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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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

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

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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

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)

LISA MOREHOUSE, BYLINE: I asked Traci Des Jardins to demonstrate one favorite dish for this story. But when I get to her house, she's making half her Thanksgiving menu.

TRACI DES JARDINS: One dish. It's Thanksgiving. You can't do one dish for Thanksgiving. For God's sake, you're lucky I didn't do like 10.

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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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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

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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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Middle East
11:29 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Fractured Syrian Opposition Eyed Warily

Transcript

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Simon Says
10:35 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Making A Case For Closer Contact In Congress

From left, Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) await President Obama's State of the Union address in January 2011, when a bipartisan seating arrangement symbolically suggested a more cooperative spirit among lawmakers.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 2:32 pm

Gridlock is the term many use to describe what happens when legislation gets stalled in the U.S. Congress.

But gridlock suggests that people in Congress at least run into each other. I've had enough casual, personal conversations with representatives in both parties in recent years to begin to think a more critical problem might be that politicians of opposing parties are almost strangers to each other.

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Commentary
7:33 am
Sat November 10, 2012

What A Life: The Day I Met Elliott Carter

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 11:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Elliott Carter died this week, a month shy of his 104th birthday. He had a huge influence on modern classical music. So in 2008, when Elliott Carter was celebrating his centennial, NPR's Tom Cole went to New York City to interview him. And he has this remembrance of what it was like to meet the storied composer.

TOM COLE, BYLINE: I was terrified. I mean, this was a man who had lived history; a composer who'd won two Pulitzer Prizes, for his Second and Third String Quartets.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Politics
7:33 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Political Sparring Ahead Of Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 11:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And we're joined now by New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, who often joins us to talk about business and the economy. Joe, thanks for being with us.

JOE NOCERA: Thanks for having me, Scott.

SIMON: Did you hear anything from President Obama or Speaker Boehner that screams deal to you?

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U.S.
7:33 am
Sat November 10, 2012

A Stunning Fall For CIA's Celebrated Petraeus

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 11:29 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

David Petraeus has resigned as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, citing an extramarital affair and saying that he showed, quote, "extremely poor judgment." It was a stunning fall for one of the most celebrated generals in recent U.S. history. NPR's Tom Bowman is here to talk about it. Tom, thanks so much for being with us.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: You're welcome, Scott.

SIMON: What do we know now about what happened?

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Author Interviews
5:43 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Ian McEwan's 'Sweet Tooth' Pits Spy Vs. Scribe

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 11:29 am

Author Ian McEwan's latest creation, Serena Frome, isn't much of a spy. She got recruited into MI5 by her Cambridge history tutor, whom she wanted to dazzle. But he dumps her, and she never sees it coming. She winds up on the clerical side of the operation, cross-filing schemes and plots to stop terrorists, until one day, in the middle of the Cold War, she's summoned to the fifth floor of the agency, where five wise men ask her to rank three British novelists according to their merit: Kingsley Amis, William Golding and David Storey.

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Asia
5:26 am
Sat November 10, 2012

A Grim Chronicle Of China's Great Famine

Chinese villagers welcome the arrival of tractors purchased by a farmers' cooperative in April 1958, during the Great Leap Forward campaign. The disastrous modernization program ended in China's great famine and tens of millions of deaths.
Keystone-France Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 11:29 am

First of two parts

It's not often that a book comes out that rewrites a country's history. But that's the case with Tombstone, which was written by a retired Chinese reporter who spent 10 years secretly collecting official evidence about the country's devastating great famine. The famine, which began in the late 1950s, resulted in the deaths of millions of Chinese.

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Politics
5:26 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Taxing Work Ahead: Have Negotiating Tables Turned?

President Obama speaks about the economy and the deficit at the White House on Friday. He says this time around, he has proof that Americans agree with his approach.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 1:38 pm

Republicans and Democrats agree: Election season may have ended just four days ago, but it's already time to get back to work. In this case, "back to work" might mean "back to fighting."

Leaders in both parties made their opening bids Friday on how to deal with the tax, spending and debt problems that face the country at the end of this year.

While the scenario echoes last year's spending battle, there are some differences that could push the parties toward the resolution they never reached last time around.

Where The President Stands

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StoryCorps
5:25 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Amidst War, U.S. Guardsman Forges Unexpected Bond

Ali, an Iraqi teenager, wears Spc. Justin Cliburn's helmet and radio equipment in Baghdad. Ali and Cliburn became unlikely friends while Cliburn trained Iraqi police in 2005 and 2006.
Courtesy of Justin Cliburn

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 3:11 pm

The Military Voices Initiative, a StoryCorps' project, collects stories from members of the U.S. armed forces, with a special focus on those who served in post-Sept. 11, 2001, conflicts. Every month, highlights from that initiative air on Weekend Edition Saturday.

Spc. Justin Cliburn, 30, was deployed to Iraq in 2005 with the Oklahoma Army National Guard. His job was to train the Iraqi police in Baghdad. During his time there, he got to know a boy in his early teens named Ali, who walked through their compound one day.

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Music News
12:10 am
Sat November 10, 2012

A Veteran's Standing Ovation, 70 Years In The Making

This month, a symphony composed by World War II veteran Harold Van Heuvelen had its premiere.
Kevin Gift

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 10:55 am

When you reach a certain age, big life surprises tend to come few and far between, unless you're Harold Van Heuvelen. Van, as everyone calls him, has had a blockbuster week full of dreams fulfilled. The story of his dream starts more than 70 years ago, on Dec. 7, 1941.

Van Heuvelen enlisted in the Army after Pearl Harbor. He was posted to a base in New Orleans as an instructor for recruits. He spent the war stateside, training men who were being shipped out to Europe and the South Pacific.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:00 am
Sat November 10, 2012

John Williams' Inevitable Themes

Flanked by composer Leonard Slatkin and soprano Jessye Norman, John Williams takes a bow during his 80th-birthday celebration at Tanglewood in August.
Stu Rosner

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 10:52 am

For more than 50 years, John Williams' music has taken us to galaxies far, far away through adventures here on earth, made us feel giddy joy and occasionally scared us to death.

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NPR Story
10:48 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Ohio Gets Love And Hot Rhetoric From Romney Camp

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Mitt Romney is also trying to pack as much campaigning into these final days as he can. Mr. Romney is working at a new level of intensity in the race as makes his closing arguments to American voters. NPR's Ari Shapiro is one the road with the Romney campaign and has this report.

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NPR Story
10:48 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Storm Whips Up Acts Of Kindness In Northeast

Transcript

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