National & World News from NPR

When it comes to microbes in sexual organs, the vagina and its fluids seem to garner most of the attention. Heck, there is even a consortium dedicated specifically to studying which critters live and thrive in its confines.

Really, who can blame scientists? The vagina's microbiome — or all the bacteria and viruses that inhabit it — can influence all sorts of health aspects, including the risk of miscarriage and HIV infection.

But now, the gentlemen are getting some attention on this front. And it's not bacteria we're talking about.

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:

This year, the 40th anniversary of the opening of Studio 54, a onetime Manhattan nightspot where very good-looking people danced to very good music while snorting very good drugs, has seen the publication of two memoirs by past owners.

Simulating The Bodily Pain Of Future Climate Change

Sep 23, 2017

Lisa Feldman Barrett is a professor of psychology at Northeastern University and the author of How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain. You can keep up with Lisa on Twitter: @LFeldmanBarrett.


Close your eyes and imagine a beautiful spring day in the forest. In your mind's eye, try to see tall, green trees and smell the aroma of blooming flowers. Can you hear the gentle breeze rustling the leaves above you?

Meet Your Friends Who Get Medicaid

Sep 23, 2017

When high levels of lead were discovered in the public water system in Flint, Mich., in 2015, Medicaid stepped in to help thousands of children get tested for poisoning and receive care.

When disabled children need to get to doctor's appointments — either across town or hundreds of miles away — Medicaid pays for their transportation.

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And what is sports these days? The president of the United States is speaking of sports from the bully - and I guess I do mean bully - pulpit and tragic football news this week. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us.

Bill Gates Regrets Ctrl-Alt-Delete

Sep 23, 2017

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Trump Rallies In Alabama For Luther Strange

Sep 23, 2017

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Democratic Sen. Carper On Health Care

Sep 23, 2017

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Stinson Dean, an entrepreneur from Independence, Mo., is used to taking risks. He buys Canadian softwood framing lumber to sell to lumberyards in the U.S. and says coping with the ups and downs of the market is an inevitable part of doing business.

But when he started the company about a year and a half ago, he laid down a firm rule.

"One of the things I wasn't willing to risk was the health of my family," Dean says.

The New York City Ballet's costume shop is located on the eighth floor of a building in Lincoln Center. There are spectacular views of the Hudson River, but no one's looking out the windows. They're all working with a quiet intensity.

"It's a shop full of 18 people," says Marc Happel, the City Ballet's director of costumes. "Amazing craftspeople, machine operators, hand stitching, we have three drapers. I mean the level of costume-making here is probably the highest you could get."

Airline Safety And Smaller Seats

Sep 23, 2017

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Gary, Ind., Woos Amazon

Sep 23, 2017

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A Suicide Reverberates In 'The Ninth Hour'

Sep 23, 2017

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Berlin's Tegel is a relic of the Cold War period when each sector of the divided city had its own airport. After German reunification, it was decided that Berlin needed a new international airport on its outskirts, called Berlin Brandenburg, or BER.

Kristy and Dana Dumont were ready to give a child in need a permanent home. They moved into a Dimondale, Mich., house with two spare bedrooms and a spacious, fenced-in yard, in a school district with strong extracurriculars and a diverse community.

The couple of 11 years began seriously considering adoption after Dana started receiving emails from Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services looking for foster and adoptive families.

Many of Lee Daniels' projects — the movie Precious, the TV shows Empire and Star — tend to be about people who start with everything against them and rise up to do amazing things. (While occasionally killing people along the way, which happens.)

In Empire, Daniels created one of the great TV characters of our time — the ambitious record company matriarch Cookie Lyon — so we'll be quizzing him on actual cookies.

Click the audio link above to see how he does.

For the past six weeks, voters in Germany have been inundated by campaign posters ahead of Sunday's national election.

Passers-by walking down the street in just about every German city, town or village get a detailed look at who is running in their district and a condensed version of their campaign messages.

Green Party posters warn Germans to "either end coal or end climate." Another message: "Healthy food doesn't come from nature that's sick."

The anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany placards are even blunter.

President Trump's poll slide appears to have stabilized.

Trump, who came into office with the lowest recorded approval and favorability ratings of any president, saw a steady decline in the months that followed his inauguration.

Hispanic Heritage Month is a nationally recognized, not-quite-a-month. (It's the back half of September and the front half of October).

Welcome to the latest installment of our education news roundup. This week: student loans, HBCUs, federal education policy and more:

The Department of Education scolds an online university

Western Governors University was ineligible for federal student aid and may have to return more than $700 million, according to an audit by the U.S. Education Department's oversight branch.

China is imposing new limits on trade with North Korea after the isolated country's latest nuclear test.

China's Ministry of Commerce said Saturday it would limit refined petroleum exports starting Oct. 1 and ban the import of North Korean textiles immediately. It would ban exports of liquefied natural gas to the North immediately as well.

China accounts of about 90 percent North Korea's trade, according to The Associated Press. The BBC estimates the textile ban will cost the North more than $700 million per year.

President Trump traveled to Alabama Friday night to stump for his chosen candidate, Sen. Luther Strange, ahead of Tuesday's bitter GOP Senate primary.

But even he acknowledged his alliance with the appointed senator was somewhat strange given the fact that so many of his allies — such as former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, former national security aide Sebastian Gorka and former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin — are all backing Strange's opponent, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.

Well before this year's series of historically powerful hurricanes, Puerto Rico already had a notoriously fickle power supply and crushing debt — the power authority effectively declared bankruptcy in July. Power outages were routine, even in cities.

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Let's meet the two Republicans who are running for U.S. Senate in Alabama. Their runoff election is Tuesday. It's a race that's drawn outsized money and attention. And President Trump has endorsed Luther Strange, who was appointed to the seat earlier this year.

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The words between the U.S. and North Korea this week have been blunt, provocative and personal.

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