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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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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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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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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Africa
7:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Violence Haunts Zimbabwe Ahead Of Elections

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 10:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

To Zimbabwe now, where elections are in 2008 elections were marred by extreme violence. Now, elections are once again on the horizon.

And as Anders Kelto reports, violence is escalating while many are still trying to heal.

ANDERS KELTO, BYLINE: In a quiet garden on the outskirts of Harare, a group of men and women sit in a large circle. They stretch their arms and perform breathing exercises.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC AND BREATHING)

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Space
7:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Failure To Launch: SpaceX Delays Mission

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 10:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A tall white rocket is still standing on a launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The rocket belongs to a company called SpaceX, and it was supposed to blast-off this morning, send an unmanned capsule on a mission to the International Space Station - the first time a personal spacecraft will try to visit the station. But the launch attempt fizzled out this morning in the last seconds of the countdown.

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Remembrances
7:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Katie Beckett Leaves Legacy For Kids With Disabilities

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 10:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Katie Beckett has died in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at the age of 34. She was just 3 years old when her case changed health care law. NPR's Joseph Shapiro has more.

JOSEPH SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Katie Beckett died Friday morning in the same hospital where she'd once made history. In 1981, Katie Beckett was living at St. Luke's Methodist Hospital in Cedar Rapids. She was stuck there because of a clash between advancing medical technology and antiquated health care law.

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Space
7:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

How To Watch The Solar Eclipse

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 10:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If you're in the Western United States tomorrow afternoon, you're in for a show.

DEE FRIESEN: The disc of the sun will be a ring. The moon will be inside the sun. There will be a ring of light around the moon, and they sometimes call it a ring of fire.

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Sports
7:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Sports: Proving Your Worth

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 10:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: In the NBA, the Miami Heat have a lot to prove against the Indiana Pacers. In the NHL, the L.A. Kings are proving it. And a farewell to Kerry Wood. Howard Bryant of ESPN and ESPN.com joins us.

Morning, Howard.

HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Scott. How are you?

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Sports
7:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Olympic Flame Flies To United Kingdom

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 12:47 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Olympic torch has arrived in Britain, ahead of this summer's Games in London. The torch, lit at the original location of the Games at the ancient Greek site of Olympia one week ago, flew in from Athens yesterday. Just a few hours ago, the historic flame began its tour of the UK. Vicki Barker reports from London.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERS)

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Sports
7:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Calif. Hopes For A Preakness Win

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 10:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This afternoon, the 137th running of the Preakness takes place at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Kentucky Derby Winner, the horse called, I'll Have Another, will try to capture the second jewel in the Triple Crown of Horse Racing, something only 10 horses have done since 1978. I'll Have Another, its trainer and owner all come from Southern California, and hopes are high that a big win will give a much-needed boost to horse racing in the California. NPR'S Carrie Kahn reports.

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Technology
7:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Journey Through Musical Time With This App

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 10:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Music has a way of transporting us in time.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "G.I. JIVE")

SIMON: So, indulge a little. Close your eyes, turn up the radio, you might just get transported to 1944.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "G.I. JIVE")

LOUIS JORDAN: (Singing) P-F-C to C-P-L, S-G-T to the L-T. C-P the O-D, the M-P makes ya do K-P. It's the G. I. Jive Man.

SIMON: 1971.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MAGGIE MAY")

ROD STEWART: (Singing) Wake up Maggie, I think I've got something to say to you.

SIMON: Or 1993.

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Business
7:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

What To Expect In Facebook's Future

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 10:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Stock in Facebook went on sale for the first time yesterday, the largest initial public offering of stock for an Internet company, and the sale instantly created scores of millionaires in Silicon Valley, about half a dozen or so billionaires. NPR's technology correspondent Steven Henn joins us. He's followed it all from Silicon Valley. Steve, thanks for being with us.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Sure, my pleasure.

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Simon Says
7:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Teaching Kids Balance Can Be A Lesson For Parents

It's a constant test for parents: Everything you thought you were doing right may be wrong.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 12:23 pm

To be a parent is to be constantly reminded that almost everything you thought you were doing right for your children will one day turn out to be wrong.

The wisdom on whether your baby should be put to sleep on his back or stomach, whether fevers should be treated or left to run their course, seems to change every few years. Parents used to think nothing of letting their children bounce around like pingpong balls in the back of a car. Now, children are strapped in the back like astronauts waiting for blast off.

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Asia
7:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Chinese Activist Leaves Beijing For U.S.

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 10:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

Chen Guangcheng, the blind, Chinese human rights lawyer, is on a plane headed for America right now, according to his friends and supporters. Chinese authorities gave Mr. Chen a passport today and drove him to an airport in Beijing. His departure caps a remarkable few weeks that included a daring escape from house arrest and high-stakes, diplomatic negotiations.

NPR's Frank Langfitt has been following the story from Shanghai. Frank, thanks for being with us.

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Business
7:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Average Investors Share Facebook Feelings

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 10:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Facebook IPO hasn't just sent a jolt of excitement through Silicon Valley, there are many average individual investors who are also thrilled. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: All right. It's a little after 9:30 on Friday. The bell just rang on the NASDAQ, and I'm gonna check in with some regular investors. I'm gonna start with Nelly Sai-Palm. She's a student at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, and I'm going to give her a call.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELEPHONE RINGING)

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World
7:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

In Group Of Eight, A Lack Of Leadership?

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 10:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The world leaders at the G-8 Summit meet at a time of many urgent concerns, including the shaky world economy. But an article on ForeignPolicy.com says that the nations represented at the summit lack the power to lead right now, and questions what the G-8 can accomplish at this meeting or in the future. Ian Bremmer is the author of that article. His is the president of the Eurasia Group, an international consulting firm, and he joins us from New York. Mr. Bremmer, thanks for being with us.

IAN BREMMER: I'm very happy to join you.

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Fine Art
4:57 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Barnes Foundation Changes Location, But Little Else

After years of bitter controversy, the Barnes Foundation opens the doors of its new location in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday. Since 1922, the collection has been housed in the Philadelphia suburbs, where critics say the collection's owner would have wanted it to stay.
Tom Crane The Barnes Foundation Philadelphia

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 10:19 am

The Barnes Foundation opens the doors of its new gallery in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday. Its collection of paintings by Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne and many more is now hanging in galleries designed to replicate those at the Barnes' old home in suburban Merion. The move follows a decade of bitter debate over the future of this multibillion-dollar collection.

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Author Interviews
4:57 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Americans: A 'Bunch Of Amateurs,' And Proud Of It

Book cover detail: Bunch of Amateurs

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 10:19 am

Jack Hitt says if you drill down into the American spirit to find out what makes Americans so American, you'll find it's the fact that we're all amateurs at heart. In his new book, Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character, he pinpoints the first American to use the amateur label to his advantage: Benjamin Franklin.

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Author Interviews
4:56 am
Sat May 19, 2012

'Never Fall Down': Surviving The Killing Fields

Arn Chorn-Pond is a human rights activist working on Cambodian reconciliation efforts and the preservation of traditional Khmer music. He is the subject of Jocelyn Glatzer's 2003 documentary, The Flute Player; the opera Where Elephants Weep; and the children's book, A Song for Cambodia by Michelle Lord.
Jocelyn Glatzer

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 10:19 am

Prize-winning author Patricia McCormick is known for tackling challenging — even harrowing — themes in her young adult novels. Her book Sold, a National Book Award finalist, took on child trafficking. In her new book, Never Fall Down, she describes the atrocities of the Cambodian genocide, drawing upon the experiences of Arn Chorn-Pond, a real-life survivor, who joined her and NPR's Scott Simon to discuss the novel and the lingering impact of his ordeal.


Interview Highlights

On meeting Arn

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From Our Listeners
8:25 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Your Letters: On Composition And Evidence

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

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Opinion
7:17 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Can A Change Of Heart Beat The Flip-Flop Charge?

President Barack Obama told ABC this week that he supports gay marriage.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 1:46 pm

Most Americans give politicians low marks for sincerity and see every decision they reach as a cold, poll-driven calculation. Often enough, it is. Politicians, after all, have asked pollsters where they should spend their summer vacations.

Yet when pundits and interest groups urge politicians to change their minds and they do, they're assailed for flip-flopping.

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House & Senate Races
6:52 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Wisc. GOP Gather For Convention On Key Senate Race

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 8:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

Republicans in Wisconsin are gathered this weekend for their annual political convention. The delegates could make an endorsement in a key Senate race this year. It is the contest to replace retiring Wisconsin Democrat Herb Kohl.

Now, many believe that George W. Bush's former Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson, might essentially breeze through a four-way Republican primary.

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House & Senate Races
6:52 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Indiana Senate Race: The Bigger Picture

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 8:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

From Wisconsin, we head over to Indiana, where this week, six-term Republican Senator Richard Lugar lost by a landslide to State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who was supported by the Tea Party.

Now, Senator Lugar was known for working with senators on the other side of the aisle to pass legislation. That may not be the political flavor of the month in his party or his state.

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Politics
6:52 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Obama's Gay Marriage Evolution: A Societal Shift?

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 8:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Obama made a personal statement in a TV interview this week. He didn't call for any new laws or initiatives. But many Americans seem to hear his statement as a truly significant moment in American history. Novelist and screenwriter Armistead Maupin joins us. Mr. Maupin is best known for his breakthrough "Tales of the City" series. He joins us from member station KQED in San Francisco. Thanks so much for being with us.

ARMISTEAD MAUPIN: Oh, it's a pleasure, Scott.

SIMON: How do you feel about what the president said?

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