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More than 40 years after she became the first woman to climb the world's highest mountain, Junko Tabei has died at age 77, according to Japanese media. Tabei was just 4'9", but she was a giant in mountaineering, as the first woman to conquer the "Seven Summits" — the tallest peak on each continent.

Tabei "was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago but continued her mountaineering activities while undergoing treatment," Japanese broadcaster NHK reports, adding that she died Thursday in a hospital in Kawagoe City.

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:

For Film's Creators, 'Moonlight' Provided Space To Explore A Painful Past: Playwright Tarell McCraney and filmmaker Barry Jenkins drew on their own childhood experiences in making Moonlight, a film about a boy growing up in a Miami housing project.


Oct 22, 2016
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Lightning Fill In The Blank

Oct 22, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Oct 22, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

I have a special respect for political losers. Losing can reveal a candidate's character in a humbling, vulnerable moment.

An Ohio politician who lost a race for governor once explained to me that most politicians are used to being popular. They were often class officers and top athletes as kids, who become lawyers, professors, or business owners. They get used to people listening to them, and laughing at their jokes.

In the sunlit courtyard of a mosque, overlooked by jagged mountains, dozens of men arrive to offer condolences to the family of Brigadier Hamid Birmous.

The commander with the Iraqi Kurdish forces known as peshmerga was killed in action by an ISIS bomb during the operation to retake the city of Mosul, which began this week. Iraqi security forces continue to fight their way through villages and countryside outside the city.

The death toll is rising at the site of a train derailment in Cameroon, with President Paul Biya saying the crash of the crowded car Friday killed more than 70 people and wounded 600 more. The train was packed with people because rains had washed out a frequently used road Thursday.

"My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families of the #CAMRAIL train derailment in #Eseka," Biya wrote on his Facebook page Saturday.

Life is pretty busy for Mike Buchmann, a high school art teacher and football coach, and his wife Shannon, who works as an assistant controller at a small private college near their home in Mishawaka, Ind.

Everyone is out the door by 7:45 each morning: Mike shuttles their two older kids to before-school care, while Shannon drops off their 14-month-old at a church-based child care center before they head off to their full-time jobs.

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