Weekend Edition Saturday for October 6, 2012
Oct 6, 2012 — Amid steady rain at a campaign rally in Cleveland Friday, President Obama had some sunny economic news to share. The unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since he took office. NPR's Scott Horsley reports from the campaign trail.
Oct 6, 2012 — Mitt Romney had just more than a day to relish his presidential debate win before the September unemployment figures forced him to recalibrate. High unemployment has been Romney's main argument for why voters should fire President Obama. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports that Friday Romney argued the new numbers don't tell the whole story.
Oct 6, 2012 — Voting can be a chore, but getting more people to vote by allowing early voting may not be doing the candidates or the electorate any favors.
Oct 6, 2012 — When Bashar Assad inherited the presidency of Syria in 2000, some in the West saw him as a potential reformer. Professor David Lesch of Trinity University met Assad several times. Host Scott Simon speaks with Lesch about his new book, Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad, a clear contrast to his earlier book, which touted Assad as "the new lion of Damascus."
Oct 6, 2012 — President Hugo Chavez has never faced a serious threat in a presidential election until now. A young former governor has been electrifying crowds and putting Chavez's 14 years of power — and his socialist experiment — at risk.
Oct 6, 2012 — During the financial crisis, gold prices hit record highs as people looked for somewhere safe to park their money. In West Africa, that's had a devastating, deadly effect on children.
Oct 6, 2012 — Nearly two-dozen states are watching for new cases of a rare kind of meningitis, caused by fungal contamination in injections for back pain. The outbreak apparently started when a Massachusetts compounding company sent out 17,000 doses of infected injections for back pain. Daniel Potter of member station WPLN reports five people have died and dozens of others are sick.
Oct 6, 2012 — Mark Helprin's sweeping midcentury novel, In Sunlight and In Shadow, describes a postwar New York in limbo. Helprin borrowed from his own experiences to write this tale of love and familial obligations. "It's all based on what I know and what I knew," he says.
Oct 6, 2012 — This past week, baseball player Adam Greenberg signed a one-day contract with the Miami Marlins. In 2005, during his first major league game, Greenberg was hit in the back of a head by a baseball and spent the rest of the season on the disabled list. Host Scott Simon has this reflection.
Oct 6, 2012 — The government's monthly jobs report showed a surprising drop in the unemployment rate, down to 7.8 percent. The rate fell even though the number of jobs added to the business payrolls didn't increase much. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports on analyst's reaction to the news.