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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U.S.
5:08 am
Sat July 7, 2012

How One Drought Changed Texas Agriculture Forever

Siblings Charles Hagood and Nancy Hagood Nunns grew up in Junction, Texas, in the 1950s. Charles says the drought drove ranchers to find other types of work.
Michael O'Brien Michael O'Brien

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:40 pm

In Texas, there is still the drought against which all other droughts are measured: the seven-year dry spell in the 1950s. It was so devastating that agriculture losses exceeded those of the Dust Bowl years, and so momentous that it kicked off the modern era of water planning in Texas.

From 1950 to 1957, the sky dried up and the rain refused to fall. Every day, Texans scanned the pale-blue heavens for rainclouds, but year after year they never came.

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Author Interviews
1:03 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Remembering George Szell, Powerhouse Conductor

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 4:42 pm

Michael Charry was the "sorcerer's apprentice" to celebrated 20th-century conductor George Szell. For the last decade of Szell's tenure at the Cleveland Orchestra, Charry was an assistant conductor.

Now, Charry has captured the power of Szell's artistry — as well as his tempestuous personality — in a new biography called George Szell: A Life of Music.

Charry vividly recalls Szell testing him on how many notes he could find in a chord when he first auditioned for the job.

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Music Interviews
4:12 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

16 Musical Odes To Very Strange Animals

Illustrator Jelmer Noordeman's rendering of a real-life creature: the venomous, nocturnal solenodon.
Jelmer Noordeman

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 12:21 pm

CD sleeves usually feature pictures of the musicians, the text of lyrics and copious thanks.

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Around the Nation
6:29 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Colorado Firefighters Gain Ground On Blaze

Nearly 350 homes have been destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 2:54 pm

Firefighters are slowly gaining ground on the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado. It's scorched about 17,000 acres and believed to have claimed two lives.

More than 300 homes have burned. There's been a lot of talk about how many houses were lost in the fire, but Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown wants you to know there's a flip side to that: He says crews worked hard to minimize damage.

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Around the Nation
6:29 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Corn Dries Up, Even As Farmers Try To Combat Heat

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:32 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The heat and drought that brought much of Colorado Springs into danger has also hit the Midwest. Temperatures broke 100 degrees in the Great Plains, and the heat and the lack of rain is endangering what was expected to be a bumper crop of corn. Tim Lenz is a farmer near the town of Strasburg in south central Illinois, where he grows corn and soybeans. Mr. Lenz, thanks for being with us.

TIM LENZ: Thank you.

SIMON: What's it been like there for the past couple of weeks?

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Europe
6:29 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Metal Detector Hobbyists Find Rare Heap Of Celtic Coins

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:32 am

For more than 30 years, Richard Miles and Reg Mead scoured the fields of their native Jersey with metal detectors, hoping to one day come across an ancient coin or two. Earlier this week, the detector beeped and they found the world's largest-ever stash of Celtic coins. Host Scott Simon speaks with Reg Mead about their find.

Politics
6:29 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Obama's Health Care-Infused, Fire-Stoked Week

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:32 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Obama told residents of Colorado yesterday that the country has their back. The president visited an evacuation center and met with some of the firefighters who have been battling the deadly Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs.

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Politics
6:29 am
Sat June 30, 2012

GOP Rolls Out Campaign To Repeal Health Care

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:32 am

Facing an unexpected ruling validating the Affordable Care Act, Republicans in Congress promised to redouble efforts to repeal it, starting with another vote in the House early next month. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's David Welna to explain the battle ahead.

Food
6:29 am
Sat June 30, 2012

The Season Of Ice Cream: Tips From The Top

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:32 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now, to our occasional WEEKEND EDITION series Taste of Summer.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME")

SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE: (Singing) Hot fun in the summertime.

SIMON: A few weeks ago, Alton Brown shared some grilling secrets with us. Today, it'll be ice cream. Whether plain old standard vanilla, or artisanal organic squash blossom rhubarb poblano crunch - a flavor I just made up, by the way - summer is the season of ice cream. And so today, we head to the Pumphouse Creamery in Minneapolis.

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Europe
6:29 am
Sat June 30, 2012

French President Inserts New Voice In EU Summit

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:32 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Middle East
6:29 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Kofi Annan Appeals To Leaders For Solution In Syria

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:32 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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NPR Story
6:26 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Your Letters: Out Of Home Ec, Into Moose Calling

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:32 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPING)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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NPR Story
6:26 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Sports: Talking Wimbledon Match-Ups

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:32 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: And Wimbledon is underway, the world's oldest, most esteemed, greenest and strawberries and creamiest tennis tournament. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic seem set on the collision course for a semifinal. Maria Sharapova on course for a potential showdown with Kim Clijsters. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com, ESPN the magazine, and ESPN the full grain, fibrous and nutritious snack cracker on the line from the All England Club.

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NPR Story
6:26 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Egypt's New President Officially Sworn In

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:32 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Of course, Egypt has a new president - an Islamist from the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood. Mohamed Morsi took the oath of office in Cairo today, a day after appearing at Tahrir Square to proclaim that the people are the real source of power, not the generals and the supreme military council. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Cairo that despite the swearing-in ceremony, Mr. Morsi may not have really taken hold of the reins of power.

PRESIDENT MOHAMED MORSI: (Foreign language spoken)

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Education
4:55 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Student Loan Deal Pales Against Other Education Cuts

College students surrounded President Obama earlier this month when he called on Congress to stop student loan interest rates from doubling. Congress agreed on a deal to prevent the hike on Friday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 2:26 pm

It came down to the wire, but finally, Republicans and Democrats agreed on a deal that keeps the interest rate on government-backed student loans from doubling. It will save the average borrower about $1,000 a year, but the compromise is likely to cost students a lot more than that over the long term.

The agreement that lawmakers passed Friday will keep interest rates at 3.4 percent for another year. Anthony DeLaRosa, a 23-year-old University of Colorado graduate, says it's a big victory.

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Author Interviews
4:54 am
Sat June 30, 2012

In 'Gold,' Olympic Rivalry Is Personal, Professional

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:32 am

More than 10,000 athletes are headed to London this summer to run, swim, cycle, shoot, fence and compete in the events of the Olympic Games. Each of them has a story — what they've won, what they've lost and what they've sacrificed just to get their chance to get there.

Chris Cleave's latest novel, Gold, tells the stories of three world-ranked cyclists — Zoe, Jack and Kate — who are training for their last chance at Olympic gold. Zoe and Kate are friends as well as rivals; Jack and Kate are raising an 8-year-old who suffers from leukemia.

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Latin America
4:53 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Youthful Candiate Favored To Be Mexico's President

A man walks past a campaign sign for Enrique Pena Nieto, of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party. Mexicans vote for their next president on Sunday.
Esteban Felix AP

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:26 pm

As Mexicans prepare to elect a new president Sunday, the clear front-runner is Enrique Pena Nieto, who is seeking to return his PRI party to power after 12 years.

The PRI, or Institutional Revolutionary Party, ruled Mexico for more than 70 years before being ousted in 2000. Most polls show Pena Nieto with a comfortable double-digit lead in the race.

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Movies
11:03 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Eugene Levy Stays Smart, Even In The Cheapest Gag

In Madea's Witness Protection, George Needleman (Eugene Levy, center) is put in witness protection with Madea (Tyler Perry, right) after he discovers he's the fall man for a Ponzi scheme.
KC Bailey Lionsgate

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:32 am

George Needleman is the chief bean counter of an investment bank who, in Madea's Witness Protection, is too consumed with family problems to realize he's being set up to take the fall for a Ponzi scheme. When he grasps what's going on, he's placed in witness protection — at Madea's house.

Tyler Perry, who wrote and directed the movie, plays Madea, as well as most other members of her family. Needleman, the latest fussy, funny, bushy-eyebrowed, precise and put-upon man, is portrayed by Eugene Levy.

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Music Interviews
5:27 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

A Lone Trumpeter Serenades The National Mall

Trumpeter John Thornton plays at the corner of 7th Street and Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C., just a few blocks from NPR's headquarters.
Devon Kodzis NPR

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 3:23 pm

This summer, Weekend Edition Saturday is listening to the sounds of music al fresco. Today, we present an audio postcard of a trumpeter we recently heard blowing "The Star-Spangled Banner" just down the street from NPR.

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Music News
3:54 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Young Musicians Leave Nest For New Opportunities

Nathan Schram (back row, third from left) performs with his students from PS 75 in Brooklyn.
Stephanie Berger Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:48 am

The odds of making it in the classical music business are long, but for the past two years, 25-year-old viola player Nathan Schram has received a stipend, health insurance, lots of amazing performance opportunities and a real-world education teaching violin students at an inner-city elementary school in Brooklyn. Now, Schram and his colleagues have to say goodbye to The Academy.

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Simon Says
7:09 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Behind The 'Model Minority,' An American Struggle

A Pew Research Center study shows Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing immigrant group in the U.S., but that doesn't make theirs a success story.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 12:43 pm

The Pew Research Center says Asian-Americans are now the fastest-growing ethnic and immigrant group in the United States: 18 million Americans, almost 6 percent of the population. Pew says Asian-Americans also tend to be the most educated and prosperous.

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Remembrances
6:58 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Mathematician's Work Lives On In Everyday Life

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Alan Turing was born a hundred years ago today. He was a British mathematician and computer pioneer, and may have done as much as any soldier or statesman to win World War II. And his work continues to reveal itself in our everyday lives. WEEKEND EDITION's math guy Keith Devlin joins us from the studios of Stanford University, where he's also a professor.

Keith, thanks for being with us.

KEITH DEVLIN, BYLINE: Nice to be with you again, Scott.

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Middle East
6:58 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Syrian Conflict A Haunting Reminder Of Bosnia

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Sports
6:58 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Sports: The Heat's Glow, Olympics And Title IX

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. It's time for sports. We're joined by NPR's Tom Goldman.

Morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

SIMON: And, of course, Jerry Sandusky was convicted late last night for the sexual abuse of 10 young boys. A longtime assistant football coach at Penn State, a pillar of the community, known for his charitable work. You were in State College to cover the story when it broke.

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Sports
6:58 am
Sat June 23, 2012

In Sports Opportunities, Women Still Lag

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Though Title IX encompasses many aspects of education, most people associate the law with athletics. Title IX's been credited with opening competitive sports to millions of American girls and women. For more now, we're joined by Nancy Hogshead-Makar. She's a three-time Olympic gold medal swimmer, former president of Women's Sports Foundation, and she's now a professor teaching federal gender-equity law at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville. She joins us on the line from Kenilworth, Illinois. Thanks so much for being with us.

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Around the Nation
6:58 am
Sat June 23, 2012

The Art Of Moose Calling Alive And Well In Maine

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

So if you wanted a moose to come on over and join you for a latte, what would you say?

ROGER LAMBERT: You've got to speak the language, that's for sure.

SIMON: That's Roger Lambert who's the master guide of Maine Guide Services and emcee of the moose calling competition because today moose callers from around the world - that's to say the state of Maine and one Canadian - will compete in the first-ever International Invitational Moose Calling Competition, part of a new festival that Rangeley, Maine is hosting.

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Presidential Race
6:58 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Presidential Campaign Takes On A Spanish Accent

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The presidential campaign shifted focus a bit this week as President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney both reached out to the fast-growing population of Latino voters. The two men spoke to a national gathering of Hispanic politicians in Florida. Immigration, of course, is an urgent issue after Mr. Obama's decision last week to try to stop deporting some illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

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NPR Story
6:52 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Contrasting Romney And Obama On Immigration

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:07 am

We get two perspectives on President Obama's policy shift on immigration and the election year efforts to reach Hispanic voters. Host Scott Simon speaks with Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, co-chair of Obama campaign and head of Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, who served alongside Mitt Romney when he was governor in Massachusetts and is now an adviser to the campaign.

NPR Story
6:52 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Euro Mini-Summit Takes New Focus

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. With the eurozone crisis well into its third year, the leaders of the four major eurozone countries tried once again in Rome to reach agreement on how to try to salvage the single currency. For the first time, the focus shifted away from austerity to growth and job creation. But as NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, agreement was not reached on how to end the sovereign debt crisis.

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NPR Story
6:52 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Soccer Fails To Give Greeks Much-Needed Boost

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The soccer game - they call it football - between Greece in Germany in Poland yesterday was always about more than just sport. Of course, there's friction between these two countries because of that eurozone crisis and both sides said they'd try to set aside politics for the day just to enjoy the entertainment. Now, of course, as has been widely reported, Germany won the game. They head to the semi-finals of the European championship. NPR's Philip Reeves was there and he sends us this account of an unusual day.

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