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:
The government is trying to modernize the nation's air traffic control system, but cost overruns, software problems and management concerns are making some wonder whether the so-called "Next Generation" system may take another generation to complete.
The radar screens in the nation's aircraft control towers are based on technology dating to World War II. Many of the routes airliners fly were laid out at a time pilots followed bonfires for navigation at night.
The disclosure of an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in the U.S. is certain to worsen relations between Riyadh and Tehran, despite the baffling and improbable details that have emerged so far.
Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been deteriorating for some years now, however, with growing hostility bubbling just below the surface. In that context, the plot may make more sense than is immediately apparent.
An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll out this week puts a new name at the top of the race for the Republican presidential nomination: Herman Cain. The poll shows the former head of Godfather's Pizza at 27 percent, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney just 4 points behind. Cain spoke with Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon about his surge to front-runner status.
Scott Simon: So how do you keep your campaign from going the way of Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump — for that matter, every other front-runner?
We fans of the Chicago Cubs rarely hear good news in October, so there's a little buzz of excitement around Wrigley Field these days about the possibility of Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein reportedly coming to Chicago to take over a similar or expanded role with the hapless Cubs.
In 2004, Epstein helped guide the Red Sox to their first World Series title in 86 years and to another title in 2007. In Chicago, he'd be trying to end a Cubs' championship drought dating back to 1908; the Cubs haven't even been to the World Series since 1945.
Federal officials continue to probe allegations of misconduct related to a famous report on dead polar bears that raised concerns about climate change. Later this month, officials plan to re-interview one of the two government scientists who wrote that report.
The new development suggests that scientific integrity remains a focus of the investigation, which recently detoured into allegations that the other researcher under scrutiny broke rules related to federal funding of research. Both scientists work for agencies of the Department of the Interior (DOI).
Virgin Galactic announced today that NASA has booked its first charter flight to space on the company's SpaceShipTwo, which the company says will take off from its New Mexico spaceport.
The contract could be worth up to $4.5 million if NASA exercises its right to book two more flights. Virgin said NASA will use its flight on the spacecraft for "engineers, technologists, and scientific researchers to conduct cutting-edge experiments in space."
After a 19-month review, the Obama administration has concluded that it can't implement the CLASS Act, the community-based long-term care program that was the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's most heartfelt contribution to the Affordable Care Act.