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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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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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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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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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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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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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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All Tech Considered
6:37 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Baby Robot Takes First Steps Toward Learning Language Formation

Human baby Charlotte, the 13-month-old daughter of NPR producer Tom Bullock, tried the same tests that DeeChee, the robot, does for language-learning experiments. Dr. Caroline Lyons says human babies have an advantage: They spend every waking hour of the day in a speaking world.
Tom Bullock NPR

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 12:51 pm

A baby robot has been born. Now, with little DeeChee's help, researchers are studying how babies transition from babbling to forming words.

Dr. Caroline Lyons of the University of Hertfordshire is one of the computer scientists who helped design DeeChee the robot. She tells Weekend Edition host Scott Simon that humans are also critical to their experiments.

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Around the Nation
6:37 am
Sat June 23, 2012

'Who Would Believe A Kid?' The Sandusky Jury

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves court in handcuffs Friday after being convicted in his child sex abuse trial at the Centre County Courthouse in Pennsylvania.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:15 pm

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky spent what could be the first of many nights behind bars Friday after a jury found him guilty of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period.

In Bellefonte, Pa., Friday night, a crowd outside the county courthouse cheered when the guilty verdicts were announced.

The cheers continued as Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly praised the investigators and prosecutors at her side.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
5:24 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Rich Reads: Historical Fiction Fit For A Queen

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 10:33 am

I have always loved a great story set in the past. Give me a high-powered historical plot, and I will keep turning those pages until my eyes cross. Kings or consuls, functionaries or janissaries, it doesn't matter, only that it pounds onward to the conclusion — volcano explosion, battle or market crash. It's literary dessert, and I devour every bite.

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U.S.
5:23 am
Sat June 23, 2012

What Title IX Didn't Change: Stigma About Shop Class

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 12:05 pm

Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX, which said no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from any education program or activity. Vocational education courses that barred girls — such as auto mechanics, carpentry and plumbing — became available for everyone. But it's still hard to find girls in classes once viewed as "for boys only."

Zoe Shipley, 15, has a passion for cars and tinkering with engines.

"It's just kind of cool to learn how to fix a car or learn about it," she says.

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Movies
5:23 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Shirley Clarke's 'Connection': Will It Click At Last?

In The Connection, Leach (Warren Finnerty, right) and his friends wait around for their heroin fix, which eventually comes courtesy of Cowboy (Carl Lee). The controversial film was shut down in New York after two screenings in 1962.
Milestone Film

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

Fifty years ago, a movie called The Connection opened in New York — then closed after two showings. Police shut down the theater and arrested the projectionist.

The movie is about drug addicts, and the language is sometimes frank — too frank for 1962 standards. The director was an independent pioneer named Shirley Clarke, whose movie has been restored and is back in theaters, soon to be followed by restorations of nearly all her work.

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Author Interviews
5:23 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Lessons For Europe From 'The Second World War'

STF AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 11:47 am

For most people, the start of World War II means German soldiers marching into Poland. Historian Antony Beevor begins and ends his new book, The Second World War with something different: the story of a German soldier who was actually Korean, was captured in Normandy, and wound up living in Illinois.

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The Record
5:23 am
Sat June 23, 2012

A Summer With Fun.

Nate Ruess before fun.'s show at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on Friday.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 11:26 am

Fun. is in the middle of quite a run. For six weeks this spring, the band had the No. 1 song in the country with "We Are Young," an anthemic pledge of drunken solidarity that has appeared in countless commercials and TV shows, and dominated radio playlists and sales charts since March (it's still in the top five).

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Around the Nation
5:03 am
Sat June 23, 2012

On This Stage, Jesus Is A Robber; The Devil's A Rapist

David Sonnier Jr., from Jeanerette, La., plays the Devil in Angola Prison's production of The Life of Jesus Christ. He was convicted of aggravated rape and is serving a life sentence.
Deborah Luster for NPR

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

There are more than 5,300 inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Nearly 4,000 of them are serving life without parole. Last month, the Angola Prison Drama Club staged a play unlike any other in the prison's experience.

The Life of Jesus Christ featured 70 inmates, men and women acting together for the first time — in costume, with a real camel, performing for the general public. For the untrained actors, this production held special meaning as they saw pieces of their own lives revealed in the characters they played.

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Middle East
7:33 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Violence Forces U.N. To Halt Mission In Syria

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 1:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The United Nations is suspending its observer mission in Syria because of growing violence there. The official announcement came today from the head of the mission, General Robert Mood. The statement released from U.N. headquarters in Damascus cited rising violence over the past 10 days, and charged that both parties - the Syrian military and the armed rebels, known as the Free Syrian Army - are putting civilians lives at risk - and the lives of their monitors. NPR's Deborah Amos is in Damascus. Deborah, thanks for being with us.

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