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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2:03am

Sat June 2, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

A (Very) Young Composer Gets His Chance At The New York Philharmonic

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:51 pm

Very Young Composer Milo Poniewozik at the New York Philharmonic's School Day Concerts, where his piece was performed in front of more than 2,000 kids.
Michael DiVito New York Philharmonic

What would it be like if you were 10 years old and composed a piece of music that was played by the New York Philharmonic? For a few New York City school kids, including one fifth-grader, it's a dream come true, thanks to the orchestra's Very Young Composers program.

Composer Jon Deak, who played bass with the New York Philharmonic for more than 40 years, says the idea for Very Young Composers came when he and conductor Marin Alsop visited an elementary school in Brooklyn several years ago.

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6:59pm

Fri June 1, 2012
Music Interviews

Kelly Hogan: Cashing In An Album's Worth Of Favors

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 11:01 am

Kelly Hogan's new album is I Like to Keep Myself in Pain.
Courtesy of the artist

"I started singing in bars when I was still in high school," says Kelly Hogan. "It's not the easiest thing to do if you like to eat something besides ramen noodles and have insurance."

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7:49am

Sat May 26, 2012
Middle East

Egypt's Elections Stamp The Arab Spring Timeline

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. This week in Egypt, a nation that has been ruled for thousands of years by pharaohs, colonial rulers, military regimes and dictators held its first free election for a national leader. Egyptians went to the polls on Wednesday and Thursday, and though the official results are not yet in, the election is certainly a milestone in the democratic awakening known as the Arab Spring. Here's a selection of voices from Cairo in the week that Egypt voted.

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7:49am

Sat May 26, 2012
Media

Residents Expect New Orleans Paper Cut To Hurt

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

New Orleans had endured so much - the Civil War, yellow fever, the Depression and a string of spectacular political shenanigans, but its award-winning daily newspaper, the Times-Picayune, has not been able to survive as a daily. Eileen Fleming of member station WWNO reports now on the diminution of a paper that's continued reporting during the darkest days of Hurricane Katrina.

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7:49am

Sat May 26, 2012
Politics

Harvard Diversity Stats Put Warren In Hot Seat Again

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate and Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren continues to be dogged by the question of if she has claimed American Indian heritage. Yesterday, in the wake of new allegations, Republican Senator Scott Brown accused Professor Warren of misleading Harvard about her Native American ethnicity. From member station WBUR in Boston, Fred Thys reports.

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7:49am

Sat May 26, 2012
Europe

At Eurovision 2012, Politics Take The Stage

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The annual kitsch contest known as the Eurovision Song Contest takes place later today. It's always held in the home country of the previous year's winner. This time, it's authoritarian Azerbaijan in central Asia. So it's been hard to avoid politics at what's supposed to be a nonpolitical event. Vicki Barker reports on both the contest and the context.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WATERLINE")

JEDWARD: (Singing) Oh, I am close to the waterline.

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7:49am

Sat May 26, 2012
Author Interviews

Author's Tweets Give New Meaning To Short Fiction

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Thursday night, dispatches from a glum future began to appear on the Twitter account of The New Yorker magazine's fiction department - a science fiction story, told sentence by sentence, tweet by tweet, a story about Jennifer Egan titled "Black Box." It features a character from her 2010 novel "A Visit from the Goon Squad" which won the Pulitzer Prize.

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7:34am

Sat May 26, 2012
NPR Story

Sports: Ice, Hoops And Rackets

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And I wait all week to say: time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The Stanley Cup finals are set - left versus right, a frequent flier bonanza. The NBA playoffs feature a thrilling matchup between Texas and Oklahoma, the Old Hands versus the Young Guns. And tennis, red, dusty and with a side of frites - the French Open opens. Here to talk about all of it, NPR Tom Goldman,

Morning, Tom.

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7:34am

Sat May 26, 2012
NPR Story

Reading Between The Polls: What Voters Should Watch

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As we just heard from Ari, early polling can do much to shape political campaigns, but voters who are just trying to follow the debate, polls and surveys can seem contradictory and confusing. To help us see through some of the fog of polling, we're joined now by Michael Dimock. He's the associate director for research at the Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. Thanks for being with us.

MICHAEL DIMOCK: Thank you.

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7:34am

Sat May 26, 2012
NPR Story

A Holiday Treat: Lower Prices At The Pump

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And if you're one of millions of motorists on the roads this holiday weekend, you may have noticed something unexpected and welcome. Gas prices are falling. This at the start of the summer driving season when gas prices usually spike. We turn now to Daniel Yergin. He's author of "The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World," and chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates. He joins us from his office in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Yergin, thanks so much for being with us.

DANIEL YERGIN: Thank you.

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7:18am

Sat May 26, 2012
The Salt

Clean Your Grill, And Other Hot Holiday Tips From Food Network's Alton Brown

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 3:40 pm

Food science guy Alton Brown says the last thing you want to see is flames touching food on the grill.
iStockphoto.com

If there's one grilling tip to remember this Memorial Day weekend, it should be this: Flame is bad.

"Flame does nasty things to food," food historian and science guy Alton Brown tells NPR's Scott Simon in the kick-off segment of Weekend Edition's "Taste of Summer" series.

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6:18am

Sat May 26, 2012
Election 2012

Can May Polls Predict A November Winner?

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Mitt Romney greets guests after addressing the Latino Coalition's 2012 Small Business Summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.
Mario Tama Getty Images

A Quinnipiac University poll out this week found Mitt Romney with a 6-point lead over President Obama in Florida. That would seem to be very good news for the presumptive Republican nominee in what may be the biggest swing state this fall.

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6:18am

Sat May 26, 2012
Author Interviews

'Istanbul': A Twisted Tale Of Foreign Espionage

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Atria Books

The big war is over, and the Cold War has just begun. Leon Bauer, an American tobacco man, wonders how to fit into this new world.

Bauer and his wife, Anna, a German Jew, made it to Istanbul just before World War II began. With his U.S. passport and fluency in German and Turkish, the tobacco man became useful to allied intelligence.

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6:17am

Sat May 26, 2012
Music Interviews

Cadence Weapon: A Poet Hones A Musical Personality

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Hope in Dirt City is the third album by Cadence Weapon, the performing name of Canadian poet Rollie Pemberton.
Evan Prosofsky Courtesy of the artist

Rollie Pemberton is a poet — in fact, he was poet laureate of his hometown, Edmonton, Alberta, for a couple of years. That meant he was expected to write three poems a year about events in a town sometimes nicknamed "Dirt City." But outside of Edmonton, Pemberton is better known under a different name: Cadence Weapon, the hip-hop artist.

In poetry and song, Pemberton finds inspiration, tough and otherwise, in his Edmonton roots. The latest Cadence Weapon album, his third, is called Hope in Dirt City.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
World

In Group Of Eight, A Lack Of Leadership?

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The world leaders at the G-8 Summit meet at a time of many urgent concerns, including the shaky world economy. But an article on ForeignPolicy.com says that the nations represented at the summit lack the power to lead right now, and questions what the G-8 can accomplish at this meeting or in the future. Ian Bremmer is the author of that article. His is the president of the Eurasia Group, an international consulting firm, and he joins us from New York. Mr. Bremmer, thanks for being with us.

IAN BREMMER: I'm very happy to join you.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Africa

Violence Haunts Zimbabwe Ahead Of Elections

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

To Zimbabwe now, where elections are in 2008 elections were marred by extreme violence. Now, elections are once again on the horizon.

And as Anders Kelto reports, violence is escalating while many are still trying to heal.

ANDERS KELTO, BYLINE: In a quiet garden on the outskirts of Harare, a group of men and women sit in a large circle. They stretch their arms and perform breathing exercises.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC AND BREATHING)

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Space

Failure To Launch: SpaceX Delays Mission

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A tall white rocket is still standing on a launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The rocket belongs to a company called SpaceX, and it was supposed to blast-off this morning, send an unmanned capsule on a mission to the International Space Station - the first time a personal spacecraft will try to visit the station. But the launch attempt fizzled out this morning in the last seconds of the countdown.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Remembrances

Katie Beckett Leaves Legacy For Kids With Disabilities

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Katie Beckett has died in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at the age of 34. She was just 3 years old when her case changed health care law. NPR's Joseph Shapiro has more.

JOSEPH SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Katie Beckett died Friday morning in the same hospital where she'd once made history. In 1981, Katie Beckett was living at St. Luke's Methodist Hospital in Cedar Rapids. She was stuck there because of a clash between advancing medical technology and antiquated health care law.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Sports

Olympic Flame Flies To United Kingdom

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 1:47 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Olympic torch has arrived in Britain, ahead of this summer's Games in London. The torch, lit at the original location of the Games at the ancient Greek site of Olympia one week ago, flew in from Athens yesterday. Just a few hours ago, the historic flame began its tour of the UK. Vicki Barker reports from London.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERS)

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Sports

Calif. Hopes For A Preakness Win

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This afternoon, the 137th running of the Preakness takes place at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Kentucky Derby Winner, the horse called, I'll Have Another, will try to capture the second jewel in the Triple Crown of Horse Racing, something only 10 horses have done since 1978. I'll Have Another, its trainer and owner all come from Southern California, and hopes are high that a big win will give a much-needed boost to horse racing in the California. NPR'S Carrie Kahn reports.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Technology

Journey Through Musical Time With This App

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Music has a way of transporting us in time.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "G.I. JIVE")

SIMON: So, indulge a little. Close your eyes, turn up the radio, you might just get transported to 1944.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "G.I. JIVE")

LOUIS JORDAN: (Singing) P-F-C to C-P-L, S-G-T to the L-T. C-P the O-D, the M-P makes ya do K-P. It's the G. I. Jive Man.

SIMON: 1971.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MAGGIE MAY")

ROD STEWART: (Singing) Wake up Maggie, I think I've got something to say to you.

SIMON: Or 1993.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Business

What To Expect In Facebook's Future

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Stock in Facebook went on sale for the first time yesterday, the largest initial public offering of stock for an Internet company, and the sale instantly created scores of millionaires in Silicon Valley, about half a dozen or so billionaires. NPR's technology correspondent Steven Henn joins us. He's followed it all from Silicon Valley. Steve, thanks for being with us.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Sure, my pleasure.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Asia

Chinese Activist Leaves Beijing For U.S.

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

Chen Guangcheng, the blind, Chinese human rights lawyer, is on a plane headed for America right now, according to his friends and supporters. Chinese authorities gave Mr. Chen a passport today and drove him to an airport in Beijing. His departure caps a remarkable few weeks that included a daring escape from house arrest and high-stakes, diplomatic negotiations.

NPR's Frank Langfitt has been following the story from Shanghai. Frank, thanks for being with us.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Business

Average Investors Share Facebook Feelings

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Facebook IPO hasn't just sent a jolt of excitement through Silicon Valley, there are many average individual investors who are also thrilled. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: All right. It's a little after 9:30 on Friday. The bell just rang on the NASDAQ, and I'm gonna check in with some regular investors. I'm gonna start with Nelly Sai-Palm. She's a student at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, and I'm going to give her a call.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELEPHONE RINGING)

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Simon Says

Teaching Kids Balance Can Be A Lesson For Parents

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 1:23 pm

It's a constant test for parents: Everything you thought you were doing right may be wrong.
iStockphoto.com

To be a parent is to be constantly reminded that almost everything you thought you were doing right for your children will one day turn out to be wrong.

The wisdom on whether your baby should be put to sleep on his back or stomach, whether fevers should be treated or left to run their course, seems to change every few years. Parents used to think nothing of letting their children bounce around like pingpong balls in the back of a car. Now, children are strapped in the back like astronauts waiting for blast off.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
NPR Story

How To Watch The Solar Eclipse

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If you're in the Western United States tomorrow afternoon, you're in for a show.

DEE FRIESEN: The disc of the sun will be a ring. The moon will be inside the sun. There will be a ring of light around the moon, and they sometimes call it a ring of fire.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
NPR Story

Sports: Proving Your Worth

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: In the NBA, the Miami Heat have a lot to prove against the Indiana Pacers. In the NHL, the L.A. Kings are proving it. And a farewell to Kerry Wood. Howard Bryant of ESPN and ESPN.com joins us.

Morning, Howard.

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

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5:57am

Sat May 19, 2012
Author Interviews

Americans: A 'Bunch Of Amateurs,' And Proud Of It

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Book cover detail: Bunch of Amateurs

Jack Hitt says if you drill down into the American spirit to find out what makes Americans so American, you'll find it's the fact that we're all amateurs at heart. In his new book, Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character, he pinpoints the first American to use the amateur label to his advantage: Benjamin Franklin.

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5:57am

Sat May 19, 2012
Fine Art

Barnes Foundation Changes Location, But Little Else

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

After years of bitter controversy, the Barnes Foundation opens the doors of its new location in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday. Since 1922, the collection has been housed in the Philadelphia suburbs, where critics say the collection's owner would have wanted it to stay.
Tom Crane The Barnes Foundation Philadelphia

The Barnes Foundation opens the doors of its new gallery in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday. Its collection of paintings by Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne and many more is now hanging in galleries designed to replicate those at the Barnes' old home in suburban Merion. The move follows a decade of bitter debate over the future of this multibillion-dollar collection.

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8:17am

Sat May 12, 2012
Opinion

Can A Change Of Heart Beat The Flip-Flop Charge?

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 2:46 pm

President Barack Obama told ABC this week that he supports gay marriage.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Most Americans give politicians low marks for sincerity and see every decision they reach as a cold, poll-driven calculation. Often enough, it is. Politicians, after all, have asked pollsters where they should spend their summer vacations.

Yet when pundits and interest groups urge politicians to change their minds and they do, they're assailed for flip-flopping.

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