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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NPR Story
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Suu Kyi To Accept Nobel Peace Prize, Decades Late

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Aung San Suu Kyi has delivered a speech in Norway to formally accept the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. The opposition leader of Myanmar, also known as Burma, was delayed giving that speech for 21 years because the country's then ruling military junta had put her under house arrest. In her speech, Aung San Suu Kyi urged the world not to forget prisoners of conscious who, unlike herself, are not free.

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NPR Story
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Voters To Decide Outcome Of Current Greek Drama

Street art by Bleeps.gr are allegories of the effects of the economic crisis on ordinary Greeks.
Sylvia Poggioli NPR

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 7:53 pm

Debt-burdened Greeks go to the polls Sunday to choose between an establishment party, and continuing harsh austerity measures, or a leftist party that vows to replace the current bailout deal with less punishing conditions.

But many Greeks are aware that whatever the outcome, they face years of hardship in a rapidly unraveling society.

A recent TV news report on medicine shortages illustrated the anguish rippling through the country. The piercing screams of a woman in a pharmacy can be heard as she shouts, "Where am I going to find my medication?"

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Asia
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

China Mission A Leap Toward Larger Space Goals

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Earlier today, China launched an historic space mission carrying that country's first female astronaut and a couple of male astronauts into space. The Shenzhou-9 spacecraft is on a 13-day trip. The mission is considered an important step toward China's goal of building a space station. We're joined now in our studios by Dean Cheng. He's a research fellow at the Asia Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation. Mr. Cheng, thanks for being with us.

DEAN CHENG: Thank you for having me.

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Politics
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

The New Immigration Policy: What's At Stake

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Barack Obama has announced a major change to immigration policy, one that he says could lift the shadow of deportation, as he called it, from hundreds of thousands of young people.

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Middle East
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Egyptians Vote President To Succeed Mubarak

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Media
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Greeks Take Over Reporting As Newspapers Go Under

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The austerity measures in Greece have reached into the journalists who would normally cover these elections. Thousands of journalists have lost their jobs. And in any case, many Greeks feel that the mainstream media are biased, and they're not getting news from alternative citizen-run outlets. Joanna Kakissis reports.

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Presidential Race
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Romney Rolls Into States Where 'Every Town Counts'

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. It's a classic tradition of presidential campaigns - the small town bus tour. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney began his in New Hampshire yesterday at the farm where he kicked off his campaign a year ago. NPR's Ari Shapiro was along for the ride.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Summer in New England is practically designed for political ads: waving green fields, cherry red barns popping against a bright blue sky, and on this morning, live bluegrass music.

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Science
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

A Flicker Of Inspiration Brings Cave Drawings To Life

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Before Pixar or Walt Disney, was there Paleolithic Man?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The Chauvet prehistoric cave paintings in France have always glimmered with a mystery: why do the depictions of ancient animals seem to show beasts with several heads and multiple limbs? Are the multi-headed creature figures from mythology, folk art, or some kind of lost world?

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Politics
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Mayoral Agenda: What To Do About Gang Violence

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Author Interviews
6:08 am
Sat June 16, 2012

A Shriver Learns It's Harder To Be Good Than Great

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

When Mark Shriver's father died last year at the age of 95, it seemed that everyone who knew him — politicians, priests, waitresses, presidents and trash collectors — used the same phrase to tell him what they had thought of his father. He was "a good man."

A Good Man is also the title of Shriver's new memoir about his father, R. Sargent Shriver. The elder Shriver, who once ran for president, ran the War on Poverty, the Peace Corps, Job Corps and the Special Olympics. On top of that, he was U.S. ambassador to France and married into the Kennedy family.

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Monkey See
6:08 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Explaining Muppet Theory: Are You An Ernie Or A Bert?

Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie in the 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade. They even look like a clash between Order and Chaos, don't they?
Matthew Simmons Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Most of the time, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick covers the Supreme Court. She's been doing that for the last 13 years. But recently, you may have seen her name floating around in connection with the piece she recently wrote that she discusses with Scott Simon on Saturday's Weekend Edition.

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Middle East
6:06 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Militant Territory Cleared In Yemen, For Now

Yemeni residents walk past vehicles and houses which were destroyed during recent fighting between the army and militants on a road leading to the city of Zinjibar on Thursday.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 12:27 pm

In southern Yemen, government forces backed by U.S. advisers claim they are routing al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and allied groups from territory that the militants had controlled over the past year.

This is the same al-Qaida that has tried to send so-called underwear bombers to attack U.S.-bound planes.

Abandoned Streets

Just outside the town of Zinjibar, it's clear that fierce battles went on here. It's deserted. There are no people, but there are an enormous number of bullet and shrapnel holes in the buildings.

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Music Interviews
7:52 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Glen Hansard: The Best Songs Come 'As A Gift'

Glen Hansard's new album, his first proper solo release, is titled Rhythm and Repose.
Heidi Rose

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 9:59 am

Glen Hansard began singing on the streets of Dublin when he was just 13. Now, in his early 40s, it's almost hard to count his honors. Once, the musical featuring his songs, just won eight Tony Awards.

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Annoying Music
7:48 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

The Most Annoying Songs Of The Summer (So Far)

No one ever said summer music had to be fun.
Ryan Lane iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

NPR Music has already put together a list of 50 of our favorite songs to help you celebrate the summer. On it, you'll find cheery synth-pop singles, smooth R&B ballads, thumping club bangers and fist-pumping rock anthems.

Missing, however, are those "deep cuts" that lend themselves to a detached, ironic, slightly campy appreciation — the songs that are so bad they're good.

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Simon Says
10:58 am
Sat June 9, 2012

When A Job Interview Turns Into Psychoanalysis

Why should someone who wants a job have to confide their fears and flaws to judgmental strangers?
Royal Five/iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 10:17 am

What is your greatest weakness? And is that really any of my business?

Dear Lucy, the workplace advice column written by Lucy Kellaway in the Financial Times, ran a letter this week from a 52-year-old unemployed male.

"I've just been asked in a job interview to name my greatest weakness," he said. "I hummed and hawed for a bit and then said something like, 'Why don't you ask my wife?' I didn't get the job."

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Around the Nation
9:33 am
Sat June 9, 2012

At N.Y. Speedway, Families Join Dreams Of Race Glory

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

To the daredevils of motor sports now - stock car racers. The Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, New York - racing takes on a hometown feel. North Country Public Radio's Sarah Harris went to an early season race and has our story.

SARAH HARRIS, BYLINE: At the Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, it's all stock car racing all day.

(SOUNDBITE OF ENGINE REVVING)

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NPR Story
7:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Licking Their Wounds, Progressives Regroup

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: And I'm Scott Horsley in Providence. Netroots Nation is part pep rally, part technology seminar, and - this year at least - part postmortem. Netroots chairman Adam Bonin kicked off the gathering just two days after the Wisconsin vote, which was viewed very differently in this crowd than it was by the audience at CPAC.

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NPR Story
7:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Sports Roundup: Basketball, Boxing And Euro Soccer

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: And there won't be a Triple Crown winner this year. But it's still a weekend for major matchups of all kinds, with Nadal and Djokovic, LeBron James and the Boston Celtics, and the peerless Manny Pacquiao in action. NPR Sports Correspondent Tom Goldman joins us.

Morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

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NPR Story
7:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Restructuring Europe Amid A Complex Political Climate

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Strange News
7:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

What's That Sound? Preserving The Noise Of Old Gadgets

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Technology is making a lot of things quieter. A dozen years ago, we recorded a lot of our interviews on magnetic tape.

LIANE HANSEN: This is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

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Politics
7:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Conservative Confab Rallies Behind Wisconsin Victory

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. It seems that every week, there's a new study out on political polarization in America. More and more, we talk to, vote with, and get our news from only those who think the way that we do. So, this week we sent reporters on a couple of polar expeditions to political gatherings on the left and the right. And in a moment, we'll hear from NPR's Scott Horsley at Netroots Nation in Rhode Island. First, now here's NPR's David Schaper at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Chicago.

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Sports
7:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Safety Concerns Scratch Triple Crown Hopes

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:41 pm

Today had the promise of history — that is, until the horse I'll Have Another was scratched from the Belmont Stakes. Also scratched: hopes for a long-awaited Triple Crown winner. It was yet another piece of bad news for the horse racing industry, which is under new scrutiny over the safety and treatment of the horses.

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Middle East
7:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Tension Grows In Syria's Continuing Conflict

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

It's been another bloody week in Syria. This week, dozens of people were reportedly killed in cold blood in a tiny farming hamlet in Central Syria by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. It is the latest atrocity in a 15-month revolt against the regime.

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World
7:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Bahrain's Crackdown On Activists Extends To Twitter

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 1:42 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

From Syria we head now to Bahrain, where a prominent human rights activist is back in detention this time for what he's been writing on Twitter. The U.S. says it's looking into the case and continuing to encourage Bahrain to allow free speech. Activists say the U.S. isn't pushing its ally hard enough.

NPR's Michele Kelemen spoke with a Bahraini human rights advocate who was in Washington, D.C. this week to remind U.S. officials that activists are still under pressure a year after Bahrain cracked down on anti-government protesters.

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Around the Nation
7:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

New Plan Sees More Illegal Immigrants Deported From U.S.

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Last month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made a significant policy change. They increased the number of agents responsible for finding and deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records by nearly 25 percent. Now, the agency says it wants to remove offenders who pose the greatest threat to public safety or national security.

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Author Interviews
6:10 am
Sat June 9, 2012

'Mission': Secrecy And Stardom On The Edge Of War

Mission to Paris book cover

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Fredric Stahl is "the sympathetic lawyer, the kind aristocrat, the saintly husband, the comforting doctor, or the good lover." At least onscreen.

He's an American movie star, born in Vienna, and says "my dear" with a kind of dreamy, trans-European cosmopolitan allure that makes him seem "a warm man in a cold world." He's also the hero of Alan Furst's new novel, Mission to Paris, set in Furst's favorite locale: Europe on the brink of war.

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Around the Nation
6:09 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Saving Niagra Falls, One (Tightrope) Step At A Time

Nik Wallenda walks a tightrope in the rain during a training session for his upcoming stunt in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Gary Wiepert AP

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:42 pm

Niagara Falls has long been a magnet for daredevils, but strict laws have kept them away for more than a century. That's expected to change Friday, when circus performer Nik Wallenda will walk a two-inch-thick wire above the giant waterfall. It's an exception officials hope will rescue tourism — and the city's economy.

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World
6:08 am
Sat June 9, 2012

The Young And The Jobless: Hopes On Hold In Spain

Graffiti on a wall in Madrid reads, "We want to work, let the businessmen who have gotten rich from our labor pay for the crisis." Nearly 50 percent of young adults in Spain are unemployed.
Denis Doyle Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 9:46 pm

The crowd of job seekers at an unemployment office in downtown Madrid looks different than it did a few years ago.

When the housing market went bust, construction workers flooded the lobby. Now, labor reforms have made it easier for corporations to fire workers without seniority. So now young people, including those with an education, are unable to find work.

Jaime Garcia de Sola, a former intern at an investment bank, was one of those waiting in the unemployment line.

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Author Interviews
2:03 am
Sat June 9, 2012

How 'The Queen Of British Ska' Wrestled With Race

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 7:44 am

The British ska-revival band The Selecter formed in the late 1970s, playing what can be described as rock fused with calypso and American jazz.

Much of what set the band apart was its charismatic lead singer, Pauline Black. As one of few women in a musical movement dominated by men, she was called "The Queen of British Ska."

That experience is one of many recounted in her new memoir, Black by Design, which has just been released in the U.S.

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Music
8:29 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Kishi Bashi: Unique Performances In Time

Kishi Bashi is the stage name of Japanese-American multi-instrumentalist K. Ishibashi.
Jennifer Leigh

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Consider this name: Kishi Bashi. It has a pleasant, repetitive character with a nice — if unusual — little loop. It's an apt stage name for a musician who's creating something haunting, beautiful and maybe a little off-kilter through the technology of looping.

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