This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. An enormous cruise ship is lying on its side in the Mediterranean today. The Italian ship, Costa Concordia, ran aground off Italy's Tuscan coast, killing at least three people. Passengers described scenes reminiscent of the Titanic. Fabio Costa was working in a shop on the cruise liner when he felt a jolt.
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:
Occupy Wall Street members stage a protest march near Wall Street in New York in October. Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center says the movement has "crystallized" the idea of economic disparity.
Credit Emmanuel Dunand / AFP/Getty Images
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney addresses a primary night victory rally in New Hampshire on Tuesday. Romney has accused President Obama of engaging in the "politics of envy" by focusing on income inequality.
The widening gulf between the rich and everyone else is a growing source of tension in America.
A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds the income gap is now seen as a bigger source of conflict in the U.S. than race, age or national origin. That's why some believe the issue could matter in the presidential campaign, and others worry it could warp the national debate.
Two out of three Americans now perceive strong social conflicts over the income gap — up sharply from two years ago. Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center has an idea what's behind the increase.
SIMON: We got lots of comments on Gloria Hillard's piece on Native Americans who've moved off reservations into major cities. The Bureau of Indian Affairs Urban Relocation Program had encouraged that migration a few decades ago, and Los Angeles County has the country's largest urban Native American population.
The South Carolina primary is one week from Saturday. On Friday night, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum hit an upstate barbecue, vying to emerge as the candidate the state's conservative Republicans can rally behind. NPR's Debbie Elliott was there and has this report.
Late Friday the U.S. credit rating agency Standard & Poors downgraded nine European countries. S&P suggested Europe's single-minded focus on austerity to solve its sovereign debt problem is just not working. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's John Ydstie about the downgrades.
Karaoke machine manufacturers and the distributors of karaoke CDs have had an uphill battle fighting copyright infringement cases brought by music publishers. One player in the karaoke business is fighting a joint venture of Sony and the estate of Michael Jackson over a $1.28-billion bill. Host Scott Simon has more.
The lack of snow in most of the northeast has extended the hiking season for those willing to brave the cold. Brian Mann takes a winter hike into Roaring Brook Falls in New York's Adirondack Mountains.
The NFL playoffs are well under way. Eight teams are still standing, but two will be sent home on Saturday. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine joins host Scott Simon to discuss the latest news in sports.
There is a diversity of views in the Republican field for president that is wide, even wild. Host Scott Simon talks with Ross Douthat, a conservative author and New York Times columnist, about the ideological divides in the Republican Party, as apparent in the GOP presidential race.
The Muslim Brotherhood has emerged as the big winner in Egypt's parliamentary elections. Long oppressed under the regime of Hosni Mubarak, the Islamist party is now the most important power broker in the country. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports that the question on everyone's lips now is what does the Brotherhood really represent and how will it govern?
Haiti has long been regarded as a special challenge for international aid organizations. Haiti has a noble, unique and often bloody history. It was the only nation of slaves to successfully revolt against their colonial overseers, became the first black-led republic in the world. It has also been afflicted with its own demons and tyrants.
A sign to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker hangs on a statue in front of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison last March. The recall petition drive began in November, and Democrats will turn in signatures Tuesday.
There's a downside to starting a two-month recall petition drive in mid-November in Wisconsin. Sometimes it snows. A lot.
On Tuesday, Democrats plan to turn in petitions by the truckload to try to force a recall election of Gov. Scott Walker. The effort follows the governor's move last year to strip public workers of union bargaining rights.
A heavy snowstorm late this week had most Wisconsin residents more occupied with shoveling than with knocking on doors. Recall petition circulators in the heavily Democratic city of Madison, for the most part, disappeared.
Six thousand miles. Seven time zones. And endless cups of hot tea.
NPR reporter David Greene along with producer Laura Krantz and photographer David Gilkey boarded the Trans-Siberian Railway in Moscow and took two weeks to make their way to the Pacific Ocean port city of Vladivostok.
The film Pina is Germany's official entry at the 84th Academy Awards — and a collaboration between two famous Germans of the postwar generation. The filmmaker Wim Wenders captures the groundbreaking modern-dance choreography of the late Pina Bausch, in what many critics are calling a groundbreaking use of 3-D film.
You can see some progress in Haiti two years since the 7.0-magnitude quake hit. But Port-au-Prince is a tour of unrelenting misery and often disturbing images. Things are happening — slowly. You can tell the pace of progress by looking into people's eyes — emptiness looks back at you. Pain is etched on their faces.
You see it in Elicia Andre. We met her back in December at the homeless encampment run by Catholic Relief Services in Port-au-Prince, where she sought refuge after the quake. The charity had just given her $500 to rent an apartment for a year.
Standard & Poor's downgraded the sovereign debt of France, Italy, Spain and six other European countries on Friday. The move was highly expected, but it's still a blow to France and sending shock waves across Europe. France is the eurozone's second-largest economy, and its downgrade could even threaten Europe's master plan to stop its debt crisis.
We're used to thinking of "obesity" in physical terms — unhealthful weight that clogs our arteries and strains our hearts. But there's also an obesity of information that clogs our eyes and our minds and our inboxes: unhealthful information deep-fried in our own preconceptions.
President Obama was slow off the mark in his first year, making fewer nomination than his predecessors, according to a Brookings Institution report. But the amount of time needed to win confirmation once nominations have been made has also risen dramatically.
Federal trial court vacancies are going up under President Obama, even as caseloads are rising. A Brookings Institution report released Friday shows that this is the first time in memory that a president three years into his first term has seen judicial vacancies rise.
The report shows that Obama has been slower to nominate trial judges, the Senate slower to confirm them, and at the same time a larger number of judges are retiring.