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6:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

A Holiday Treat: Lower Prices At The Pump

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And if you're one of millions of motorists on the roads this holiday weekend, you may have noticed something unexpected and welcome. Gas prices are falling. This at the start of the summer driving season when gas prices usually spike. We turn now to Daniel Yergin. He's author of "The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World," and chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates. He joins us from his office in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Yergin, thanks so much for being with us.

DANIEL YERGIN: Thank you.

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Europe
6:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

At Eurovision 2012, Politics Take The Stage

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The annual kitsch contest known as the Eurovision Song Contest takes place later today. It's always held in the home country of the previous year's winner. This time, it's authoritarian Azerbaijan in central Asia. So it's been hard to avoid politics at what's supposed to be a nonpolitical event. Vicki Barker reports on both the contest and the context.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WATERLINE")

JEDWARD: (Singing) Oh, I am close to the waterline.

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Sports
6:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Sports: Ice, Hoops And Rackets

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And I wait all week to say: time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The Stanley Cup finals are set - left versus right, a frequent flier bonanza. The NBA playoffs feature a thrilling matchup between Texas and Oklahoma, the Old Hands versus the Young Guns. And tennis, red, dusty and with a side of frites - the French Open opens. Here to talk about all of it, NPR Tom Goldman,

Morning, Tom.

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Middle East
6:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Egypt's Elections Stamp The Arab Spring Timeline

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. This week in Egypt, a nation that has been ruled for thousands of years by pharaohs, colonial rulers, military regimes and dictators held its first free election for a national leader. Egyptians went to the polls on Wednesday and Thursday, and though the official results are not yet in, the election is certainly a milestone in the democratic awakening known as the Arab Spring. Here's a selection of voices from Cairo in the week that Egypt voted.

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Media
6:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Residents Expect New Orleans Paper Cut To Hurt

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

New Orleans had endured so much - the Civil War, yellow fever, the Depression and a string of spectacular political shenanigans, but its award-winning daily newspaper, the Times-Picayune, has not been able to survive as a daily. Eileen Fleming of member station WWNO reports now on the diminution of a paper that's continued reporting during the darkest days of Hurricane Katrina.

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Politics
6:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Reading Between The Polls: What Voters Should Watch

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As we just heard from Ari, early polling can do much to shape political campaigns, but voters who are just trying to follow the debate, polls and surveys can seem contradictory and confusing. To help us see through some of the fog of polling, we're joined now by Michael Dimock. He's the associate director for research at the Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. Thanks for being with us.

MICHAEL DIMOCK: Thank you.

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The Salt
6:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Soft-Shell Lobsters So Soon? It's A Mystery In Maine

Lobster boats in Maine have been pulling up soft-shell lobsters strangely early in the season.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 9:52 am

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Author Interviews
6:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Author's Tweets Give New Meaning To Short Fiction

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Thursday night, dispatches from a glum future began to appear on the Twitter account of The New Yorker magazine's fiction department - a science fiction story, told sentence by sentence, tweet by tweet, a story about Jennifer Egan titled "Black Box." It features a character from her 2010 novel "A Visit from the Goon Squad" which won the Pulitzer Prize.

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The Salt
6:18 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Clean Your Grill, And Other Hot Holiday Tips From Food Network's Alton Brown

Food science guy Alton Brown says the last thing you want to see is flames touching food on the grill.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 2:40 pm

If there's one grilling tip to remember this Memorial Day weekend, it should be this: Flame is bad.

"Flame does nasty things to food," food historian and science guy Alton Brown tells NPR's Scott Simon in the kick-off segment of Weekend Edition's "Taste of Summer" series.

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Election 2012
5:18 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Can May Polls Predict A November Winner?

Mitt Romney greets guests after addressing the Latino Coalition's 2012 Small Business Summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 9:52 am

A Quinnipiac University poll out this week found Mitt Romney with a 6-point lead over President Obama in Florida. That would seem to be very good news for the presumptive Republican nominee in what may be the biggest swing state this fall.

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Author Interviews
5:18 am
Sat May 26, 2012

'Istanbul': A Twisted Tale Of Foreign Espionage

Atria Books

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 9:52 am

The big war is over, and the Cold War has just begun. Leon Bauer, an American tobacco man, wonders how to fit into this new world.

Bauer and his wife, Anna, a German Jew, made it to Istanbul just before World War II began. With his U.S. passport and fluency in German and Turkish, the tobacco man became useful to allied intelligence.

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Latin America
5:17 am
Sat May 26, 2012

From Canada Down To Argentina, The Oil Flows

Like countries throughout the Americas, Argentina is feverishly drilling for oil and gas. Workers are shown here at a derrick in the desert in southern Argentina.
Juan Forero for NPR

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 8:12 pm

As the wind whips across the scrub grass in southern Argentina, a crane unloads huge bags of artificial sand for oil workers preparing for the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of a well.

Water mixed with chemicals and tiny ceramic beads are then blasted underground at high pressure. This mixture helps create fissures, allowing oil and natural gas to flow.

Energy analysts believe there are billions of barrels of oil and gas buried in a desert-like patch in Patagonia.

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Music Interviews
5:17 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Cadence Weapon: A Poet Hones A Musical Personality

Hope in Dirt City is the third album by Cadence Weapon, the performing name of Canadian poet Rollie Pemberton.
Evan Prosofsky Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 9:52 am

Rollie Pemberton is a poet — in fact, he was poet laureate of his hometown, Edmonton, Alberta, for a couple of years. That meant he was expected to write three poems a year about events in a town sometimes nicknamed "Dirt City." But outside of Edmonton, Pemberton is better known under a different name: Cadence Weapon, the hip-hop artist.

In poetry and song, Pemberton finds inspiration, tough and otherwise, in his Edmonton roots. The latest Cadence Weapon album, his third, is called Hope in Dirt City.

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Europe
5:16 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Even Soccer Teams Are Feeling The Pinch In Spain

Spain's soccer teams are feeling the crunch of debt, too. But rich, winning teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona — seen here playing in April — are the most likely to stay in the game.
Denis Doyle Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 2:32 pm

One of the ways Spaniards console themselves amid their failing economy is with their beloved sport of soccer. If you can't afford tickets to a game, it's always on TV in your local bar.

"For an escape from work, economic problems — just enjoy it and support your team," says soccer fan Ivan Rassuli, who's having a beer as he watches a match at a bar. "Everybody likes football. Maybe like the NBA or baseball in the United States."

But futbol, as Spaniards call soccer, has followed the same sorry trajectory as Spain's economy.

Failure To Pay Taxes

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Around the Nation
5:16 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Chicago Ward Gives Budgetary Power To The People

In Chicago's Rogers Park, Alderman Joe Moore handed the purse strings over to his constituents.
Melissa Beck Groundwork

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 2:53 pm

Chicago's 49th Ward is better known as Rogers Park. It's a neighborhood of middle-class houses and apartment buildings, home to Loyola University. It's known for diversity and an affordable, laid-back kind of cool.

But the 49th has a new claim to fame: In 2009, the ward's alderman, Joe Moore, became the first elected official in the country to hand over the purse strings to his constituents. Three years later, the experiment is still attracting new residents to planning meetings.

Forming Ideas

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Law
5:16 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Chicago Outsider Busted Crime With Apolitical Flare

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald speaks to reporters during a news conference Thursday in Chicago. Fitzgerald announced he would step down.
Brian Kersey Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 1:16 pm

Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor who went after the Gambino crime family, al-Qaida and even the White House in court — not to mention several Illinois politicians — is leaving his job as U.S. attorney in Chicago.

The career prosecutor, known as "Eliot Ness with a Harvard degree," will leave a legacy as a tenacious corruption buster, though some criticize his style as overzealous.

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U.S.
5:15 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Delayed At The Airport? They're Working On It

An air traffic controller works at the Atlanta TRACON, or terminal radar approach control, facility in Peachtree City, Ga. The FAA's NextGen program will modernize the air traffic control system, transforming it from radar to GPS-based technology.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 9:52 am

When the summer travel season begins, airline passengers typically brace for delays as vacationers fly in larger numbers and the inevitable weather-related disruptions occur.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees the nationwide system of air traffic control, is hoping to make some of those delays a thing of the past. It's developing what it calls "Next Generation" technology. The NextGen program will modernize the air traffic control system, transforming it from radar to GPS-based technology.

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Fresh Air Weekend
12:58 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: David Alan Grier, Sacha Baron Cohen

In Porgy and Bess, David Alan Grier plays the drug dealer Sporting Life, a role closely associated with Sammy Davis Jr. and Cab Calloway.
Courtesy of the American Repertory Theater

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:02 am

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:


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The Two-Way
6:14 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Observing Memorial Day

People walk through a portion of the Boston Common covered with American flags on Wednesday.
Steven Senne AP

Like many Americans, we plan to take Memorial Day off. And while a three-day weekend is always fun, this holiday is a somber one.

We were reminded of that reading an Op-Ed from Tom Manion in today's Wall Street Journal. Manion served in the military for 30 years and his son, Travis Manion, was killed in Iraq when he was just 26-years-old.

Manion delivers an emotional piece that attempts to answer a complex question: Why do they serve?

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The Two-Way
5:53 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

What's In A Smile? Turns Out Computers Best Humans At Parsing What's Genuine

A study participant smiles for different reasons.
MIT

Did you know most people smile when they are frustrated?

Look at this picture:

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:51 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Panel Round Two

More questions for the panel: A Healthy Reason to Eat Junk Food; Sinking the USS Chivalry; Science Solves a Condiment Conundrum.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:51 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Limericks

Carl reads three news-related limericks: A Beef-tacular Discovery; Sorry, Ladies ... You Can't Handle These Chips; The Queen's Walker.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:51 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Lightning Fill In The Blank

All the news we couldn't fit anywhere else.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:51 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Who's Carl This Time?

Carl reads three quotes from the weeks news: The 2012 Ad Wars Get an Early Start; Space Taxi!; and An Idle Idol Finale.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:51 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Opening Panel Round

Our panelists answer questions about the week's news: The Greatest Duh-liberative Body in the World.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:51 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Bluff The Listener

Our panelists tell three stories about improving customer service.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:51 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Prediction

In a recent speech, Mitt Romney announced there was a list of words he wasn't allowed to say. Our panelists predict what those words are.

The Two-Way
4:40 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

CBS, NBC, Fox Battle Dish Network In Court Over Ad-Skipping DVR

This image provided by Dish Network shows a screen message of the AutoHop feature, which allows customers to skip over commercials.
AP

Does Dish Network have the right to offer a commercial-free experience for its customers? Or does that infringe on broadcasters' copyrights?

As you might expect, CBS, NBC and Fox are not very happy at the prospect and filed suit yesterday against the TV provider to stop it from rolling out its "AutoHop" service.

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Science
4:17 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Tick Talk: Lyme Disease Under The Microscope

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky, in for Ira Flatow. You've probably already encountered them this year, buried deep in your pet's fur, maybe on your own skin - yes, ticks. These bloodsuckers are often no bigger than a poppy seed, but they can wreak havoc with your health and your pet's.

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Science
4:16 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Breaking Out Of A Web Of Fear

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

So if tiny ticks carrying Lyme disease weren't scary enough for you, how about something even creepier and crawlier? What happens when you see a spider in the sink? Do you panic? Do you shriek? Do you call in someone else to squash it?

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