It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Support for Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, may be further deteriorating. That's after Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said his country would be glad to see Assad step down if most Syrians agreed. Russia's been one of the Syrian regime's staunchest supporters.
In Syria itself, another night of gunfire and explosions, some of it in the capital, Damascus. NPR's Deborah Amos is there and with me now.
The Justice Department has launched an investigation to determine the source of a series of leaks about sensitive intelligence matters. President Obama denied his administration authorized the leaks, but some Senate Republicans accused the White House of deliberately leaking the stories in order to boost the president's national security credentials.
Last year, Kansas became the first state in the nation to completely eliminate arts funding. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has always said he supports the arts, but when the state was facing a tight budget, he said Kansas needed to cut back.
"As we look to grow Kansas' economy and focus state government resources to ensure the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars, we must do all we can to protect the core functions of state government," he said.
Like most members of the Penobscot Nation, Scott Phillips grew up near the Penobscot River and learned to paddle and fish as a young boy. He took to it like a duck to water. He became a competitive racer and eventually opened his own business selling canoes, kayaks and other outdoor gear.
Next week, the first of two dams on the river will be removed, altering the way it's used recreationally. The change could also be a boon to Phillip's business.
Steve Guttenberg (left), Michael Winslow (center) and G.W. Bailey star in 1987's Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol, part of the film franchise launched by 1984's Police Academy.
Credit MGM/The Kobal Collection
Steve Guttenberg (left) stars alongside Daniel Stern (center) and Paul Reiser in 1982's Diner, which continues to be one of his most beloved film projects. He sometimes appears as a guest at revival screenings.
When Steve Guttenberg was 16, he went to see an agent about starting his acting career.
That agent told him: "You are the last guy I would pick to be a movie star."
Guttenberg decided to become an actor anyway.
The summer before he was supposed to start the University of Albany, he moved from Long Island to Los Angeles to try his luck. Once there, he tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, he snuck onto the Paramount Studios lot, set up his own office, and started making phone calls to agents and producers.
Today had the promise of history — that is, until the horse I'll Have Another was scratched from the Belmont Stakes. Also scratched: hopes for a long-awaited Triple Crown winner. It was yet another piece of bad news for the horse racing industry, which is under new scrutiny over the safety and treatment of the horses.
"The Spanish government states its intention to request European financing for the recapitalization of banks that need it," Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said at a press conference on Saturday.
Spain will ask, and European finance ministers will agree, to offer up financial aid for the country's struggling banks.
Spanish and eurozone officials announced their intentions after a three-hour emergency conference call on Saturday. If they make good on it, Spain will be the fourth – and largest — member of the 17-nation eurozone to receive outside help as Europe's debt crisis marches on.
The Weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.
For actor Jared Harris, whose credits include The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and AMC's TV drama Mad Men, the movie he can't get enough of is Sydney Pollack's Tootsie. "It's just so brilliant," says Harris.
It's a good time to be a craft brewer, as Americans are thirsty for full-flavored and local beers. But when small breweries grow, they can also risk losing some of the "craftiness" their fans love. And when they expand, many brewers have to rewrite their recipes — starting with the water.
This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
It's been another bloody week in Syria. This week, dozens of people were reportedly killed in cold blood in a tiny farming hamlet in Central Syria by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. It is the latest atrocity in a 15-month revolt against the regime.
From Syria we head now to Bahrain, where a prominent human rights activist is back in detention this time for what he's been writing on Twitter. Now, the U.S. says it's looking into the case and continuing to encourage Bahrain to allow free speech. Activists say the U.S. isn't pushing its ally hard enough.
To the daredevils of motor sports now - stock car racers. The Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, New York racing takes on a hometown feel. North Country Public Radio's Sarah Harris went to an early season race and has our story.
SARAH HARRIS, BYLINE: At the Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, it's all stock car racing all day.
SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: And I'm Scott Horsley in Providence. Netroots Nation is part pep rally, part technology seminar, and - this year at least - part postmortem. Netroots Chairman Adam Bonin kicked off the gathering just two days after the Wisconsin vote, which was viewed very differently in this crowd than it was by the audience at CPAC.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.
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SIMON: And there won't be a Triple Crown winner this year. But it's still a weekend for major matchups of all kinds, with Nadal and Djokovic, LeBron James and the Boston Celtics, and the peerless Manny Pacquiao in action. NPR Sports Correspondent Tom Goldman joins us.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Last month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made a significant policy change. They increased the number of agents responsible for finding and deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records by nearly 25 percent. Now, the agency says it wants to remove offenders who pose the greatest threat to public safety or national security.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. It seems that every week, there's a new study out on political polarization in America. More and more, we talk to, vote with, and get our news from only those who think the way that we do. So, this week we sent reporters on a couple of polar expeditions to political gatherings on the left and the right. And in a moment, we'll hear from NPR's Scott Horsley at Netroots Nation in Rhode Island. First, now here's NPR's David Schaper at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Chicago.