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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6:33am

Sat January 26, 2013
Author Interviews

Dave Barry's 'Insane' Miami Mixes Refugees, Gangsters, Escorts And A Burmese Python

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Putnam

It wouldn't do to call Insane City "a typical Dave Barry novel." What kind of thing is that to say about a book? The story begins with a bachelor dinner that goes off the rails, then brings in Russian mobsters, the fourth-place finisher in the Miss Hot Amateur Bod contest, a goodhearted escort and her "sales representative," if you please, an albino Burmese python — or is that a Burmese albino python?

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5:28am

Sat January 26, 2013
Simon Says

'Ebony' Editor Began Life Black In Nazi Germany

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Hans Massaquoi told his story in Destined to Witness: Growing up Black in Nazi Germany. The former managing editor of Ebony magazine died on his 87th birthday last Saturday.
Matthew P. D'Agostino AP

The proudest moment of Hans Massaquoi's boyhood was when his babysitter sewed a swastika on his sweater. He was a 7-year-old boy in Hamburg who wanted to be part of the excitement of the times he saw. But when his mother got home, she snipped off the swastika.

He also wanted to join the Hitler Youth. "They had cool uniforms," Massaquoi wrote years later, "and they did exciting things — camping, parades, playing drums."

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5:27am

Sat January 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama Administration Takes Gun Control Fight Outside Washington

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Vice President Joe Biden participates in a round-table discussion on gun violence at Virginia Commonwealth University with Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., on Friday. The panelists included people who worked on gun safety after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.
Steve Helber AP

The Obama administration is taking its push for gun legislation outside of the Beltway — possibly in a nod to the obstacles any gun control bills will face in Washington.

On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden held a round-table discussion in Richmond, Va., speaking with people who worked on gun safety after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.

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5:27am

Sat January 26, 2013
It's All Politics

For GOP Comeback, Leaders Urge Stepped-Up Outreach

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, shown at the Republican National Convention in August, has been re-elected to another two-year term.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

In their first big party gathering since Election Day, Republican leaders from around the country met in Charlotte, N.C., this week.

The GOP is promising a great deal of change in advance of the next election, but one area where there will be no change for the party is in its leadership. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was elected to another two-year term.

In his acceptance speech, he cited a simple reason why Republicans failed to win the White House and lost seats in the House and Senate in November.

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2:03am

Sat January 26, 2013
Music News

The Composer Who Tested Fighter Planes And Partied With Sinatra

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Jimmy Van Heusen with Frank Sinatra in the 1950s. Van Heusen wrote dozens of songs for the crooner and became Sinatra's close friend and confidant.
Courtesy of Burns Media Productions

You've never heard of Jimmy Van Heusen? Well, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has. You certainly know many of his songs, says Brook Babcock, Van Heusen's grandnephew and president of his publishing company.

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2:03am

Sat January 26, 2013
Music Interviews

Petra Haden Covers Classic Film Scores With A Single Voice

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Petra Haden's new album is titled Petra Goes to the Movies.
Courtesy of the artist

Petra Haden had a problem when she was a child: "I remember watching Looney Tunes cartoons and having the music stuck in my head," the singer and violinist says.

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3:29pm

Fri January 25, 2013
Regional Coverage

Onondaga Historical Association celebrates their 150th birthday

The Onondaga Historical Association turns 150 this year. Friday night they hold a Jubilee Celebration in Syracuse University's Carnegie Hall that also marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

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5:31am

Sat January 19, 2013
NPR Story

Is A Fresh Start In Washington Possible?

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 7:13 am

Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Mara Liasson about whether the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans can find some common ground and overcome the political gridlock that characterized much of the president's first term.

5:31am

Sat January 19, 2013
NPR Story

For Justice Sotomayor, Books Unlocked Imagination

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 7:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has a new autobiography out about her life and her career in law. Earlier this week, we broadcast portions of her interview with NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. Today, Nina talks to the justice about the role that books have played in her life.

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5:31am

Sat January 19, 2013
NPR Story

House GOP Backs Off Debt Ceiling Demands

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 7:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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3:06am

Sat January 19, 2013
Regional Coverage

Researcher looks to make firefighters' work a bit easier

Tyler Hale, a firefighter in Cayuga Heights, tested leather and rubber boots to measure their effects on joint and muscle movement.
Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

Tyler Hale is a 25-year-old volunteer firefighter with the Cayuga Heights Fire Department. Wires connecting small plastic sensors snake up his arms and legs and down his back and Huiju Park, an assistant professor at Cornell University, directs Hale through a series of movements.

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2:03am

Sat January 19, 2013
Music News

Jin, 'The Chinese Kid Who Raps,' Grows Up

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 7:25 pm

After a failed career at home in the U.S., the Chinese-American rapper Jin found an unexpected second chance at stardom on the other side of the world.
Louis Trinh Courtesy of artist

2:03am

Sat January 19, 2013
Music Interviews

A Bagpipe-Slinging Spaniard Finds A Home In New York Jazz

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 2:18 pm

On the new album Migrations, Cristina Pato plays the gaita, a bagpipe from her native region of Galicia in northwest Spain.
Courtesy of the artist

Cristina Pato is a jazz pianist from Spain who also plays flute and sings. But on her new album, Migrations, there's a striking sound not often heard in jazz: a bagpipe. Pato has been playing the traditional gaita (pronounced "GY-tah"), a version of the bagpipe from her native region of Galicia, since she was 4 years old.

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10:29am

Sat January 12, 2013
Simon Says

Cheating Might Buy Home Runs, But No Hall Of Fame

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:23 pm

The Baseball Hall of Fame is a tourist attraction, not a papal conclave. And the people who cast votes for the Hall are sportswriters, not the College of Cardinals.

But there was something momentous this week when the Baseball Writers Association elected no one to the Hall of Fame. Not Roger Clemens, who won a record seven Cy Young Awards. Not Barry Bonds, who hit a record 762 home runs. Not Sammy Sosa, who hit 60 or more home runs in a season three times.

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8:36am

Sat January 12, 2013
Simon Says

Baseball Hall Of Fame Snub Draws The Line

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 9:22 am

There was something momentous this week when the Baseball Writers Association elected no one to the Hall of Fame. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon remarks on the rebuke, rare in a sport where bad behavior is routine.

6:51am

Sat January 12, 2013
Sports

Making Sense Of The NFL Playoffs

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. Hey, it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: In the NFL playoffs this weekend, will the Falcons, Seahawks and Ravens soar? Will the Broncos buck, the 49ers strike gold, the Patriots run up the flag, the Texans remember, and the Packers pack up and go home? How many ridiculous phrases can I work into a sentence?

NPR's Tom Goldman joins us now to help us make sense of all of 'em. Tom, thanks for being with us.

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6:51am

Sat January 12, 2013
Business

A Nightmarish Week For Boeing's Dreamliner

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Of course, this last week has been kind of a nightmare for Boeing and its new 787 Dreamliner. In three separate incidents in as many days, airline carriers reported problems with brakes, with fuel leaks and a battery fire. The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced a comprehensive review of the new plane. Joining us now to talk about Boeing's new 787 is Joe Nocera, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, and our man on finance and other matters. Joe, thanks very much for being with us.

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6:51am

Sat January 12, 2013
Politics

What Would Obama Do (If There's No Debt Ceiling Deal)?

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

You might've chuckled a bit this week, if you heard about the trillion-dollar platinum coin plan, to perhaps address Washington, D.C.'s debt ceiling stalemate. But it will certainly be no laughing matter if the U.S. Congress refuses to raise the borrowing limit, and the U.S. government defaults on its debt. Global financial markets would likely plummet.

NPR's John Ydstie reports on some of the options the president has if he and Congress cannot reach an agreement.

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5:35am

Sat January 12, 2013
Author Interviews

NBA Star Aims To Inspire Young Readers With 'Slam Dunk'

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Scholastic & Klutz

Amar'e Stoudemire is known as "STAT," an acronym for "standing tall and talented." He's an 11-year-old basketball player who wants badly to learn how to dunk — that's Amar'e the character, anyway.

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5:34am

Sat January 12, 2013
History

World War II Exhibit Asks Visitors, 'What Would You Do?'

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Using touchscreens, visitors decide how they would make wartime choices.
Courtesy National WWII Museum

For many, the stakes and the scale of World War II are hard to fathom. It was a war fought around the world, against powerful, determined regimes in Europe and the Pacific; some 65 million people died. And as the number of people who have actual memories of the war dwindle — as of next year, there will be fewer than 1 million living veterans — the mission of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans becomes all the more urgent.

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5:34am

Sat January 12, 2013
Books

The Seedy Underbelly Of The Belle Epoque, 'Painted'

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:54 pm

Just who is The Little Dancer, Aged 14? Who is the actual girl, cast 2/3 of her life size by Edgar Degas?

That little dancer was Marie van Goethem, one of three sisters left to fend for themselves after their father dies and their mother begins spending her washerwoman's income on absinthe.

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2:03am

Sat January 12, 2013
Music Interviews

A Night Out With Sam Cooke: 'Harlem Square' Turns 50

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Sam Cooke in the studio in the early 1960s.
Courtesy of Legacy Recordings

Fifty years ago Saturday, Sam Cooke stepped onstage at a club in Miami. He'd come a long way to get there.

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6:56am

Sat January 5, 2013
Television

'The Americans': Looking Back On The Cold War 'Fondly'

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The end of football is in sight, so what to do with that couch? What about another classic rivalry? An old fashioned spy versus spy Cold War drama?

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE AMERICANS")

MATTHEW RHYS: (as Phillip) Super secret spies living next door. They look like us, they speak better English than we do. According to Misha, they're not allowed to say a single word in Russian once they get here. I mean, come on. Someone's been reading too many spy novels. Talking figment of the imagination.

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6:56am

Sat January 5, 2013
Strange News

Another Think Coming? Scrutinizing An Oft-Misused Phrase

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS CONFERENCE)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, good afternoon, everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: Good afternoon.

OBAMA: Welcome to the White House.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

At a news conference earlier this week, President Obama tried to put pressure on Republicans and federal budget negotiations. The president said he would not accept spending cuts from Republicans without some tax increases. Then he used a phrase that raised a few eyebrows.

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6:56am

Sat January 5, 2013
Asia

Pakistani Cafe Is Oasis In Desert Of Civil Discourse

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In Pakistan, there's a cafe called the Second Floor. It's listed in a local Karachi social blog as one of the coolest cafes in town. Since it opened its doors five years ago, it's become a haven in a city more known for its violence than its civil discourse. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston paid a visit.

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: The artwork on the front stoop of the Second Floor Cafe in Karachi says it all.

SABEEN MAHMUD: I wanted something right at the entrance...

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6:56am

Sat January 5, 2013
Africa

Congo's Tutsi Minority Enveloped In Complex Conflict

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's hard to tell whether the ongoing conflict in Eastern Congo is a battle between rival ethnic groups or a fight for resources. There are so many militant groups in Eastern Congo with so many shifting alliances and demands. But a tiny ethnic minority in Congo has been at the center of this conflict for the past 20 years. NPR's Gregory Warner tells their story from the Eastern Congoli city of Goma.

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6:04am

Sat January 5, 2013
Regional Coverage

Oswego couple give back to SUNY and central New York

Richard Shineman
Credit Shineman Foundation

SUNY Oswego recently announced that it has received the largest donation in its 150-year history. But perhaps more remarkable than the $5 million gift is the couple who it is from, and the lasting legacy to the university and the community they are creating.

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5:29am

Sat January 5, 2013
Author Interviews

'Death Of Bees' Captures A Grim, Gory Coming-Of-Age

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 9:59 am

The Death of Bees is a story about two young girls living in a Glasgow, Scotland, housing project. And if you believe the first sentences of a novel are often the most difficult to write, try this beginning paragraph:

"Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard.

"Neither of them were beloved."

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5:28am

Sat January 5, 2013
World

London Real Estate, A Magnet For Mega-Rich From Around The Globe

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 9:59 am

Foreign buyers are pushing the prices of prime London real estate through the roof. Neighborhoods such as West London, Kensington and Chelsea are particularly popular.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Looking for a London pied-a-terre? How about a four-bedroom duplex overlooking Hyde Park? It could be yours, if you're prepared to spend $25 million.

In most of the United Kingdom, property prices are slumping. But in some of London's most upscale neighborhoods, they're going crazy.

Robin Perona sweeps the sidewalk at Egerton Crescent, a gracious semicircle of white townhouses in fashionable Chelsea.

In the 1990s, they cost about $700,000 each. Today the average price is some $13 million — or 8 million British pounds.

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5:28am

Sat January 5, 2013
World

Germany's Housing Market Is Hot. Is It Overheating?

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 9:59 am

Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood, like many others across the city, is experiencing a real estate boom. Housing prices have risen by as much as 20 percent in the past year in some German cities.
Adam Berry Getty Images

Few Western countries are as conservative about home ownership as Germany, where less than half the country's citizens own property.

German banks have tough lending rules. Would-be buyers are usually asked to provide hefty down payments to secure mortgages, meaning few Germans even think about buying a home until they are settled and financially secure.

But the European debt crisis appears to be changing the traditions around home ownership. The resulting surge in homebuying, some officials warn, is driving prices too high and threatens the nation's economy.

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