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Asia
2:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

Tourist Deaths Raise Poison Expert's Suspicions

The Phi Phi Islands in Thailand are a tourists' paradise. In June, sisters Noemi and Audrey Belanger were found dead in their hotel room there.
Stephen Shaver AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 20, 2012 3:20 pm

Thailand's Phi Phi Islands are famous for the sun during the day and beach-side cocktail parties at night. This summer, two Canadian sisters set off for a rite-of-passage trip to the islands' white sands. They never came back.

Noemi, 25, and Audrey, 20, Belanger were found dead in their hotel room. Their deaths were among the latest in a series of mysterious deaths in Southeast Asia. Over the past few years, nearly a dozen young travelers, mostly Western women, have inexplicably died while traveling in the region.

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Music Interviews
2:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

Ben Gibbard: Living With Ghosts

Ben Gibbard's first album as a solo artist is called Former Lives.
Ryan Russell Courtesy of the artist

Death Cab for Cutie is known for bittersweet love songs, stirring melodies and frontman Ben Gibbard's unmistakable voice, soft and sincere. After 15 years in the band, Gibbard is releasing his first solo album, Former Lives.

"Over the years, I've accrued a number of songs that I've always been very fond of but didn't fit tonally, lyrically, musically in with the palette of songs that were in front of us for a Death Cab for Cutie record," Gibbard tells NPR's Guy Raz.

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From Our Listeners
2:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction: Check-In With The Judge

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

RAZ: For the past few weeks, we've been reading close to 4,000 stories about fictional and real presidents - stories that were submitted by you to our writing contest, Three-Minute Fiction, here on WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. That was the challenge by our judge this round, the thriller writer Brad Meltzer. Your story had to revolve around a U.S. president who could be fictional or real.

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The Salt
10:53 am
Sat October 20, 2012

This Candy Is From Heaven (But Don't Eat It)

Mark Mauthner Heritage Auctions

Originally published on Sat October 20, 2012 11:15 am

Pop quiz: What is this thing?

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Simon Says
7:11 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Beware Election-Year 'Scam PACS'

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 1:21 pm

What business would you tell a young person to go into these days? Plastics? Oooh, that can mean lots of regulations. Wind turbines? Solar panels? Who knows how long those may take to pay off? App development? How many Angry Birds does the world need?

Then what about superPACS? They're political-action committees that can spend unlimited amounts of money to laud, mock or bash any political candidate.

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Fresh Air Weekend
6:03 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Michael Feinstein, Roxy Music, Tyler Perry

Michael Feinstein (right) worked for six years as Ira Gershwin's cataloger and archivist.
Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Sat October 20, 2012 1:59 pm

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:

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Shots - Health News
4:03 am
Sat October 20, 2012

CDC: Meningitis Mold In Tainted Drug Can Incubate For Months

Federal agents investigate the offices of the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., on Tuesday. The company's steroid medication has been linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak.
Barry Chin AP

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:38 am

As the caseload of fungal meningitis linked to a tainted steroid drug climbs, experts are learning more about this human-made epidemic. The signs indicate that cases could still be emerging until Thanksgiving or beyond.

The latest count is 268 cases of meningitis and three patients with fungal joint infections, spread across 16 states from New Hampshire to Texas and Idaho to Florida. Twenty-one people have died.

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National Security
3:37 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Wondering About The Cost Of War? We Have Answers

Sgt. Ben Roberts (center), recently returned from Afghanistan, speaks with Chick-fil-A manager Michael Sims at a military job fair in Columbia, S.C., in January.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 1:21 pm

As we approach the presidential election in November, Weekend Edition is seeking your questions about issues and candidates in a segment called Reporter Hotline. This week, our focus is veterans affairs and defense spending.


Paying For War

Question from Sue Hoben of Canton, Conn.: "Why don't we increase taxes when we wage a war? For instance, Iraq and Afghanistan. Surely if national interest is at stake, then we should be willing to pay the price rather than add to the deficit."

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Religion
3:37 am
Sat October 20, 2012

'Mother Of Outcasts' To Be A Saint For Leprosy Work

Mother Marianne Cope (in wheelchair) with other nuns and the women and girls of Bishop Home in Kalaupapa, Hawaii, shortly before her death in 1918.
Sisters of St. Francis Archive

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 1:21 pm

A German-American nun will become a saint Sunday, nearly a century after her death. Mother Marianne Cope is the second person to be honored in this way for caring for people in Hawaii with leprosy, now known as Hansen's disease.

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Asia
3:37 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Amid Calls For Reform, China Waits For New Leaders

Guards stand outside the Xinhua Gate of the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in central Beijing earlier this year. China is preparing for a once-a-decade leadership change amid signs of growing public dissatisfaction.
David Gray Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 1:21 pm

The slogan "Long Live the Great Communist Party of China" is emblazoned on the wall outside the Beijing compound where the country's leaders live and work.

But now that party is under pressure to change as it prepares for a once-in-a-decade transition of power, which starts at a party congress scheduled to begin Nov. 8.

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