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 June 23, 2012
Sports

Sports: The Heat's Glow, Olympics And Title IX

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 11:07 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. It's time for sports. We're joined by NPR's Tom Goldman.

Morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

SIMON: And, of course, Jerry Sandusky was convicted late last night for the sexual abuse of 10 young boys. A longtime assistant football coach at Penn State, a pillar of the community, known for his charitable work. You were in State College to cover the story when it broke.

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7:58am

Sat June 23, 2012
Sports

In Sports Opportunities, Women Still Lag

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 11:07 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Though Title IX encompasses many aspects of education, most people associate the law with athletics. Title IX's been credited with opening competitive sports to millions of American girls and women. For more now, we're joined by Nancy Hogshead-Makar. She's a three-time Olympic gold medal swimmer, former president of Women's Sports Foundation, and she's now a professor teaching federal gender-equity law at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville. She joins us on the line from Kenilworth, Illinois. Thanks so much for being with us.

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7:58am

Sat June 23, 2012
Around the Nation

The Art Of Moose Calling Alive And Well In Maine

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 11:07 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

So if you wanted a moose to come on over and join you for a latte, what would you say?

ROGER LAMBERT: You've got to speak the language, that's for sure.

SIMON: That's Roger Lambert who's the master guide of Maine Guide Services and emcee of the moose calling competition because today moose callers from around the world - that's to say the state of Maine and one Canadian - will compete in the first-ever International Invitational Moose Calling Competition, part of a new festival that Rangeley, Maine is hosting.

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7:33am

Sat June 23, 2012
All Tech Considered

Baby Robot Takes First Steps Toward Learning Language Formation

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 1:51 pm

Human baby Charlotte, the 13-month-old daughter of NPR producer Tom Bullock, tried the same tests that DeeChee, the robot, does for language-learning experiments. Dr. Caroline Lyons says human babies have an advantage: They spend every waking hour of the day in a speaking world.
Tom Bullock NPR

A baby robot has been born. Now, with little DeeChee's help, researchers are studying how babies transition from babbling to forming words.

Dr. Caroline Lyons of the University of Hertfordshire is one of the computer scientists who helped design DeeChee the robot. She tells Weekend Edition host Scott Simon that humans are also critical to their experiments.

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7:29am

Sat June 23, 2012
Around the Nation

'Who Would Believe A Kid?' The Sandusky Jury

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 11:15 pm

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves court in handcuffs Friday after being convicted in his child sex abuse trial at the Centre County Courthouse in Pennsylvania.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky spent what could be the first of many nights behind bars Friday after a jury found him guilty of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period.

In Bellefonte, Pa., Friday night, a crowd outside the county courthouse cheered when the guilty verdicts were announced.

The cheers continued as Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly praised the investigators and prosecutors at her side.

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6:24am

Sat June 23, 2012
Critics' Lists: Summer 2012

Rich Reads: Historical Fiction Fit For A Queen

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 11:33 am

Harriet Russell

I have always loved a great story set in the past. Give me a high-powered historical plot, and I will keep turning those pages until my eyes cross. Kings or consuls, functionaries or janissaries, it doesn't matter, only that it pounds onward to the conclusion — volcano explosion, battle or market crash. It's literary dessert, and I devour every bite.

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6:23am

Sat June 23, 2012
Author Interviews

Lessons For Europe From 'The Second World War'

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 12:47 pm

STF AFP/Getty Images

For most people, the start of World War II means German soldiers marching into Poland. Historian Antony Beevor begins and ends his new book, The Second World War with something different: the story of a German soldier who was actually Korean, was captured in Normandy, and wound up living in Illinois.

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6:23am

Sat June 23, 2012
The Record

A Summer With Fun.

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 12:26 pm

Nate Ruess before fun.'s show at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on Friday.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Fun. is in the middle of quite a run. For six weeks this spring, the band had the No. 1 song in the country with "We Are Young," an anthemic pledge of drunken solidarity that has appeared in countless commercials and TV shows, and dominated radio playlists and sales charts since March (it's still in the top five).

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6:23am

Sat June 23, 2012
U.S.

What Title IX Didn't Change: Stigma About Shop Class

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 1:05 pm

Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX, which said no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from any education program or activity. Vocational education courses that barred girls — such as auto mechanics, carpentry and plumbing — became available for everyone. But it's still hard to find girls in classes once viewed as "for boys only."

Zoe Shipley, 15, has a passion for cars and tinkering with engines.

"It's just kind of cool to learn how to fix a car or learn about it," she says.

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6:23am

Sat June 23, 2012
Movies

Shirley Clarke's 'Connection': Will It Click At Last?

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 11:07 am

In The Connection, Leach (Warren Finnerty, right) and his friends wait around for their heroin fix, which eventually comes courtesy of Cowboy (Carl Lee). The controversial film was shut down in New York after two screenings in 1962.
Milestone Film

Fifty years ago, a movie called The Connection opened in New York — then closed after two showings. Police shut down the theater and arrested the projectionist.

The movie is about drug addicts, and the language is sometimes frank — too frank for 1962 standards. The director was an independent pioneer named Shirley Clarke, whose movie has been restored and is back in theaters, soon to be followed by restorations of nearly all her work.

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6:03am

Sat June 23, 2012
Around the Nation

On This Stage, Jesus Is A Robber; The Devil's A Rapist

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 11:07 am

David Sonnier Jr., from Jeanerette, La., plays the Devil in Angola Prison's production of The Life of Jesus Christ. He was convicted of aggravated rape and is serving a life sentence.
Deborah Luster for NPR

There are more than 5,300 inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Nearly 4,000 of them are serving life without parole. Last month, the Angola Prison Drama Club staged a play unlike any other in the prison's experience.

The Life of Jesus Christ featured 70 inmates, men and women acting together for the first time — in costume, with a real camel, performing for the general public. For the untrained actors, this production held special meaning as they saw pieces of their own lives revealed in the characters they played.

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8:33am

Sat June 16, 2012
Middle East

Violence Forces U.N. To Halt Mission In Syria

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The United Nations is suspending its observer mission in Syria because of growing violence there. The official announcement came today from the head of the mission, General Robert Mood. The statement released from U.N. headquarters in Damascus cited rising violence over the past 10 days, and charged that both parties - the Syrian military and the armed rebels, known as the Free Syrian Army - are putting civilians lives at risk - and the lives of their monitors. NPR's Deborah Amos is in Damascus. Deborah, thanks for being with us.

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7:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
NPR Story

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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7:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
NPR Story

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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7:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
NPR Story

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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7:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
Sports

NBA Finals Are On And No-Hitters Are Hot

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. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The NBA finals are on. Maybe it's just the weather forecast: Thunder, Heat, Heat, Thunder. Also, no-hitters busting out all over. And Bryce Harper scorches the major league circuit. Howard Bryant is back with us, senior writer at ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.

Howard, morning.

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

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7:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
Asia

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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7:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
Politics

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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7:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
Asia

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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7:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
Europe

Voters To Decide Outcome Of Current Greek Drama

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

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

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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7:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
Middle East

Egyptians Vote President To Succeed Mubarak

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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7:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
Media

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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6:08am

Sat June 16, 2012
Author Interviews

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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6:08am

Sat June 16, 2012
Monkey See

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

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

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

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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6:06am

Sat June 16, 2012
Middle East

Militant Territory Cleared In Yemen, For Now

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

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

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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6:03am

Sat June 16, 2012
Author Interviews

Rediscovering A Forgotten Boxer's 'Longest Fight'

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

Just a couple of years before boxer Jack Johnson was lauded, reviled, and hounded as the world heavyweight champ — and decades before Muhammad Ali lost his title when he took a stand on Vietnam — a man named Joe Gans was the lightweight champion of the world. He reigned from 1902 to 1908 as the first African-American boxing champ in history, and a man who broke trails for the great fighters who followed.

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6:00am

Sat June 16, 2012
Around the Nation

Even 'The Star-Spangled Banner' Had A First Draft

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

"The Star-Spangled Banner" handwritten manuscript by Francis Scott Key, 1814.
Special Collections Department Maryland Historical Society

Monday is the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812. Americans may not know much about that war, but they do know a song the war inspired: "The Star-Spangled Banner." The first scratches of those phrases are on display at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore.

The original quill-and-ink manuscript was written by Francis Scott Key. He wrote the lyrics while being held aboard a British ship. Trying to work out a prisoner release, he watched the bombardment of Fort McHenry — the rocket's red glare, bombs bursting in air.

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7:52pm

Fri June 15, 2012
Music Interviews

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

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

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

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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7:48pm

Fri June 15, 2012
Annoying Music

The Most Annoying Songs Of The Summer (So Far)

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

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

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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10:58am

Sat June 9, 2012
Simon Says

When A Job Interview Turns Into Psychoanalysis

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

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

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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