Weekend Edition Sunday

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Rachel Martin
Desmond O'Boyle

NPR host Rachel Martin covers newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, thinkers, theologians and all manner of news events.

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Politics
9:08 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Kicking The Can Down The Road: A Habit That's Hard To Kick

President Obama speaks in front of the Interstate 495 bridge near Wilmington, Del., on Thursday. Obama said he supports the temporary highway bill passed by the House last week — but he doesn't like it.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 10:55 am

The Senate is expected to vote on a temporary transportation spending bill later this week — with an emphasis on the word temporary.

The bill would keep highway funding flowing through May of next year, and avert a looming infrastructure crisis. Without congressional action, the highway trust fund would run out of cash in August.

The short-term fix follows a familiar pattern. It goes something like this:

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Performing Arts
9:08 am
Sun July 20, 2014

At Monty Python Reunion Show, The Circus Makes One Last Flight

Michael Palin, left, and Terry Gilliam perform on the opening night of Monty Python Live (Mostly). The final performance of the reunion show, on Sunday, will be live-streamed at theaters around the world.
Dave J Hogan Getty Images

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The Sunday Conversation
8:39 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Astronaut Who Walked On The Moon: 'It Was Science Fiction To Us'

During the Apollo 12 mission, astronaut Alan Bean holds a container of lunar soil. The astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad, who took the photograph, is reflected in Bean's faceshield. Bean says he used to think that in his lifetime, we'd build a base on the moon and start preparing to travel to Mars.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 11:20 am

In November of 1969, astronaut Alan Bean became the fourth man to walk on the moon. His mission, Apollo 12, arrived at the moon a few months after Apollo 11 made the first moon landing. That historic event celebrates its 45th anniversary Sunday.

Apollo 12 got off to a dramatic start: A storm rolled in as the rocket was scheduled to launch. Bean, with fellow astronauts Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon, sat inside the spacecraft while the bad weather threatened the operation.

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Television
7:48 am
Sun July 20, 2014

James Garner Of 'Rockford Files' And 'Maverick' Dies At 86

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 9:09 am

Garner was known for wise-cracking, tough-guy characters who were not afraid to bend the rules. NPR's Arun Rath talks with biographer Jon Winokur about the actor's prolific career.

NPR Story
7:14 am
Sun July 20, 2014

As Polar Icebox Shrinks, Infectious Pathogens Move North

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 9:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Infectious diseases may be spreading more quickly, thanks to global warming. Viruses that were kept in check by the polar ice box are being released. And as some animals move north to keep cool, they're bringing all sorts of parasites with them, from microbes to ticks. Christopher Solomon has written about this in the August issue of "Scientific American." And he joins me now from Montana Public Radio in Missoula. Welcome.

CHRISTOPHER SOLOMON: Good to be here, Arun.

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NPR Story
7:14 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Facility Sets Up Extreme Precautions To Treat Ebola Patients

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 9:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath. The worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded continues to spread in West Africa. And medical workers in Sierra Leone have responded by expanding an extraordinary field hospital. It opened less than a month ago, but it now has the largest Ebola isolation unit ever built, with 64 beds. NPR's Jason Beaubien visited and describes for us the infection control measures that go into treating this highly contagious disease.

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NPR Story
7:14 am
Sun July 20, 2014

'Transformers' Inspires Chinese Farmer-Artists

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 9:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

And while we are celebrating zombies who shuffle from movies into comic book, what about the toy robots that became a cartoon that then became a movie series and now have inspired Chinese farmers to become master replica robot builders?

(SOUNDBITE OF "TRANSFORMERS" THEME SONG)

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: Transformers, more than meets the eye.

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Middle East
8:47 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Palestinians Seek Shelter At Supply-Strapped U.N. Schools

Palestinian families travel to a United Nations school to seek shelter after evacuating their homes near the Israel-Gaza border Sunday. Israel has been warning residents to leave.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 11:14 am

Residents in Northern Gaza have been fleeing their homes in anticipation of a new Israeli assault, as the exchange of Hamas rockets and Israeli airstrikes enters its sixth day. A brief ground action conducted by Israel Sunday morning came as Israel warns that a larger campaign may be coming.

But United Nations schools in Gaza, which expect to shelter tens of thousands of Palestinians, say they're short on resources to help provide for the evacuees.

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Middle East
8:47 am
Sun July 13, 2014

People Evacuate Gaza Strip As Tensions Increase

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is a WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath in for Rachel Martin. The international community is trying to resolve the bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Yet today, the crisis is getting worse, not better. People are evacuating the Gaza Strip and Israel has made its first ground incursion. NPR's Ari Shapiro's in Jerusalem and joins us with the latest. Hi Ari.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hey, Arun.

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Remembrances
6:52 am
Sun July 13, 2014

'Without Tommy, There's No Ramones'

Tommy Ramone, the original drummer for the Ramones, died Friday at the age of 65.
Ian Dickson Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 5:38 am

Punk rock music has lost one of its earliest pioneers.

Tommy Ramone died of cancer on Friday at his home in Queens, N.Y. He was the last surviving member of the original Ramones.

Tommy Ramone was Tamás Erdélyi before he became a "Ramone" and produced punk rock classics like "Rockaway Beach."

He was born in Budapest, where, as kid, he once had a memorable trip to see a movie about America.

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