Weekend Edition Sunday | KUNC

Weekend Edition Sunday

  • Hosted by Rachel Martin
  • Local Host Karlie Huckels

On Sundays, Weekend Edition combines the news with colorful arts and human-interest features, appealing to the curious and eclectic. With a nod to traditional Sunday habits, the program offers a fix for diehard crossword addicts-word games and brainteasers with The Puzzlemaster, a.k.a. Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times. With Hansen on the sidelines, a caller plays the latest word game on the air while listeners compete silently at home. The NPR mailbag is proof that the competition to go head-to-head with Shortz is rather vigorous.

Another trademark of Sunday's program is "Voices in the News," a montage of sound bites from the past week, poignant in its simplicity. Hansen also engages listeners in her discussions with regular contributors, who cover a wide range of national and international issues.

Zeshan Bagewadi is in many ways, a classic soul singer. As Zeshan B, he channels the music of Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding. His signature, though, is combining that classic soul sound with lyrics that pay tribute to his South Asian roots. On his latest album, Melismatic, his first collection of entirely original compositions, he sings in both English and Urdu.

The doors of Greater New Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit have been closed for weeks.

The 95-year-old church's pews are empty. Ministry continues, with no in person presence. What Pastor Kenneth Flowers says he misses most are "holy hugs."

"When church is dismissed, I say, 'Give someone a holy hug and everyone turns and we always hug each other,' " Flowers said. "I thrive off of the physical contact of being able to hug my members, to hug my families, to hug my friends, to hug visitors. I miss that so very much."

When Raisha Doumbia, a 20-year-old swimming instructor in Roswell, Ga., first downloaded the video-sharing app TikTok, she made lighthearted posts, like her lip-syncing and dancing to a song by the British girl group Little Mix.

But Doumbia paused the playful routines after George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis. Now she is using her TikTok feed to urge followers to march for racial justice.

"I was just so disgusted that I felt like I needed to say something, so I started to speak out, even though I had like 13 followers," she said.

Hundreds of protesters streamed between New York City's skyscrapers, chanting and blocking traffic on Wednesday. A helicopter hovered overhead, while huge numbers of police in riot gear kept pace.

Billy Dume, who lives nearby in the East Village, told NPR he normally wouldn't be at this kind of demonstration.

Rep. Joyce Beatty, the Ohio Democrat who was pepper-sprayed at a demonstration in Columbus on Saturday, says property destruction accompanying protests over the death of George Floyd is a "distraction to the message."

Speaking to NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday, Beatty said she understands the sentiment that attempting to have a "healthy dialogue" about race hasn't worked, but that "violence doesn't work — violence either way."

Alt.Latino host Felix Contreras joins Weekend Edition host Lulu Garcia-Navarro for their monthly new music chat. The tracks featured this week come from several corners of the Latin music world and all center on themes of inspiration and emotional release, which Felix says is exactly what we need during these difficult times. Listen to the conversation in the audio player above and check out all of the tracks below.

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words. Anagram each one to make a new word. And as a help, the first three letters of my word will be the first three letters of your answer.

Ex. Sublet --> Subtle
1. Platen
2. Thereat
3. Declaim
4. Parleys
5. Magnate
6. Trained (hyph.)
7. Martial
8. Chorale
9. Senescent
10. Pedantries

Imagining your place in the universe can make you feel pretty small and insignificant, and in the midst of a global pandemic? Well, even more so.

"I think this moment that we are living through reminds us how fragile our species is, living on this small rock in the vastness of the cosmos," says astrophysicist Ray Jayawardhana. But he doesn't think that the universe should necessarily make you feel alone. It's inspiring, he says, to remember the "intimate and enduring connections that we have with the rest of the cosmos."

In Navajo culture to speak of death is taboo. But since the tribe's coronavirus infection rate has become the highest in the country, they can't help but talk about it.

"It's killing every day," says medicine man Ty Davis, who knows at least five traditional practitioners who have died from COVID-19.

On her latest EP, Noah Cyrus wants you to know that you're not alone in feeling alone. Blending the spirit of classic country music with the sensibilities of today's pop, it's called The End of Everything — which feels like a good title for this moment.

Noah comes from quite the musical family, but now, with songs like "July" and "I Got So High That I Saw Jesus," she's finding her own voice.

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