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.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now why don't we turn to sports?

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Tito is a delightful young man. The world would call him disabled; he's had cerebral palsy since birth, the result of a bungled medical procedure at a hospital in Venice.

Tito was born to Anna and Diogo Mainardi, who is one of Brazil's best-known columnists as well as a novelist and screenwriter.

Tito is dauntless and spirited. He can walk 424 steps before he falls — but he always falls.

Dr. Doug Butzier died on duty this week. He was 59 and crashed in his own small plane flying home to Dubuque, Iowa.

Doug Butzier was a former paramedic who put himself through medical school and became chief of the emergency room and medical staff at Mercy Medical Center and the Dubuque Fire Department. An EMS supervisor named Wayne Dow told the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, "We adored him ... He appreciated what we did, and he never forgot where he came from."

Dr. Butzier leaves behind his wife, two sons, and three step-children.

Two Wildcard Teams Meet In World Series

Oct 18, 2014
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BJ Leiderman writes our theme music. Want to hear it?

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Chinese characters don't readily work with the English-centric internet. The New Republic's Chris Beam tells NPR's Scott Simon that the Chinese use numbers that when pronounced, sound like words. This story air originally on Weekend Edition Saturday on May 10, 2014.

North Korean Leader, Out Of Sight For Weeks

Oct 11, 2014
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If you saw Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach meeting with half a dozen supporters in an Kansas bar recently, you might think that he hadn't come all that far from his childhood in Topeka, where his dad owned a Buick dealership.

But this smiling, enthusiastic guy holds degrees from Harvard, Oxford and Yale, and he's a national stalwart of the anti-immigration movement.

"I have been involved in restoring the rule of law in immigration," he says. "That means trying to stop the lawlessness in the Obama administration, and that also means defending states like Arizona."

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

Young people have been the life blood of the environmental movement for decades. There could be trouble on the horizon though, and it all comes down to semantics.

To explain, it's helpful to use the example of Lisa Curtis, a 26-year-old from Oakland, California.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Every now and then you can see a short story come to life right in front of you.

We were on a train this week while a man in a seat nearby spoke in a voice loud enough to carry above the whoosh of the rails to a man whose name we have changed to Phil, to tell him that the company had deliberated and decided they had to make "a transition" in his department.

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration is trying to deflect criticism over an arson fire at an air traffic control center that shut down Chicago's airports last week.

Administrator Michael Huerta toured the fire-damaged Chicago air traffic control center in suburban Aurora on Friday with members of the Illinois congressional delegation.

Huerta admitted the agency has no quick fix to prevent a similar shutdown of a control facility from paralyzing air traffic across the country.

The U.S. may have added jobs to its payroll last month, but the losses are still huge in Atlantic City, N.J., where four casinos have closed this year. A fifth teeters, and more than 7,000 people — dealers, greeters, cooks and maids — have been laid off.

The job losses could mean a future of boarded windows and abandoned buildings.

In the 1970s, Atlantic City had lost the glitter of its golden years — the 1940s and '50s, when it was a favored summer spot with a broad beach, the Boardwalk, pastel resort hotels and the home of the Miss America Pageant.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. You know, October isn't just for pumpkin spicy drinks, it's time for sports.

Dancer Needed To Move To Think

Oct 4, 2014
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Dame Gillian Lynne is Broadway royalty. She choreographed "Cats," "Phantom Of The Opera." Today she's 88, still dancing and still happily married.

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F. Murray Abraham and Megan Mullally join us from New York now. They're just two stars on a crowded marquee in a new production of Terrence McNally's "It's Only A Play" which premiered in 1982, but flop - wait, that's the F word in the theater.

In English, the 22-year-old woman's name means life. She's afraid to let us use it for the safety of the hostages that ISIS still holds. She was taken with thousands of other women and children, but she escaped, and now they're searching for her. Her nickname is Dudu.

We meet her and her four younger sisters inside a shipping container that's propped up on cinder blocks and fashioned into a makeshift shelter. It's where her extended family lives now, just outside the northern Kurdish city of Dohuk.

The virgin Astroturf is springy underfoot, and the neon yellow goal posts stretch up into the blue September sky. The Comets should be playing well.

They're not.

After seven years of away-games, the football team at Cody High School in Detroit has their own field. The facility at Cody was in such terrible shape that they couldn't play there.

That changed Friday night. Unfortunately, the Comets homecoming did not start well.

The old federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay is one of the city's top tourist attractions. Beginning Saturday, it's also the site of an installation by one of China's most famous dissident artists, Ai Weiwei.

The work, "@Large" explores themes of freedom and confinement. Finding freedom under restriction is a worthy challenge, Ai says. Confined to China himself, the artist had to pull it all off without setting foot in the U.S.

Here's an idea for weekend fun: Pick up a banned book.

Look for "the good parts" — the sections of Ulysses, The Grapes of Wrath, The Color Purple, Catch-22, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Lolita, the Harry Potter series, Animal Farm, A Farewell to Arms or In the Night Kitchen that have scenes and language that once made people gasp, blush or shudder. The parts that made them say, "We can't let people read this!"

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And now it's time for Sports. Derek Jeter takes his final curtain. The Ryder Cup tees off Scotland, still part of the United Kingdom. And FIFA contends with scandalous charges and BJ Lederman writes our theme music.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Ag-Extravaganza brings children and farmers together

Sep 27, 2014
Julia Botero

Fourth and fifth graders across Jefferson County jammed the Thompson Park Pavilion in Watertown, N.Y., recently to learn about farming and agriculture. The two-day event called Ag-Extravaganza was hosted by the county's cooperative extension office. 

Students patted sheep, watched an apple press in action, and learned about life on a dairy farm from Jeffersons County's Dairy Princess, Krystle  Burger. They played a game she called "Got Moo?" where students pointed out which things from the grocery store were and were not dairy.

The candidates running for Texas governor, Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and Democratic State Sen. Wendy Davis, held their first televised debate on Friday in heavily Hispanic South Texas, in the border county of Hidalgo in the Rio Grande Valley.

The county is 90 percent Hispanic. It was the first gubernatorial debate on the border since 1998.

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the fast-growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and many Republicans believe their survival lies in recruiting Hispanic supporters.

Sierra Leone is holding a country-wide experiment: For three days, no one is allowed to leave their home.

It's part of the country's strategy for controlling the deadly Ebola virus. While people across Sierra Leone stay at home, teams of workers go door-to-door, educating the public about the disease.

The effort got its shaky start on Friday.

The streets were empty in the heart of Freetown, the capitol. The only sound came from a few street sweepers and a police van blasting a song from an old speaker.

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