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From civil wars in Bosnia and El Salvador, to hospital rooms, police stations, and America's backyards, NPR's Peabody Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon brings a well-traveled perspective as he hosts Weekend Edition Saturday.

January is supposed to be a slow month for sea crossings. With rough waters whipped up by high winds, rubber rafts capsize, wooden boats sink — and it's cold. You could freeze in the water.

But on Wednesday morning last week, Vassilis Hantzopoulos has already seen 15 boats filled with asylum seekers on a tiny strip of sea separating Turkey from Greece and the rest of the European Union.

Hantzopoulos, a gravelly-voiced volunteer first-responder with the underfunded Hellenic Red Cross, stands on a cliff and scans the sea with binoculars.

It's easy to get cynical about the presidential campaign, especially so close to the first round of voting, when many candidates are on the attack.

But see it up close and personal, and the process can feel a bit more charming. That's what a class from Indiana's Manchester University found as it traveled across Iowa last week, taking in the caucuses.

This Week In Sports

Jan 23, 2016
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When Your Team Moves, What's A Fan To Do?

Jan 16, 2016
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Peek Into The Future: C.E.S. 2016 Wrap-Up

Jan 9, 2016
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This Week In Sports

Jan 9, 2016
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The NFL playoffs kick off - get it? - with the wildcard round this afternoon. The Kansas City Chiefs play the Texans in Houston. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us.

Tom, thanks for being with us.

[Update: Since this story aired, listeners have come forward with new information on the identity of "Prince" Nazaroff — including some members of the musician's family. Hear Jon Kalish's follow-up piece.]

Vermont musician Jamie Masefield has been improvising on the jazz mandolin for decades. He's recorded six albums, including one with Blue Note Records, and brings everything from folk and funk to the literature of Leo Tolstoy to the stage. But some years back, his eclectic creativity brought him to an unexpected second career.

When I meet Masefield at work, he's chipping away at some pinkish stone with a small hammer. "In the industry we call it 'rainbow stone,'" he offers. "It's very nice to work with."

Rabbi Reuven Birmajer finished teaching his Talmud class at a religious seminary in Jerusalem last week, and then told his students he had to rush home. Deliverymen were bringing a new bed.

"He was afraid a Palestinian guy was going to deliver the bed, and his wife was going to be all alone," explains student Chaim Zbar.

But it was the rabbi who was killed in a Palestinian stabbing on his way home. Now Zbar avoids going out in the streets.

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Sometimes, a good idea and fate collide to create an interesting opportunity. That's what happened with "All American Boys," a young adult novel whose co-authors chose a contentious subject, racial profiling.

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No better way to begin a new year than to say - time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

In the face of growing protests, police departments across the country are pledging to try to reduce the use of deadly force.

This week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said his police department will double its supply of Tasers and will train officers to use them.

The Fayetteville, N.C., police department will spend the next year and a half trying to implement 76 recommendations issued in December by the Department of Justice. Those recommendations range from better record keeping and better information-sharing to trying to reduce the racial disparity in traffic stops.

Now that we've all had a wonderful time over the holidays, we can begin thinking about the election. Let me begin by saying that there are few things more exciting to me than an election year. Back in the day, I'd be headed for Iowa or maybe New Hampshire about now. Because coming right up are the first real judgments by real people. Over several months, we get to hear what ought to happen from our fellow Americans in states in all parts of the country — in places very different from Iowa and New Hampshire.

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3 Big Moments From Space In 2015

Dec 26, 2015

It's been an exciting year for developments in space. NPR Science Correspondent Geoff Brumfiel shares three highlights with host Linda Wertheimer.

2015 In Music: Playlist Refreshers

Dec 26, 2015
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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

A bountiful year in music is coming to a close, so we have invited NPR's musical mastermind Stephen Thompson into the studio to point us toward some favorites. Welcome, Stephen.

STEPHEN THOMPSON: Hi, it's nice to be here, Linda.

Sometimes an aging movie star must sit and watch as a charismatic newcomer steals the spotlight — even inanimate ones. R2-D2, the adorable little robot — or droid — first appeared in Star Wars in 1977. And over the years he's faced cute competition from Yoda, and the Ewoks. But the latest Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, brings us what might be an even cuter new droid: BB-8.

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Why does Vladimir Putin walk with that signature strut? The study in the current British Medical Journal says Russia's leader walks with what they diagnose as gunslinger's gait, like the marshal in "High Noon."

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What Were 2015's Biggest Sports Stories?

Dec 19, 2015
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And now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Frank Sinatra was born a hundred years ago today. Even if you think his music just isn't your music, it's hard to get through life without uttering what I'll call a "Frank Phrase" from one of his songs at telling times in our lives.

"So set 'em up, Joe ... Fly me to the moon ... I've got you under my skin ... My kind of town ... I did it my way ... I want to wake up in a city that doesn't sleep ..." And that wry elegy for lost loves and lonely nights: "So make it one for my baby, and one more for the road."

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