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The program wraps up the week's news and offers a mix of analysis and features on a wide range of topics, including arts, sports, entertainment, and human interest stories.

 

William Butler Yeats wrote "The Second Coming" a hundred years ago, when the world seemed on the verge. Perhaps like now, perhaps like many years.

The losses of the First World War were still overwhelming when millions more began to die in the waves of a flu pandemic, which infected Yeats's wife, Georgie Hyde-Lees, while she was pregnant. She and their child would survive.

Yeats's poem was published in November 1920. And over the century since, perhaps no poem has been more invoked for vexing times, to convey, in Yeats's own incomparable words, that:

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Here's a twist on a holiday rom-com. Abby is touched when Harper, the person she loves, invites her to join their family at home for the holidays. They're on their way when Harper has something to divulge.

To open a book by Jan Morris is like popping the cork on a bottle of champagne: pop, fizz, then bubbles of delight.

She climbed with Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on Mt. Everest, covered wars across deserts, and wrote dozens of books, including the Pax Britannica trilogy — her at once lyrical and irreverent history of the British Empire — fine novels, and scores of essays about the world's great cities. Listen to, or savor, her description of Hong Kong, just before the handover from British to Chinese control:

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This year's Thanksgiving holiday promises to be melancholy, separated from many loved ones because of the pandemic. Of course, we can't be in more than one place at a time, but a song can. Sharing music can help bring us together, help soothe, help uplift.

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And now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Trump supporters, including families with children, as well as fringe groups, such as white nationalists, are gathering in DC for the "Million MAGA March."

Evidence of election rigging has roiled New Zealand's "Bird of the Year" competition after a case of ballot-box stuffing has threatened to derail avian democracy.

Suspicion began when organizers received more than 1,500 votes sent from the same email address early Monday — each vote was in favor of the little spotted kiwi (kiwi pukupuku), according to a statement from Forest & Bird, a conservation organization that runs the election.

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The title track from "I Can Still Hear You" begins with a clear, pure solo.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I CAN STILL HERE YOU")

StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the U.S. military and their families.

As an Army chaplain, Maj. Ivan Arreguin has seen many overseas deployments during his military career. But earlier this year, his medical unit, along with others, were deployed to New York City during the height of the area's coronavirus pandemic.

We don't know when this will all be over. Those may be the hardest words to hear.

We spend most of our lives planning around calendars and clocks, schedules, seasons, schooldays, holidays, ETAs, projections and informed predictions.

I try not to compare any other tests in life to war. But because I've covered wars and conflicts, I think I recognize what many people in places like Sarajevo, Asmara, or Afghanistan always told me: it is not just the danger, but the uncertainty of not knowing when a crisis, the hardship, loss, and peril, will be over.

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And now sports.

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Does it still pay to "follow the money" in politics? Some of the campaigns that raised the most money in the 2020 elections still lost.

Jaime Harrison's campaign for the Senate in South Carolina raised more than $107 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign money — $40 million more than his incumbent Republican opponent, Lindsey Graham.

Mr. Harrison lost.

Sean Connery, the first actor to portray James Bond and later one of the biggest and wealthiest stars in the history of film, has died at age 90.

Eon Productions, the film studio behind the James Bond films, confirmed the death in a statement on its website.

You never know where an act of kindness ends.

Tara Berliski of Magnolia, Texas, offered to donate a kidney to her husband, John Berliski. His were removed in July because of polycystic kidney disease. Doctors at the Houston Methodist Hospital living donor program explained that because John Berliski has type AB blood, he could receive a kidney from almost any donor. But if John and Tara Berliski chose to enter a kidney swap program, they might be able to help someone else, too; someone else might help them.

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And to the tune of BJ Leiderman, who writes our theme music, it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HEY CLOCKFACE / HOW CAN YOU FACE ME?")

ELVIS COSTELLO: (Vocalizing).

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StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the U.S. military and their families.

Former Army Spc. Garett Reppenhagen has always loved Halloween. Even during his year-long deployment to Iraq in 2004, he still found a way to celebrate.

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Back in the studio, time for sports.

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SIMON: All right, I got a grip now. The Dodgers are a game up on the Rays, but sometimes the story is the game within the game. Meanwhile, Big Ten football takes the field.

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Sam Smith is known for their soulful voice and its satin falsetto. But the singer's lyrics, whether in a ballad or a bop, aren't just about loving or losing others: They're also about the love of the genuine, the true, the self. The artist joined NPR's Scott Simon to talk about their new album, Love Goes, out Oct. 30. Hear the radio version at the audio link, and read on for an edited transcript.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

There's a controversy in Gloucester County, New Jersey, that began at a football game on October 4. The national anthem was about to be played when the running back for the Gibbstown Falcons told his coach, Rashad Thomas, "I want to kneel."

Coach Thomas told his running back, "I'll kneel with you." An assistant coach joined them. Coach Thomas told his players that no one had to kneel, but soon the whole team had joined them, and held hands. They were teammates.

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(Reading) Once there was a goat who lived in a pen on a farm.

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"The Perfect Weapon," now on HBO, is a documentary about a danger we've all heard a lot about but don't really know.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "THE PERFECT WEAPON")

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