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Sunday marks the first day of the hajj, the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca. The journey to the holiest site in the Muslim world is one of the five pillars of Islam, and is expected to draw around 2 million people — making it among the largest yearly gatherings in the world . It lasts through Friday, Aug. 24.

Updated 1:20 p.m. ET

Families of 19 victims in the deadly bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy gathered on Saturday at a state-run funeral.

At least 38 people died when a section of Morandi Bridge collapsed in the Italian port city just before noon on Tuesday, sending cars and trucks tumbling to highway A10 below.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Aretha Franklin: The 'Fresh Air' Interview: The Queen of Soul rarely gave interviews, so we were delighted when she sat down with Terry Gross in 1999. Franklin died Thursday at age 76.

An elite boarding school in Connecticut is acknowledging sexual abuse by seven now-former staffers against 16 students — going back as far as 1969 and lasting until 1992.

The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn., is a private high school of about 600 students.

Your doctor probably nags you to schedule cancer screening tests like mammograms and colonoscopies. These tests, after all, can be life-saving, and most doctors want to make sure you get them done.

But when it comes to explaining the ways that certain screenings can cause you harm, your doctor may not be doing such a good job.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

Time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Eyeliner On Spiders: It's For Science

Aug 18, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

We learned this week that scientists in Florida are putting eyeliner on spiders. Why? Well, to understand, you need to know male jumping spiders are pretty flamboyant during mating rituals. They vibrate and dance. And they're pretty colorful too.

Editor's note: Parts of this story contain content that is sexually explicit.

Twenty years ago Friday, the long-running independent counsel Whitewater investigation had reached a crossroads, far from where it started, with prosecutors questioning President Bill Clinton about his relationship with a former White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.

This week in the Russia investigations: President Trump strikes back at one of his most politically dangerous critics. Will a short-term victory have longer-term costs?

The revocation, Part 1

President Trump made good on his threat to revoke the security clearance held by former CIA Director John Brennan this week, escalating the politics of the Russia imbroglio in an important way.

Trump, whether or not this was his intention, has demoted Brennan from what lawyers might call a "fact witness" to a simple critic.

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