Listen Live

NPR News

At least 15 people are presumed dead and several more are missing after torrential rains pounded southern Japan on Saturday, flooding residential areas, causing mudslides and knocking out power for thousands. Officials asked more than 200,000 people to evacuate.

Fourteen of those found without vital signs were at a nursing home in Kuma village, where water and mud gushed into the building. Japanese medical officials declared the victims were in "cardio-respiratory arrest" — a term used in Japan before death can be officially certified.

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:

Two people have been hospitalized, one with life-threatening injuries, after a vehicle barreled past a police barrier and into protesters on a freeway overnight in Seattle.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Independence Day celebrates freedom. And how do you celebrate America's day of independence when it comes during nationwide protests against police brutality, especially if you're a Black American?

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Texas is struggling big time with COVID-19.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Baseball's Negro Leagues were formally founded a hundred years ago this week. They should never have had to exist — but they sure had some glorious players and times.

Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and many more stars, who couldn't play in the major leagues because of the cruelty of segregation, engineered a sports enterprise of their own with superb teams that included the Kansas City Monarchs, Chicago American Giants, and the Homestead Grays.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

July 4th is U.S. Independence Day. But D.L. Hughley, the comedian and author, suggests in his new book that all U.S. holidays "be put on a probationary period to ascertain their relevance and value to All Americans, acknowledging that days off are nice and that mattress sales must occur ..."

His book, co-written with Doug Moe of the Upright Citizens Brigade, is Surrender, White People! Our Unconditional Terms for Peace.

Two new laws went into effect in Idaho this week that target transgender residents. The enactment comes on the heels of a major U.S. Supreme Court decision in June, which greatly expanded LGBTQ rights.

One of the laws bans transgender people from changing the sex on their birth certificates while the other bars transgender girls and women from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Willie Nelson has some new songs on a new album. Do I really need to say anything more than that? It's called "First Rose Of Spring."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FIRST ROSE OF SPRING")

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Nanjiani and Gordon created a film about their very unusual courtship called The Big Sick, so we've invited them to answer three questions about Big Bird. Originally broadcast April 4, 2010.

Janney is now starring in the HBO film Bad Education so we've invited her to answer three questions about the wonderful things people learn from dads. Originally broadcast April 25, 2020.

Since he starred as Mr. Rogers, the nicest neighbor ever, we wrote a game for him called "It's a terrible day in the neighborhood" — three questions about pretty awful neighbors. Originally broadcast April 18, 2020.

I've been stranded in Kenya since March, trying to get a "repatriation" flight to return home to the United States. I was finally able to book a flight but I'm still not sure I'll be able to board at the scheduled departure time – a week from Saturday. Not only are cancellations part of the new normal for international flights, but passengers in some countries need to present evidence they're likely not infected with the novel coronavirus before being allowed to board.

The progressive wing of the Democratic Party couldn't break through in the presidential race, but in congressional races, younger, more diverse, progressive candidates are enjoying a recent surge in support.

"The logic of COVID-19 as well as the logic and the righteousness of the movement for Black lives, I think, is forcing all of us to re-imagine both what is necessary and what is possible, and I think it's having an impact on our politics," said Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, a New York-based minor political party.

Audrey just turned 18 and relishes crossing into adulthood: She voted for the first time this year, graduated high school and is college-bound next month. The honors student typically wakes up "a bundle of nerves," she says, which had fueled her work volunteering, playing varsity sports and leading student government.

But for years, she also struggled with anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder — all of which drove her to work harder.

Updated at 7:43 am ET

On the eve of Independence Day, President Trump celebrated at the foot of Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, S.D., with a fireworks display and an impassioned speech against what he called a "new far-left fascism."

Copyright 2020 SDPB Radio. To see more, visit SDPB Radio.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

More widespread wearing of face masks could prevent tens of thousands of deaths by COVID-19, epidemiologists and mathematicians project.

A model from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows that near-universal wearing of cloth or homemade masks could prevent between 17,742 and 28,030 deaths across the US before Oct. 1.

Twenty Saudi Arabians were put on trial Friday in Istanbul, accused of killing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. None of the accused were present in the courtroom because the Saudi government has refused to extradite them.

Major League Baseball is cancelling the 2020 All-Star game over concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic and restricting on mass gatherings, the league says.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

How Much Would Coronavirus Vaccine Cost?

22 hours ago

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

With coronavirus cases surging in the U.S., many people are concluding they'll have to learn to live with the virus until a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available — and that's led to a huge increase in orders for plexiglass and other types of clear plastic barriers meant to keep us safe.

"Demand is ridiculously high," said Jackie Yong, a 17-year employee of J. Freeman, Inc., a plastics distributor and sign supplier in Boston whose products include plexiglass and other plastic sheets. "Everything's just been flying out the door."

The U.S. Supreme Court in an emergency ruling Thursday evening temporarily blocked a lower court's decision that, citing the COVID-19 pandemic, would have made it easier for residents of three Alabama counties to vote by absentee ballot in July 14 primary runoff elections.

Updated at 9:35 p.m. ET

The Washington Redskins football team is conducting a "thorough review" of its name, an apparent break from the NFL franchise's longtime resistance to consider such a move.

A short time later, Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians said it would consider the "best path forward with regard to our team name." It said the team wants to embrace responsibility to advance social justice.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Pages