Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 6:15 pm
On a Saturday at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Wash., life-size robotic dinosaurs roar. A giant video monitor shows a person sneezing as a spray of mist shoots down from the ceiling. Nearby, naked mole rats scurry blindly through a maze of tunnels.
And since it's all mud and rain outside, the place is packed with curious children and adults trying to keep up with them.
Loud noises, bright lights, crowded spaces: This is exactly the situation Mike Hiner tries to avoid with his 20-year-old son Steven, who is autistic.
President Obama wants to close the prison at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay before leaving office. But his departing defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, told NPR News the job is "going to be very difficult" to complete in that time.
Hagel made that remark in an exit interview Friday, one of only a handful he granted as he prepared to vacate his expansive office at the Pentagon. The interview will air Monday on Morning Edition.
Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 3:58 am
Years of austerity have worn down Greeks, who will choose a new government Sunday. Greek voters are expected to elect the first anti-austerity party in the Eurozone.
Maria Tsitoura, one of those voters, is a lively grandmother in her 70s. Like many retirees in Greece, she shares her small pension with her grown children, whose salaries have dropped by more than half in the last four years.
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:
Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 4:02 pm
Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the purported beheading of a Japanese hostage by his ISIS captors an "outrageous and unacceptable" act that had left him speechless.
The remarks came after a video surfaced showing what appears to be one hostage holding a photo of his decapitated fellow abductee.
"This is an outrageous and unacceptable act of violence," Abe told reporters as he arrived at his office after midnight for an emergency meeting, according to Reuters. "We strongly demand the immediate release."
Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 11:00 am
Every Saturday just before our show begins I get on the public address system here to announce to our crew, "It's a beautiful day for a radio show. Let's do two today!"
It's an admiring imitation of Ernie Banks, the Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame baseball player who died last night at the age of 83. Ernie used to say, especially in the long years of hot summers — including this last one, when the Cubs were stuck in last place — "It's a beautiful day for a ballgame. Let's play two today!"
Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 12:30 pm
Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET
A main leader of Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine reportedly says the separatists have launched an attack on the port city of Mariupol, where rocket fire killed at least 15 people in an open-air market and residential area.
"Today an offensive was launched on Mariupol. This will be the best possible monument to all our dead," Alexander Zakharchenko was quoted as saying by Russia's RIA news agency.