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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:

Maggie Gyllenhaal Takes On The Power Imbalance Of Sex Work In 'The Deuce': When the creators of HBO's The Deuce approached Gyllenhaal about starring as a sex worker on the show, she accepted the role — but only if she could produce as well as act.

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Pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of money to develop new blockbuster drugs — for research, and then getting the meds through clinical trials. And of course, they try to maximize profits once those drugs are on the market with programs to encourage doctors to prescribe them, and patients to stay on them. There are pretty strict laws barring the companies from outright paying off doctors by giving them lavish trips or valuable swag to get them to write more prescriptions.

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One leather goods maker on tariffs: "It's not a war, it's just business"

20 hours ago

Tariffs on nearly 5,000 Chinese imports will go into effect on Monday. Called Section 301 tariffs, they target $200 billion worth of finished products, including clothing, accessories, yarn, electronics and more. Hundreds of people from businesses and trade groups have testified before the United States Trade Representative's office. While most voiced their concerns about imposing these tariffs on Chinese imports, Michael Korchmar testified in favor of the Trump administration's decision. He runs the Leather Specialty Co. in Naples, Florida, which makes leather briefcases and bags.

Despite being one of the first and oldest forms of popular music, opera sometimes struggles to connect with 21st century audiences. However, Anthony Roth Costanzo is breaking down the genre's stodgy stereotype and making opera more accessible — taking his distinctive sound to the masses, from a sixth-grade classroom in the Bronx to NPR's own Tiny Desk.

Yes, The Browns Actually Won

20 hours ago

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Frustration, futility, overwhelming sadness - these are all familiar feelings to fans of the Cleveland Browns, but not today. The Browns won last night for the first time in nearly two years. From member station WCPN, Glenn Forbes reports.

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The electric scooter company Bird turned one this week and the company got a nice present from the state of California. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law saying adults don’t have to wear helmets when they ride. It’s a big win for all e-scooter companies, but not so great for others.

“For some people, they’re blight,” said Scott Cummings, a law professor at UCLA. “They’re strewn around, they’re everywhere. They’re in walkways.”

Cummings said it’s easy to see why some cities have banned them while others have been more welcoming.

How ticket prices affect scalping

21 hours ago

Ticketmaster has allegedly been working with scalpers to increase its profits, according to an investigation by CBC News and the Toronto Star.

The outlets sent undercover journalists to an industry convention in Las Vegas, where they learned about Ticketmaster's TradeDesk system. It allows scalpers to buy tickets from Ticketmaster's site in bulk and then list them again for resale, with profits from both sales going to Ticketmaster.

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And NPR's Scott Detrow joins me now to walk through where things stand with the Kavanaugh nomination and the latest on whether or not Ford will testify at a Senate hearing next week. Hey, Scott.

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: Hey there.

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Tracking two big political stories today - the first, the one that has dominated the news all week.

(SOUNDBITE OF MEDIA MONTAGE)

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The 5G cold war

22 hours ago

Which country will be the first to implement the next generation of wireless technology? The race to 5G is on between the United States and China. The questions is, who foots the bill? Also on today's show: Love 'em or hate 'em, electric scooters are gaining ground. California Gov. Jerry Brown says adult electric scooter riders won’t have to wear helmets starting Jan. 1. The new law is a big victory for companies like Lime and Bird, which have had tense relationships with city governments on issues like crowding and pedestrian accidents.

The Russian-Turkish agreement to designate a demilitarized zone may have averted an imminent attack on Idlib, but many of the Syrians who live there are still waiting for a more permanent solution to their displacement.

Trump wants OPEC to keep oil prices down

23 hours ago

The countries that make up OPEC as well as Russia and other oil-producing allies will meet this weekend in Algeria. On the agenda: Upping supply. On Thursday, President Donald Trump tweeted, "We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!"

The title of The Sisters Brothers is both tongue-in-cheek and matter-of-fact. It's about two brothers with the last name Sisters: Eli Sisters and Charlie Sisters.

The whole movie is like that, a series of deadpan jokes wrapped in a shambling no-big-deal realism. The humor never feels arch or tacked-on; it wells up naturally from the characters and the funny, stirring, brutal story in which they find themselves.

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(Markets Edition) Under the cloud of a trade war and trouble in emerging markets, many people are cutting down the risk in their portfolios by buying more stocks. Stocks are actually seen as riskier, not safer, yet EPFR Global notes that $15B more went into the U.S. stock market last week alone. Then, we talk more with Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, the two Democratic lawmakers who pushed the epic financial reform law through Congress during the financial crisis. But what if the next financial crisis is triggered by something different?

Updated on Sept. 21 at 2:33 p.m. ET

If you feel like your commute is taking longer, that's because it is.

New survey data show the average American's commute inched up to 26.9 minutes from 26.6 minutes the previous year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2017 American Community Survey.

Updated at 12:10 p.m. Friday

Newly unsealed court documents have explained the mysterious closure of a New Mexico observatory earlier this month, revealing that authorities were investigating one of the facility's janitors for possession and distribution of child pornography.

The Sunspot Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak was shut for 11 days for "a security issue," and its closure drew cheeky speculation that authorities were investigating the presence of UFOs.

Airline travelers should prepare to dig deeper or pack lighter, as many of the biggest U.S. airlines have now raised the price for checking luggage.

American Airlines, the largest air carrier by passenger volume, is the latest to do so, announcing Thursday that it will raise fees from $25 to $30 for the first checked bag and from $35 to $40 for the second checked bag each way on flights to and from destinations within the U.S., North America and the Caribbean. The airline will begin charging the higher fees Friday, Sept. 21.

Children registering for school in Florida this year were asked to reveal some history about their mental health.

The new requirement is part of a law rushed through the state legislature after the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Today we have some incredible, never-before-seen footage of John Lennon recording his seemingly cutthroat song, "How Do You Sleep?" It's a song he released in 1971 and directed at his former Beatle bandmate Paul McCartney. Here's just a sample of the lyrics:

Dodd-Frank: After the crisis, what's next?

Sep 21, 2018

(U.S. Edition) OPEC countries along with Russia and other oil producers are going to be meeting in Algeria this weekend, and one of the items on the agenda is increasing supply. Then, we discuss more with Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, the two Democratic lawmakers who pushed the epic financial reform law through Congress during the Great Recession. We talked about what worries they have when it comes to the next frontiers in regulation, among other things.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service …  China has warned the U.S. there will be "consequences" if the U.S. does not withdraw the latest sanctions it has imposed on China's military – over defense and military deals it struck with Russia. In a blow to Indonesia's huge palm oil industry, the Economy Ministry has extended a ban on new factories, continuing to blame the sector for environmental damage. Dockless bike sharing schemes seem to work in China, so we find out why not so much in Europe or the U.S.

What else can Big Data do? Pick stocks.

Sep 21, 2018

This week, we've been covering how technology has changed investing and will continue to do so. And it's perhaps no surprise that the conversation leads us to artificial intelligence. A Wall Street industry poll earlier this year said a majority of hedge funds are now using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help them make trades. These huge quant funds are even fighting Google and Facebook for engineers to crunch tons of data and build algorithms to predict the next great stock buy. This has all made markets faster, more efficient and more accessible to online investors.

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