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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8:57am

Sat July 7, 2012
Around the Nation

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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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
Around the Nation

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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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
Africa

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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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
Africa

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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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
Sports

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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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
NPR Story

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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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
Science

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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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
Technology

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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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
NPR Story

Your Letters: Eugene Levy And American Dreams

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

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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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
Economy

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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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
Economy

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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6:47am

Sat July 7, 2012
Author Interviews

Abraham Lincoln 'Impeached.' Wait, What?

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

Hulton Archive Getty Images

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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6:46am

Sat July 7, 2012
Around the Nation

USS Iowa's Guns Are Now For Show

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

Pacific Battleship Center

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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6:46am

Sat July 7, 2012
It's All Politics

'Social Welfare' Organizations Play Big Role In Presidential Politics

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

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

6:08am

Sat July 7, 2012
U.S.

How One Drought Changed Texas Agriculture Forever

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

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

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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2:03am

Sat July 7, 2012
Author Interviews

Remembering George Szell, Powerhouse Conductor

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 5:42 pm

Michael Charry was the "sorcerer's apprentice" to celebrated 20th-century conductor George Szell. For the last decade of Szell's tenure at the Cleveland Orchestra, Charry was an assistant conductor.

Now, Charry has captured the power of Szell's artistry — as well as his tempestuous personality — in a new biography called George Szell: A Life of Music.

Charry vividly recalls Szell testing him on how many notes he could find in a chord when he first auditioned for the job.

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5:12pm

Fri July 6, 2012
Music Interviews

16 Musical Odes To Very Strange Animals

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 1:21 pm

Illustrator Jelmer Noordeman's rendering of a real-life creature: the venomous, nocturnal solenodon.
Jelmer Noordeman

CD sleeves usually feature pictures of the musicians, the text of lyrics and copious thanks.

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7:32am

Sat June 30, 2012
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: Out Of Home Ec, Into Moose Calling

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPING)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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7:29am

Sat June 30, 2012
Around the Nation

Colorado Firefighters Gain Ground On Blaze

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 3:54 pm

Nearly 350 homes have been destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Firefighters are slowly gaining ground on the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado. It's scorched about 17,000 acres and believed to have claimed two lives.

More than 300 homes have burned. There's been a lot of talk about how many houses were lost in the fire, but Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown wants you to know there's a flip side to that: He says crews worked hard to minimize damage.

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7:29am

Sat June 30, 2012
Around the Nation

Corn Dries Up, Even As Farmers Try To Combat Heat

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:32 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The heat and drought that brought much of Colorado Springs into danger has also hit the Midwest. Temperatures broke 100 degrees in the Great Plains, and the heat and the lack of rain is endangering what was expected to be a bumper crop of corn. Tim Lenz is a farmer near the town of Strasburg in south central Illinois, where he grows corn and soybeans. Mr. Lenz, thanks for being with us.

TIM LENZ: Thank you.

SIMON: What's it been like there for the past couple of weeks?

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7:29am

Sat June 30, 2012
Europe

Metal Detector Hobbyists Find Rare Heap Of Celtic Coins

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:32 am

For more than 30 years, Richard Miles and Reg Mead scoured the fields of their native Jersey with metal detectors, hoping to one day come across an ancient coin or two. Earlier this week, the detector beeped and they found the world's largest-ever stash of Celtic coins. Host Scott Simon speaks with Reg Mead about their find.

7:29am

Sat June 30, 2012
Politics

Obama's Health Care-Infused, Fire-Stoked Week

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:32 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Obama told residents of Colorado yesterday that the country has their back. The president visited an evacuation center and met with some of the firefighters who have been battling the deadly Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs.

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7:29am

Sat June 30, 2012
Politics

GOP Rolls Out Campaign To Repeal Health Care

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:32 am

Facing an unexpected ruling validating the Affordable Care Act, Republicans in Congress promised to redouble efforts to repeal it, starting with another vote in the House early next month. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's David Welna to explain the battle ahead.

7:29am

Sat June 30, 2012
Europe

French President Inserts New Voice In EU Summit

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:32 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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7:29am

Sat June 30, 2012
Food

The Season Of Ice Cream: Tips From The Top

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:32 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now, to our occasional WEEKEND EDITION series Taste of Summer.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME")

SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE: (Singing) Hot fun in the summertime.

SIMON: A few weeks ago, Alton Brown shared some grilling secrets with us. Today, it'll be ice cream. Whether plain old standard vanilla, or artisanal organic squash blossom rhubarb poblano crunch - a flavor I just made up, by the way - summer is the season of ice cream. And so today, we head to the Pumphouse Creamery in Minneapolis.

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7:29am

Sat June 30, 2012
Middle East

Kofi Annan Appeals To Leaders For Solution In Syria

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:32 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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7:29am

Sat June 30, 2012
Sports

Sports: Talking Wimbledon Match-Ups

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:32 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: And Wimbledon is underway, the world's oldest, most esteemed, greenest and strawberries and creamiest tennis tournament. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic seem set on the collision course for a semifinal. Maria Sharapova on course for a potential showdown with Kim Clijsters. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com, ESPN the magazine, and ESPN the full grain, fibrous and nutritious snack cracker on the line from the All England Club.

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7:29am

Sat June 30, 2012
Middle East

Egypt's New President Officially Sworn In

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:32 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Of course, Egypt has a new president - an Islamist from the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood. Mohamed Morsi took the oath of office in Cairo today, a day after appearing at Tahrir Square to proclaim that the people are the real source of power, not the generals and the supreme military council. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Cairo that despite the swearing-in ceremony, Mr. Morsi may not have really taken hold of the reins of power.

PRESIDENT MOHAMED MORSI: (Foreign language spoken)

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5:55am

Sat June 30, 2012
Education

Student Loan Deal Pales Against Other Education Cuts

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 3:26 pm

College students surrounded President Obama earlier this month when he called on Congress to stop student loan interest rates from doubling. Congress agreed on a deal to prevent the hike on Friday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

It came down to the wire, but finally, Republicans and Democrats agreed on a deal that keeps the interest rate on government-backed student loans from doubling. It will save the average borrower about $1,000 a year, but the compromise is likely to cost students a lot more than that over the long term.

The agreement that lawmakers passed Friday will keep interest rates at 3.4 percent for another year. Anthony DeLaRosa, a 23-year-old University of Colorado graduate, says it's a big victory.

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5:54am

Sat June 30, 2012
Author Interviews

In 'Gold,' Olympic Rivalry Is Personal, Professional

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:32 am

More than 10,000 athletes are headed to London this summer to run, swim, cycle, shoot, fence and compete in the events of the Olympic Games. Each of them has a story — what they've won, what they've lost and what they've sacrificed just to get their chance to get there.

Chris Cleave's latest novel, Gold, tells the stories of three world-ranked cyclists — Zoe, Jack and Kate — who are training for their last chance at Olympic gold. Zoe and Kate are friends as well as rivals; Jack and Kate are raising an 8-year-old who suffers from leukemia.

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