Weekend Edition

Weekends at 8-10AM
Scott Simon

Whether revealing events in small-town America or overseas, or profiling notable personalities, Weekend Edition from NPR News appreciates the extraordinary details that make up every story. This two-hour morning newsmagazine covers hard news, a wide variety of newsmakers, and cultural stories with care, accuracy, and a wink of humor, courtesy of hosts Scott Simon and Liane Hansen.

On Saturdays, Simon's award-winning commentaries sum up an idea or event related to the week's news. There are fresh reports from a cross-section of NPR correspondents on topics from religion to health to food to politics. Simon's interviews with key artists, authors, performers and personalities are always memorable.

On Sundays, Weekend Edition combines the news with colorful arts and human-interest features, appealing to the curious and eclectic. With a nod to traditional Sunday habits, the program offers a fix for diehard crossword addicts-word games and brainteasers with The Puzzlemaster, a.k.a. Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times. With Hansen on the sidelines, a caller plays the latest word game on the air while listeners compete silently at home. The NPR mailbag is proof that the competition to go head-to-head with Shortz is rather vigorous.

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7:58am

Sat May 17, 2014
Author Interviews

'Wynne's War,' A Modern Take On The Classic 'Mideastern'

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 11:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Aaron Gwyn has written a novel about modern man at war on horses. He calls it a mideastern. "Wynne's War" is the story of a U.S. Army Ranger from Okla., Elijah Russell, whose stellar horsemanship gets him assigned to train Green Berets for a special mission in Afghanistan, a horseback raid on the Taliban in treacherous mountain territory.

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1:31pm

Sat May 10, 2014
She Votes

Easy On The Ears: GOP Ads Adapt To Reach Women Voters

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 10:02 am

Dr. Monica Wehby, pediatric neurosurgeon, is among the Republican candidates turning up the emotions in campaign ads.
Dave Killen The Oregonian/Landov

It's only April, but it looks and sounds like October. More than $80 million has been spent on political advertising in only about a dozen Senate battleground states.

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10:49am

Sat May 10, 2014
All Tech Considered

High-Ho, The Derry-O, The Farmer And The Drone

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 11:11 am

North Dakota farmer Jim Reimers shows off one of the drones he uses to collect data on his family's 30,000-acre farm.
Steve Henn NPR

There was a near-miss in the skies above Tallahassee recently. According to a Federal Aviation Administration official, an American Airlines regional jet nearly collided with a "small, remotely piloted aircraft" — a drone — cruising 2,300-feet above sea level.

Exactly who was flying the unmanned aircraft remains unknown, but drones are becoming increasingly common in U.S. skies. This week in North Dakota, the FAA began allowing tests of drones for agricultural purposes.

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7:59am

Sat May 10, 2014
Author Interviews

Seeing The Whole Picture In We'll Go To 'Coney Island'

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 11:44 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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7:59am

Sat May 10, 2014
Music Interviews

The Music Of Oak And Forest Sprite Blend In Sylvan Esso

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 5:28 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PLAY IT RIGHT")

MOUNTAIN MAN: (Singing) When the sounds come together so close to my face...

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A few years ago, Amelia Meath's folksy group Mountain Man recorded this song, called "Play It Right." Then a chance encounter with an electronic music producer named Nick Sanborn led to this.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PLAY IT RIGHT")

MOUNTAIN MAN: (Singing) Play it right. Play it right. Play it right. Play it right. Play it right. Play it right...

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7:59am

Sat May 10, 2014
Around the Nation

Neurosurgeons Express Their Medical Challenges Through Art

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 11:44 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Neurosurgery is a stressful occupation. So is being a neurosurgical patient. With their superior eyes and hand skills, some neurosurgeons are turning to making art, and several are getting exposure at art exhibits throughout the country - including at this year's annual meeting of neurosurgeons. From member station KQED in San Francisco, April Dembosky sent us this audio postcard.

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7:59am

Sat May 10, 2014
Sports

Michael Sam Waiting For An Invite In NFL Draft Spectacle

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 11:44 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And, by the way, BG Lederman didn't write a single one of those songs. But he does write our theme music, including this one that says it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Post season - sorry, basketball. Forget about it, hockey. For theatrics, we're watching football's off season. The spectacle that is the NFL draft enters its third day today and America wants to know, can it be as good as the Kevin Costner film? NPR's Tom Goldman joins us - any Kevin Costner film. Thanks for being with us, Tom.

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11:29am

Sat May 3, 2014
Europe

Sanctions Put Pentagon's Business Deals With Russia Up For Debate

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:39 am

An Mi-17 helicopter used by the Afghan air force sits on Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan in May 2013. The Pentagon purchases the Russian-made helicopters for the Afghan air force, but recent sanctions may put that deal in jeopardy.
Kristin M. Hall AP

Washington has imposed a number of economic sanctions on Russia in retaliation for that country's push into Ukraine.

Getting European allies to do the same has not always been easy, since many of those nations trade with Russia and fear getting hurt themselves.

But the Europeans are not the only ones balking: The Pentagon also buys Russian military hardware.

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10:52am

Sat May 3, 2014
Media

Poised And Persistent, Reporter Broke White House Color Barrier

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 12:33 pm

Reporter Harry McAlpin leaves the White House in 1944. McAlpin was the first black reporter to cover a presidential press conference. He'll be honored Saturday at the Correspondents' Dinner.
George Skadding Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Hollywood starlets will mingle with politicians and even humble reporters in Washington on Saturday night. That can only mean one thing: the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. The black-tie event has evolved into a glitzy celebrity roast, but it began as a simple chance for journalists to break bread with the presidents they cover.

This year, the White House Correspondents' Association is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and it plans to posthumously honor the first African-American reporter to cover a presidential news conference.

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10:33am

Sat May 3, 2014
Race

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar On Sterling: 'There's Light Now'

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 7:46 pm

Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar embraces Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson during a news conference on Tuesday after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling from basketball for life.
AP

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says he believes the entire LA Clippers corporate organization is better off now that owner Donald Sterling has lost his standing with the NBA.

Sterling was banned for life from the NBA last week for racist remarks made on a recording released by TMZ Sports. Abdul-Jabbar says the punishment announced by NBA commissioner Adam Silver is wise and just, and has given the team confidence.

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10:14am

Sat May 3, 2014
Sports

A Black Sheep Crashes The Kentucky Derby

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 12:33 pm

Kentucky Derby contender California Chrome exercises at Churchill Downs on Thursday in Louisville, Ky.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

The favorite for Saturday's Kentucky Derby is a flashy red horse with a big white blaze down his face. California Chrome is of humble origin, and he'll be taking on expensive horses with Kentucky bluegrass connections, but he also comes with a lot of quirks that have folks rooting for him.

At age 77, trainer Art Sherman has finally hit the jackpot.

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9:52am

Sat May 3, 2014
Television

'24' Returns To Live Another Action-Packed Day

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 12:33 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The world is in a terrible fix. Drones are zipping. Threats are flying. Secrets are leaking. The president of the United States is in the crosshairs of crisis. Only one person can help - Chloe O'Brian. Oh, and her friend, Jack Bauer. But not everyone's happy.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAILER)

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9:52am

Sat May 3, 2014
Music Interviews

Sri Lankan Opera Singer Followed Her Dream To American Stage

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 12:32 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Kids in America can dream of becoming an opera singer and performing around the world. The odds are long, but talent, hard work, the right breaks - all of that could make it happen. But what if you grew up in Sri Lanka, off the coast of India?

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11:30am

Sat April 26, 2014
Europe

What Russia Might Gain From A Decentralized Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers watch a helicopter fly overhead outside the eastern town of Kramatorsk. Under Moscow's proposal for Ukraine's constitution, the east and other regions would be strongly autonomous.
Evgeniy Maloletka AP

Ukraine's interim government is facing major obstacles: a separatist uprising in the east of the country, an economy in tatters and a presidential election next month.

But the leadership is also facing a longer-term challenge, one that will shape the future of the country: the creation of a new constitution.

The task will be complicated by pressure from Russia, which has already made clear what kind of constitution it thinks Ukraine should have. Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, laid out Russia's position in an interview last month.

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10:04am

Sat April 26, 2014
All Tech Considered

Stopping Link Rot: Aiming To End A Virtual Epidemic

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 11:30 am

An 404 message appears when the linked page has been moved or deleted.
Devon Yu iStockphoto.com

Just about anyone who's gone online has encountered the message: "Error 404" or page "Not Found." It's what you see when a link is broken or dead — when the resource is no longer available.

It happens all across the Internet, on blogs, news websites, even links cited in decisions by the Supreme Court. It's called link rot, and it spreads over time as more pages die.

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9:28am

Sat April 26, 2014
Author Interviews

Justice Stevens: Six Little Ways To Change The Constitution

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 11:30 am

In a new book, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens says we should rewrite the Second Amendment, abolish the death penalty and restrict political campaign spending.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Just a few words can hold a world of meaning. John Paul Stevens, the retired Supreme Court justice, has written a short new book in which he proposes a few words here and there that would create some sweeping changes.

The book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, details the half-dozen ways Stevens thinks the Constitution could be improved, changes that he says are worth the trouble of the arduous amendment process.

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8:07am

Sat April 26, 2014
Music

A Millionaire Saves The Silenced Symphonies Of Pakistan

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 11:30 am

Izzat Majeed address a crowd in New York during a collaborative concert between Sachal Studios musicians and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The Lahore-born philanthropist founded a recording studio and provided opportunities for musicians in Pakistan.
Hiroyuki Ito Getty Images

7:51am

Sat April 26, 2014
History

Family Celebrates The Return Of Missing WWII Soldier's Remains

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 11:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The remains of a western Kentucky man who disappeared during World War II have found their way home after almost 70 years. The body of William Carneal was discovered last year in Japan, along with his dog tags and his high school ring. He was buried yesterday in his hometown of Paducah.

Whitney Jones at member station WKMS has our story.

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7:51am

Sat April 26, 2014
Author Interviews

A Fire Sparks Rivalry And Suspicion In 'The Art Of Secrets'

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 11:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Saba Khan is a high school sophomore whose life is turned upside down in a flash - a mysterious fire that destroys her family's apartment on the North Side of Chicago. The Khans are Americans of Pakistani descent. Were they victims of a hate crime? Saba's high school rallies behind her family.

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1:22pm

Sat April 19, 2014
Around the Nation

Extra Vaccination Push Underway In Ohio As Mumps Outbreak Spreads

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 1:05 pm

Health officials in Columbus, Ohio, are calling the city's mumps outbreak the biggest since the development of the mumps vaccine in the 1940s.

Columbus generally gets an average of one case of mumps a year, but since February, there have been 244 cases reported in an outbreak that began on the Ohio State University campus. Most had already been vaccinated.

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11:07am

Sat April 19, 2014
Environment

Telltale Rainbow Sheens Show Thousands Of Spills Across The Gulf

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 12:26 pm

The 300,000 wells drilled in Louisiana are connected by tens of thousands of miles of pipelines that are vulnerable to leaks, like this one in a coastal marsh.
Gulf Restoration Network

Jonathan Henderson of New Orleans-based Gulf Restoration Network is flying Louisiana's coast looking for oil. As usual, he's found some.

"I just noticed something out of the corner of my eye that looks like a sheen that had some form to it," he says. "We're going to go take a closer look and see if there's a rainbow sheen."

It's a target-rich environment for Henderson, because more than 54,000 wells were planted in and off this coast — part of the 300,000 wells in the state. They're connected by thousands of miles of pipelines, all vulnerable to leaks.

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10:09am

Sat April 19, 2014
Sports

Top Teams Sitting Out Of NBA Playoffs

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 11:40 am

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

And it's time for sports. Today, the NBA playoffs begin, and several teams that normally steal the spotlight are nowhere in sight. Meanwhile, some old guys from San Antonio are again looking like contenders. We're joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. He's at the studios of New England Public Radio. Good morning.

HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Wade. How are you?

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8:12am

Sat April 19, 2014
NPR Story

Bringing Poetry And High Culture To Sao Paulo's Periphery

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 11:40 am

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

Sao Paulo is one of the biggest cities in the world and one of the economic engines of South America. Its center is known for its fancy malls, posh departments and even helicopter landing pads. The outlying areas where the vast majority of the workforce live are known for poverty and crime, less often for poetry and high culture. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports on efforts to change that.

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8:12am

Sat April 19, 2014
Sports

NCAA Beats 'Strategic Retreat' On Food Rules For Student Athletes

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 11:40 am

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Wade Goodwyn. This week, the NCAA voted to allow colleges to provide their student athletes with as much food as they like. It may sound like a bizarre move, but what the NCAA allows athletes to eat on the college's dime is subject to its own set of rules. And they can sometimes border on the absurd. The move by the NCAA comes at a time when the organization is facing a bit of second-guessing about the way it's gone about its traditional role of policing college athletics.

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8:12am

Sat April 19, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Say Anything,' Still Full Of Guileless Affection

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 11:44 am

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

Twenty-five years ago, Lloyd Dobler raised a boombox over his head and changed the world of movie boyfriends forever.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IN YOUR EYES")

PETER GABRIEL: (Singing) All my instincts, they return...

GOODWYN: Linda Holmes, of our pop culture blog "Monkey See," was a teenager when she first saw the film "Say Anything..." She says all these years later, she has a new appreciation of it.

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10:34am

Sat April 12, 2014
Europe

Between Friends, Family And Country, Ukrainian Police Lie Low

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:33 pm

Pro-Russian activists sit at a barricade at the regional administration building in Donetsk on Wednesday. Police have been conspicuously absent at Eastern Ukraine protest sites.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

At occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine, there is plenty of razor wire, sandbags and Molotov cocktails.

One thing is conspicuously absent, though — law enforcement.

When protests in Eastern Ukraine started on Sunday, police were everywhere.

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9:04am

Sat April 12, 2014
Author Interviews

Jackie Collins' Mob Princess Serves Up A Cookbook You Can't Refuse

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:52 pm

Courtesy of St. Martin's Press

Lucky Santangelo is a household name — at least, in those households where the shelves are packed with Jackie Collins novels. And considering there are more than 500 million copies sold, well, Santangelo's certainly got a fan base.

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9:04am

Sat April 12, 2014
Parallels

Iran's Culture Wars: Who's Winning These Days?

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:49 pm

Members of the Iranian band Accolade perform in an unauthorized stage performance in the capital Tehran in January 2013. Those seeking greater social freedoms are often testing the limits in Iran.
Vahid Salemi AP

In Iran, hardline critics are waging a campaign against President Hassan Rouhani to limit his campaign pledge of opening Iran to more social and cultural freedoms.

The "culture wars" are as old as the Islamic revolution that swept conservative clerics to power more than three decades ago. The latest chapter comes as Rouhani is negotiating a nuclear deal with six world powers. He has the backing of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to continue the nuclear discussions, but cultural hardliners are stepping up the domestic pressure.

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9:04am

Sat April 12, 2014
NPR Story

A Sheep Killer Is On The Loose In 'All the Birds, Singing'

Originally published on Sat April 12, 2014 1:26 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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9:04am

Sat April 12, 2014
NPR Story

School Lunch: Any Chicken In Those 'Food-Like Nubbins'?

Originally published on Sat April 12, 2014 1:26 pm

It took a Freedom of Information Act to get the Chicago Public Schools to disclose what's in the chicken nuggets they serve in their cafeterias. NPR's Scott Simon reveals the chemical contents.

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