SCOTT SIMON, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Hurricane Irene has arrived. The storm has already struck parts of North Carolina. Some 200,000 people there are without power. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urged caution as Irene moves up the East Coast.
Secretary JANET NAPOLITANO (HOMELAND SECURITY): Irene remains a large and dangerous storm. People need to take it seriously, people need to be prepared.
The bright lights and raucous crowds of the U.S. Open are here, but this year, the talent isn't shining. In baseball, the front-runners are pulling ahead of the also-running, just before the last month of the season. Host Scott Simon talks sports with Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine.
You know the old adage, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again?" Well, Pat Gallant-Charette certainly does. Last Monday, on her third attempt since 2008, the 60-year-old from Westbrook, Maine, swam across the English Channel in less than 16 hours. Host Scott Simon talks with Gallant-Charette, who is now the oldest American woman to swim the English Channel.
Presidential candidates aren't the only Republicans jockeying for position in the state that holds the first presidential primary. Jack Kimball, New Hampshire's GOP chairman, is fighting to remain in office. The Tea Party-backed newcomer was elected to lead state Republicans just seven months ago. He now faces removal amid charges of incompetence and disloyalty. New Hampshire Public Radio's Josh Rogers reports.
The Obama administration is considering several new ideas to help shore up the struggling housing market. As first reported by The New York Times this week, one proposal would allow homeowners with government-backed mortgages to refinance them at the current, lower interest rates. Host Scott Simon talks with Columbia University's Christopher Mayer, who helped introduce the mortgage refinancing proposal in 2008.
SCOTT SIMON, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. Libyan rebels say they've secured most of Tripoli and taken a key border crossing to Tunisia. That crossing is vital to getting food and supplies into the Libyan capital where the human situation is growing dire. Members of the rebel council in Benghazi say they're relocating to Tripoli where they will set up an interim government that will rule Libya into 2012. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. Soraya, thanks for being with us.
At an annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole this week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offered an upbeat assessment about the country's long-term prospects for economic growth. NPR's Scott Horsley talked with officials and academics at the symposium about economic growth in tight fiscal times.