This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. After threats that they would not take place, hundreds of South Koreans are traveling to North Korea to meet with relatives six decades after their separation following the Korean War. The reunions went ahead despite tensions caused by the north's nuclear tests and the south's determination to conduct military exercises with the U.S. that begin on Monday.
So, we just heard a number of people believe Pope Francis is changing to change the tone at the Vatican. There are others who don't agree. George Weigel is a theologian at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He wrote a biography of Pope John Paul II called "Witness to Hope." And he believes that Pope Francis is remarkably similar to his predecessors, Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The dying and suffering in Syria gets worse every week, even as turmoil in other areas demands coverage, too. Last September 10th, President Obama seemed to make the case for U.S. involvement following Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians. This is not a world we should accept, said the president. It is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike.
There's an old baseball legend about the kid out of nowhere who boards a train for a tryout in Chicago with nothing but his toothbrush and a bat he calls Wonderboy. The kid strikes out the Whammer, the best hitter in the game, but gets to his hotel and opens his door to a pretty girl. Wham, bam, she shoots him in the stomach and he doesn't make a comeback for 15 years.
Wichita State's basketball team is the last undefeated men's team in America - 28 wins. That got them on one of the regional covers of Sports Illustrated, and that adds a little pressure. If the Shockers win tonight, they'll clinch the Missouri Valley Conference title. From member station KMUW in Wichita, Carla Eckels reports on the team's winning season.
When I first walked through the door of Fred Ho's apartment in the Greenpoint area of Brooklyn, I asked, "How are you?" And he said, "Not good. I'm dying."
Ho has always been matter-of-fact and in-your-face. He painted himself green and posed naked for the cover his album, Celestial Green Monster. In the photo, he has a baritone saxophone placed strategically between his legs. He looks strong — like the Hulk.
Millions of birds migrate through California this time of year, but the waterways and wetlands they rely on for food and rest are largely dry due to the ongoing drought. So farmers are keeping their fields flooded to make temporary wetlands, providing a place for migrating birds to rest and eat.
Rice farmer Douglas Thomas is one of these farmers. On a recent morning some 3,000 snow geese float in his rice fields in California's Central Valley. He's watching a young bald eagle awkwardly dive at the flock.