Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturday, 7a.m. - 9 a.m.

Whether revealing events in small-town America or overseas, or profiling notable personalities, Weekend Edition from NPR News appreciates the extraordinary details that make up every story. This two-hour morning newsmagazine covers hard news, a wide variety of newsmakers, and cultural stories with care, accuracy, and a wink of humor. 

On Saturdays, host Scott Simon's award-winning commentaries sum up an idea or event related to the week's news.  There are fresh reports from a cross-section of NPR correspondents on topics from religion to health to food to politics. Simon's interviews with key artists, authors, performers and personalities are always memorable.

Learn more about the program on their website.

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Around the Nation
6:21 am
Sat September 22, 2012

U.S. Border Industry Grows As Immigration Slows

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It's been more than a quarter century since the federal government enacted any immigration legislation which wasn't about enforcement and over that time, the government has spend hundreds of billions of dollars on fences, aircrafts, detention centers and agents. NPR's Ted Robbins looks at what taxpayer money has bought and why it's not likely to go away, even as budgets shrink and illegal immigration lessens.

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NPR Story
6:08 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Why Didn't Romney Pay Less Than 14 Percent In 2011?

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax return this week in an effort to quell fiscal controversy about his personal finances. The Romney Campaign accompanied the release with a letter from his accountant that says the candidate paid at least 13 percent of his income in taxes in each of the past 20 years.

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NPR Story
6:08 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Obama, Ryan Pitch Medicare Plans To Older Voters

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Both campaigns tried to appeal to older voters yesterday. President Obama and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan addressed thousands of members of the AARP in New Orleans. Changes to Medicare and Social Security topped the agenda for both, but NPR's Ina Jaffee reports, there was more to these voters reactions to the candidates.

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NPR Story
6:08 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Warring Political Ads: One Community's Experience

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If you live in a swing state, the political ads on TV right now are inescapable, and they're only going to get more intense in the seven weeks before Election Day. NPR's Ari Shapiro wanted to see the impact that all this advertising's having on one community. He's been in Colorado Springs for the last week reporting a pair of stories that will air on Morning Edition and All Things Considered on Monday. Ari joins us now. Thanks so much for being with us.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

SIMON: How deep and profound is this impact?

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Author Interviews
4:49 am
Sat September 22, 2012

The Haunted Life Of Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini

AP

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

Ray Mancini carried hopes and ghosts into the boxing ring. He was the son of a great contender, Lenny Mancini, who was wounded in World War II before he ever got a chance at a championship. Mancini inherited his father's ring nickname — "Boom Boom" — and his championship dreams. In 1980, Mancini succeeded in winning the lightweight championship of the world, earning him widespread adoration.

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Europe
4:34 am
Sat September 22, 2012

'Time Banks' Help Spaniards Weather Financial Crisis

Unemployment is rampant in Spain and full-time jobs are scarce. Here a woman works at a street stall in Madrid. Some Spaniards are signing up for "time banks," where individuals perform services based on their skills, and receive another service in return. No money changes hands. A woman is shown here working at a street stall in Madrid.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

After saving money for years, Lola Sanchez was finally able to buy a car refitted with a ramp and space for a wheelchair in the back for her teenage son, who has cerebral palsy.

A nurse used to come each day to help with her son's care. That service was cut amid government austerity measures, though Sanchez still gets a small check every month.

"What I need is physical help, even more than financial assistance," Sanchez says, "because I can't physically lift him on my own."

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History
4:34 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Harlem Hosts First Strokes Of Emancipation

Emancipation, a wood engraving by Thomas Nast in 1865. The official Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 11:01 am

Saturday marks the 150th anniversary of a crucial moment in U.S. history. On Sept. 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, announcing his intention to free the slaves in the states rebelling against the Union.

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Author Interviews
4:33 am
Sat September 22, 2012

'Clifford The Big Red Dog' Turns 50 (In Human Years)

Scholastic

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

A big dog celebrates a big birthday this year: Clifford the beloved "Big Red Dog" first appeared on the literary scene 50 years ago, along with Emily Elizabeth, the little girl who loves him.

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Rickie Lee Jones: 'One Devil With One Guitar'

Rickie Lee Jones' new album, The Devil You Know, is a collection of covers. "I think [I recorded the album] partially to remind people that a singer is the one who interprets the song," she says. "And once you do that, it's yours."
Myriam Santos Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

It takes chutzpah to redo the kind of songs that get labeled as iconic, like The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," or "The Weight' by The Band, or Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart." But Rickie Lee Jones has made a career out of surprising p

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Kid Koala: All Roads Lead To The Blues

Kid Koala's new album is titled 12 Bit Blues.
Corinne Merrell Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:35 am

Eric San, who goes by the name Kid Koala, plays the blues. But just as Kid Koala isn't a traditional blues name like Blind Lemon Jefferson or Doctor Ross the Harmonica Boss, he isn't a standard blues man.

Kid Koala is a DJ. Big turntables, fast hands, scratching old-fashioned vinyl records — the whole deal. Now, he's taken that DJ equipment and produced a "turntable blues" album titled 12 Bit Blues.

So how did a Canadian DJ discover the blues, exactly? San says it all happened in high school.

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Sports
6:52 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Sports: Chances In Baseball And NFL Midwest Battle

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Baseball's pennant races are in full swing. Will the words Baltimore, October, and baseball be heard in the same sentence for the first time since Cal Ripken Jr. was in short pants? But times are more trying for the Pittsburgh Pirates. And the battle in the American League Central between the surging Tigers and some nimble pale hose. For more, we're joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine.

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Politics
6:52 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Foreign Policy Pulls Political Focus

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Joined now by Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor in our studios. Ron, thanks very much for being with us.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Scott.

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Around the Nation
6:52 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Chicago Teachers Rally With Deal In The Works

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Chicago Teachers Union and city school officials have reportedly reached what they call a framework for an agreement that would end a five-day teacher strike. The walkout has shut down school for 350,000 students this week. They could be back in class as early as Monday.

We're joined now by NPR education correspondent Claudio Sanchez. Claudio, thanks for being with us.

CLAUDIO SANCHEZ, BYLINE: Good to be here.

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NPR Story
6:34 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Would You Like A Calorie Count With That?

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Next week, McDonald's will become the largest fast-food chain in the country to display calorie counts on its menu boards. Won't that make you think twice when asked: You want fries with that?

NPR's Allison Aubrey has been reporting on McDonald's announcement this week. She joins us in our studios. Allison, thanks for being with us.

ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: Hi, Scott. Glad to be here.

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NPR Story
6:34 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Libya Hit With Turbulent Week

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. There have been unexpectedly violent protests across much of the Arab world this week. The first was in Cairo. Then, of course, in Benghazi, Libya, protesters attacked and killed four U.S. embassy staff there.

Since then, protests have broken out across the region, again in Egypt, in Tunisia and in Yemen. NPR's correspondent in Benghazi is Leila Fadel. She joins us now. Leila, thanks for being with us.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Thanks for having me.

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NPR Story
6:34 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Egypt Explores Limits Of Tolerance For Free Speech

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We turn now to Egypt where, as we mentioned earlier, the protest started this week. More than 250 people have been reported injured in clashes there that began when protesters scaled the embassy wall in Cairo and tore down an American flag. Many of them are demonstrating against a film, which portrayed the prophet Muhammad as a womanizer and a religious fraud.

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Books
5:37 am
Sat September 15, 2012

'The Black Count,' A Hero On The Field, And The Page

General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 10:35 am

Gen. Thomas-Alexandre Dumas was one of the heroes of the French Revolution — but you won't find a statue of him in Paris today.

He led armies of thousands in triumph through treacherous territory, from the snows of the Alps to the sands of Egypt, and his true life stories inspired his son, Alexandre Dumas, to write The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

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Books News & Features
5:06 am
Sat September 15, 2012

A Father's Decades-Old Bedtime Story Is Back In Print

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 1:13 pm

One night in 1947, an intensely curious 5-year-old boy named Michael McCleery asked his father for a story. So his father, William McCleery, produced a tale that revolved around a wolf named Waldo, a hen named Rainbow, and another little boy, the son of a farmer, named Jimmy Tractorwheel. Over weeks and weeks, William serialized the story, telling it in installments to Michael and his best friend during bedtimes and Sunday afternoon outings.

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Movie Interviews
5:06 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Amy Adams: A Steely Wife Stands Behind 'The Master'

In Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, Amy Adams plays Peggy Dodd, the spouse of a charismatic spiritual leader, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Adams says her character is smart and educated but feels "more powerful behind a man than in front of a man."
The Weinstein Co.

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 11:57 am

Amy Adams has played a Disney princess, a puckish Amelia Earhart, an innocent young nun and a blogging Brooklynite who wants to follow the recipe for being Julia Child.

But she takes a more steely turn in her latest role in The Master, which has just opened in New York and Los Angeles. The film, written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, also stars Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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Author Interviews
5:05 am
Sat September 15, 2012

'Skagboys': Heroin Highs In 'Trainspotting' Prequel

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 1:43 pm

The boys are back — Mark Renton, Sick Boy, Spud, Begbie and other memorable characters from Irvine Welsh's 1994 novel, Trainspotting, come back to life in Welsh's new book, Skagboys.

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Calexico: Road Songs For Wandering Souls

John Convertino and Joey Burns have been performing as Calexico since 1996. Their latest album is called Algiers.
Jairo Zavala Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 9:55 am

At 11 a.m. on a weekday, Calexico rehearses for its upcoming tour in a cramped studio on the south side of Tucson, Ariz. The stereotypical musician would just be getting up, but lead singer and songwriter Joey Burns has been up since dawn with his twin baby girls.

Trumpet player Jacob Valenzuela arrives late to the rehearsal — and that's because his washing machine broke and he had to deal with a small flood. Valenzuela grabs his trumpet as the band launches into "Splitter," the first single from Calexico's new album.

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Radiohead's Guitarist Adapts To Life In Widescreen

Jonny Greenwood is responsible for the score of The Master and There Will Be Blood.
S. Katan Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 12:47 pm

Reviews of the new film The Master have ranged from acclaim to disdain. Almost all the critics, though, seem to admire the film's music, composed by Jonny Greenwood.

Greenwood's story begins in the early 1990s, when he was playing the viola at Oxford University and not making much of an impression — even on himself.

"I was headed for the back of the viola section in some orchestra," Greenwood says. "If I practiced hard enough."

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Deceptive Cadence
1:03 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Trouble In The Twin Cities: Two Orchestras In Labor Disputes

The Minnesota Orchestra may go on strike after management proposed to cut musicians' salaries by 28 percent.
Courtesy of the Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:47 pm

For a metro area of only about 3.5 million people, the Twin Cities region is unusual in the way it supports not one, but two world-class orchestras. Now, with looming deficits on the horizon and musicians' contracts at both the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra expiring Sept. 30, the Twin Cities may have two orchestras on strike.

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Music
7:16 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Canadian Poet Inspires Men's Community Choir

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Leonard Cohen is known for distinctive, haunting and provocative songs. His music inspired one artist in the Bay Area with amounts to a vision: that there ought to be a community choir of men singing a cappella exclusively from the Leonard Cohen songbook. Lisa Morehouse spent some time with the group. They call themselves the Conspiracy of Beards.

LISA MOREHOUSE, BYLINE: The Beards, as they're known, don't all have beards, but they do stand out.

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Author Interviews
7:16 am
Sat September 8, 2012

'Yankee Miracles': Rising Through Baseball Ranks

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Politics
7:16 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Labor Report Has Romney And Obama On Down Note

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The presidential candidates are back on the campaign trail, sprinting, now that the political conventions are behind them. President Obama and Mitt Romney were both in Iowa and New Hampshire yesterday. Both of their message were affected by some bad news on the job's front as NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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Europe
7:16 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Violence Seizes French Port City

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Sports
7:16 am
Sat September 8, 2012

A Star At U.S. Open, NFL Opens, Paralympics To Close

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: (Singing) Ah, to remember the kind of September.... The seasons are flipping, and so Serena's poised to win again, not just today. NFL season opens in earnest, and the real Olympic spirit still lives on in London. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us.

Morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Seasons are flipping, I fear you are too.

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: Tom, I'll make the jokes here, please.

GOLDMAN: Thank you.

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Politics
7:16 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Split Polls In Iowa Boost State's Importance

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The bright lights of the political conventions dimmed. President Obama and Mitt Romney hit the campaign trail Friday. Both candidates headed for the politically critical states of Iowa and New Hampshire. We asked reporters in those both those places to find out how voters are feeling about the two questions that dominated the conventions: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? And which presidential candidate has the best plan for country? We go first to Sarah McCammon of Iowa Public Radio.

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Europe
7:16 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Europe Debt Plan Raises Hopes, With Much To Do

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Once again, this week, European officials sat down and tried to figure out what to do about the debt crisis, and once again, they came up with a plan that they say will help heavily indebted countries, including Spain and Italy, turn a corner. Investors seemed to like the plan. Stock prices rose, but the plan still faces hurdles, including a major court ruling in Germany next week.

NPR's Jim Zarroli joins us from Berlin. Jim, thanks for being with us.

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