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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World
3:57 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Bombing Suspects' Chechen Roots Weigh Heavy On Nation' Refugees

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 5:01 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Tsarnaev brothers are among tens of thousands of Chechens whose families have sought asylum abroad after two brutal wars with Russia. About 10 percent of the entire Chechen population now lives in Europe. France has one of the largest communities. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley spoke with Chechens in Paris to see how they're reacting to the attack in Boston.

AICHAT: (Foreign language spoken)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Foreign language spoken)

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Arts & Life
3:57 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Poet Kazim Ali On Poetry In Everyday Life

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

April is National Poetry Month. And throughout the month, WEEKEND EDITION is speaking with younger poets about the importance of poetry in daily life. This morning, we hear from translator and poet Kazim Ali.

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Around the Nation
3:57 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Baltimore Detention Center Became A Criminal Enterprise

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Twenty-five people were indicted in Baltimore this week, 13 of them prison guards in a story that involves gangs, bribes, drugs and sex - and it's real life, not a TV show. The indictments say a group of prisoners have essentially been in charge of the Baltimore City Detention Center, working with prison guards to run a lucrative drug and cell phone smuggling operation.

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Around the Nation
3:57 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Quest For Answers Continues In Boston

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Sports
1:44 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Week In Sports: NBA's Oklahoma Loses Star Player To Injury

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 3:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: And in the NBA playoffs last night, the Knicks went to Boston; boy did they have a tea party. The Spurs put the metal to L.A. and the Nuggets dug up Golden State. No, got dug up by Golden State. It was close, though. Just a couple of points. How many more metaphors can I twist in this intro? Plus one of the most important meniscuses, or is that menisci, in the Western Conference has been torn.

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Around the Nation
6:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Cambodian Americans Celebrate New Year, But Honor Grim History

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 3:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Today in Long Beach, California, Cambodian-Americans are celebrating their new year with traditional foods, dance and songs. But the festivities also coincide with the anniversary of the Cambodian genocide. During the Khmer Rouge's reign of terror between 1975 and 1979, cities were emptied and nearly one-fourth of the population was executed, starved or worked to death. Doualy Xaykaothao reports.

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Middle East
6:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Does Syria's Alleged Use Of Chemical weapons 'Cross The Line?'

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 3:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. This week the calls for U.S. intervention in the Syrian civil war got a bit louder. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters that U.S. intelligence sources now believe with, quote, varying degrees of confidence that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons in Syria.

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Around the Nation
6:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Gathering Of Presidential Lineage Celebrates U.S. History

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 3:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Descendents of famous American political figures, both Democrats and Republicans, white and black, coming together in a small Ozarks town this weekend. The Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield is hosting the descendents of more than 30 past presidents, including relatives of the country's founding fathers and one of the country's most famous slaves.

From member station KSMU, Jennifer Davidson reports.

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Remembrances
6:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

George Jones: Remembering One Of Country Music's Greats

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 3:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Politics
6:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Congress Acts On Flight Delays, What's Next?

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 3:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The first great sequester showdown has ended and the White House says President Obama will sign a bill that effectively ends furloughs for air traffic controllers. The House yesterday approved the measure, which was passed by the Senate Thursday night, and the action comes after a week of flight delays that angered air travelers and set off a flurry of finger-pointing in Washington, D.C. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

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Commentary
6:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Athlete Brings New Meaning To 'Taking One For The Team'

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 3:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Author Interviews
5:04 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Through Art And Industry, Chicago Shaped America

The term "third coast" refers to American cities that sit on the Great Lakes shoreline, like Chicago.
Jeff Haynes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 10:16 am

After World War II, America became a superpower. New York experienced a global rise; Los Angeles was sprawling. But in a new book, Thomas Dyja writes that "the most profound aspects of American Modernity grew up out of the flat, prairie land next to Lake Michigan" — Chicago.

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Music Interviews
5:04 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Singing Sisters Reconsider The Everly Brothers

The Chapin Sisters' new tribute album is titled A Date With the Everly Brothers.
Seth Thomas Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 3:57 pm

The Chapin Sisters are a critically acclaimed duo, with tinges of folk, country and pop in their songs. For their latest project, Lily and Abigail Chapin looked to another famous set of singing siblings: Don and Phil, The Everly Brothers.

Lily Chapin says the genesis of their new tribute album, A Date with The Everly Brothers, was a creative workaround of sorts. The duo was once a trio featuring another Chapin sister, Jessica; the three siblings grew up singing three-part harmonies together. Several years ago, Jessica left the group to start a family.

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Middle East
5:03 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Egyptian Activists: Our Religion Is None Of Your Business

Egyptian Christians gather around four coffins during a funeral service at the Saint Mark Coptic cathedral in Cairo on April 7. Religious violence this month has killed three Muslims and at least six Christians.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 8:17 pm

Since Egypt's revolution began, tensions among Egypt's Muslims and Christians have only increased. Earlier this month, it once again turned deadly. Tit-for-tat killings left three Muslims and at least six Christians dead.

That and other religious violence is prompting a public debate about religious identity in Egypt. One group of young Egyptians wants to remove religious labels from national ID cards.

'Where The Trouble Starts'

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It's All Politics
5:03 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Bloomberg Aims His Money At Gun Control Opponents

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a news conference at City Hall on April 25. The billionaire mayor has been spending from his personal fortune to provide a "political counterweight to the NRA," his policy adviser says.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 3:57 pm

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg seems determined to become the formidable adversary the National Rifle Association has never had.

The billionaire mayor is spending from his personal fortune to help defeat lawmakers who voted against gun control proposals last week and to prop up those who supported the measures.

Bloomberg's first target is a Democratic senator facing a tough fight for re-election in 2014: Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

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Around the Nation
1:57 pm
Sat April 20, 2013

Week Of Hardship Strains City Of Boston

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The city of Boston has been through an extraordinary string of challenges this week. The city's famous race was bombed, killing three people, injuring scores of others. The city was locked down for nearly a full day in order to search for the killers.

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Simon Says
11:52 am
Sat April 20, 2013

A 'Tough, Smart, Proud Town' Meets Terror With Determination

Boston residents celebrated Friday night after law enforcement officers captured one of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:57 pm

People in Boston can speak for themselves. And do. Loudly, bluntly and often with humor that bites.

It's a city that speaks with both its own broad, homebrew, local accent — although no one really pahks thea cah in Havahd Yahd — and dialects from around the world. It is home to some of America's oldest founding families, and fathers, mothers and children who have just arrived from Jamaica, Ireland, Bangladesh and Ghana.

There are people in Boston who dress in pinstripes and tweeds, and tattoos and spiked hair. Sometimes, they are even the same person.

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Around the Nation
7:41 am
Sat April 20, 2013

In Boston, The Search For Answers Begins

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

People who knew Dzhokhar Tsarnaev just have a hard time squaring the man they knew, with the violence in Boston. Sierra Schwartz went to Cambridge Rindge and Latin high school with the suspect, who's now in custody.

SIERRA SCHWARTZ: The Dzhokhar that I knew at the time was friendly, quiet but not in a - alarming way. He was just - you know, soft-spoken but very - you know, funny, very sweet, wouldn't harm a fly; someone that you would want to talk to.

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Around the Nation
7:41 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Forget NCAA Titles, This School Dominates Spoken Word

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

While many universities try to win national attention with their sports programs, one school is dominating a lesser-known competitive arena: speech teams. Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., will defend its U.S. title again this weekend at the National Forensic Association tournament in Huntington, W.Va. Jonathan Ahl reports.

JONATHAN AHL, BYLINE: Cecil Blutcher is on stage, practicing his poetry recitation in front of his fellow speech team members.

CECIL BLUTCHER: Now my face is stuck to lamppost, glued to plate-glass windows.

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Media
7:41 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Lessons Learned From The Media's Coverage Of Boston Bombing

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Media coverage moved at a breakneck speed after the initial bombing and as law enforcement pieced together the crime, ultimately leading to a dramatic conclusion. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks with NPR's David Folkenflik about how the media covered the Boston bombing: what they got right and wrong.

Remembrances
7:41 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Remembering The Man Who Gave The Nation A Newspaper

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Al Neuharth, the man who launched "USA Today" against all expert advice, has died at the age of 89. He was the chairman of Gannett newspapers who called himself a dreamer and schemer when he got the idea that satellite communications could make a daily national newspaper popular.

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Around the Nation
7:41 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Muslims Fear Backlash After Suspects Faith Revealed

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Soon after federal authorities disclosed that the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings were Muslims of Chechen descent, many American Muslims began bracing for a backlash. NPR's Jennifer Ludden has more.

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Around the Nation
7:41 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Witness To A Manhunt In Your Own Backyard

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Back now to our coverage of the tense night and police activity that brought an end to the manhunt for the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect. Franklin Street in Watertown was the epicenter of that massive search. Police and SWAT teams took over the suburban neighborhood looking for 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Keith Glavish lives nearby. He was in his house while the search unfolded. Thanks for being with us.

KEITH GLAVISH: Good morning.

SIMON: Quiet again?

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National Security
7:41 am
Sat April 20, 2013

U.S.-Russia Relations Highlighted In Bombing Aftermath

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Tracing the Tsarnaev family roots back to Russia is going to require cooperation between Washington, D.C., and Moscow and of course, as we just heard, this comes at a frosty time in relations between the two countries. NPR's diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen joins us. Thanks for being with us.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Thanks, Scott.

SIMON: And first, any signs of cooperation so far?

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Sports
7:41 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Week In Sports: Red Sox's Good Week A Bright Spot For Boston

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Isn't it nice to be able to say time for sports?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The country was focused on tragedy and mayhem this week, but sports abides, including some remarkable tributes to Boston. And the NBA playoffs begin today and run until, I don't know, I think December. Can anyone beat the Heat? For now we're joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. Howard, thanks so much for being with us.

HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Scott.

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Asia
6:37 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Suspects' Chechen Roots Draws Eyes In Russia

In this image taken from a cellphone video, the father of the Boston bombing suspects, Anzor Tsarnaev, talks to the media about his sons, in his home in Makhachkala, the Dagestani capital, on Friday.
AP

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 2:09 pm

The Boston Marathon bombing suspects are ethnic Chechens with links to the volatile North Caucasus region of Russia. Moscow's reaction to that fact appears to be as complex as the region's turbulent history.

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Music
6:17 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Not For Kids, These Child Ballads Are Steeped In History

Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer's new collaborative album is titled Child Ballads.
Jay Sansone Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 5:01 pm

Some stories stand the test of time: Shakespeare's plays, the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, and the Child ballads.

If you're unfamiliar with them, they're not for children. They're Scottish and English folk songs from the 17th and 18th centuries and earlier. They're named after Francis James Child, the Harvard professor and folklorist who collected them.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:22 am
Sat April 20, 2013

A Moment With Pulitzer-Winning Composer Caroline Shaw

Caroline Shaw, who composed the piece Partita for 8 Voices for her vocal group Roomful of Teeth, is the youngest-ever recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for music.
Dashon Burton Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 1:57 pm

How do you write something like Partita for 8 Voices, the a cappella vocal piece that is this year's winner of the Pulitzer Prize for music?

"Very late at night," says the composer, Caroline Shaw, speaking with NPR's Scott Simon. "Sometimes it comes from having a sound in your head that you really want to hear, that you've never heard before, and struggling to make that sound happen in any way you can."

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Deceptive Cadence
10:11 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Extreme Drama: The Life And Music Of Richard Wagner

Rudolph Cronau's drawing of Wagner's opera house, Bayreuth, flanked by his birthplace (left) and place of death.
Wikimedia Commons

Richard Wagner was, and still is today, arguably the most controversial figure in classical music. A self-appointed deity and hyperdriven genius, Wagner is often considered the ultimate megalomaniac. He dreamed up and achieved a single-minded plan to change the course of classical music history.

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Sports
10:11 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Week In Sports: A Day At The Masters

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: The serene and pristine fairways of Augusta have been trampled up and down for a couple of full days now. The Masters tournament is halfway through. NPR's Tom Goldman has been there watching, not playing. Thanks for being with us, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: But trampling, Scott - I've done my fair share.

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