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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Science
7:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Found In Musical Translation: Higgs Boson Explained

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It's been over a week since scientists announced that they've found the Higgs boson particle. It's an important discovery. They say that although the Higgs boson particle is small - or, come to think of it, perhaps because of it - it holds the universe together. But for all the publicity the particle's received, how many of us could explain what it actually does? Well, here's the announcement from scientists in Switzerland.

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Around the Nation
7:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Black Lung Makes A Deadly Resurgence

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Earlier this week, NPR and the Center for Public Integrity reported astonishing news: the coal miners' disease called black lung is a growing problem again. The investigative report also showed that weak regulation and industry deception has thwarted the effort to protect miners from the coal mine dust that causes black lung.

NPR's Howard Berkes joins us. Howard, thanks for being with us. first,

HOWARD BERKES, BYLINE: It's good to be with you, Scott.

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Sports
7:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Sports Roundup: LA Angels, Drew Brees, Jeremy Lin

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:27 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Mark Teixeira of the Yankees gets five RBIs to beat the Angels. And if beating Angels isn't bad enough, Saints from New Orleans throwing money at Drew Brees. And why do U.S. lawmakers want to put the torch to U.S. Olympic uniforms? Howard Bryant joins us now, senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN the magazine, joins us from New England Public Radio in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Howard, thanks for being with us.

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Sports
7:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Power To The Pedal: Sky Stands Out In Tour De France

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Saturday is Bastille Day, and the Tour de France is underway. Nearly 200 cyclists have just finished a grueling three-day stretch in the mountains and are headed down to the southern coast. Host Scott Simon talks about the race and its so-called doping era with reporter Joe Lindsey of Bicycling Magazine.

Presidential Race
7:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Obama On The Stump In Virginia

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As Mitt Romney defends his business record, President Barack Obama is on the campaign trail. He'll be in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia and Washington, D.C. today. Yesterday, the president traveled to the Tidewater region of southeastern Virginia, and he continued to make his pitch that he is the best champion for the middle class. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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Business
7:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

$6B Deal Eases Credit Card Surcharge Restrictions

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Visa, MasterCard, some of the nation's other largest banks have agreed to a multibillion dollar settlement of a class action suit involving credit card transaction fees. Now, those are what merchants pay when you use plastic instead of cash. Retailers allege that the two largest payment networks conspired with the banks to keep so-called swipe fees high. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

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NPR Story
7:49 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Italians Commemorate Costa Concordia Wreck

Work has begun to remove the tons of rocky reef embedded into the Concordia cruise ship's hull, off Giglio Island in Italy. The plan is to eventually tow the wreck away from the island in one piece.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Last January, the captain of the Italian mega-cruise ship Costa Concordia committed an apparent act of maritime bravado a few yards from the shore of a Tuscan island. Thirty people were killed, and two are still missing.

Six months after one of the biggest passenger shipwrecks in recent history, relatives of the dead attended a memorial service Friday near the site of the disaster.

The solemn notes of Mozart's Requiem echoed through the small church of Saints Lorenzo and Mamiliano on the island of Giglio.

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NPR Story
7:49 am
Sat July 14, 2012

50 Years Ago, Communications Became Global

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Fifty years ago this week, communications went global. July 12, 1962 the Telstar 1 satellite from AT&T became the first commercial spacecraft to beam television images from the United States to Europe.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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NPR Story
7:49 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Starry-Eyed In Arizona Observe The Heavens

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There may be no better town in America for observing the heavens than Tucson, Arizona. It has low humidity, high elevation and a darkened desert. That part of the state has attracted quite a few astronomers, both professional and amateur. We sent NPR's Peter Breslow to Tucson to seek out this community of stargazers.

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The Record
6:20 am
Sat July 14, 2012

He Keeps fun. Running

Shane Timm tunes Jack Antonoff's guitar on the stage at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn before a fun. show in June.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:31 pm

When NPR's Scott Simon spoke with singer Nate Ruess of the band fun. three weeks ago, the band was wrapping up a marathon tour of the United States in support of its album Some Nights and the hit single "We Are Young."

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Food
5:51 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Three Beers To Cheer Your Summer Suppers

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 11:58 am

When the mercury's soaring, a cold, refreshing beer can be the best part of summer. As part of our occasional Taste of Summer series, we asked beer expert Graham Haverfield to recommend a few of his seasonal favorites.

Haverfield is the beer director for the Wine Library in Springfield Township, N.J. He's also a certified cicerone, or beer server. "Summer beers are typically lighter in body, they're typically a little lower in alcohol," he tells NPR's Scott Simon.

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History
5:51 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Winston Churchill's Way With Words

Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Winston Churchill is best remembered as the British prime minister whose speeches rallied a nation under a relentless Nazi onslaught in World War II. But few people know that he won the Nobel Prize in Literature — in part for his mastery of speechmaking.

Now, a new exhibition at the Morgan Library in New York City, Churchill: The Power of Words, holds a megaphone to Churchill's extraordinary oratory.

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National Security
5:50 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Osama's Driver Freed In Latest Guantanamo Release

Ibrahim al-Qosi, shown here on July 11 in Khartoum, Sudan, was released from Guantanamo Bay prison this week after spending a decade there. He was Osama bin Laden's former driver, and he pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy with al-Qaida and supporting terrorism. There are now 168 prisoners remaining at Guantanamo.
STR Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

The latest detainee to leave the Guantanamo Bay prison boarded an Air Force jet earlier this week. His destination: Sudan. The man, 52-year-old Ibrahim al-Qosi, had admitted to being Osama bin Laden's bookkeeper, driver and sometime cook, and he was one of the first prisoners to arrive at Guantanamo in 2002.

Now, he is the latest to leave. His departure brings the total detainee population at the U.S. naval base in Cuba down to 168 — from a high of 680 in May 2003.

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Milo Greene: Born Of A Music-Industry Phantom

Milo Greene's self-titled debut comes out Tuesday.
L. Gray

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 3:49 pm

Buzz has been building. There were standing ovations when Milo Greene toured with The Civil Wars. Esquire magazine put Milo Greene on its list of artists to watch in 2012, and Milo Greene will perform songs from its debut album on David Letterman's show later this month. But this budding star is probably not who you think he is.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:03 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Tanglewood: Celebrating Beethoven In The Backwoods For 75 Years

Christoph von Dohnanyi and the Boston Symphony play Beethoven in the opening night concert of the Tanglewood Festival's 75th anniversary.
Hilary Scott Boston Symphony

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:22 pm

It now seems like a natural rite of summer — open-air classical music festivals where audiences can hear great music while picnicking under the stars. But 75 years ago, when the Boston Symphony first performed on a former estate called Tanglewood in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, it was a novel idea.

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Around the Nation
8:57 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Scranton's Public Workers' Pay Cut to Minimum Wage

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 4:29 pm

The city of Scranton, Pa., sent out paychecks to its employees Friday, like it does every two weeks. But this time the checks were much smaller than usual. Mayor Chris Doherty has reduced everyone's pay — including his own — to the state's minimum wage: $7.25 an hour.

Doherty says his city has run out of money.

Scranton has had financial troubles for a couple of decades — the town has been losing population since the end of World War II. But the budget problems became more serious in recent months as the mayor and the city council fought over how to balance the budget.

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From Our Listeners
8:57 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Your Letters: Eugene Levy And American Dreams

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Last Saturday, NPR's Jennifer Ludden introduced us to 30-year-old Michelle Holshue, as part of NPR's "American Dream" series. Ms. Holshue graduated with $140,000 in student loan debt just as the recession hit. She worries she'll never be able to own a home, or raise a family.

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Science
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

NOAA: Just To Be Clear, Mermaids Do Not Exist

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If the blobfish rarely moves, who does it encounter to spell its loneliness in the briny deep? The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency would urge the blobfish not to hold out for the chance to meet the mermaid of its dreams. NOAA issued a statement this week after receiving several queries following the broadcast of an Animal Planet program called "Mermaids: The Body Found."

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Technology
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

New Projects Help 3-D Printing Materialize

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You may have heard of 3-D printers. These are computer controlled machines that create three-dimensional objects from a variety of materials. They've been kind of a novelty for a while but now they are being discovered by everyday consumers. Jon Kalish reports.

JON KALISH, BYLINE: Sean Hurley works for a software company called Autodesk. Not long ago the door on his clothes dryer at home developed a problem. It wouldn't stay shut, which made it impossible to use the dryer.

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Economy
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Adjustments Behind The Numbers Shape Job News

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Eight-point-two percent, that's the number economists and politicians are looking at closely. It is the unemployment rate for the month of June. The U.S. Labor Department reported that the economy added only 80,000 jobs last month. As the economy continues its very slow recovery, it's worth asking, is the jobs report always the best indicator? NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

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Economy
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

CEO Spill The Beans On Hiring Hesitancy

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

So, another month passes with U.S. stuck in a jobless recovery. Yet many major businesses are reportedly doing well. Their stock price is up. They have cash on hand. So why aren't more companies hiring?

I'm joined now by two chief executive officers. Christopher Gorman is the president of Key Corporate Bank and the CEO of KeyBank in Cleveland. He joins us from his office there. Mr. Gorman, thanks for being with us.

CHRISTOPHER GORMAN: Good morning, Scott.

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Around the Nation
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Anchorage Mayor Takes Oath Under Hawaiian Sun

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Dan Sullivan was sworn in for a second term as the mayor of Anchorage, Alaska this week.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Please raise your right hand and repeat after me. I, Daniel Sullivan...

MAYOR DAN SULLIVAN: I, Daniel Sullivan...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Solemnly swear or affirm...

SULLIVAN: Solemnly swear...

SIMON: The mayor sounded a little distant. He was. Nearly 3,000 miles from Anchorage - in Honolulu.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Africa
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Libyan Elections Seen As Test Of Uncertain Peace

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And today, less than a year after the death of Colonel Moammar Gadhafi, Libyans are electing a new parliament. But in the months since the dictator was killed by a mob in his stronghold of Sirte, life in Libya has been troubled. This election's being seen as a test for an uncertain peace.

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Africa
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Foreign Workers Trek Across Sahel To Libya, Again

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Over a half million foreign workers fled the violence in Libya last spring during the fall of Tripoli. Most migrants were from Egypt, Tunisia or sub-Saharan Africa. Thousands came from a single town in the West African nation of Ghana. That town is called Nkoranza and it's nearly 3,000 miles away from Libya's capital of Tripoli.

But reporter Marine Olivesi says that despite the risks and uncertainty they face in post liberation Libya, many Ghanaians are once again taking the road north.

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Sports
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Sports: Big Weekend For Tennis

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: And it's a huge weekend on tennis' hallowed ground. Serena Williams has won her fifth Wimbledon title. She defeated Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, 6-1, 5-7 and 6-2 in the final. And on the men's side, Andy Murray is the great Scot hope, as he tries to win his first Wimbledon title. We spoke with Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the magazine from Wimbledon shortly after Serena Williams won.

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NPR Story
7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Economy's In Low Gear, But Obama's Bus Keeps Rolling

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Author Interviews
6:47 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Abraham Lincoln 'Impeached.' Wait, What?

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Abraham Lincoln is not just America's greatest president. To many, his very face is an emblem of America: honest, homespun, strong and sad, haunted, brooding and humorous.

So where does some famous Yale Law School professor get off writing a novel in which President Lincoln is accused of subverting the Constitution?

In Stephen Carter's new novel, The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln, the man we know as the Great Emancipator imprisons critics, invokes martial law, suspends the writ of habeus corpus, and throttles the press — all to win the Civil War.

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Around the Nation
6:46 am
Sat July 7, 2012

USS Iowa's Guns Are Now For Show

Pacific Battleship Center

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 1:53 pm

On Saturday, the USS Iowa battleship opens its decks to visitors in the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro. The battleship, commissioned by the Navy for World War II, will now serve as a museum.

On a gray morning, former USS Iowa crew member Mike McEnteggart shows off the ship's main deck. McEnteggart first arrived on the Iowa in 1985, fresh out of boot camp.

"I was 20 years old," he says. "Just barely 20 years old."

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It's All Politics
6:46 am
Sat July 7, 2012

'Social Welfare' Organizations Play Big Role In Presidential Politics

Karl Rove attends a ceremony to unveil the portrait of former President George W. Bush at the White House in May. A former Bush adviser, Rove also is a founder of Crossroads GPS.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Some of the heaviest advertisers in the 2012 presidential campaign are groups financed by anonymous donors. They're not organized as political committees, but as "social welfare" organizations.

Peter Overby, NPR's money and politics correspondent, says one of those groups is rivaling the campaigns themselves for money spent on high-profile ads so far in the campaign.

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U.S.
6:08 am
Sat July 7, 2012

How One Drought Changed Texas Agriculture Forever

Siblings Charles Hagood and Nancy Hagood Nunns grew up in Junction, Texas, in the 1950s. Charles says the drought drove ranchers to find other types of work.
Michael O'Brien Michael O'Brien

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:40 pm

In Texas, there is still the drought against which all other droughts are measured: the seven-year dry spell in the 1950s. It was so devastating that agriculture losses exceeded those of the Dust Bowl years, and so momentous that it kicked off the modern era of water planning in Texas.

From 1950 to 1957, the sky dried up and the rain refused to fall. Every day, Texans scanned the pale-blue heavens for rainclouds, but year after year they never came.

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