Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturdays from 8-10 a.m.

Saturday mornings are made for Weekend Edition Saturday, the program wraps up the week's news and offers a mix of analysis and features on a wide range of topics, including arts, sports, entertainment, and human interest stories. The two-hour program is hosted by NPR's Peabody Award-winning Scott Simon.

Drawing on his experience in covering 10 wars and stories in all 50 states and seven continents, Simon brings a humorous, sophisticated and often moving perspective to each show. He is as comfortable having a conversation with a major world leader as he is talking with a Hollywood celebrity or the guy next door.

Weekend Edition Saturday has a unique and entertaining roster of other regular contributors. Marin Alsop, conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, talks about music. Daniel Pinkwater, one of the biggest names in children's literature, talks about and reads stories with Simon. Financial journalist Joe Nocera follows the economy. Howard Bryant of EPSN.com and NPR's Tom Goldman chime in on sports. Keith Devlin, of Stanford University, unravels the mystery of math, and Will Grozier, a London cabbie, talks about good books that have just been released, and what well-read people leave in the back of his taxi. Simon contributes his own award-winning essays, which are sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant.

Weekend Edition Saturday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States, and around the globe on NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

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12:43pm

Sat June 28, 2014
Iraq

Western Fighters Answer Mideast Extremists' Clarion Call

This image posted on a militant website shows ISIS fighters marching in Raqqa, Syria, where the extremist group trains recruits, including Westerners.
AP

This week a young man in Texas became the first American to plead guilty to terrorism charges related to the recent fighting in Iraq.

Michael Wolfe, 23, was arrested just before he boarded a plane. He was on his way to join ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Sunni extremist group that has been storming its way across Iraq for the past two weeks.

ISIS and hundreds of other rebel groups in Syria have inspired thousands of young men around the world to leave their homes and join the fight.

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12:33pm

Sat June 28, 2014
Environment

As Yosemite Park Turns 150, Charms And Challenges Endure

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 12:04 am

Over the past century and a half, visitors have traveled through Yosemite on foot, by carriage, by tram and by car. Now some regions will be once again be accessible only by foot, to protect delicate regions of the park.
Courtesy Yosemite National Park Research Library/KQED

Yosemite National Park, in California's Sierra Nevada, is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the law that preserved it — and planted the seeds for the National Park system. At the same time, the park faces the challenge of protecting the natural wonders from their own popularity.

Since President Abraham Lincoln signed the 1864 law that protected this land, visitors have been enjoying the park's spectacular features, from Half Dome to the giant sequoia grove — and the moonbow at Yosemite Falls.

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7:51am

Sat June 28, 2014
Middle East

Region's Leaders Promise To Protect Iraq's Holy Sites

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 12:43 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

One of the things many countries can agree on is the importance of protecting Iraq's cultural and religious heritage in the midst of this conflict. There are holy sites in the country that have existed for thousands of years.

Last week, Iran's president vowed to cross the border to defend Shiite shrines in Iraq. And thousands of Shia Muslims in India have said they'll do the same. That would widen the conflict even more.

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7:51am

Sat June 28, 2014
Iraq

Kerry Urges Mideast Leaders To Contain ISIS

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 12:43 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Secretary of State John Kerry is a ending week-long diplomatic trip through Europe and the Mideast. Secretary Kerry went from Baghdad to Erbil and then on to Brussels and Paris. He finally ended up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where he warned that the Sunni Muslim group ISIS is a threat to the whole region, not just Iraq.

NPR's Jackie Northam has been traveling with Secretary Kerry. She joins us from the last stop on his journey in Shannon, Ireland. Jackie, thanks for being with us.

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7:51am

Sat June 28, 2014
Sports

World Cup Round Of 16 Dominated By South American Teams

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 12:43 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

The knockout round of the World Cup - maybe want to make that the South American Cup, since so many of the teams left standing are from the home hemisphere.

Team USA is there, too, even after it lost to Germany on Thursday. We're joined now by Howard Bryant of espn.com and ESPN The Magazine. Howard, thanks for being with us.

HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Scott.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOG BARKING)

SIMON: (Laughing) Careful, I might bite.

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11:22am

Sat June 21, 2014
Middle East

Talks Yield Possible Framework For Iran Nuclear Deal

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 11:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Negotiators trying to ensure that Iran has only a peaceful nuclear program have less than a month to reach an agreement. A week of talks in Vienna yielded the potential beginnings of a deal. But thorny problems remain unresolved.

As NPR's Peter Kenyon reports, U.S. and Iranian negotiators also spent time fending off questions about the crisis in Iraq.

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9:34am

Sat June 21, 2014
Simon Says

Buried By Picasso, The Man Beneath 'The Blue Room' Tells A Story

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 2:45 pm

Picasso's The Blue Room, painted in 1901, hung in the Phillips Collection for decades.
AP

What's behind the man who is below The Blue Room?

This week, conservators at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., revealed that underneath Pablo Picasso's noted 1901 painting The Blue Room is another painting of a mustachioed man in a jacket and bow tie, resting his face on his hand.

Experts have long suspected something more must be below, as there were brushstrokes that didn't match the composition of the nude, bluish woman. Now, advanced infrared technology has revealed the man with the mustache, who also wears three rings on his fingers.

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8:00am

Sat June 21, 2014
Around the Nation

Suburban D.C. Bear Gets Social Before Getting Relocated

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 11:52 am

A bear that was found walking around Bethesda, Md., has been returned to his natural home. But not before gaining a moment of Internet fame with two fake Twitter accounts created on his behalf.

8:00am

Sat June 21, 2014
Around the Nation

An Urban Stonehenge For The New World

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 11:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Today's the start of a new series on WEEKEND EDITION - Summer Stargazing. What better way to begin than with the summer solstice? Early this morning in England, pagans and non-pagans rose to watch the sunrise in perfect alignment with the ancient pillars of Stonehenge.

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8:00am

Sat June 21, 2014
Art & Design

Chicago Girl Designs A Parkinson's-Proof Cup

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 11:52 am

Lily Born, 11, has designed a spill-proof cup for people with Parkinson's disease. She and her dad, Joe Born, talk with NPR's Scott Simon about the invention she's named Kangaroo Cups.

10:35am

Sat June 14, 2014
Around the Nation

The 'Kony 2012' Effect: Recovering From A Viral Sensation

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 11:52 pm

Invisible Children co-founders Jason Russell, left, Bobby Bailey, center, and Laren Poole, record footage in Africa in 2007.
PRWeb

A little over two years ago, you or somebody you know probably watched "Kony 2012," the YouTube video that redefined what it means to go viral.

The video was made by a small San Diego nonprofit called Invisible Children. It shed light on Joseph Kony, the central African warlord who recruited child soldiers.

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8:57am

Sat June 14, 2014
Code Switch

50 Years Ago, Freedom Summer Began By Training For Battle

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 6:51 pm

Freedom Summer activists sing before leaving training sessions at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, for Mississippi in June 1964.
Ted Polumbaum Collection Newseum

Idealism drove hundreds of college students to Mississippi 50 years ago.

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8:04am

Sat June 14, 2014
Around the Nation

Obama Takes A Trip To A Sioux Indian Reservation

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 12:12 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Obama visited the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation yesterday on the border between North and South Dakota. At a celebration honoring Native American veterans, he quoted the tribe's best-known member - Chief Sitting Bull.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: He said, let's put our minds together to see what we can build for our children.

(APPLAUSE)

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8:04am

Sat June 14, 2014
Author Interviews

Author Reveals Imagined Pop Icons' Letters In 'Dear Luke'

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 12:12 pm

Dear Luke, We Need To Talk. Darth is a fictitious compilation of notes and letters by some of popular culture's beloved characters. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with its author, John Moe.

8:04am

Sat June 14, 2014
The Second Term

Netherlands Routs Spain In World Cup Rematch

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 4:59 pm

It was a rematch of the 2010 World Cup Final. But the similarity ended there. Netherlands routed the defending champions, Spain, 5-1.

8:04am

Sat June 14, 2014
Sports

Kings Beat Rangers For Stanley Cup

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 12:12 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

SIMON: BJ Leiderman writes our theme music. And the Los Angeles Kings have won the Stanley Cup last night. They're making a habit of this, aren't they? They defeated the New York Rangers in double-overtime. Were joined now by Howard Bryant of espn.com and ESPN the Magazine. Howard, thanks for being with us.

HOWARD BRYANT: Oh. What a day in sports yesterday, Scott. Unbelievable.

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8:04am

Sat June 14, 2014
Latin America

Ecuador Fights 'Bad Left' Notoriety

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 12:12 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Hillary Clinton calls for a new approach to Latin America in her new book out this week, and she told NPR that that began with an attempt to try to normalize relations with Cuba so the issue wouldn't get in the way of relations with others.

HILLARY CLINTON: It's really important that we pay more attention to our own hemisphere. And there's some great opportunities that we can pursue if we take a more creative, more collaborative approach to working with the rest of the hemisphere.

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2:18pm

Fri June 13, 2014
Politics

Maffei still concerned over handling of Bergdahl release

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse)
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) is still concerned over how the White House handled the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from captivity in Afghanistan, saying some things were done right, but others wrong.

Bergdahl was freed from five years of imprisonment under the Taliban in Afghanistan about two weeks ago. In exchange, five Taliban prisoners in American custody were released. 

Bergdahl returned to the United States early Friday morning to an Army medical center in San Antonio, Texas, after receiving treatment at a military medical facility in Germany. 

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12:02pm

Sat June 7, 2014
Politics

Move Over, Bridgegate: Chris Christie's Next Campaign Roadblock

As New Jersey's fiscal outlook worsens, Gov. Chris Christie is fighting to ensure that a traffic scandal is the worst of his political problems as he eyes a 2016 presidential campaign.
AP

The U.S. economy reached a milestone this week: The country finally recovered all the jobs it lost during the Great Recession. But some states still lag behind when it comes to job creation — including New Jersey.

The Garden State's stalled economy may be an even bigger problem for Gov. Chris Christie than the scandal over lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.

When Christie took office in 2010, the state had just lost more than 100,000 jobs. Christie was undaunted. He talked about the "Jersey Comeback" at town hall meetings, on TV and at ground-breaking events.

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11:37am

Sat June 7, 2014
Author Interviews

Swallowed By The Times And The Fate Of 'Great Powers'

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 12:41 pm

Tom Rachman has written a book for book lovers in The Rise and Fall of Great Powers. The best-selling novelist talks with NPR's Scott Simon about the difference between reading and literature.

8:19am

Sat June 7, 2014
Simon Says

On The 70th Anniversary Of D-Day, A Look At What Could Have Been

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 12:41 pm

On June 6, 1944, U.S. assault troops landed on Omaha Beach during the invasion of Normandy. What might be different today if they had been turned back?
Keystone/Getty Images

The men and women who brought down Adolph Hitler's war machine cannot defeat mortality. As the dwindling number of veterans who served during D-Day are saluted on the 70th anniversary, we might consider how different our lives might have been if those soldiers and sailors had been turned back from the beaches.

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7:54am

Sat June 7, 2014
Sports

N.J. Nets, Devils Owner Gave Millions To Local Causes

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 12:41 pm

We remember Lewis Katz, who once said, "Life is meant to have as much fun as you can conjure up." Katz made a fortune as a sports team owner and gave millions of it away.

7:54am

Sat June 7, 2014
Animals

Pink The Pelican Released After Pouch Surgery

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 12:41 pm

In April, a California brown pelican's pouch was brutally slashed. Pink the pelican was released this week after successful surgery. NPR's Scott Simon talks with veterinarian Dr. Rebecca Duerr.

7:54am

Sat June 7, 2014
Sports

Two- And Four-Legged Athletes In The Sports Spotlight

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 12:41 pm

NPR's Scott Simon and sports correspondent Tom Goldman discuss the prospects for a Triple Crown win at the Belmont Stake and look back at an NBA game played with no air conditioning.

5:34am

Sat June 7, 2014
Arts

Chittenango turns into Land of Oz for annual festival

Chloe Laufer inspects Wizard of Oz memorabilia at the All Things Oz Museum in Chittenango.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The village of Chittenango has transformed into the Land of Oz this weekend for its annual celebration of the Wizard of Oz and its creator.

The town is marking a special anniversary with a record setting attempt. Hundreds of people will gather today at the Chittenango High School dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz. They’re trying to set the world record for most people to do so in one place. England holds that title right now.

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11:38am

Sat May 31, 2014
Book News & Features

Working Out With Hefty Proustian Epics

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It's only days past Memorial Day, and the prospect of appearing on the beach has got some people getting their swimsuits in a twist. We're joined now by Sally Franson who blogs at the Writer's Block website. Sally, thanks for being with us again.

SALLY FRANSON: It's so nice to be back, Scott.

SIMON: So you've developed a workout for the bookish?

FRANSON: I have, you know, it's swimsuit season and it's also summer book season - time to do reading on the beach. And normally, reading and exercising don't mix until now.

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10:23am

Sat May 31, 2014
All Tech Considered

With Beats, Apple Buys A Quick Start On Smart Headphones

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 3:39 pm

Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks wears Beats headphones before a preseason football game last August.
John Froschauer AP

Apple's purchase of headphone maker Beats By Dre for $3 billion is a big payday for Beats founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. But what's in it for Apple?

Beats By Dre headphones are flashy, cool, a fashion statement. One critic called them the Air Jordans of headwear. Most reviewers, however, say Beats headphones aren't actually that good.

"Every time I've listened to them, I think, 'Oh, right, I really don't like these,' " says Whitson Gordon, editor-in-chief of Lifehacker.com.

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9:35am

Sat May 31, 2014
Around the Nation

Abortion Services Return To Town Where George Tiller Was Murdered

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 1:24 pm

Executive Director Julie Burkhart stands next to a portrait of Dr. George Tiller at the South Wind Women's Center in Wichita, Kan. Burkhart runs the center, which recently opened in the same building where Tiller's clinic once operated.
Charlie Riedel AP

Five years ago, Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed at the Wichita, Kans., church where he was an usher. Tiller was widely known for performing abortions in late pregnancy and had become a target for protests.

It was the morning of May 31, 2009, and fellow usher Gary Hoepner remembers they had finished their greeting duties and had walked out into the waiting area to get a doughnut.

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8:34am

Sat May 31, 2014
Energy

One farmer weighs pros and cons of wind turbines

Matt Martin/WSKG

Wind turbine company NextEra Energy is considering whether to build a $200 million wind energy project in the town of Catlin in Chemung County. The town board is finalizing the details of a new zoning law that will allow the project to move forward. So local farmers are weighing whether or not to allow the turbines on their property.

It’s a windy day as Dan Teed makes his way up the side of a gravel road. Tall, twirling turbines stand like sentinels on the crest of the hill.

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7:46am

Sat May 31, 2014
Asia

South Korea Repaves For A 'Woman-Friendly Seoul'

Originally published on Sat May 31, 2014 11:38 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Seoul, South Korea's making some changes to its urban landscape. The mayor's office says the women-friendly Seoul campaign will make the city more comfortable for women. They say a lot of urban design focused on men when they were the sole workers in a family and that's changed. So, they're installing pink painted parking spots reserved for women that are a bit wider and longer than the average spot and closer to elevators.

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