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 political instability over funding the U.S. government and raising the debt ceiling could have international financial implications. Host Scott Simon speaks with Matthew Goodman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies about how emerging economies view the dollar after the current debt crisis.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. In the United States, a Tweet or YouTube video that goes viral can make a career. In China, that can be dangerous. Last month, the Chinese government issued a new edict forbidding the spreading of rumors against the Chinese government. People who intentionally post what the government considers a rumor violate the law if they get 500 or more reposts or 5,000 or more views.
Washington, D.C.'s football team has been under increasing criticism for keeping an old team name that's a racial epithet. I usually don't say it. I will now - for the purposes of information. The Washington Redskins. That name's been hotly debated, criticized for being a racial slur, but defended by the team's owners as actually being a kind of tribute to Native Americans.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. San Antonio's newest library doesn't look very bookish. It's got neon orange walls, a play area for children that has glowing screens, and it abounds with desktop computers, iPads, eBooks and laptops. They call it BiblioTech because it's completely digital. There is no paper in this library.
Theo Decker is a 13-year-old boy who, in an instant, gains a masterpiece, but loses his mother — who is also a kind of masterpiece.
Theo and his mother are looking at a special show of old Dutch Masters at the Met, and the little boy doesn't much enjoy it — "Dutch people standing around in Dutch clothes," he calls it. They see a painting of a little yellow pet finch, chained at the ankle, by an artist named Fabritius.
Charlie "Bird" Parker was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. In his brief life, Parker created a new sound on the alto saxophone and spearheaded a revolution in harmony and improvisation that pushed popular music from the swing era to bebop and modern jazz.
There's a true American saga on screens this weekend.
Twelve Years a Slave tells the story of Solomon Northup. He was an African-American musician from New York — a free man, until he was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., and sold into slavery. After an unlikely rescue from a Louisiana cotton plantation, he returned home and wrote a memoir, first published 160 years ago.
But the end of Northup's story is an unsolved mystery that has confounded historians for years.