KRWG

NPR News

Please note:  Sometimes, NPR publishes headlines before the story and/or audio is ready; check back for content later if this occurs.  We also publish national/world news on our home page from AP, BBC, and others.

In recent months, some Brits have expressed their distaste for European Union regulations — a frustration that helped motivate the Brexit vote last summer.

But this weekend, new regulations on the tobacco industry came into force in the United Kingdom, and they go even further than what an EU directive required.

On an overcast late-spring afternoon, a group of bird lovers from the Earth Conservation Corps are in a boat on Washington, D.C.'s Anacostia River, and point out an osprey circling overhead. "This is like their summer vacation spot and where they have their young," says Bob Nixon, in the boat. "Then they spend most of their lives in the Amazon."

It's not entirely clear why Schapelle Corby's case so captivated a nation.

The Australian woman was 27 in 2004 when she was caught with 9 pounds of marijuana in her bag upon landing in Bali for a two-week vacation. She was convicted in 2005 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. That sentence was ultimately reduced, and in 2014 she was released on parole. Now, she is set to return home to Australia this week.

Before her arrest, Corby was an ordinary young woman, working in her family's fish and chip shop in the suburbs of Australia's Gold Coast.

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:

President Trump's choice to represent the United States at the Vatican, Callista Gingrich, has one especially prominent achievement as a Catholic: She is responsible for her husband, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, converting to Roman Catholicism in 2009.

"When Newt became a Catholic, it was one of the happiest moments of my life," she said in a 2012 interview with The New Yorker.

If you're a regular NPR listener, you know BJ Leiderman's music. Leiderman is the John Williams of public radio: He's written the theme music for programs like Morning Edition, Marketplace and, yes, Weekend Edition.

The New Orleans City Council had declared the city's four Confederate monuments a public nuisance.

On Friday police cars circled the last one standing, the imposing statue of General Robert E. Lee, a 16-foot-tall bronze figure mounted on a 60-foot pedestal in the center of Lee Circle near downtown. Live news trucks were parked on side streets, and cameramen watched from the windows of nearby hotel rooms. The air was muggy and tense.

With the help of high-speed cameras, CT scanners and some nail-art supplies, scientists in Japan have managed to catch a glimpse of the elaborate way that ladybugs fold their wings to tuck them away.

The research could have implications for everything from aeronautics to umbrellas.

In May, when flowers bloom all over France, strawberries overtake outdoor markets and fill me with bittersweet memories.

Here in Paris, flashy red strawberries abound on fruit stands everywhere and occupy them for weeks on end. They come in many varieties, with lovely names like Charlotte, Anaïs, Cléry, Gariguette or the intriguing Mara des bois (Mara of the woods).

President Trump arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday carrying baggage — namely, a swirl of controversy stemming from his firing of FBI Director James Comey and the ongoing Russia investigations. But his hosts in Riyadh aren't likely to be bothered by it all.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is a brilliant, scalding and essential play that is often revived. But the Complete Works Project in Oregon won't present the play this fall because the estate of the playwright, Edward Albee, won't give permission for them to cast an African-American actor in the featured role of Nick, a young professor.

The play's director, Michael Streeter, refuses to fire an actor for the color of his skin.

"I am furious and dumbfounded," he wrote on Facebook.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As President Trump begins his first overseas trip, Americans have widely differing views of his approach to foreign policy. But a majority of both Republicans and Democrats want the U.S. to continue its robust engagement with the rest of the world.

Here's a quick roundup of some of the mini-moments you may have missed on this week's Morning Edition.

The sweet tooth strikes

It's graduation season. That means commencement addresses lead off our weekly education news roundup. Last week, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos faced boos at Bethune-Cookman University. This week, President Trump received a warmer welcome when he addressed cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Updated at 10:21 a.m. ET

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has won re-election by a large margin.

According to Iran's Interior Ministry as reported by Press TV, Rouhani won about 57% of the vote with more than 23.5 million votes against his main challenger Ebrahim Raisi's 15.7 million. Rouhani appeared to have benefited from a large turnout that forced polls to stay open until midnight, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports. More than 40 million out of 56 million eligible voters cast their ballots.

In the mayor's office on the second floor of Baltimore City Hall, Catalina Rodriguez-Lima has been uneasy lately. Rodriguez-Lima runs a city office whose mission is to attract new immigrants to Baltimore — a strategy for reversing decades of population decline. But President Donald Trump's plans to ramp up deportations of immigrants in the U.S. illegally have cast a pall over her efforts.

Updated at 8:19 p.m. ET

Former FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in an open session.

"The Committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former Director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media," Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said in a statement released Friday evening.

Suicide rates in the U.S. are at their highest in 30 years. In 2014, the last year for which there are official government figures, nearly 43,000 Americans killed themselves. That’s nearly four times as many as were shot to death by others.

The rise in suicide comes despite intensive prevention efforts by mental health professionals, citizen-volunteers, people affected by suicide, teachers, religious leaders and others.

Could the key to prevention be identifying people about to make an attempt?

Lisa Ko‘s debut novel “The Leavers” tells the story of Deming Guo, whose mother Polly, an immigrant from China living in the U.S. illegally, disappears when he’s 11 years old.

Guo is eventually adopted by a well-to-do white couple, but struggles with their expectations that he fit into their world.

The Washington Post reports this week that a federal program offering loan forgiveness for students working in the public or non-profit sectors may be on the chopping block in the soon-to-be-released Trump administration budget.

The NAACP, America's oldest civil rights group, is replacing its president, Cornell William Brooks, and planning a "transformational retooling," according to the group's board of directors.

Brooks, who has been the president of the NAACP for three years, will not be retained once his contract is up at the end of June, the chairman and vice chair of the board of directors say.

The NAACP says the change is part of "an organization-wide refresh."

President Trump told Russian officials last week that he had fired the "nut job" FBI Director James Comey to ease the pressure of the mounting investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia, according to a report from The New York Times.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Russian Americans have been among President Donald Trump's most loyal supporters. After a week of scandals, many say they're unfazed by the recent scandals roiling Washington.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In New Orleans, the last of four Confederate monuments is being taken down - today the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. People have gathered there all day. Music's been playing.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Happy to say that it is finally Friday. Can we say that again?

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It is finally Friday.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, America - White House in crisis...

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told members of Congress that he knew President Trump planned to fire FBI Director James Comey before he wrote a memo that the White House has cited to justify the termination.

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

A towering statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee no longer stands over the city of New Orleans.

What does Michael Flynn, President Trump's erstwhile national security adviser, think about Russia?

His statements and actions are so contradictory, they could induce whiplash.

Pages