This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon, and the polls are open in South Carolina; first southern state to hold a primary in the race for the Republican presidential nomination of 2012, the stakes are critical. The state has picked the eventual nominee in every year since 1980, and it's sure been a turbulent week with Rick Perry dropping out, Iowa declaring Rick Santorum the winner of its caucuses and Newt Gingrich closing in on Mitt Romney.
Debris from the tsunami that hit Japan last March is just now starting to show up on the far northwestern shores of the U.S. Some fishermen are worried the floats and other rubble may tangle their nets and affect their livelihood. Ashley Ahearn of the public media collaboration EarthFix headed out to Washington State's Olympic Peninsula to see what's coming ashore.
Police have closed down dozens of toy shops for selling Barbie dolls in Iran, part of a decades-long crackdown against "manifestations of Western culture." Host Scott Simon looks at what's being called a "cultural Trojan horse."
Conference championship Sunday is almost as big as the Super Bowl, but without all those distracting halftime wardrobe malfunctions. Host Scott Simon is joined by NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman to discuss the upcoming games.
Clemson University political scientist Dave Woodard has spent the past week polling South Carolina voters ahead of Saturday's primary. Host Scott Simon talks to the former Republican political consultant about South Carolina politics and the results of his Palmetto Poll.
Under current law, candidates' campaigns are not allowed to coordinate with superPACs, although they clearly benefit from their messages. As result, candidates have performed feats of verbal gymnastics in order to talk about them. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's Peter Overby about the role of superPACs in the presidential race.
Nigeria is again gripped by deadly religious violence. Friday night, a coordinated series of bomb and gun attacks ripped through the largest city in the nation's Muslim north. The attacks were claimed by a militant sect that seeks to impose Islamic law in Nigeria. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton.
The farm-to-table philosophy has been mostly about knowing where food was grown. For meat, that meant knowing if your chickens were caged and if your beef was grass fed.
But with the revival of the butcher shop, some young people are undertaking the largely lost art of butchering as a stronger way to connect with their food.
For 24-year-old Andrew Plotsky of Washington, D.C., that meant leaving his job as a barista in a snobby coffee shop to learn the process of raising an animal, slaughtering it and butchering it for a meal.
In the late 19th century, scores of celebrated, valorous explorers attempted to reach the North Pole. Groups of explorers from the U.S., Europe and Scandinavia invented clever new equipment, raised money, stirred national pride and enthralled the world by attempting to march, sail or sled to the most cold, remote and unseen place on Earth.
But it was a perilous business: Of the 1,000 people who tried to reach the North Pole in the late 1800s, 751 died during their attempt, author Alec Wilkinson tells NPR's Scott Simon.