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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Simon Says
10:41 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Sexiest Man Alive Gets 'The Onion' Taken Seriously

The satirical news source The Onion named North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un 2012's Sexiest Man Alive.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 11:09 am

If satire had an Olympics, The Onion might have won a gold medal this week. The satirical news source announced that its Sexiest Man Alive for 2012 is Kim Jong Un, North Korea's Supreme Leader.

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Latin America
6:28 am
Sat December 1, 2012

What's In Store For Mexico And Its New President?

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 10:41 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

For more on the developing relationship between Mexico and United States, we're joined now by Jorge Castaneda. Mr. Castaneda served as Mexico's secretary of foreign affairs from 2000-2003. In 2004, he launched an independent bid to run for president as the people's candidate, but Mexico's Supreme Court declared he couldn't run without the endorsement of an official party. These days, Mr. Castaneda is an academic and commentator. He joins us from his home in Manhattan. Thanks very much for being with us.

JORGE CASTANEDA: Thank you.

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Latin America
6:28 am
Sat December 1, 2012

How Brazil Sees The U.S. Battle Over Taxes

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 10:41 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This month on WEEKEND EDITION, we've been taking a look at the so-called fiscal cliff from the perspective of other countries. After all, the government's automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled for January could have impacts throughout what's an increasingly linked global economy.

Tomorrow, my colleague Rachel Martin checks in with Hong Kong. Right now, we'll go to Latin America. We're joined now by Joseph Leahy. He's the Brazil bureau chief for the Financial Times. Joe, thanks very much for being with us.

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Sports
6:28 am
Sat December 1, 2012

The Galaxy Waves Bye Bye To Beckham

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 10:41 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Tonight marks the end of the on-field career of a man who's been arguably the most famous athlete in the world. David Beckham will play his last competitive game for the L.A. Galaxy. He signed with the team in 2007 and earned himself something close to a 4250 million over the last five years in salary, and his own line of underwear, sportswear and cologne. Roger Bennett joins us now, he's the voice of Premier League soccer on ESPN, an ESPN columnist and co-host of Grantland's "Men In Blazers" show. Roger, thanks for being with us.

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Author Interviews
5:56 am
Sat December 1, 2012

A Compelling, Chutzpadik History Of 'Jews And Words'

Scott Rothstein iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:42 am

For thousands of years the Jewish people have been forced to move around — fleeing bigotry, slavery, pogroms, famines and tyrants. But words are portable, and to Jews — who are among those known as "the People of the Book" — they are precious possessions. As Amos Oz and his daughter, Fania Oz-Salzberger, write in their new book, Jews and Words, "Ours is not a bloodline, but a text line."

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It's All Politics
5:49 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Obama Back In Campaign Mode; This Time, It's Taxes

President Obama looks over a roller coaster with K'Nex inventor and Chairman Joel Glickman (left) and President and CEO Michael Araten on Friday during a tour of the company in Hatfield, Pa.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 4:07 pm

President Obama is hoping the same campaign tools that helped him win re-election will also deliver a policy win in the fight over federal taxes.

The president wants Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts for most Americans, while allowing taxes to go up for the wealthiest 2 percent. His aides are using email, social media and beyond-the-Beltway campaign appearances in hopes of putting pressure on Republican lawmakers.

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National Security
5:43 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Farewell: USS Enterprise Starred In History And Film

Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Joseph carries his 1-year-old daughter, Maleah, to his re-enlistment ceremony aboard the USS Enterprise at the Norfolk Naval Station on March 8. The ship began its final deployment on March 11.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 1:17 pm

Sailors, veterans and their families are saying goodbye in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday to the USS Enterprise, which was the largest ship in the world and the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier when it was commissioned in 1961.

In its illustrious history, the Enterprise served at the center of international events for a half-century — from the Cuban missile crisis to Vietnam to the Iraq War.

And it had a distinguished Hollywood career as well, playing a leading role in the 1986 film Top Gun, which starred Tom Cruise as a young naval aviator.

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Performing Arts
5:43 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Hispanics Call For Kennedy Center Honors

Honorees (from left) James Levine, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Simon, Chita Rivera and James Earl Jones stand beside first lady Laura Bush and President George W. Bush during the 25th Kennedy Center Honors in 2002. Rivera was the last Hispanic recipient of the award.
Shawn Thew AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 10:41 am

This weekend, some big names are coming to Washington for a red-carpet event. Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, ballerina Natalia Makarova, blues guitarist Buddy Guy and the British rock band Led Zeppelin will be receiving the annual Kennedy Center Honors.

It's a prestigious award given to only a handful of performers each year. But over the past few months there's been controversy surrounding the awards. In its 35-year history, only two honorees have been Hispanic, despite the fact that Hispanics are the largest minority in the United States.

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Music Interviews
9:43 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

A Trove Of Chats With Music Icons, Now Online

Joe Smith poses with Rod Stewart, circa 1974. The former record executive conducted informal interviews with dozens of musicians in the mid-1980s.
Jeff Smith

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 1:26 pm

In the mid-1980s, a record executive and former DJ named Joe Smith saw that a lot of the big-band greats were disappearing: Count Basie, Harry James and others.

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Music Interviews
10:30 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Piney Gir: From 'The Muppets' To 'Geronimo'

Piney Gir grew to love performing after getting solos in the choir at church.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 2:44 pm

What do you do if you're an aspiring drummer and someone steals your drum set? Well, if you're Piney Gir, you become a singer — because, as she figured it, they can't steal your voice.

Gir grew up in a fundamentalist Pentecostal household in Kansas, attending church four or five times a week. She got the solos in the choir and grew to love performing. The singer, whose real name is Angela Penhaligon, eventually found her way to London and the world of indie art-rock.

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NPR Story
10:30 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Songwriter Paloma Faith's 'Fall To Grace'

Paloma Faith's newest album is called Fall to Grace.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 2:48 pm

Paloma Faith has been described as smart, vivacious, red-streaked and a singular talent. Before breaking into the music business, Faith worked as a magician's assistant and a dancer. She debuted as a solo artist in the UK in 2009 with the album Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? Her latest album is no less provocatively titled — it's called Fall to Grace.

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Movie Interviews
6:34 am
Sat November 24, 2012

The Unsung Overdub Star In 'Sound Of Music'

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 10:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We spoke with Christopher Plummer last week, and couldn't resist asking the famed stage and screen actor if he ever still sings "Edelweiss."

CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER: Of course not.

SIMON: (Laughter)

PLUMMER: Are you mad?

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: I had to ask.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE SOUND OF MUSIC")

BILL LEE: (as Plummer's Captain Von Trapp) (Singing) Edelweiss, edelweiss, every morning you greet me...

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Sports
6:34 am
Sat November 24, 2012

'Winningest' Coach Succeeded With Discipline

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 10:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

John Gagliardi is hanging up his clipboard. He announced his retirement this week, as the winningest coach in the history of college football. Over the course of 64 seasons - that's also a record; most of them at the St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota - Coach Gagliardi has racked up 489 wins, 138 losses and 11 ties. He's now 86 years old. Coach Gagliardi joins us from his home. Thanks very much for being with us.

JOHN GAGLIARDI: It's my pleasure.

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Business
6:34 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Retail Arms Race Escalates To New Level

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 10:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In American retail history, this may be the year that Black Friday shaded into Thursday night. Toys "R" Us, Wal-Mart, several other retailers opened on Thursday night, Thanksgiving night, and on Friday, many other online retailers offered flash sales - special deals lasting just a couple of hours. Patty Edwards is the chief investment officer for Trutina Financial, a financial services firm in Washington state. She joins us from member station KUOW in Seattle. Thanks so much for being with us.

PATTY EDWARDS: Absolutely my pleasure.

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Economy
6:34 am
Sat November 24, 2012

How Steep The Fiscal Cliff Looks From Europe

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 10:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Much of our political oxygen is taken up with fiscal cliff negotiation and speculation in the United States as people try to figure out whether we will indeed go hurtling over into recession or inch back from the edge of the cliff. Since all our economies are linked in a global network these days, we thought we'd get the view of all of this from elsewhere.

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Middle East
7:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Hamas Remains Defiant As Fighting Escalates

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 9:28 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Middle East
7:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Renewed Violence In Gaza A Test For New Leaders

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 9:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The violence in Gaza is the first escalation of this intensity since uprisings in the Arab world almost two years ago. We're joined now by Rob Malley. He's with the International Crisis Group. He joins us from Dubai. Mr. Malley, thanks so much for being with us.

ROB MALLEY: Thanks for having me.

SIMON: And do you think a ground war is just a matter of time?

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Author Interviews
7:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

'The Lawgiver': Telling Moses' Story, Differently

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Food
7:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

For Calif. Family, It's Not Thanksgiving Without Rice

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 12:10 pm

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

What does a two-time James Beard award-winning chef make every Thanksgiving? Well, if you're San Francisco's Traci Des Jardins, it's rice. Lisa Morehouse has our story.

(SOUNDBITE OF CUTTING)

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Sports
7:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

A Peek At Basketball, How Head Trauma In The NFL

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: L.A. topsy-turvy with the Clippers now the top NBA team in town, while the Lakers try to pick themselves up with a new coach. And remember those three NFL quarterbacks who were knocked out of their games last week? A couple of them kept playing. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us now.

Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

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Remembrances
7:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Valerie Eliot Helped Shape A Writing Legend's Legacy

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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U.S.
7:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

FBI And Petraeus Affair: Back The 'Bad Old Days'?

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The scandal ensnaring General Patreaus has raised new questions about the CIA and the FBI. For more, we're joined by Tim Weiner. He's the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of two books on security services - one, "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA," the second, "Enemies: The History of the FBI." He joins us from New York. Thanks very much for being with us.

TIM WEINER: My pleasure, Scott.

SIMON: It's been a week of revelations, ruined careers, shaken families. Any crimes revealed?

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Movies
5:27 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Plummer Portrays One Of The Greats, Again

Theo Wargo Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 6:40 pm

In 1942, the legendary actor John Barrymore prowled the stage of an empty Broadway theater to prepare for an audition. He wanted to revive his first great performance as Richard III, but that night, Barrymore also opened the traveling trunk of his overstuffed, fabulous and troubled life.

Christopher Plummer won the Tony Award for best actor for his performance of this lion of the stage. Now, he's committed that performance to film.

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Author Interviews
5:27 am
Sat November 17, 2012

What Makes A City 'Walkable' And Why It Matters

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 10:04 am

Watching Mary Tyler Moore while he was growing up, city planner Jeff Speck saw a different view of urbanity. It stood out amongst the crime-ridden urban settings of other favorite TV series.

Millenials, Speck says, have an even broader vision of what city life means, thanks in part to Seinfeld, Friends and Sex and the City.The neighborhood coffee shops and carless characters show viewers a "walkable" city.

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Movie Interviews
5:27 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Tom Stoppard, On Adapting 'Anna' And Defining Love

Keira Knightly stars as the title character in Joe Wright's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.
Laurie Sparham Focus Features

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 7:48 am

Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina weighs in at close to 1,000 pages, whatever the translation. And since it appeared in the 1870s, it has often been acclaimed as one of the finest novels ever written. It's also been adapted for film or television at least a dozen times — including a sweeping and highly theatrical new version directed by Joe Wright.

Keira Knightley plays the unhappily married Anna, with Jude Law as her chilly, correct husband, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Count Vronsky, the dashing cavalry officer whose love for Anna leads to tragedy.

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Vintage Trouble: Rock 'N' Roll Finds Its Soul

Vintage Trouble recently reissued its 2010 debut, The Bomb Shelter Sessions.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 7:48 am

Vintage Trouble has enjoyed a pretty quick rise since forming just two years ago.

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Politics
11:29 am
Sat November 10, 2012

In Second Term, Obama Has New Opportunity

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

With his election victory behind him, President Obama now turns his focus to planning his second term. He again faces a divided Congress - a Republican-controlled House and a Senate led by Democrats. But a second term presents an opportunity for the president try to set a new agenda and maybe change his approach to governing.

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Sports
11:29 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Sports: A Possible Super Bowl Preview And Letting Go

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The NFL season at the half-way point. Big game this weekend. Sunday, tomorrow night, two 7-1 teams in a classic face-off. Ha-ha. One of them's the Bears. In college football, Notre Dame and Kansas State are in the top 5. What is this, 1997? And the L.A. Lakers send their coach packing. Are they already chanting ohm in Santa Monica?

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U.S.
11:29 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Grab And Go: N.J. Residents Get Quick Trip Home

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. In parts of New York and New Jersey, life is returning to the way it was before Hurricane Sandy hit. Power has been restored. Schools have reopened. But there are still thousands of people without electricity and areas where homes are unlivable. This is the case of New Jersey's barrier islands. Yesterday, residents of Seaside Heights returned to their homes for the first time since the storm struck.

Scott Gurian of New Jersey Public Radio was with them and filed this report.

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U.S.
11:29 am
Sat November 10, 2012

BBQ Support: Feeding Fellow Americans After Sandy

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Twelve days after Hurricane Sandy smacked the eastern seaboard and beyond, tens of thousands of people still lack basic necessities - food, water, even shelter. NPR's Richard Gonzales sent us this postcard about three men from Chicago who took it upon themselves to bring some comfort to Sandy's victims.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHATTER)

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