NPR has learned that the Obama administration, under pressure to lift a cloak of secrecy, is considering whether to declassify a court order that gives the National Security Agency the power to gather phone call record information on millions of Americans.
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 Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday that patenting natural human genetic material must stop. But the court also ruled that synthetically produced DNA is fair. The decision was prompted by patents on a gene test for breast cancer which was issued to Myriad Genetics of Salt Lake City. We're joined now in our studio by Arthur Caplan, who's head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU's Langone Medical Center. Thanks very much for being with us.
Protesters who were camped out in Istanbul's Gezi Park say they won't pack up and go home despite a government offer to avoid bulldozing the park without court approval and a public referendum. Protest organizers say that other demands such as releasing detained protesters have not been met.
Whitey Bulger is finally on trial ,after 16 years on the run. The Boston mobster who was once on the FBI's Most Wanted List is accused of murdering 19 people, as well as extortion and racketeering. Prosecution alleges he worked as an FBI informant in exchange for protection. Dick Lehr is the co-author, with Gerald O'Neill, of "Whitey: The Life of America's Most Notorious Mobster." He joins us from member station WBUR in Boston. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: Dick Lehr's co-author is Gerard O'Neill.] Dick, thanks for being with us.
We have to remind ourselves now, the nationwide protests in Turkey began with a small group of people who were protesting the government's plans to pave over a small park in Istanbul. Elif Shafak is an award-winning writer who divides her time between Istanbul and London. We spoke with her yesterday, and asked her how what began as a kind of modest stand to protect a city park broadened into nationwide protests.
Tomorrow isn't just Father's Day. It's also National Fudge Day if that didn't come up on your calendar. By most accounts, the first batch of fudge was cooked up in Baltimore in the 1880s, but Mackinac Island in northern Michigan is considered the modern day fudge capital of America.
Last year, we brought you the story of Music Man Murray. Murray Gershenz was looking for a buyer for the enormous record collection that was shelved in his store in Los Angeles. Now, notice I said record. Most of his music was indeed on old vinyl. Murray was turning 90 and his overstuffed store was becoming more than he could handle.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And I wait all week to say: time for sports.
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SIMON: Finals time - on ice and the hardwood. The Heat and the Spurs are tied at two games each in the NBA Finals. And tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Boston Bruins in game two of hockey's Stanley Cup. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine joins us from the studios of New England Public Radio in Amherst. Howard, thanks for being with us.
The canal schooner Lois McClure is a replica of the boats that carried cargo along northeast waterways in the 1800s.
Credit Sarah Harris / NPR
The Lois McClure (left) passes a fire boat as it arrives at New York's North Cove Marina in 2005. Canal schooners used wind power on open lakes, and lowered their masts and raised their centerboards to be towed through canals.
The Lois McClure, a replica of an 1862 canal schooner, is also a floating museum. This summer she's sailing historic waterways in Vermont, New York, Ontario and Quebec, docking in towns for a history lesson.
The Lois starts from her berth at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes, Vt. First mate Tom Larsen, a strapping guy with a long ponytail and glasses, pulls hand-over-hand on a thick white rope, getting the Lois into the open water. A tugboat comes up alongside the schooner, ties a line and tows her out onto Lake Champlain.