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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5:28am

Sat January 5, 2013
It's All Politics

Often Written Off, Biden Has Long List Of Deals To His Name

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

Vice President Joe Biden leads the first meeting of the working group to explore solutions following the Newtown shooting with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and other law enforcement leaders on Dec. 20.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

When President Obama finally announced a fiscal cliff agreement late Tuesday night, he thanked several people who had worked to get a deal.

The first one he mentioned by name was the man standing next to him at the podium: "my extraordinary vice president, Joe Biden."

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2:03am

Sat January 5, 2013
Music Interviews

Preserving The Home, And History, Of New Orleans' Piano Professor

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 2:10 pm

Professor Longhair performs at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, circa 1970.
David Redfern Redferns

On the tough side of Terpsichore Street in New Orleans stands a duplex — a two-story, wood-framed building with wood floors, high ceilings and a nice fireplace. But this old house is empty: no furniture, no walls, no electricity, no toilet. Iron bars hide the windows; there's a lockbox on the door. The facade is three different shades of blecch, blurgh and blah.

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2:03am

Sat January 5, 2013
Music Interviews

Emel Mathlouthi: Voice Of The Tunisian Revolution

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

Emel Mathlouthi
Ghaith Ghoufa Courtesy of the artist

With all that's going on in the Middle East right now, it's easy to forget that the Arab Spring began just two years ago in Tunisia.

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5:26pm

Mon December 31, 2012
Health

Nutrition program to help HIV/AIDS patients stay healthier

Advancements in AIDS treatment means that people with the illness are living longer than ever. That means they need to take better care of their long-term health. A new program for AIDS patients in the north country focuses on improving their nutrition.

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5:38pm

Sat December 29, 2012
Music

'Prayer Flags,' A Song About Waiting On Heavenly Help

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:37 pm

Musician Kristina Olsen says Tibetan prayer flags flying over porches near her home in Venice, Calif., became the inspiration for a song.
Courtesy of the artist

For some, bringing in the new year means praying for good things to come. Kristina Olsen ponders the reasons for prayer in her song, "Prayer Flags." She tells the story behind it in the latest edition of What's in a Song, a series from the Western Folklife Center.

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6:13am

Sat December 29, 2012
Commentary

Recalling Battles Of Congress Past

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

There is nothing new about the Congress coming to a hostile halt at a critical moment - fussing and fuming, holding impromptu news conferences at the Ohio Clock - that's a nearly 200-year-old timepiece that counts the hours outside the Senate Chamber - or representatives stopping to chat in the beautiful Rayburn reception room outside the House with George Washington looking disapprovingly down from his portrait.

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6:13am

Sat December 29, 2012
Analysis

Looking Ahead At Immigration Reform In 2013

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

President Obama says immigration reform will be a priority for the White House early next year. The last time Congress tried to tackle the divisive issue it failed. In the meantime, states have become the center of debate following Arizona's lead in passing their own strict laws intended to curtail illegal immigration. NPR's Debbie Elliott has been following the issue. She joins us now. Good morning, Debbie.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: Good morning.

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6:13am

Sat December 29, 2012
Arts & Life

Graphic Novels That Flew Under The Radar In 2012

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This last weekend of the year, we're looking back on some of the best books of 2012. In this encore broadcast, Glen Weldon highlights two graphic novels from the past year, starting with one called "Drama" by Raina Telgemeier.

GLEN WELDON: "Drama" is a young adult graphic novel about a middle-school girl named Callie...

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL #1: (as Callie) What's up?

WELDON: ...who is a complete theater nerd.

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5:31am

Sat December 29, 2012
The Record

Reflecting On EMI, An Industry Giant Felled In 2012

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

The London headquarters of EMI, whose sale this year brought the number of major labels from four to three.
Simon Dawson Bloomberg via Getty Images

5:22am

Sat December 29, 2012
Europe

Same-Sex Marriage And Adoption: Unresolved Issues In France

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 8:14 pm

A man wears a costume reading "Dad" and "Mom" during a demonstration against gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples in Nice, France, in October.
Valery Hache AFP/Getty Images

France is known as a tolerant country on many social issues, yet the country is embroiled in a debate about same-sex marriage and adoption.

President Francois Hollande is following through on a campaign promise to bring full rights to gay couples. France legalized civil unions more than a decade ago, though same-sex couples must still go abroad to marry or adopt.

But opposition to Hollande's measure has been unexpectedly fierce, something the Socialist government wasn't expecting.

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5:22am

Sat December 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Congressional Leaders Hopeful As Fiscal Cliff Deadline Nears

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

House Speaker John Boehner arrives at the White House on Friday for talks with President Obama and congressional leaders aimed at avoiding the "fiscal cliff."
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Even though the top four congressional leaders left their White House meeting with the president separately and silently on Friday, they cast the hourlong encounter in a positive light back at the Capitol.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described the tone of the discussion to head off across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts as "candid." An aide to House Speaker John Boehner put out a statement that noted that the group agreed the next step should be the Senate's — a tacit acknowledgement that Boehner is no longer the lead negotiator with President Obama.

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5:17am

Sat December 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Marvel Kills Peter Parker, But Spider-Man Will Live On (Sort Of)

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 8:47 pm

The Amazing Spider-Man #700 is the final issue of the series.
AP/Marvel Comics

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with Marvel Comics' web-slinging, wise-cracking superhero. Spider-Man is no more. Well, to be more precise, Peter Parker is no more.

In the 700th and final issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, writer Dan Slott's controversial story saw Spider-Man's mind switched with that of his dying arch-foe Dr. Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus. The twist is that with his final effort, Spidey was able to give all of his memories and morals to his body-stealing enemy.

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2:03am

Sat December 29, 2012
Music Interviews

Johnny Cash's Boyhood Home Tells The Story Of A Town

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

The Cash family house today.
Michael Hibblen

It's been almost a decade since Johnny Cash died, but fans still travel from around the world to see the place the music legend often described as key to his development: his boyhood home in the eastern Arkansas town of Dyess. The small house will soon serve as a museum — not only as a tribute to Johnny Cash, but also to tell the history of the town.

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7:11pm

Fri December 28, 2012
Best Books Of 2012

Short Stories To Savor On A Winter Weekend

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

Nishant Choksi

Hortense Calisher, a virtuoso of the form, once called the short story "an apocalypse in a teacup." It's a definition that suits the remarkable stories published this year by three literary superstars, and two dazzling newcomers with voices so distinctive we're likely to be hearing from them again. These stories are intense, evocative delights to be devoured singly when you have only a sliver of time, or savored in batches, at leisure, on a winter weekend.

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9:48am

Sat December 22, 2012
Commentary

The Mayan Apocalypse: Worthwhile, In Hindsight

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Visitors at the Chichen Itza archaeological park in Yucatan state, Mexico, celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar cycle. Even a failed apocalypse has value, in reminding us that life is fragile and unpredictable.
Pedro Pardo AFP/Getty Images

Yesterday came and went, but I never finished Ulysses. I never took up skydiving. Come to think of it, I didn't even really finish cleaning up my closet before the "Mayan Apocalypse," which did not occur yesterday, Dec. 21.

I remember thinking,"Finally, I get a Friday off — but there's an apocalypse."

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6:44am

Sat December 22, 2012
Asia

Brutal Rape In India Triggers Widespread Public Anger

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

An update on last weekend's rape of a student in New Delhi, an incident which provoked widespread outrage, and calls for a crackdown on sexual violence in India. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Julie McCarthy in India.

6:44am

Sat December 22, 2012
Politics

After 'Plan B' Fizzles, What's Boehner's Next Move?

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As we've just heard, this breakdown in negotiations within the Republican Party is troubling for Speaker Boehner. It also stifles negotiations to avert the combination of deep spending cuts and tax increases. That will come without a bipartisan agreement.

We're joined by Norm Ornstein, an experienced observer of Congress and politics. He's resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Thanks for being with us.

NORM ORNSTEIN: Oh, it's always a pleasure, Scott.

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6:44am

Sat December 22, 2012
Analysis

Making The Case For More Guns And More Gun Control

Originally published on Sat December 22, 2012 10:16 am

Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks with Atlantic correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg about the massacre in Newtown, Conn. He wrote the cover story in this month's issue, titled "The Case For More Guns — And More Gun Control." In it, Goldberg posits that it's impossible to reduce gun crime with the number of guns already on the street, and that maybe the answer is to allow more people to carry them.

5:56am

Sat December 22, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

Marin Alsop: A Utopian Musical Dream From South America

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Marin Alsop conducted the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra in a beachfront concert Sunday for 20,000 people in Santos, Brazil.
Desiree Furoni

Discovering Brazil has been a series of wonderful revelations for me. As principal conductor of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra for the past year, I have been deeply moved and even changed by my exposure to this culture of passion and positivity.

Brazil's inherent societal belief that music improves quality of life, contributes to improved social behavior, and is an important vehicle to establish a peaceful society filled with tolerance and respect is a philosophy I once thought existed only in my utopian dreams.

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5:56am

Sat December 22, 2012
The Record

'Kuduro,' The Dance That Keeps Angola Going

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Dancer Fogo de Deus, who is part of the Os Kuduristas project of traveling kuduro artists.
courtesy of Os Kuduristas

5:40am

Sat December 22, 2012
U.S.

Immigrants Welcomed: A City Sees Economic Promise

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Adolphe Bizwinayo left Rwanda as a refugee and says his new city, Dayton, Ohio, helped him transition to American life with initiatives like the Dayton World Soccer Games.
Shawndra Jones for NPR

If there's one common language that some recent immigrants in Dayton, Ohio, seem to share, it's soccer.

The first Dayton World Soccer Games kicked off earlier this year, an initiative hosted by the city to welcome an influx of immigrants. On the field, a rainbow of brightly colored jerseys represented nearly 20 of the different immigrant communities in the city.

"I've been really surprised to see that there's a lot of soccer going on in Dayton," says Adolphe Bizwinayo, who left Rwanda as a refugee.

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11:28am

Fri December 21, 2012
Best Books Of 2012

5 Young Adult Novels That You'll Never Outgrow

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:05 pm

Nishant Choksi

This was a strange and wonderful year for young adult fiction — but also a confused and divisive one. We learned that 55 percent of young adult fiction was read by adults. Debates raged over what constituted a young adult novel versus an adult novel. Apologetic grown-ups sneaked into the teen section of the bookstore, passing subversive teens pattering into the adult paranormal and literature and mystery shelves.

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6:48am

Sat December 15, 2012
Analysis

Connecticut School Joins Growing List Of Deadly Shootings

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 1:43 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Sandy Hook Elementary School joins a sad and lengthening list of names in recent U.S. history. Since 12 students and a teacher were killed at Colorado's Columbine High School in 1999, there have been scores of other school shootings - so many it may be hard to recall all the names: Red Lake, Nickel Mines, Virginia Tech and Chardon High School are just a few of the names that have become branded by tragedy. Ben Markus of Colorado Public Radio spoke with Frank DeAngelis, the principal of Columbine High School.

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6:48am

Sat December 15, 2012
Around the Nation

Investigation Continues Into Shooter's Motive

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 1:43 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And this morning, of course, we are reporting the story from Newtown, Connecticut; where yesterday, a young man named Adam Lanza shot and killed some 26 people at an elementary school - 20 of them, small children. Connecticut state police have briefed residents of Newtown, and reporters, on the latest from the crime scene at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, and at second crime scene.

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6:48am

Sat December 15, 2012
Around the Nation

Search For Answers Begins Following Deadly Shootings

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 1:43 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

NPR justice correspondent Carrie Johnson joins us in the studio for more on the investigation. Carrie, thanks for being with us.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Thank you, Scott.

SIMON: What do we know about the shooter, and is anything developing on what I noticed Lieutenant Vance carefully called - he didn't use the word motive, he said the how and the why of the shooting?

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5:20am

Sat December 15, 2012
U.S.

A Vision For Chicago Public Housing, Stymied And Contested

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 1:43 pm

The Lathrop Homes, pictured here in 2006, are part of the latest revamp effort by the Chicago Housing Authority.
Chicago Housing Authority

Chicago's $1.6 billion "Plan for Transformation" envisioned public housing in a way that would deconstruct an image of the city's poor all concentrated in huge housing silos.

The idea was to mix public-housing residents with market-rate condos and subsidized rentals or homes, with one-third of each in these new communities.

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5:20am

Sat December 15, 2012
Europe

Ready. Set. Memorize!

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 1:43 pm

Argh, it's on the tip of my tongue! Contestants in the Names and Faces competition focus at last year's World Memory Championships held in Guangzhou, China. A new field of mental athletes is currently vying for the 2012 championship.
Peng Tong Xinhua/Landov

In the gymnasium of a South London technical school, site of this year's World Memory Championships, Norwegian Ola Kaere Risa checks his stopwatch.

Risa is Norway's only contestant this year.

"I hope to defend the glory of my country," he says, laughing.

The 21st World Memory Championships are under way in London this weekend. About 75 competitors from some two dozen countries are vying to see who can memorize the most numbers, faces, playing cards or random words in a set amount of time.

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5:19am

Sat December 15, 2012
It's All Politics

Democrats Dig In Their Heels On Entitlement Cuts

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 1:43 pm

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said Democrats aren't going to throw America's seniors over the fiscal cliff to give a tax cut to the wealthiest.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Congress has barely two weeks to agree on a deficit-cutting deal to keep the nation from going over the "fiscal cliff" in the new year. The problem is that right now there is no such deal to agree on.

Republicans reject the higher tax rates for top incomes that President Obama demands. And they also insist on more austere entitlement programs, which has Democrats digging in their heels.

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4:34am

Sat December 15, 2012
Shootings In Newtown, Conn.

Small Town Tries To Cope With Unimaginable Tragedy

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 1:43 pm

Mourners gather for a vigil service for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Newtown, Conn., on Friday night.
Andrew Gombert AP

Newtown, Conn., is a white-collar community an hour and a half northeast of New York City. It's the kind of place where crime is rare and the biggest thing that happens each year is the Labor Day parade.

Now the peace and quiet has been shattered, and residents are trying to make sense of what's happened.

Hours after the shootings that left so many people dead, St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church opened its doors for a prayer vigil. People filed through the streets and past houses decorated with Christmas lights.

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2:03am

Sat December 15, 2012
Music Interviews

A Civil Rights Figure's Long Road — To Carnegie Hall

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 1:43 pm

Myrlie Evers-Williams leads her three children — Reena (from left), Van and Darrell — at the family piano, circa 1965.
Courtesy of the Evers family

You know the old joke: "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice." Myrlie Evers-Williams took a different route.

Her late husband, Medgar Evers, was the Mississippi head of the NAACP; he was assassinated for his work in 1963. Evers-Williams wound up moving to Southern California, where she became an educational, corporate and political leader and, in the 1990s, chairwoman of the NAACP.

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