trumpeter

    Even in the best of times, it's hard to make it as a working musician. Gigs can be few and far between, and often either don't pay well, or don't pay at all. In San Francisco, Julie Caine met up with some of the best musicians in the city who pay their rent by scaring off ghosts.

  • Walk Across America

    BJ Hill

    Back in 2006, BJ Hill walked across Massachusetts collecting handwritten messages for the Governor in a notebook, which he handed over to Governor Deval Patrick personally. This year, BJ set out to do the same thing on a much larger scale. He's been traversing the country coast to coast collecting messages for the next President of the United States.

  • Good/Bad/No News: The Green Stimulus, Roland Burris, and Squirrel Eating

    Roland Burris

    Time for our weekly parlor game to gauge the week's news. Our guests this week are Luke Burbank, host of the radio show "Too Beautiful To Live" in Seattle; Stacey Grenrock-Woods, a sex advice columnist for Esquire Magazine; and John Roderick, songwriter and guitarist for The Long Winters.

  • Saving Iraqi Interpreters

    Jason Faler

    The US military has relied on Iraqi workers to help with everything from interpreting to rebuilding since the invasion in 2003. And many have been targeted for their loyalty to the Americans. Over 300 of these Iraqi workers have been killed by insurgents, and many thousands more have fled to neighboring countries. One soldier is trying to help his Iraqi colleagues.

  • Pollution Smells Like Pumpkin Pie

    This is where sewage goes.

    The holidays are over. Maybe you've joined a gym, started a new, healthy diet. It's been a week since you touched that plate of stale holiday cookies. But for the salmon in Puget Sound, the feast is just beginning. And their diet has been getting much worse. From Seattle, Joshua McNichols explains.

  • The Weekend Shift: Police Officer

    Officer Lundquist

    Mark Lundquist laughs at the snow and subzero temperatures of St. Paul, Minn. If that was all he had to worry about, he could do his job blindfolded. Lundquist is a police officer. So putting up with a little snow, or even a lot of snow, is nothing compared to trying catch a crook. Weekend America Producer Marc Sanchez has our story.

  • Returning to God

    Antonia Bunton

    This weekend thousands of people will crowd into Detroit's Most Holy Redeemer Church. The 128-year-old building was once home to the largest Catholic parish in North America. Today, more than 5,000 people attend the six weekend masses. But for 35-year-old Antonia Bunton, going to church there every Saturday is a special privilege.

  • Senate Do-Over

    Senator John Durkin

    Minnesota still lacks one U.S. Senator, but it's not the closest Senate race in history, at least not yet. That happened in New Hampshire in 1974. Republican Louis Wyman and Democrat John Durkin went through two recounts, and then the whole mess moved to Washington, DC for the spring and summer. We reached John Durkin at his home in Manchester for the rest of the story.

  • Letters: Weekend Soundtrack and Music Mashups

    Charles Wommack on his bike

    We open the Weekend America mailbag and hear listener reactions to our stories. Recently we heard from a mountain biker named Charles Wommack, who is recovering from a stroke. His story inspired Sara Benson to write in about her own recovery from an accident that happened on a bike. Also, we look into whether digital sampling is breaking the law or the inevitable future of music.

  • Poet and President-elect Obama

    Poet, playwright and Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott

    President-elect Barack Obama has a lot of writers excited about the next four years. He'll have a poet at his inauguration. He's said he's going to have more poetry readings at the White House. He's even quoted poetry on the campaign trail. In the speech he gave on Super Tuesday, Obama said, "We are the ones we've been waiting for." That line is from June Jordan's "Poem for South African Women." Nobel laureate Derek Walcott has been thinking about what it means to have a president who reads poetry.

  • Conversations with America: Oliver Sacks

    Oliver Sacks

    A couple of weeks ago in his weekly radio and YouTube address, President-elect Obama talked about the role science would play in his presidency. Obama said his administration would seek to ensure that facts and evidence reported by scientists are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. That's a stance dear to the heart of author and neurologist Oliver Sacks.

  • The Cassandras

    Stock up on batteries while you can.

    As we look ahead to 2009, one of the most pressing questions we ask is, will our economy will get better, or worse? And how do we find any answer that is anything but pure shoulder shrugging speculation? It's natural to turn to sources who predicted the economic disaster all along. You know, the bears. The doctors of doom. The Cassandras of Wall Street.

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