5:23am

Sat May 18, 2013
Author Interviews

Dan Brown: 'Inferno' Is 'The Book That I Would Want To Read'

Robert Langdon is back. The Harvard art professor in custom tweeds — and an ever-present Mickey Mouse watch — wakes up in a hospital after getting grazed in the head by a bullet, wondering how he ended up in Florence. He's got a sinister artifact sewn into his coat and just a few hours to keep the world from a grim biological catastrophe.

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5:23am

Sat May 18, 2013
Music

After Health Issues, Influential Conductor Back At Met Opera

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This weekend at Carnegie Hall, a giant returns to the podium. James Levine will lead the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for the first time in two years after a string of health challenges from shoulder injuries to spinal problems. He's considered by at least one critic to be the most influential American conductor since Leonard Bernstein. That critic is Anthony Tommasini, lead classical musical critic for the New York Times.

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5:23am

Sat May 18, 2013
Media

Media Covers Itself In Privacy Debacles

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Pair of unrelated stories this week, both involving the news media, served to remind a lot of Americans of how little information that we may assume to be private, really is private. One story involves the U.S. Justice Department's efforts to find out who reporters are talking to; the other, reporters secretly monitoring their sources' activities.

We're joined now by NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik, from New York. David, thanks for being with us.

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3:18am

Sat May 18, 2013
Environment

Not Your Grandpa's RV: This Roving Lab Tracks Air Pollution

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 11:45 am

Ira Leifer, next to an RV he has outfitted with methane sensors and other equipment to sniff the air.
Richard Harris NPR

If you're driving down the road someday and you come across a camper with a 50-foot periscope sticking up into the sky, you just might have crossed paths with Ira Leifer. His quirky vehicle is on a serious mission. It's sniffing the air for methane, a gas that contributes to global warming.

Leifer is an atmospheric scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. But you'll more often find him off campus, in a garage, next to a string of auto body shops near the airport.

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3:17am

Sat May 18, 2013
Law

Turning Up The Heat On Civil Rights-Era Cold Cases

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 12:26 pm

Six years ago, the FBI took on a challenge: To review what it called cold-case killings from the civil rights era. The investigation into 112 cases from the 1950s and 1960s is winding down, and civil rights activists are weighing the FBI's efforts.

The review comes with word this week of the death of a man who'd been named, by a newspaper investigation, as a possible suspect in one notorious case.

The Case

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3:13am

Sat May 18, 2013
Politics

What A Week: White House Rattled By Controversy

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. There are three simultaneous controversies rattling the Obama administration this week: the IRS, the phone records of the AP reporters, and Benghazi. NPR's White House correspondent Ari Shapiro joins us. Ari, thanks for being with us.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: My pleasure, Scott.

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3:13am

Sat May 18, 2013
Sports

Sports: Playoffs, Hard Hits, Soccer Kicks

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

Host Scott Simon talks to ESPN's Howard Bryant about the NBA playoffs, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper's collision with a wall, and David Beckham's retirement from soccer.

3:13am

Sat May 18, 2013
U.S.

When Alcohol Takes The Wheel: What's Your Limit?

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You can legally drink and drive in the United States, but there's a limit. In every state, drivers can't get behind the wheel if their blood alcohol content is .08 or higher, but the National Transportation Safety Board wants the states to lower the legal limit to .05 or even lower. Now, that would bring the United States into agreement with much of the rest of the world.

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3:13am

Sat May 18, 2013
Parallels

Afghan Mineral Treasures Stay Buried, Hostages To Uncertainty

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

An Afghan worker helps excavate part of the mountaintop copper works above the ancient city at Mes Aynak in February. Afghanistan is believed to be sitting on massive mineral and metal deposits. But many obstacles have prevented large-scale mining from getting underway.
Matthew C. Rains MCT/Landov

For years, reports have suggested that Afghanistan is sitting on massive deposits of copper, gold, iron and rare earth minerals valued up to $3 trillion. This provides hope for a future economy that would not have to rely so heavily on foreign donations.

But with an uncertain political, regulatory and security environment, international investors are hesitant. And it could be many years before Afghanistan begins extracting its mineral wealth.

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3:13am

Sat May 18, 2013
It's All Politics

Immigration Bill Chugs Along, But Some See Deal-Breakers

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

The Senate Judiciary Committee meets to work on immigration legislation on May 9.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

It's been a long slog already for the bipartisan immigration overhaul proposed by the Senate's Gang of Eight.

The legislation has been the target of more than 300 amendments during days of debate and votes by the Senate Judiciary Committee. But while the bill has largely held its own so far, its prospects for getting through Congress remain uncertain.

In Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy's view, the immigration overhaul is "moving very well."

"It's moving a lot faster than people said it would," says Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.

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