Friday, April 18 – Friday, April 25

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Russ Feingold

Dr. Michael Roizen

Bill White

Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp

Craig Handy

Rev. James Martin

Philip Bailey

Elizabeth Kolbert

George Johnson

For the last 20 years, the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been wracked by civil war.  Last summer, former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin was named special envoy for the region, and where other diplomats had failed for years, Senator Feingold went in and, in a matter of months, secured an agreement for the Congolese rebel group M23 to disband.

It’s Easter weekend, the holiest period on the Christian calendar. Easter affirms faith in Jesus as the savior who gave his life for the world’s sins, but as Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest, notes his new book, “Jesus: A Pilgrimage”, Jesus was also a “flesh-and-blood, real-life, honest-to-God man who experienced everything that human beings do”. And it can, as Father James writes, be difficult at times for the faithful to recognize the flaws of humanity in a divine man.

Chronic stress can have severe consequences for your mental, emotional and physical health. In this week’s installment of “Five Things You Should Know About…”, Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer at Cleveland Clinic, shares five tips for holding down stress.

“Shining Star” is one of dozens of hits produced over four decades by Earth, Wind & Fire. It’s also an appropriate description of lead singer Philip Bailey. Bailey tells the story of his life and career in his new memoir, “Shining Star: Braving the Elements of Earth, Wind & Fire”.

Federal policy on spending and debt is perhaps the most significant factor in the political gridlock gripping Washington, but it hasn’t always been that way. In a new book, “America’s Fiscal Constitution: Its Triumph and Collapse”, former Houston Mayor Bill White notes that fiscal responsibility was not the exception, but the rule, for  most of the nation’s history.

Earth Day is coming, and we’re using the occasion to chat with Elizabeth Kolbert, a staff writer for “The New Yorker”, about her alarming book, “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History”. Kolbert writes that numerous forms of life are disappearing before our eyes and that we ignore biodiversity loss at the risk of our own species.

New data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the nation’s autism rate has increased by 30 percent in the past two years. Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, chief of the Developmental Disabilities Branch at the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, joins us to discuss what’s behind the increase in autism spectrum disorders.

In his 3-minute sports drill, George Johnson offers his take on the dearth of Black players in Major League Baseball and looks at the start of the NBA playoffs.

Saxophonist Craig Handy was born and raised in Oakland, CA and lives in New York, but his latest project is all New Orleans. His new CD, “Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith”, is a tribute to second-line music and to the late Jimmy Smith, whose improvisational techniques popularized the Hammond electric organ as a featured jazz and blues instrument.