Weekend Edition Saturday on AM 870 NewsTalk

10am - Noon

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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NPR Story
1:49 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Moderate Wins Iran's Presidential Election

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Iranian interior minister has announced on state TV that Hasan Rowhani has won that country's presidential election. Mr. Rowhani reportedly won 53 percent of the vote. He's considered a moderate on Iran's political spectrum. Karim Sadjadpour is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and joins us. Thanks very much for being with us.

KARIM SADJADPOUR: Thank you.

SIMON: How do you read this election result?

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Law
8:01 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Will The Court's Gene Ruling Stifle Bio Innovation?

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday that patenting natural human genetic material must stop. But the court also ruled that synthetically produced DNA is fair. The decision was prompted by patents on a gene test for breast cancer which was issued to Myriad Genetics of Salt Lake City. We're joined now in our studio by Arthur Caplan, who's head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU's Langone Medical Center. Thanks very much for being with us.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat June 15, 2013

How U.S. Arms Will Reach Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Islamabad Reservoir Cools Pakistanis

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Most people look forward to summer, but perhaps not in Pakistan. NPR's Philip Reeves has been out and about in its capital city, and sent us this letter from Islamabad.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Are The Protests In Turkey Really About A Park?

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We have to remind ourselves now, the nationwide protests in Turkey began with a small group of people who were protesting the government's plans to pave over a small park in Istanbul. Elif Shafak is an award-winning writer who divides her time between Istanbul and London. We spoke with her yesterday, and asked her how what began as a kind of modest stand to protect a city park broadened into nationwide protests.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Flocking To The Fudge Capital

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Tomorrow isn't just Father's Day. It's also National Fudge Day if that didn't come up on your calendar. By most accounts, the first batch of fudge was cooked up in Baltimore in the 1880s, but Mackinac Island in northern Michigan is considered the modern day fudge capital of America.

Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat June 15, 2013

"Music Man" Finds A Home For His Vinyl

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Last year, we brought you the story of Music Man Murray. Murray Gershenz was looking for a buyer for the enormous record collection that was shelved in his store in Los Angeles. Now, notice I said record. Most of his music was indeed on old vinyl. Murray was turning 90 and his overstuffed store was becoming more than he could handle.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "MUSIC MAN MURRAY")

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Hoops, Hockey Championships Still Undecided

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And I wait all week to say: time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Finals time - on ice and the hardwood. The Heat and the Spurs are tied at two games each in the NBA Finals. And tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Boston Bruins in game two of hockey's Stanley Cup. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine joins us from the studios of New England Public Radio in Amherst. Howard, thanks for being with us.

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NPR Story
7:35 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Rain, Cooler Weather Slow Colorado Fire

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. In Colorado, cooler weather and some rain has helped crews begin to get a handle on the Black Forest fire that's burning just north of Colorado Springs. Yesterday, several thousand people were allowed back into their homes, but an estimated 30,000 people remain evacuated from the area.

The blaze has claimed two lives, and it has destroyed at least 473 homes. NPR's Kirk Siegler reports from Colorado Springs.

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NPR Story
7:35 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Turkish Protesters Refuse To Leave Gezi Park

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Protesters who were camped out in Istanbul's Gezi Park say they won't pack up and go home despite a government offer to avoid bulldozing the park without court approval and a public referendum. Protest organizers say that other demands such as releasing detained protesters have not been met.

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NPR Story
7:35 am
Sat June 15, 2013

What Whitey Bulger Means To Boston

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 3:55 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Whitey Bulger is finally on trial ,after 16 years on the run. The Boston mobster who was once on the FBI's Most Wanted List is accused of murdering 19 people, as well as extortion and racketeering. Prosecution alleges he worked as an FBI informant in exchange for protection. Dick Lehr is the co-author, with Gerald O'Neill, of "Whitey: The Life of America's Most Notorious Mobster." He joins us from member station WBUR in Boston. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: Dick Lehr's co-author is Gerard O'Neill.] Dick, thanks for being with us.

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Around the Nation
5:52 am
Sat June 15, 2013

'I'm Not The Only One': Transgender Youth Battle The Odds

Once homeless herself, Kimberly McKenzie now works for Lamp Community, a nonprofit that helps the homeless.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Despite a number of victories for gay rights and national polls reflecting a growing acceptance of gay men and women, there is a population within the LGBT community that often feels left out of the national debate.

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The Record
5:28 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Pandora Buys A Radio Station, Songwriters' Group Calls It A 'Stunt'

Blake Morgan's songs were played some 28,000 times over a 90-day period on Pandora, earning $1.62 in royalties.
Jim Herrington Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

This week, the Internet radio broadcaster Pandora made what seems like a backward move — technologically speaking. Pandora purchased a local radio station in Rapid City, S.D. The company says it's aiming to get the more favorable royalty rates given to terrestrial broadcasters, but the move has songwriters and composers up in arms.

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National Security
5:25 am
Sat June 15, 2013

The Case For Surveillance: Keeping Up With Terrorist Tactics

The National Security Agency's headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.
NSA Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Since public revelations that the National Security Agency is collecting telephone records and reviewing Internet communications in the U.S. and abroad, officials have been making the case that the programs are vital. They argue that the tactics match the new ways terrorists are planning and communicating.

There was a time when America's enemies conspired face-to-face, or communicated through couriers, or by leaving messages for each other somewhere. But in the digital age, that has changed.

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It's All Politics
5:24 am
Sat June 15, 2013

How Rock 'N' Roll Can Explain The U.S. Economy

Bruce Springsteen performs during halftime of the Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla., in 2009. In music, and increasingly in other industries, a relative handful of top performers take more and more of the spoils, says White House chief economist Alan Krueger.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 8:10 pm

White House economic adviser Alan Krueger took some ribbing from his boss this week. President Obama noted that Krueger will soon be leaving Washington to go back to his old job, teaching economics at Princeton.

"And now that Alan has some free time, he can return to another burning passion of his: 'Rockanomics,' the economics of rock and roll," the president said. "This is something that Alan actually cares about."

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Author Interviews
5:24 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Gaiman's New 'Ocean' Is No Kiddie Pool

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Neil Gaiman, one of the world's most beloved fantasy authors, has won the Hugo and Bram Stoker awards, and the Newberry Medal — and now he's written his first novel for adults in eight years.

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National Security
11:30 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Watchdog Agency Could Keep NSA In Check, Once It Gets Going

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 5:39 am

On Friday, President Obama defended the two NSA surveillance programs that were leaked to the news media this week.

One program collects the general public's phone records, the other allegedly gives the government backdoor access to Internet services such as Google and Facebook.

Obama said the programs "strike the right balance," but that's done little to reassure those who think government surveillance has become too broad.

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National Security
7:13 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Civil Liberties Group Concerned Over NSA Programs

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 5:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The news that the National Security Agency is collecting reams of telephone data and tracking Internet behavior has alarmed civil liberties groups. President Obama believes U.S. citizens have no need to worry.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: One of the things that we're going to have to discuss and debate is how are we striking this balance between the need to keep the American people safe and our concerns about privacy, because there are some tradeoffs involved.

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Middle East
7:00 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Conflict In Syria Continues To Degrade

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 5:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Latin America
7:00 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Extortion Common For Latin American Businesses

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 1:16 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Latin America has some of the highest crime rates in the world. And that includes extortion, which doesn't just terrorize but also takes a huge economic toll on ordinary citizens. In many Latin American countries, it's costing billions of dollars and hindering development. As part of our series on violence in Latin America, NPR's Carrie Kahn takes us to Mexico, where some estimates say extortion costs more than $30 billion a year. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: Extortion costs an estimated $3.2 billion in Mexico annually.]

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NPR Story
6:23 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Questions Remain After Shooting In Santa Monica

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 5:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. We're going to get the latest now on that horrifying scene that unfolded yesterday morning in Santa Monica, California. A gunman killed four people in a house, on the streets and at Santa Monica College before authorities shot him in the college's library.

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NPR Story
6:23 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Week In Sports: Spurs Take First Game Of NBA Finals

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 5:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now strike up the band. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: From the red clay courts of Roland Garros to the hardwood courts of Miami and San Antonio. They're playing for championships this weekend. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: How are you, Scott?

SIMON: I'm just fine thank you. And let's begin with tennis and Les French Open. Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are playing at the very moment, as we're speaking, at the women's singles finals.

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NPR Story
6:23 am
Sat June 8, 2013

The Time Esther Williams Taught Scott Simon To Swim

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 5:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It's not often that you get to take a swimming lesson from a box office idol.

ESTHER WILLIAMS: See if you can lift your elbow until you stretch that arm out straight. Oh, you're going to improve your stroke so much just this afternoon. You'll see.

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Music Interviews
5:26 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Aoife O'Donovan: Digging Up Musical 'Fossils'

Aoife O'Donovan's first solo album is called Fossils.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 10:12 am

Alison Krauss recorded "Lay My Burden Down" a couple of years ago for her No. 1 country album Paper Airplane, but the song was written by Aoife O'Donovan. The singer, best known as the voice of the alt-bluegrass band Crooked Still, is releasing her first solo album this week.

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It's All Politics
5:25 am
Sat June 8, 2013

WWII Vets Have All But Vanished From The Halls Of Congress

Military pallbearers carry the coffin of the late New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg into the Senate chamber on Thursday. He was the only remaining World War II veteran in the Senate.
Douglas Graham AP

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 5:39 am

Sen. Frank Lautenberg was buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday. There was a steady rain. Soldiers fired rifle volleys, a bugler played taps and mourners paid their final respects.

The New Jersey Democrat was 89 when he died this week — and his death marked a somber milestone.

For the first time since the end of World War II, there are no veterans of that war in the U.S. Senate. Lautenberg had been the only one remaining.

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News
5:25 am
Sat June 8, 2013

NSA Scandal Looms Over Obama's Talks With China's Xi

President Obama walks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a retreat on Friday in Rancho Mirage, Calif., where the two leaders are meeting for talks.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 5:39 am

President Obama always intended to talk about spying this weekend. But not like this.

He's getting to know China's new leader at a sprawling estate in the Southern California desert this weekend, but domestic controversies have followed him there.

The president veered off his talking points Friday to spend more than 10 minutes defending a pair of massive surveillance operations that the media recently disclosed.

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Movie Interviews
8:30 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Charting The Career Of The 'Evocateur' Of Talk

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Morton Downey Jr. was the loudest mouth on television. He treated guests like guys on the other side of the wrestling ring - bullying, hectoring and blowing smoke in their faces.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE MORTON DOWNEY JR. SHOW")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Why?

MORTON DOWNEY JR.: Why? What the hell do you mean why? Are you nuts? Get him out of here. Get this guy out...

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Author Interviews
8:28 am
Sat June 1, 2013

For One Family, A 'Double' Dose Alcoholism

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 7:43 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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World
6:39 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Sandwich Throwing: Australian For Protest

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 8:07 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

People might not want to stand near Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard if they want to keep their suit clean, but if they want a snack.... Earlier this month, someone hurled a sandwich slathered in Vegemite, the yeast extract that's Australia's national spread, at the prime minister. It missed by a wide mark. A student was suspended for 15 days, but he denies being the culprit.

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Sports
6:39 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Week In Sports: Who Will Face The Spurs For The NBA Title?

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

From politics to sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: We've got conference championships going on in basketball and hockey. Can the Heat burn off the Pacers? Will this be the last rodeo for a great Spurs franchise or another gold ring? And four former champions are on ice in the NHL. Howard Bryant of ESPN The Magazine, the TV network and the website and the virgin cold-pressed olive oil joins us from the studios of New England Public Radio in Amherst. Howard, thank so much for being with us.

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