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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Parallels
5:30 am
Sat June 1, 2013

After Years Of War, Ugandan Children Face New Deadly Threat

Grace Aber stands in the shade of a mango tree with her children in the remote village of Tumangu in northern Uganda. Four of Aber's nine children have been diagnosed with nodding syndrome, starting with Partick (front), who first showed symptoms in 2002.
Matthew Kielty for NPR

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 8:27 am

The village of Tumangu, in northern Uganda, defines remote. It's hard even to find on maps. But it shows up frequently in news stories. Grace Aber is about to show me why.

She leads me down a narrow dirt path, passing a couple of clay huts. We get to a big mango tree. Aber's 17-year-old son, Patrick, sits under it. His shoulders are slouched. His eyes look like glass.

Aber tries to get him to say his name. A small grunt is the only sound he makes.

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Simon Says
5:29 am
Sat June 1, 2013

High School Newspapers: An Endangered Species

Student newspapers may be the latest victims of social media.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 2:49 pm

Does your local high school have a student newspaper? And in this day when a social media message saying, "Tonight's Green Design and Technology class homework sucks!" can instantly be sent to thousands, does it need to?

The New York Times reports this week that only 1 in 8 of New York's public high schools has a student newspaper — and many of those are published just a few times a year. A few more are online, which can leave out poorer schools.

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The Picture Show
5:29 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Documenting America's Environments: Then And Now

East Boston, Mass., in 1973 (left) and in 2012.
Michael P. Manheim Environmental Protection Agency

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 2:26 pm

In 1971, when the Environmental Protection Agency was in its early days, someone at the agency got the idea to send nearly 100 freelance photographers around America to document the country. These weren't postcard shots, but pictures of street corners, freight yards, parking lots, alleyways — wherever people were working and living. It was called Documerica, and it went on for seven years.

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sat June 1, 2013

City And Colour: A Musician Unplugs To Make A Connection

Dallas Green, once a member of the post-hardcore group Alexisonfire, now makes much quieter music as City and Colour. His fourth solo album is The Hurry and the Harm.
Dustin Rabin Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 3:21 pm

City and Colour is the stage name of Canadian singer-songwriter Dallas Green. Once upon a time, he was a member of the post-hardcore band Alexisonfire, which self-identified as "the sound of two Catholic high-school girls in mid-knife fight." But Green had a different side to him, too.

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Around the Nation
7:02 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Pentagon's Historical Displays Honor Americans' Sacrifices

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This Memorial Day weekend, tens of thousands of tourists are descending on the nation's capital. Many will spend time inside of Washington, D.C.'s free museums. Only a small fraction will take the drive across the Potomac River to a museum of a different sort, that's in the Pentagon. NPR's Shula Neuman reports.

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U.S.
7:02 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Chasing Okla. Storms: 'Technology Can Only Go So Far'

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

When huge tornadoes, like the one that hit Moore, churn, swirl and scream, most people run for cover. Then there are people like Val Castor, who jumps into his truck and heads straight towards it. Mr. Castor is the senior storm tracker for Channel 9 News in Oklahoma City. He's been covering Oklahoma's temperamental and often treacherous weather for the last 22 years. Val Castor, we had the honor of spending a little time with you in your truck a couple of years ago. Thank you for being with us today.

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Sports
7:02 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Sports: Playoff Time In The NBA

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:21 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon and any time I get a little low I think, hmm, time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: Intense Heat can't slow the Pacers. How do you like that new cliche? We're deep into the NBA playoffs. Also last night, the WNBA season began. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Hi there, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, Scott.

SIMON: Don't the Indiana Pacers know they're supposed to be losing? They won last night.

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Law
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Tough Arizona Sheriff Gets Judicial Reprimand

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A federal judge in Arizona has ruled against the man who calls himself America's toughest sheriff. The judge ruled that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department has used racial profiling to enforce the state's tough immigration laws. Sheriff Joe Arpaio has maintained that his department has the authority to round up undocumented immigrants. NPR's Ted Robbins has been following the case and joins us now. Ted, thanks for being with us.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: You're welcome.

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Opinion
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Sole Survivor: Iraq Rescue Mission Ended In Tragedy

In 2005, Lance Cpl. Travis Williams lost his squad to an IED. He was the only survivor.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 3:52 pm

Lance Cpl. Travis Williams, 29, is an Iraq War veteran — and the only post-9/11 Marine to lose every other member of his 12-man squad. It happened in August 2005, when Williams and his teammates were sent on a rescue mission in Barwanah, Iraq.

"That morning, we loaded into the vehicle," Williams recalls. "And I get tapped on the shoulder, and I got told that I need to bounce up to the next vehicle. I said, 'Catch you guys on the flipside.' And that was the last thing I ever said to them."

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Author Interviews
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

'Steal The Menu': A Chronicle Of A Career In Food Coverage

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Politics
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

IRS Hearings Highlight Ambiguity Of Nonprofits In Politics

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. In the two weeks since the Internal Revenue Service scandal erupted, the acting commissioner has been ousted, the head of the relevant section has been put on administrative leave. The Justice Department has begun investigating the scrutiny given to conservative groups that sought tax exempt status and three congressional committees have held hearings bombarding IRS officials with questions.

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Around the Nation
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Baptist Church In Oklahoma Churns Out Meals For Victims

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Hundreds of volunteers have come to Moore, Okla., this week to help the community after Monday's deadly tornado. Some people are cleaning debris, others are bringing out water and supplies to people whose lives have been turned upside down. NPR's Kirk Siegler stopped by one volunteer-powered relief group that's working east of town.

(SOUNDBITE OF PEOPLE SPEAKING)

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Media
8:03 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Local Story Shows 'Plain Dealer' Prowess, But Future's Murky

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Cleveland story. The escape of three women who were kidnapped and held captive for 10 years has attracted notice around the world. Of course, it's also an all-consuming local story. And the Cleveland Plain Dealer provided continuous coverage along with in-depth profiles of the three women, the neighborhood where they were held captive, and the man who allegedly kidnapped them.

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Music
7:23 am
Sat May 18, 2013

After Health Issues, Influential Conductor Back At Met Opera

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This weekend at Carnegie Hall, a giant returns to the podium. James Levine will lead the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for the first time in two years after a string of health challenges from shoulder injuries to spinal problems. He's considered by at least one critic to be the most influential American conductor since Leonard Bernstein. That critic is Anthony Tommasini, lead classical musical critic for the New York Times.

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U.S.
7:23 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Prime Challenge Sends Mathematicians On Infinite Search

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A University of New Hampshire professor announced this week he's come close to solving a centuries-old problem proving something called the twin prime conjecture. We asked our math guy - Keith Devlin, of Stanford University - to join us, as he does now from their studios. Keith, thanks very much for being with us.

KEITH DEVLIN: Thanks, Scott. Nice to be with you again.

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U.S.
5:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

When Alcohol Takes The Wheel: What's Your Limit?

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 7:23 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You can legally drink and drive in the United States, but there's a limit. In every state, drivers can't get behind the wheel if their blood alcohol content is .08 or higher, but the National Transportation Safety Board wants the states to lower the legal limit to .05 or even lower. Now, that would bring the United States into agreement with much of the rest of the world.

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Sports
5:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Sports: Playoffs, Hard Hits, Soccer Kicks

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 7:23 am

Host Scott Simon talks to ESPN's Howard Bryant about the NBA playoffs, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper's collision with a wall, and David Beckham's retirement from soccer.

Politics
5:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

What A Week: White House Rattled By Controversy

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 7:23 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. There are three simultaneous controversies rattling the Obama administration this week: the IRS, the phone records of the AP reporters, and Benghazi. NPR's White House correspondent Ari Shapiro joins us. Ari, thanks for being with us.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: My pleasure, Scott.

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Media
5:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Media Covers Itself In Privacy Debacles

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 7:23 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Pair of unrelated stories this week, both involving the news media, served to remind a lot of Americans of how little information that we may assume to be private, really is private. One story involves the U.S. Justice Department's efforts to find out who reporters are talking to; the other, reporters secretly monitoring their sources' activities.

We're joined now by NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik, from New York. David, thanks for being with us.

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Audra McDonald, A Broadway Star Gone Roaming, Comes Home

Audra McDonald's new album, Go Back Home, marks a return to her roots in musical theater.
Autumn de Wilde Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 9:24 am

In the seven years since her last album, Audra McDonald has kept busy. She spent several years in Hollywood, filming the television series Private Practice. She's gotten divorced and remarried, absorbed the shock of losing her father in a plane crash and watched her daughter, Zoe, grow up from a kindergartener to a middle-schooler.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Pakistanis 'Defy Violence' To Vote In Landmark Election

Pakistani men lined up to vote in Rawalpindi on Saturday. Men and women cast ballots separately as millions went to the poll.
T. Mughal EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 11:17 pm

Despite attacks in the days and weeks leading up to Saturday's voting — and deadly bombings and other attacks on the very day they're going to the polls — Pakistanis are showing they're willing to "defy the violence," NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from Lahore.

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Schools? How About A Science Laureate At The Super Bowl?

Beyonce took the stage at this year's Super Bowl halftime show. Imagine a scientist instead. Perhaps dressed differently.
Michael DeMocker The Times-Picayune /Landov

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 10:11 am

The same scientist who famously "killed Pluto" (as a planet, that is) says it's "brilliant" that there's an effort underway in Congress to name a science laureate.

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Simon Says
9:22 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Mom's X-Ray Vision Also Sees The Best In Us

Mothers somehow know when we've been bad, but when times are tough, they also have our back.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 2:10 pm

Mothers have eyes in the back of their heads. They may not show up on X-rays, but they're there.

Like a lot of youngsters, I used to get my mother to turn her head so I could search through her hair for the eyeballs she claimed to have back there, telling her, "No you don't! No you don't!" But when I'd scamper off to another part of the apartment and pick up an ashtray or fiddle with the window blinds, I'd hear my mother's voice ring out, "I can see you! I know what you're up to!"

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NPR Story
5:30 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Kerry's Agenda: Priorities Emerge With Travel

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 8:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, has been in the Middle East, Rome and Russia this week trying to find some kind of diplomatic end to Syria's civil war. He's also been trying to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Mr. Kerry has been the U.S. secretary of state for just over 100 days, spending more than a third of that time overseas.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports on how his tenure at the State Department seems to be shaping up.

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NPR Story
5:30 am
Sat May 11, 2013

The Philosophy, Economics Behind Sourcing Retail

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 10:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And the deaths in Bangladesh have prompted a number of American clothing companies to disclose where their products are made. Everlane is an online clothing retailer based in San Francisco that has always done that. Michael Preysman is the CEO and founder of Everlane, and we asked him where and how his company's T-shirts are manufactured.

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NPR Story
5:30 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Ala. Juke Joint Shuttered After More Than 50 Years

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 10:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And this final note on the blues. Two years ago on this show, we profiled Gip's Place, a real juke joint nestled in a residential neighborhood in Bessemer, Alabama.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: It's not like going to a bar. It's not like going to a club. It's like going to your best friend's house and putting on just the newest record and sitting there and enjoying it together. Literally, there is truly a mix between the musicians and the audience.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Welcome again. Y'all ready to get started?

CROWD: Yeah!

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Author Interviews
2:03 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Yngwie Malmsteen: 'I've Always Been A Little Bit Of An Extremist'

Swedish-born guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen has released more than two dozen albums.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 10:11 am

Yngwie Malmsteen is the king of the neoclassical shred guitar. Since 1984's Rising Force, the Swedish musician and composer has somehow bridged centuries, from Paganini to his own arpeggiated acrobatics.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Sat May 4, 2013

World War II Code Is Broken, Decades After POW Used It

As a prisoner of war, Sub Lieut. John Pryor encrypted information and requests for supplies in letters sent from a German camp to his family in Cornwall.
Plymouth University

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 6:04 am

It's been 70 years since the letters of John Pryor were understood in their full meaning. That's because as a British prisoner of war in Nazi Germany, Pryor's letters home to his family also included intricate codes that were recently deciphered for the first time since the 1940s.

Pryor's letters served their purpose in World War II, as Britain's MI9 agents decoded the messages hidden within them — requests for supplies, notes about German activities — before sending them along to Pryor's family in Cornwall.

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NPR Story
5:51 am
Sat May 4, 2013

On Mexico Trip, Obama Maintains Economic Focus

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 11:53 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Obama is in Costa Rica today. He's talking with leaders of Central American nations about security and economic trade. Yesterday, the president wrapped up a two-day visit in Mexico, where he tried to steer the focus away from contentious issues like immigration and drug violence. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports from Mexico City.

CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: During their quick visit, Presidents Obama and Pena Nieto stuck to their focus: the economy.

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NPR Story
5:51 am
Sat May 4, 2013

'The Great Gatsby': Retold Again, With A Distinct Treatment

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 11:53 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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