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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8:00am

Sat March 10, 2012
NPR Story

Boats Ashore, Tsunami Scars Japanese Fishing Town

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 1:49 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. One year ago this weekend, Japan was battered by a devastating earthquake and tsunami. One of the places hardest hit was the coastal community of Yuriage. What was once a beautiful fishing village, and home to a bustling community of thousands, is now a desolate and deserted place. Doualy Xaykaothao reported from there shortly after the earthquake, and has just returned to file this report.

(SOUNDBITE OF SEAGULLS)

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8:00am

Sat March 10, 2012
NPR Story

How Powerful Is A Political Yard Sign?

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 1:49 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As the candidates stump for votes, Republicans in Kansas and two U.S. territories will caucus today, and pick their choices to be the Republican nominee this fall. Many voters will show their support for a particular candidate. Long before they cast any votes, they might put up a poster or plant a yard sign for their candidate. These signs spring up like mushrooms every campaign season. Do they actually work?

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8:00am

Sat March 10, 2012
NPR Story

The Week In Sports

Tom Goldman joins host Scott Simon to talk about the latest sports stories.

8:00am

Sat March 10, 2012
NPR Story

Will Job Numbers Add Up To Votes For Obama?

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 1:49 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We've been hearing the latest employment numbers show things moving in a positive direction, but the economy and jobs market are still weak. That's, of course, a major factor in an election year. Our friend from the business world, Joe Nocera, joins us. He's an op-ed columnist for the New York Times. Joe, thanks for being with us.

JOE NOCERA: Thanks for having me, Scott.

SIMON: As we heard, of course, the economy added more jobs in February than economists had expected. Is this a trend or true stability?

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8:00am

Sat March 10, 2012
NPR Story

Fukushima Starts Long Road To Recovery

NPR's Richard Harris talks with host Scott Simon about the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors, one year after multiple meltdowns there spread radioactive materials across a swath of northern Japan. Huge technical challenges remain and prospects for resettling the area are uncertain.

8:00am

Sat March 10, 2012
NPR Story

Libyan Interim Leader On Recovery, Instability

This time last year, Col. Moammar Gadhafi was losing control of Libya. Scott Simon talks with Abdel-Rahim el Keib, the Libyan interim prime minister who took over in the wake of the country's uprising.

8:00am

Sat March 10, 2012
NPR Story

Romney Wraps Up Deep South Tour

NPR's Ari Shapiro traveled with presidential hopeful Mitt Romney this week as the campaign swung through Mississippi and Alabama ahead of Republican primaries this coming Tuesday.

4:44pm

Fri March 9, 2012
Music Interviews

Anthony Hopkins Lives Out A Long-Deferred Musical Dream

Composer is an album of original classical music by Oscar-winning actor Anthony Hopkins.
Courtesy of the artist

Anthony Hopkins has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, and has played Richard I, Richard Nixon, monarchs, statesmen, geniuses and heroes. He won an Academy Award playing one of the most notorious movie villains in history: Hannibal Lecter, the criminal cannibal with an affinity for Bach. Now, Hopkins is making his own music.

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4:33pm

Fri March 9, 2012
Music Interviews

Carolina Chocolate Drops: Hooked On Old-Time Sounds

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 1:49 pm

Carolina Chocolate Drops' new album is Leaving Eden.
Crackerfarm

Carolina Chocolate Drops breathed new life into old-time music with the 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig, which put a contemporary spin on Southern string tools from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. That collection went on to win a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album.

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8:57am

Sat March 3, 2012
Simon Says

Politics Gets Dirtier: Attack Ad Goes After Cat

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 1:38 pm

Not even pets can hide from the political caterwauling; a superPAC has attacked the candidacy of Hank the Cat.
YouTube

If American politicians are going to quarrel like cats and dogs, why not just elect cats and dogs?

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8:00am

Sat March 3, 2012
NPR Story

DeVito 'Speaks For The Trees' In 'The Lorax'

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 10:48 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

Danny DeVito, a short, funny guy with a long and winding career in movies, TV, on-stage and online, from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" off-Broadway and onscreen, to the TV shows "Taxi" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and online films. His latest project transports him to the land of Truffula trees and singing fish.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE LORAZ")

DANNY DEVITO: (as The Lorax) I'm playing poker. He's playing Go Fish. And I think he's hungry.

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8:00am

Sat March 3, 2012
NPR Story

In Ohio, A Battle To Prove Electability

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 10:48 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now, to Super Tuesday. Ohio may not offer the most delegates of the ten states who will vote on Super Tuesday, but it has become the most coveted state for all the candidates of the Republican nomination for president, a microcosm of the countrywide fight for supremacy. Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney will all campaign there today. NPR's Tamara Keith has this campaign update from Cleveland.

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8:00am

Sat March 3, 2012
NPR Story

Where GOP Women Stand On The Political Race

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 10:48 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As the candidates battle it out, there's a key fact always worth remembering: 53 percent of those who cast votes in the last presidential election were women.

Michelle Bernard is a political analyst who studies voting trends among women. She is the founder and CEO of the conservative Bernard Center for Woman, Politics, and Public Policy. Thanks for being with us.

MICHELLE BERNARD: Thanks for having me.

SIMON: Let's try and clear this up. Is there a women's vote?

BERNARD: Yes.

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3:38pm

Fri March 2, 2012
Music Interviews

Estelle: Coming To America

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 10:48 am

Estelle's new album is titled All of Me.
Keith Major

Estelle Swaray is a Londoner. But for the past few years, the British singer best known for the song "American Boy" (her 2008 Grammy-winning hit with Kanye West) has called the U.S. home. It was a particular American boy, she says, who convinced her to make the move.

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7:29am

Sun February 26, 2012
Monkey See

Throwing An Oscar Bash? Here Are Some Ideas

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:00 am

Oscar fans in New York take a closer look at the statuettes on display during the "Meet the Oscars, Grand Central" exhibition at Grand Central Station on Feb. 22.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Hollywood's elite are gathering in Los Angeles tonight for the Academy Awards. If you're hosting your own viewing party, here are some tips on how to keep your guests flush with Oscar-themed food, drinks and challenging trivia, courtesy of Dan Shapiro. He's a big-time movie buff and co-owner of Modern Bite Bakery in Los Angeles, and he knows how to host festive Oscar parties.

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8:00am

Sat February 25, 2012
Simon Says

Other People's Atrocities: None Of Our Business?

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 5:18 pm

Protesters demonstrate against Foxconn, which manufactures Apple products in China, outside an Apple retail outlet in Hong Kong.
Antony Dickson AFP/Getty Images

Events as disparate as the cruel, escalating violence in Syria and the congested, unnerving conditions where Apple's iPads and iPhones are made at the Foxconn assembly plants in China raise a recurring question:

When do a country's internal affairs become the business of the world? And when do we make that our personal business?

You can take that question back through atrocities, crimes and outrages of recent history.

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8:00am

Sat February 25, 2012
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: Trekkers Unite To Correct Error

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 5:18 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPING AND MUSIC)

SIMON: Today a correction, so maybe some music that's a little more suitable.

(SOUNDBITE OF KLINGON BATTLE THEME)

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8:00am

Sat February 25, 2012
NPR Story

As Video Gaming Goes Pro, Viewers Pay Up

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 5:18 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Video gaming has become a spectator sport. There are now pro video gamers who play for money. Viewers watch online - sometimes at an arena, even on a Jumbotron. Well, this weekend in New York City, 32 of the world's top gamers are gathered to compete. A man named Mike Lamond, also known as "Husky" - maybe the Joe Buck of video gaming. He's what they call a shoutcaster who does the play-by-play for the audience of the games StarCraft: Wings of Liberty. He joins us from the studios of NPR West. Thanks so much for being with us.

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8:00am

Sat February 25, 2012
NPR Story

Voices From Homs, A City Under Siege

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 5:18 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There's a limited humanitarian effort already underway in Syria. The Red Cross is in the process of evacuating injured people from the embattled Homs neighborhood of Baba Amr. At least 27 people are reportedly receiving medical treatment after being driven out in ambulances yesterday. The evacuation comes after a week in which Baba Amr was pounded by some of the heaviest artillery attacks by the Syrian government.

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6:17am

Sat February 25, 2012
Author Interviews

'Watergate' Revisited: Inside The Criminal Minds

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 5:18 pm

Associated Press

During the summer of 1972, five men were arrested in the middle of the night for breaking into the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate office building in Washington, D.C.

The breach went to the very top. Watergate toppled the Nixon administration and became an iconic (and exhaustively studied) American political scandal. In his new novel, Watergate, Thomas Mallon gives the story a fresh twist, retelling it from the perspectives of the involved parties — from seven different points of view.

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6:12am

Sat February 25, 2012
Arts & Life

In Tombstone, The O.K. Corral Still Looms Large

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 5:18 pm

Tourists in Tombstone visit the O.K. Corral exhibits.
Gillian Ferris Kohl

In the late 1880s, a silver strike turned the dusty town of Tombstone, Ariz., into a cosmopolitan hot spot. There were casinos, oyster bars and shops filled with the latest Paris fashions.

But when the silver ran out, Tombstone almost died. Only one thing has kept it alive for the past century: the 1881 shootout at the O.K. Corral, re-enacted daily.

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4:00am

Sat February 25, 2012
A Blog Supreme

Shannon Powell: New Orleans Rhythm, Straight From The Source

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 5:18 pm

Shannon Powell performs with the Palm Court Jazz Band at the 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Clayton Call Redferns

It is said of Shannon Powell that he's part of New Orleans' musical DNA — that he knows things only local drummers know.

Powell, 49, is the A-list drummer in town. He's played with Dr. John, Harry Connick Jr., Nicholas Payton, R&B guitarist Earl King and Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

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8:19am

Sat February 18, 2012
Simon Says

John Glenn, A Hero Well Before Orbiting Earth

Originally published on Sat February 18, 2012 3:29 pm

Marine Lt. Col. John Glenn demonstrates operations inside a Mercury capsule on Jan. 11, 1961.
AP

Fifty years ago, John Glenn was alone on top of a rocket waiting to blast into space and around the Earth. In these times, when people can become suddenly famous for doing so little, it may be good to recall the daring and imagination of that moment on Feb. 20, 1962.

Two Russians, Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov, had already dauntlessly orbited the Earth. The Soviets kept their missions secret until they were under way, but John Glenn would fly with the eyes of the world watching every second.

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8:00am

Sat February 18, 2012
NPR Story

Payroll Tax Cut Brings Other Benefits

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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8:00am

Sat February 18, 2012
NPR Story

Sports: Spring Training Begins; Basketball All-Star Ahead

Originally published on Sat February 18, 2012 10:16 am

It's the beginning of the beginning of baseball season, and two major thumpers have jumped leagues. Plus, basketball makes it to a midpoint, and suddenly you have to ask: Who's really the best team in Los Angeles? Host Scott Simon talks with ESPN's Howard Bryant about the sports of the week.

8:00am

Sat February 18, 2012
NPR Story

Michigan Brakes For Santorum

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

That Michigan primary is just in 10 days and the contest there is turning to be closer than expected. Mitt Romney grew up in Michigan. His father, George Romney, ran a car company there. He was the governor. But Santorum has come on strong and even ahead in current polls. We're joined now by another son of Michigan, NPR's Don Gonyea, live in our studio, who spent the week in his home state. Thanks very much for being with us, Don.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: My pleasure. Good to be here.

SIMON: What's the latest?

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8:00am

Sat February 18, 2012
NPR Story

Finally, The Physics Of The Ponytail Explained

Originally published on Sat February 18, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There's an article by three British scientists in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters that says, in part: A general continuum theory for the distribution of hairs in a bundle is developed treating individual fibers as elastic filaments with random intrinsic curvatures, applying this formalism to the iconic problem of the ponytail. The iconic problems of the ponytail? Where's the problem? Who better to explain than our math guy, Keith Devlin of Stanford University?

Keith, this is for real?

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8:00am

Sat February 18, 2012
NPR Story

It's 'Shatner's World' And He Wants You To See It

William Shatner in Shatner's World: We Just Live In It on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre. In the 90-minute show, Shatner illustrates some of his stories with photos and video clips.
Joan Marcus

Over the past half-century, the wild range of roles played by William Shatner has included a starship captain, a blowhard attorney and the man who can get you a deal on a hotel room.

Now, for the first time since John F. Kennedy was in the White House and James T. Kirk was just a glint in Gene Roddenberry's eye, Shatner has returned to Broadway and the stage.

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8:00am

Sat February 18, 2012
NPR Story

Roadblocks That Might Stall China's 'Unstoppable' Rise

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Throughout this last week while the Chinese vice president was visiting the United States, there was a lot of talk about America and American business finding new opportunities in China, selling more to Chinese consumers instead of just buying so much from the world's second largest economy. Many Americans also see China as an unstoppable economic force that's surpassing the United States. But how does all this look from China? We're going to now to NPR's Shanghai correspondent, Frank Langfitt. Frank, thanks for being with us.

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8:00am

Sat February 18, 2012
NPR Story

Mortgage Woes Pock Irish Landscape

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Many lives are being turned completely upside down by the eurozone crisis. That's especially true in Ireland, where they're still clearing up the mess left when the property bubble burst. Thousands of homes lie empty and unsold. And as NPR's Philip Reeves reports, some people have been left with colossal debts.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: Step, for a minute, into the strange world of Jill Godsil. She lives among the farms and villages and rolling hills of Ireland's Wicklow County. The countryside's spectacular.

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