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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Books
5:22 am
Sat August 24, 2013

'Bummers, Blisters And Boondoggles': A Jokester Joins The Army

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 1:59 pm

In a time when recollections can be reduced to just a few words, Jean Shepherd delivered monologues, soliloquies and musings. He was a raconteur.

Shepherd served in the Army during World War II — that same Army that stormed the beaches on D-Day, though Shepherd and his unit would never see the front lines. They were the homefront Army: stocking, re-stocking, sending, schlepping and training for a war they helped win — but only at a distance.

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Law
4:31 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Cutting Public Defenders Can Cost Federal Government More

Courts in Tucson, Ariz., are turning to private lawyers to represent clients who would have had public defenders.
Chris Morrison AP

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 12:32 pm

These days, the Federal Public Defender's Office in Tucson, Ariz., has lots of space. Since the federal budget cuts known as sequestration began, the office has lost a quarter of its staff to layoffs or furloughs.

Under the Constitution, clients still need legal representation, so judges have to appoint private attorneys to replace the public defenders.

The sequester was supposed to save money. But in this case, the sequester is costing federal dollars.

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Education
4:28 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Obama Campaigns For College Affordability Plan

President Obama makes an unannounced stop to talk with the Tully Central High School soccer team about their plans for college in Tully, N.Y., on Friday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 10:39 am

President Obama toured Pennsylvania and New York by bus on Thursday and Friday to promote his college affordability plan.

He's proposing a affordability-rating system that would steer federal aid, but a budget battle with Congressional Republicans is looming.

'A Major Debate'

The tour had a back-to-school theme, but at his stop on Thursday, the fall semester hasn't even begun. Obama spoke to a packed high school gym in Syracuse.

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Simon Says
4:27 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Remembering Elmore Leonard, A Writer Who Hated Literature

Many of Elmore Leonard's stories have been adapted for the screen, from the movie Get Shorty to the TV show, Justified.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 10:39 am

Elmore Leonard was a writer who hated — and I don't mean disliked; Elmore had a contempt for putting pretty clothes on hard, direct words, so I mean hated — literature, or at least what he believed a lot of people mean when they say liter-a-ture, as if it were a Members Only club.

Elmore Leonard wrote for a living, from the time in his 20s when he turned out ads for Detroit department stores and vacuum cleaners during the day, and wrote cowboy and crime stories for pulp magazines at night.

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The Salt
4:26 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Wine Has Sommeliers. Now, Beer Has Cicerones

Ray Daniels inspects a glass of beer. A Chicago brewer, Daniels started the Cicerone training program five years ago.
Johnny Knight Courtesy of Ray Daniels

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 7:08 pm

If you've been to a fancy restaurant, you've probably seen a sommelier — those wine experts who make sure you get the best possible match for your meal. But what if you don't want a chardonnay or pinot? What if you want a nice cold beer?

A new program is working to bring this same level of knowledge to the world of malt and hops by turning out batches of certified beer experts known as Cicerones.

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Theater
4:25 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Bread And Puppet Marks 50 Years Of Paper Mache And Protest

Bread and Puppet Theater performs during a protest in New York in June 1982.
AP

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 10:39 am

Bread and Puppet Theater has been a familiar presence at political demonstrations since the anti-war protests of the 1960s. Its giant puppets and raucous brass band also marched against wars in Central America, Afghanistan and Iraq. In 1982, Bread and Puppet led a parade in New York that, according to police estimates, consisted of more than a half-million anti-nuclear protesters. Though massive street protests may be a thing of the past, Bread and Puppet's work is still unapologetically political as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

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NPR Story
9:42 am
Sat August 17, 2013

Gunfire Exchanged In Standoff At Cairo Mosque

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And this week, Egypt witnessed the bloodiest day in its modern history. More than 600 people were killed, most are in a security crackdown on supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi. And it isn't over. Dozens more people have died since, some in citizen on citizen violence.

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Environment
6:55 am
Sat August 17, 2013

Dolphin Deaths Alarm Scientists

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Dolphins are washing ashore in alarming numbers in the Mid-Atlantic states this summer. More than 160 deaths of dolphins have been reported since early July and that's the worst fate in 26 years. Response teams from New York to Virginia are trying to determine just what's killing all these dolphins. Charlie Potter is working with one of those teams at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.

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Digital Life
6:55 am
Sat August 17, 2013

Happy International Geocaching Day!

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

He would be probably the first to wish you a happy International Geocaching Day. Geo what?

DAVE PREBECK: Geocaching is basically a high tech scavenger hunt.

SIMON: That's Dave Prebeck, president of NOVAGO, the Northern Virginia Geocaching organization.

PREBECK: We have people go out and hide something and then they post the latitude and longitude on a website - geocaching.com is the primary one - and then those of us with GPS's get the latitude and longitude from the site and go out looking for them.

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Movies
6:55 am
Sat August 17, 2013

The Words Vivien Leigh Left Behind

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GONE WITH THE WIND")

VIVIEN LEIGH: (as Scarlett O'Hara) Oh, Rhett, please don't go. You can't leave me, please. I'll never forgive you.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA")

CLAUDE RAINS: (as Julius Caesar) Who are you?

LEIGH: (as Cleopatra) Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt.

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Politics
5:02 am
Sat August 17, 2013

Immigration Reform Activists March To Calif. Farm Country

Marchers kick off a 21-day march calling for immigration reform in Sacramento, Calif. on Monday. The 285-mile walk through California's Central Valley ended in Bakersfield at the district office of House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 6:35 am

Immigrant and farm worker rights groups came from Los Angeles to Bakersfield, Calif., by the busload this week. Bakersfield, in the state's Central Valley, is farm country, and immigration is a complex issue here.

The groups were converging on the home of the third-most powerful Republican in the House, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.

Activists across the country are targeting a number of Republican members of Congress this summer, trying to pressure the House to take up the immigration reform bill passed in the Senate.

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Asia
5:02 am
Sat August 17, 2013

To Care For U.S. Kids, Filipinas Leave Their Own Behind

Lita and her son, Myke, now live in Houston together. She still works as a nanny and Myke is an interior designer. Lita's two daughters have also immigrated to the United States.
Ashley Westerman For NPR

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 3:53 pm

Few American mothers could fathom a situation that would force them to leave their country in order to put food in their children's bellies, clothes on their backs and send them to school. This is the reality for many Filipina women, who cross oceans in search of jobs that pay enough to provide for their families back home.

The Philippines is known worldwide for sending its citizens overseas to work, and a recent study has shown the country consistently deploys more women than men. In the United States, Filipinas are often nurses and caretakers; many work as nannies

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Ecstatic Voices
1:03 am
Sat August 17, 2013

Sufi Mystics Get A Modern Soundtrack

Riad Abdel-Gawad creates new Sufi music by translating sacred chants to the violin.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 6:35 am

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Music
1:03 am
Sat August 17, 2013

William Tyler Speaks 'Truth' Through His Guitar

William Tyler performs in Iowa City.
Clay Masters

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 6:35 am

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Parallels
12:05 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

A Syrian Village Surrounded By Civil War

Rebels hold the central Syrian region of Al Houleh, but the area is surrounded by government troops. Supplies have to be smuggled in, like these fruits and vegetables that are being transported across Houleh Lake.
Rasha Elass

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 6:35 am

Before Syria's civil war, Al Houleh was a small, quiet farming region to the north of Homs. But a massacre last year, blamed on government loyalists, left several dozen villagers dead.

Since then, the Al Houleh region has become rebel-held territory, and government troops are choking it. Trapped in the siege are several hundred civilians, all of them related to the rebels.

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Digital Life
11:24 am
Sat August 10, 2013

TED Radio Hour: The Hackers

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 6:43 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Time now for an idea worth spreading from the TED Radio Hour. What if there were a way to hack into your brain and make your life better. Neurosurgeon Andres Lozano is doing just that. He told host Guy Raz how.

DR. ANDRES LOZANO: We are able to adjust the activity of circuits in the brain by using electricity...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Commentary
7:21 am
Sat August 10, 2013

The Doctor, An Utterly Millennial Hero

BBC

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 6:43 am

The selection last week of actor Peter Capaldi to play the latest Doctor on Doctor Who has made headlines all over the world — and you'd be forgiven for wondering why. It's only a TV show, after all, and it's a sometimes cheesy, often over-the-top sci-fi feature, not 60 Minutes or The West Wing.

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NPR Story
6:22 am
Sat August 10, 2013

Small-Market Teams Leading MLB Standings

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 6:43 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPORTS THEME MUSIC)

HEADLEE: We are rounding the corner toward Major League Baseball's homestretch. Some surprising names are up near the top of the standings: Pirates, Royals, Orioles all contending this year. They have a collective zero World Series titles since 1985 and it's not really a surprise. But I can't get through a sports interview without mentioning, of course, the beloved Detroit Tigers. They're in first place in the American League.

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NPR Story
6:22 am
Sat August 10, 2013

A Taste Of The Future Of Food

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 6:43 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Unless you've been hiding under a burger bun for the past week, you've probably heard the story about the lab-grown burger. The test-tube piece of meat took three months and cost more than $300,000 to grow, but its makers hope the experiment might help feed the world someday.

It's Morgaine Gaye's job to think about what we'll be eating in the future. She's a food futurologist, and she joins me now from our London bureau and she joins me now from our London bureau. Welcome.

DR. MORGAINE GAYE: Hello there.

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NPR Story
6:22 am
Sat August 10, 2013

Detroit's Uneasy Relations With Michigan

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 6:43 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee.

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Television
4:43 am
Sat August 10, 2013

Murder, Secrets And Lies By The Seaside In 'Broadchurch'

David Tennant plays Detective Inspector Alec Hardy alongside Olivia Colman as Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller, investigating the murder of a young boy in the BBC crime drama Broadchurch.
BBC

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 6:43 am

During the opening scene of Broadchurch, a new drama on BBC America, the camera lingers on a sign that reads "Love Thy Neighbour." But it must be pretty hard to 'love thy neighbor' when you know there's a murderer in your midst.

Broadchurch is also the fictional name of the idyllic looking English seaside town where the show is set. From afar, it looks like the perfect vacation spot — but up close the picture is quite different.

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National Security
4:09 am
Sat August 10, 2013

Kerry, Hagel Aim To Ease U.S.-Russian Tensions

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, right, walk to their news conference at the Russian Embassy in Washington on Friday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 6:43 am

Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with their Russian counterparts for talks in Washington on Friday, aiming to repair strained relations with Moscow.

President Obama snubbed Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday when he called off plans to go to Moscow next month for a one-on-one summit. He was reacting to Russia's offer of temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

But on Friday, the diplomats seemed eager to show that the dispute is not some new sort of cold war.

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Food
3:51 am
Sat August 10, 2013

Pack A Pie For Your Picnic, Right In Your Hot Little Hand

Baker Kim Boyce's hand pies can be filled with a variety of fruits, from apricots to blackberries. The fruit's natural sugars and juices caramelize while baking, concentrating the summer flavors.
Deena Prichep for NPR

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 6:43 am

Late summer is high season for delicious, juicy fruits, from Georgia peaches to Maine blueberries. Naturally, that gets many bakers thinking pie. But taking a big, drippy pie on a picnic can be a pretty sloppy prospect.

Kim Boyce, a baker in Portland, Ore., has solved this problem. For picnics, she bakes up hand pies: Sturdy little fruit-filled turnovers that don't require a knife and fork. Boyce makes 60 or 70 a day at her bakery.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Pentagon Papers Leaker Daniel Ellsberg Praises Snowden, Manning

Daniel Ellsberg was a military analyst in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret study of U.S. government decision-making in Vietnam.
Paul J. RIchards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 3:49 pm

Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who in 1971 leaked the top-secret Pentagon Papers detailing the history of U.S. policy in Vietnam, tells NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday that unlike Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, he "did it the wrong way" by trying first to go through proper channels — a delay that he says cost thousands of lives.

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NPR Story
6:01 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Wildlife Sound Archivist Remembered

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 12:46 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Twenty years ago today, Ted Parker, one of the world's great ornithologists and sound recordists died in a plane crash in Equator. He was only 40. Parker contributed nearly 11,000 wildlife recordings to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Macaulay library.

He could identify some 4,000 different bird species by sound alone. In this audio montage, the lab's director, John Fitzpatrick offers a remembrance.

JOHN FITZPATRICK: I've rarely met anybody as passionate about his love of nature and of birds than Ted Parker.

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NPR Story
6:01 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Drugs And The Future Of Baseball

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 12:46 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: A big week for Major League Baseball. The trade deadline came, the trade deadline went, but the pennant races are close, games were won in the final at-bats, but everyone is still talking about a clinic in Miami - Biogenesis - and the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the major leagues.

To break it down we're joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. Hi, Howard.

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Around the Nation
5:01 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Cow Town Opts For Funk Over Funky Smell

As part of its rebranding effort, Greeley has adopted the slogan "Greeley Unexpected," appearing on a billboard on Highway 34 in Weld County, Colo.
Nathan Heffel for NPR

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 12:46 pm

Greeley, Colo., has an image problem. Actually, it's more of an odor problem.

A meatpacking plant is on the northeast side of town, and when the wind blows just right, you can't miss the smell — a cross between a slaughterhouse, a cow farm with manure and other unidentified odors.

In fact, the city's website says back in the 1960s, folks joked that that odor was merely "the smell of money." One of the town's main industries was, and is, cattle.

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Politics
5:01 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Durbin, Harkin Take On Immigration Critic In His Own District

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) listens as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) speaks at a forum on immigration in Ames, Iowa, on Friday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 12:46 pm

Two top Senate Democrats took the fight for an immigration bill to the home district of one of the issue's toughest critics, Republican Rep. Steve King, on Friday.

Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) went to Ames, Iowa, to make hay out of King's remarks about the "Dreamers," those young people brought here as children by their undocumented parents.

"There have been some characterizations of these young students that aren't fair at all," Durbin said at a rally on Friday.

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Food
4:59 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Pickling Up Your Next Summer Picnic

Mike Odette, chef and co-owner of Sycamore Restaurant, finds beets and turnips that will make tasty refrigerator pickles at the Columbia, Mo., farmers market.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 4:55 pm

Mike Odette, chef and co-owner of Sycamore Restaurant in Columbia, Mo., is trolling the local farmer's market. He usually hunts for ingredients for his next menu, but today he's searching for veggies to take on a picnic.

A slaw using creamy mayonnaise might spoil in the summer heat. So Odette favors a simple summer vinaigrette that's equal parts cider vinegar and sugar. He recommends making it the night before.

"It benefits from sitting in the refrigerator overnight," he says, "so the flavors can develop, and you could even dress your slaw on your picnic."

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Ecstatic Voices
1:03 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Songs Of Africa: Beautiful Music With A Violent History

Fred Onovwerosuoke founded the St. Louis African Chorus 20 years ago.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 9:00 am

For the next year, NPR will take a musical journey across America, which is one of the most religiously diverse countries on earth. We want to discover and celebrate the many ways in which people make spiritual music — individually and collectively, inside and outside houses of worship.

The founder of the choral group Sounds of Africa is Fred Onovwerosuoke. He was born in Ghana and brought up in Nigeria, and his choir in the heart of the U.S. — St. Louis, Mo., to be exact — has recorded his arrangements of African sacred music by a composer named Ikoli Harcourt Whyte.

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