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 WBHM-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wbhm.org.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for the governor of Texas, came to the attention of most Americans outside Texas when, as state senator, she filibustered a highly restrictive abortion bill for 11 straight hours.

Now Davis is making headlines for her newly released memoir, Forgetting to Be Afraid. In the book, Davis revealed for the first time that she had two abortions herself. She also details her gritty and sometimes unhappy life growing up, first in Rhode Island and then Texas, Oklahoma and California.

President Obama arguably won the Democratic primary in 2008 because of his strong opposition to the Iraq war. Now he's arguing he doesn't need congressional approval to ramp up a bombing campaign in Iraq and expand air strikes into Syria.

This month brought two more exonerations based on new DNA evidence. Henry Lee McCollum was 19 years old and his half-brother, Leon Brown, was 15 when they were arrested. The two black, intellectually disabled half brothers were convicted of the rape and murder of an 11-year-old Sabrina Buie and spent 30 years on death row.

You know the nursery rhyme:

Hey diddle diddle
The cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed
To see such sport
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

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WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Wade Goodwyn and it's time for Sports.

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

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WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

The colossal grandstands seem nearly empty for this summer's Granite State 100, the Friday night warm up to the Sunday main event at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. But the cameras zoom in on one huge group of fans, about 80 strong, dressed all in black. It's the team for Kaz Grala.

Grala is a tenth grader from Westborough, Mass. At 15-years-old, he's not quite old enough to get his driver's license, but he's already following his dream. He started out as a 4-year-old go kart racer. His father, who drives stock cars in endurance races, introduced him to the sport.

Language warning: This story contains words some may find offensive.

The Highway Beautification Act will be 50 years old next year. As envisioned by Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, it was supposed to protect the natural landscape from billboards.

Ever since its passage, scenic activists and billboard companies have been at war over the views along American highways. The outdoor advertising industry says its signs are informational, and helpful to local businesses. Open-space advocates call them "sky trash" and "litter on a stick."

The air in the Baghdad morgue is thick with the smell of death. There are perhaps two dozen corpses in black plastic bags lying around in the sweltering heat. One of them is burned and has its face exposed, white teeth stark against charred skin.

"The crisis began in June," says Zaid al Yousif, the director of the Medical Legal Center, which houses the morgue. "The number of victims in June increased, double to triple." Many of those bodies have marks of trauma, including blunt injuries, he says.

There might be a recliner rebellion going on.

At least three flights have been grounded in little more than a week after passengers had disputes over reclining their seats, or not being able to. On most airlines these days, passengers are packed so close that — insert your favorite Joan Rivers joke here.

Stars Line Up To Reimagine Laura Nyro

Sep 6, 2014
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Where BJ Leiderman writes our theme music and now, including this one - it's time for Sports.

The day he was booked, Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave a big smile for his mug shot — which was then printed up on t-shirts to demonstrate just what a farce he thought the indictment was. In a press conference, the scorn dripped from Perry's voice as he took up the sword — defender, not of himself, but of the state's constitution.

"We don't settle political differences with indictments in this country," he said. "It is outrageous that some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state's constitution."

In Shelbyville, Tenn., the Tennessee walking horse is an icon and a way of life. For 10 nights in August, thousands of fans cheer from their box seats as well-manicured horses prance around a dirt oval track.

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

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

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

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Bringing Ice Hockey To A Land With No Ice

Aug 30, 2014
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

This summer, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute is hosting an exhibition featuring some of the world's greatest European painters, from Rembrandt to Rubens, called The "Golden Age of European Painting."

It isn't long after stepping foot into the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute that one sees why the city of Utica is excited to show off its most recent art exhibit, including the "Portrait of Madame Adelaide."
 

Until recently, no video games on the market have told the story of an indigenous people from their perspective. A group of Alaskan natives have partnered with a game developer to change that.

Their game is called Never Alone, and its creators hope it will set a new standard in video game development.

Iraq's ethnic Kurds are longtime U.S. allies and have put up the toughest resistance to the Sunni extremists in the so-called Islamic State that has captured swaths or Iraq's north and west.

They're getting help from U.S. air strikes, but also need heavier weapons of their own to match the firepower of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Weapons have been promised by the U.S. and other countries, but getting them through the central government in Baghdad has hampered the mission, according to Kurdish commanders.

Ferguson, Mo., found a degree of civic calm this week after days and nights of angry clashes between protestors and the police.

Now the city is working to restore trust with residents after a white police officer fatally shot black teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9. City leaders and residents say one way to do that might be to equip police with personal video cameras.

"All the cops have to have body cameras and dashboard cameras," says resident Alonzo Bond, "so everybody can be accountable."

President Obama's former campaign manager has gone to work for Uber. The ride-sharing start-up based in San Francisco has hired David Plouffe in hope that the political strategist who helped elect a president can steer the company through a thicket of local regulatory disputes.

This new power couple raises some questions:

Why does Uber need one of the best political strategists in the country?

First off, they can afford him. The company is valued at $18 billion. NPR tried to find out what Plouffe is getting paid, but Uber won't say.

Copyright 2014 Nashville Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wpln.org/.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A simple car ride across eastern Ukraine reveals just how much of the vast agricultural and industrial region Ukrainian authorities have wrested back from pro-Russian separatists.

The evidence lies right outside the car window. Towns and villages that as recently as a few weeks ago displayed Russian and rebel flags on every conceivable surface now bear only the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag. Scattered cinder blocks are about all that's left of most rebel-held checkpoints, where the occasionally drunk separatist guards hassled, beat and detained Western journalists.

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

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