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Weekend Edition Sunday premiered on January 18, 1987, and was the last of NPR's major newsmagazines to hit the air. Since then, Weekend Edition Sunday has covered newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicans, musicians, writers, thinkers, theologians and all manner of news events. Originally hosted by Susan Stamberg, the show has been anchored by Liane Hansen since 1989. Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr and Puzzlemaster Will Shortz have been with the program from the beginning, and a wide variety of commentators and essayists help round out the weekly offerings: humorist Andy Borowitz slings satirical arrows at big-shots, celebrities, and politicans of all stripes; Diane Roberts takes a sometimes hilarious, sometimes poignant view of life in the South; and transplanted Brit Tim Brookes offers his impressions of life on these shores. For more information, please go to: http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=10 

Looking to escape the staggering costs of a university education in the United States? You are not alone. And German education officials say a growing number of Americans are heading to the land of beer and bratwurst to get one.

At last count, there were 4,300 Americans studying at German universities, with more than half pursuing degrees, says Ulrich Grothus, deputy secretary general of the German Academic Exchange Service.

Two years ago, a wildfire was raging in the foothills of North Arizona. The Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team of elite firefighters from Prescott, Ariz., were on the ground, battling the blaze.

Then the weather and the winds shifted, and the two-day-old Yarnell Hill Fire changed course. The commander had a huge decision to make: stay on safe ground, or try to cut off the blaze?

He made the call — and before the day was over, 19 hotshot firefighters were dead. It was one of the deadliest incidents for wildland firefighters in U.S. history.

StoryCorps' OutLoud initiative records stories from the LGBTQ community.

As of this Friday, same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states — thanks to a historic Supreme Court decision.

In the 1970s, this week's ruling on marriage equality was unimaginable. But many gay couples, knowing marriage was impossible, still wanted legal protection for their unions.

Iconic civil rights activist Bayard Rustin and his partner, Walter Naegle, were one such couple. The two men fell in love and were together for many years.

Two 21st-century guys, a replica 19th-century wagon, some mules and a resolution: to re-live the Oregon Trail today.

Rivers, mountains, cliffs, runaway mules, cars and trucks, bad weather ... What could possibly go wrong?

Journalist Rinker Buck wanted to find out. He and his brother Nick hitched a covered wagon to mules and set off to retrace what's left of the westward path traveled by thousands of 19th-century pioneers.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This morning, the doors at the historic black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.arolina opened once again after nine people were killed there earlier this week. The congregation was trying to move on.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHURCH SERVICE)

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This morning, the doors at the historic black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., are open once again and a service is underway.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHURCH SERVICE)

MARTIN: Elder John Gillison had this to say.

Recycling sewage water has helped free Israel, a desert country, from depending on rain.

Treated sewage water provides close to a quarter of Israel's demand for water, right behind desalination, the other major process that has eased Israel's fear of drought.

But making that water — from toilets, showers, and factories — clean enough to use is challenging.

Click the audio link above to hear more messages from Meleia, as well as interviews with her stepfather, a teacher and a classmate.


There I am in Sears on Long Island with my baby daughter Meleia and her mom. We're buying baby things, and I keep thinking to myself, "I don't believe this. I just don't believe this."

We have heard about how ISIS is recruiting foreign fighters to join its ranks. But it's happening on the other side as well.

Just last week, a Massachusetts man who died fighting against ISIS in Syria was laid to rest.

Last year, a British man who calls himself Macer Gifford left his job as a financial trader in London and went to join the Kurds and fight the self-declared Islamic State in Syria.

Gifford spoke on the condition that NPR not reveal his real name, because he fears for the safety of his family in the UK.

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