Politics
4:10 pm
Sun October 23, 2011

Congressional Strongmen, Stripped Of Superpowers

U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., speaks during a hearing before the Joint Deficit Reduction Committee in September. Since the supercommittee's formation in August, the House and Senate appropriations committees have seen their powers diminish.

Alex Wong Getty Images

Since the supercommittee was formed in August to find federal deficit cuts, the House and Senate appropriations committees have seen their responsibilities wane. But not too long ago, they were the most exclusive clubs in Congress and it took years to get assigned to one.

Appropriations 'Lost Its Luster'

Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., finally landed a spot on the House Appropriations Committee last fall. That's because few others wanted the job — he jokes to Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

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Author Interviews
3:30 pm
Sun October 23, 2011

Products R Us: Are We 'Brandwashed'?

In an article for Fast Company magazine, Martin Lindstrom writes that Whole Foods places flowers by the store's entrance "to 'prime' us to think of freshness the moment we enter the store."

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Martin Lindstrom got into the advertising business early on.

"I started up my own ad agency when I was 12 years old," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekend on All Things Considered. "I was a huge fan of Lego, so I built up my own Legoland in the backyard of my mom and dad's garden."

No one showed up on the first day, but Lindstrom persuaded a local ad agency to sponsor him. On the third day, he had 131 visitors.

The only problem? "Visitor number 130 and visitor 131 were the lawyers from Lego suing me."

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World
3:00 pm
Sun October 23, 2011

Tunisians Vote In Free Elections

Tunisians voted Sunday in their country's first free elections — the culmination of a popular uprising that ousted President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and touched off the wave of Arab Spring uprisings. Washington Post reporter Leila Fadel offers her insight from the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

Strange News
2:56 pm
Sun October 23, 2011

Was It A Cat I Saw? (Nope: It Was A Palindrome)

Barry Duncan constructs a palindrome in a scene from Michael Rossi's documentary The Master Palindromist. "I happen to believe that I can change the world with reversibility," Duncan says.

Michael Rossi

Originally published on Sun October 23, 2011 7:19 pm

Barry Duncan has an obsession that follows him everywhere he goes. "I see street signs, restaurant menus, objects while I'm walking along, and I'm just reversing them all the time," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

Duncan is a master palindromist. He creates phrases, sentences, even passages that read the same forward and backward. He's been at it since 1981, when he was working at a bookstore in Philadelphia and stumbled onto a book of wordplay.

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Music Interviews
2:03 pm
Sun October 23, 2011

Jane's Addiction: Breaking With A Turbulent Past

Perry Farrell performs with Jane's Addiction. The reunited band's new album is called The Great Escape Artist.

Kyle Dean Reinford Courtesy of the artist

Jane's Addiction defined the Los Angeles rock scene of the late 1980s, and by the beginning of the next decade, the band had become famous worldwide. But almost as soon as they'd gained the world's attention, Jane's Addiction split up.

Modest reunions have taken place since then. This month, three of the four original members are back with a new album, The Great Escape Artist. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, who grew up listening to Jane's Addiction, spoke to the group's leader, Perry Farrell.

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World
1:46 pm
Sun October 23, 2011

Powerful Earthquake Strikes Eastern Turkey

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey on Sunday, collapsing dozens of buildings into piles of twisted steel and chunks of concrete. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports.

Mike Pesca first reached the airwaves as a 10-year-old caller to a New York Jets-themed radio show and has since been able to parlay his interests in sports coverage as a National Desk correspondent  for NPR based in New York City.

Pesca enjoys training his microphone on anything that occurs at a track, arena, stadium, park, fronton, velodrome or air strip (i.e. the plane drag during the World's Strongest Man competition). He has reported from Los Angeles, Cleveland and Gary. He has also interviewed former Los Angeles Ram Cleveland Gary. Pesca is a panelist on the weekly Slate podcast “Hang up and Listen”.

Africa
8:14 am
Sun October 23, 2011

Tunisians Wake To Their Very First Election Day

Originally published on Sun October 23, 2011 7:20 pm

Tunisians are voting Sunday in the country's first free and democratic election. The small North African nation was the first to overthrow its dictator last January in a popular movement that soon spread to other authoritarian Arab nations.

Now, analysts say what happens in Tunisia will be key to whether democracy is to take root across the rest of the Arab world.

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World
8:00 am
Sun October 23, 2011

Central Asia Warms To Clinton As Drawdown Looms

Originally published on Sun October 23, 2011 4:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, host: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton winds up a week long overseas tour today, one that's focused on the war in Afghanistan and tensions with Pakistan. Her last couple of stops were in Central Asia, which is playing an increasingly important role as the U.S. begins its drawdown in Afghanistan. NPR's Jackie Northam has been traveling with the secretary. She has this report from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the last stop on Clinton's tour.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

Secretary HILLARY CLINTON: Thank you.

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Europe
8:00 am
Sun October 23, 2011

European Debt-Crisis Agreement Not Quite Ready

Originally published on Sun October 23, 2011 4:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Audie Cornish. In Brussels, European leaders are meeting to forge consensus on a broad plan to stop the eurozone's worsening debt crisis from spreading. But it doesn't look like there will be a breakthrough - at least not until another summit on Wednesday. NPR's Eric Westervelt is in Brussels and we have him on the line. Eric, some people were saying that this was the weekend to save the euro, but what's happening?

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