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Saudi Journalist Reportedly Murdered

Oct 6, 2018

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Updated at 11:31 p.m. ET

A sharply divided Senate — reflecting a deeply divided nation — voted almost entirely along party lines Saturday afternoon to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A little more than two hours later, Kavauangh was sworn in during a private ceremony as protesters stood on the court's steps.

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:

Jarrett J. Krosoczka is a kids' book writer and he loves to make his readers laugh, in silly picture books like Naptastrophe and Punk Farm and his action-packed Lunch Lady graphic novel series featuring a crime-fighting, apron-wearing lunch lady who's always ready to do battle to protect her students.

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When we report on the world's thirst for energy, we often miss something: chemicals made from oil and gas. A new report today finds petrochemical demand in the world is surging for things like synthetic rubber, packaging, fertilizer and detergents. In the long run, chemicals may be a bigger driver of world oil demand than even driving.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

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What it's like to hold multiple jobs

Oct 5, 2018

One of the statistics included in the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statics (Friday’s report showed the lowest unemployment rate since December 1969) concerns the percentage of the workforce that holds down more than one job.

In September, that figure was 4.9 percent. And that number has stayed fairly steady over the last decade or so, even as the actual unemployment rate has been falling. 

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How do you sleep at night?

Oct 5, 2018

Unemployment is at a 40-year low and wages are starting to tick up, but the number of people working multiple jobs hasn’t changed in more than a decade. Why? Then: Mattress Firm has filed for bankruptcy, citing poor sales. The sleep business has changed a lot in recent years, in part because starting your own online bed-in-a-box company is really, really easy. Plus, as always, we'll review the economic news of the seven days gone by on the Weekly Wrap.

Here's an explanation about why there's a backlog of immigration cases

Oct 5, 2018

The recent wave of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border tests any already overwhelmed US judicial system.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order back in April 2017 called “Buy American and Hire American.” It instructed the agencies of the federal government to "rigorously enforce and administer the laws governing entry into the United States of workers from abroad."  

Over the past year and a half, that's resulted in a bunch of changes — some small, some big — to immigration policy.  

Those changes are showing up.

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There’s a push by Washington to send one clear message to Central American families wanting to migrate here: Don’t come.

Or, at least, don’t believe what all the smugglers promise.

“You will not get papers to allow you to stay, and you are putting yourself and your children in grave danger,” Gil Kerlikowske, head of US Customs and Border Protection, said during a press conference earlier this month.

DOT loosens rules for driverless trucks

Oct 5, 2018

The Department of Transportation said in its new autonomous vehicle guidelines Thursday that a human driver doesn’t necessarily have to be in the driver's seat of a commercial motor vehicle. That means an artificial intelligence system could potentially drive a truck. What could this mean for the trucking industry?

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(Markets Edition) The Labor Department’s household survey from Friday morning shows rising payroll tallies in September, along with July and August’s totals revised upward. Also, the unemployment rate improved even further. Also, the Department of Transportation has released new guidelines for self-driving vehicles. One key adjustment: A human is no longer required to be in the driver’s seat for autonomous commercial vehicles.

The last time the U.S. unemployment rate was roughly as low as the 3.7 percent it is now — December 1969 — the economy was overheating, inflation was spiking and a short recession soon followed.

Could that happen again?

Probably not anytime soon, most economists say. Yet there are some surprising similarities between today's economy and the late 1960s, when the unemployment rate remained mostly below 4 percent for four straight years.

The Western New York Land Conservancy is celebrating the start of a new conservation project in Grand Island at the Margery Gallogly Nature Sanctuary.

Its 145 acres of forested wetland on Whitehaven Road. The land conservancy plans to create a system of trails throughout the property. Work on the trail system is set to start next year.

Nancy Smith is the executive director of the Land Conservancy. She says this project has benefits that stretches throughout the region.

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