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 January 28, 2012
NPR Story

Sports: Finals Down Under; A New Tiger In Detroit

The women's finals in the Australian Open are already over. In baseball, power-hitter Prince Fielder has returned to his childhood team, the Detroit Tigers, for which his father played. Host Scott Simon talks sports with Howard Bryant of ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com.

8:00am

Sat January 28, 2012
NPR Story

Wolves Attract Tourists, But Reality Lurks

A niche industry of tour companies is taking people into wolves' habitat at Yellowstone National Park. Montana Public Radio's Dan Boyce went on an expedition with a man who recognizes the problems wolves bring to the landscape even as he makes his living off of them.

8:00am

Sat January 28, 2012
NPR Story

Egyptians Divide As They Celebrate Together

This week, Egyptians marked the first anniversary of the uprising that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Deepening political divisions between pro-Islamist and secular protesters marred the event, erupting into violent scuffles. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports.

8:00am

Sat January 28, 2012
NPR Story

On The Stump: Obama Roams Pivotal Swing States

President Obama is back in Washington Saturday after visiting five different states, all of which are likely to be hotly contested in November. He expanded on some of the ideas he outlined in Tuesday's State of the Union address and offered a preview of the argument he'll be making in the general election. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

8:00am

Sat January 28, 2012
NPR Story

Israeli Outpost Pits Courts Vs. Government

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 8:42 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

An illegal Jewish outpost in the occupied West Bank is at the center of a battle over settlements. The collection of trailers and makeshift buildings is called Migron, and the Israeli Supreme Court has said it must be dismantled by the end of March. The Israeli government has tried to come up with a compromise which the settlers have rejected. And the issue even threatens to bring down the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

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7:40am

Sat January 28, 2012
Simon Says

A Fan's Notes On Pro Sports, Brain Damage

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 1:31 pm

Trainers help Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy after he took a hit during a game in December. In a series of interviews with The Associated Press, 23 of 44 NFL players said they would try to hide a brain injury rather than leave a game.
Don Wright AP

I will watch the Super Bowl next weekend, along with several billion other people. I expect to cheer, shout and have some guacamole.

But as a fan, I'm finding it a little harder to cheer, especially for my favorite football and hockey players, without thinking: They're hurting themselves.

Not just breaks and sprains but dangerous, disabling brain damage.

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6:19am

Sat January 28, 2012
Television

'Smash' Stars An 'Interesting Tribe': Theater People

Ingenue or Leading Lady: Ivy Bell (Megan Hilty, left) and Karen (Katharine McPhee, right) compete for the coveted lead role in a new Marilyn Monroe Broadway musical in Smash, which premieres Feb. 6 on NBC.
Will Hart NBC

NBC's new drama, Smash, plumbs the drama behind the curtain. The series is the story of a Broadway musical — from the first idea, to auditions, rehearsals and the big premiere.

Theresa Rebeck is the show's creator and executive producer. She's also a screenwriter, playwright and a Broadway veteran — with a hit play "Seminar," that's now on Broadway.

Rebeck tells Weekend Edition host Scott Simon that Smash is a "workplace drama — it's just that the workplace is a musical."

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6:18am

Sat January 28, 2012
Author Interviews

'How It All Began': A Lively Ode To Happenstance

Viking

British writer Penelope Lively was in her late 30s before she began her career writing children's books. Now, four decades and 20 works of fiction later, she has just released the novel How It All Began, in which she explores the capricious role that chance plays in our lives.

Lively's lifetime habit of storytelling began when she was growing up in Egypt during World War II. She spent a lot of time alone and amused herself by making up stories, which often involved embellishing the classics with her own personal touch.

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7:29pm

Mon January 23, 2012
A Blog Supreme

The Extraordinary Career Of A Man Who Managed Jazz Musicians

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:13 pm

John Levy.
Tom Pich NEA

This post was originally published shortly after John Levy's death late last week. Click the audio link above to hear a remembrance of Levy by NPR's Sami Yenigun.

This weekend, we learned that the jazz businessman John Levy died on Friday. His wife, Devra Hall Levy, announced the news on Saturday in a press release available on John Levy's website, Lushlife. He was nearly 100 years old.

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9:57am

Sat January 21, 2012
NPR Story

Wait Just A Second, And Other Things To Do With It

Originally published on Sat January 21, 2012 9:57 am

Every few years, official clocks around the world repeat a second. It's not much, but in an age of atomic clocks, it's time enough to give the matter a second thought.
Uwe Merkel iStockphoto.com

Let me take a second here.

Not very long, was it?

But a second tied up delegates to the UN's International Telecommunication Union, who postponed a decision this week on whether to abolish the extra second that's added to clocks every few years to compensate for the earth's natural doddering.

The earth slows down slightly as we spin through space. No one falls off, but earthquakes and tides routinely slow the earth by a fraction of a fraction of a second, which makes clocks minutely wrong. If not corrected, it could make a minute of difference a century.

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8:00am

Sat January 21, 2012
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: 'Information Diet'; Legal Karaoke

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPING AND MUSIC)

SIMON: Last week, we spoke with Clay Johnson, an open-source advocate and digital strategist, about his new book, "The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption."

CLAY JOHNSON: You know, our minds are really wired to be affirmed and to be told that we're right. And that's the central premise of "The Information Diet." It's really, who wants to hear the truth when they can hear that they're right?

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8:00am

Sat January 21, 2012
NPR Story

A Fine Line When It Comes To SuperPACs

Under current law, candidates' campaigns are not allowed to coordinate with superPACs, although they clearly benefit from their messages. As result, candidates have performed feats of verbal gymnastics in order to talk about them. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's Peter Overby about the role of superPACs in the presidential race.

8:00am

Sat January 21, 2012
NPR Story

Looking Forward To Sunday Championship Football

Conference championship Sunday is almost as big as the Super Bowl, but without all those distracting halftime wardrobe malfunctions. Host Scott Simon is joined by NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman to discuss the upcoming games.

8:00am

Sat January 21, 2012
History

Remembrance: 1912 South Pole Trip Ends Tragically

One hundred years ago this week, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott reached the South Pole with a small crew of men. They all perished on the return trip. In 2008 on Weekend Edition, NPR's Daniel Zwerdling reported from the South Pole on Scott's tragic journey. To mark the 100th anniversary, we reprise that story.

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6:01am

Sat January 21, 2012
Author Interviews

Lesson Learned: Don't Fly To North Pole In A Balloon

Knopf

In the late 19th century, scores of celebrated, valorous explorers attempted to reach the North Pole. Groups of explorers from the U.S., Europe and Scandinavia invented clever new equipment, raised money, stirred national pride and enthralled the world by attempting to march, sail or sled to the most cold, remote and unseen place on Earth.

But it was a perilous business: Of the 1,000 people who tried to reach the North Pole in the late 1800s, 751 died during their attempt, author Alec Wilkinson tells NPR's Scott Simon.

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6:51pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Music News

Artists React To Mexico's Drug War With Music And Poetry

Astrid Hadad performs in Mexico.
Betto Arcos

Javier Sicilia is a novelist and a poet. In 2009, he was awarded Mexico's prestigious Aguascalientes National Poetry Prize. This September, he read a poem dedicated to his son, Juan Francisco, at a rally:

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2:00pm

Sat January 14, 2012
NPR Story

Italian Cruise Ship Runs Aground

Originally published on Sun January 15, 2012 12:58 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. An enormous cruise ship is lying on its side in the Mediterranean today. The Italian ship, Costa Concordia, ran aground off Italy's Tuscan coast, killing at least three people. Passengers described scenes reminiscent of the Titanic. Fabio Costa was working in a shop on the cruise liner when he felt a jolt.

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9:15am

Sat January 14, 2012
Simon Says

Zambia Official Not Only Talks the Talk But Jumps the Jump

Zambia's tourism minister Given Lubinda bungee-jumped off of a bridge at Victoria Falls to invite tourists back.
ITN News via YouTube

Given Lubinda jumped off a bridge this week and popped up smiling.

Mr. Lubinda is the minister of information, broadcasting and tourism of Zambia, nearly 50 years old and just a tad pudgy, judging from photographs.

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8:00am

Sat January 14, 2012
NPR Story

Karaoke Copyrights: Taking Back The Music

Karaoke machine manufacturers and the distributors of karaoke CDs have had an uphill battle fighting copyright infringement cases brought by music publishers. One player in the karaoke business is fighting a joint venture of Sony and the estate of Michael Jackson over a $1.28-billion bill. Host Scott Simon has more.

8:00am

Sat January 14, 2012
NPR Story

How Will The Muslim Brotherhood Govern?

The Muslim Brotherhood has emerged as the big winner in Egypt's parliamentary elections. Long oppressed under the regime of Hosni Mubarak, the Islamist party is now the most important power broker in the country. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports that the question on everyone's lips now is what does the Brotherhood really represent and how will it govern?

8:00am

Sat January 14, 2012
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: Unemployment, American Indians

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 2:12 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now time for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPING AND MUSIC)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: We got lots of comments on Gloria Hillard's piece on Native Americans who've moved off reservations into major cities. The Bureau of Indian Affairs Urban Relocation Program had encouraged that migration a few decades ago, and Los Angeles County has the country's largest urban Native American population.

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6:01am

Sat January 14, 2012
Movies

Wim Wenders On 'Pina': A Dance Documentary In 3-D

Damiano Ottavio Bigi and Clementine Deluy, both members of the Tanztheater Wuppertal under Pina Bausch, perform her choreography in Pina.
IFC Films

The film Pina is Germany's official entry at the 84th Academy Awards — and a collaboration between two famous Germans of the postwar generation. The filmmaker Wim Wenders captures the groundbreaking modern-dance choreography of the late Pina Bausch, in what many critics are calling a groundbreaking use of 3-D film.

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5:00am

Sat January 14, 2012
Author Interviews

Is It Time For You To Go On An 'Information Diet'?

"Clicks have consequences" says Clay Johnson, author of The Information Diet.
iStockphoto.com

We're used to thinking of "obesity" in physical terms — unhealthful weight that clogs our arteries and strains our hearts. But there's also an obesity of information that clogs our eyes and our minds and our inboxes: unhealthful information deep-fried in our own preconceptions.

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4:34pm

Fri January 13, 2012
Marin Alsop on Music

Alsop Sprach Zarathustra: Decoding Strauss' Tone Poem

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 2:12 pm

Richard Strauss' iconic opening to Also Sprach Zarathustra evokes a sense of vastness and power, Marin Alsop says.
Valery Hache AFP/Getty Images

I can't imagine a more stimulating conversation opener than "God is dead." Indeed, this quote by Friedrich Nietzsche sparked heated debate in his time, as it still does today. But how many of us know the writings of this 19th-century philosopher?

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4:25pm

Fri January 13, 2012
Music News

Red Heart The Ticker: Raising The Dead Via Folk Music

Tyler Gibbons and Robin MacArthur of Red Heart the Ticker.
Ed Cyzewski

Family heirlooms take all shapes: a pocket watch, a painting. For Robin MacArthur and her husband Tyler Gibbons, who form the folk duo Red Heart the Ticker, the family inheritance consists of an old house and lots of songs — both gifts from MacArthur's late grandmother, Margaret.

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8:00am

Sat January 7, 2012
Theater

Playwright Battles For Injured Vets On Stage

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now the story about one woman's effort to bring attention to the invisible wounds of war. The playwright Kate Wenner says she was stunned by investigations that showed thousands of U.S. troops were coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injuries and didn't receive the help they need. So Ms. Wenner decided to raise awareness through art. She's written a play about troops with traumatic brain injuries.

NPR's Daniel Zwerdling went to a production and has this report.

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8:00am

Sat January 7, 2012
Author Interviews

'Glory Be' A Tale Of The South For Young Adults

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 10:59 am

Eleven-year-old Gloriana Hamphill, known as Glory, feels like she's about to have the worst summer of her life. It's 1964 in Hanging Moss, Miss., a year that will teach her about bigotry, loyalty and bravery. Former librarian Augusta Scattergood talks with host Scott Simon about her first young adult fiction novel,Glory Be.

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8:00am

Sat January 7, 2012
Author Interviews

He Murdered His Friends, Now 'Iago' Moves On

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Shakespeare's Iago is one of the great defining villains of literature. He masquerades as a friend, and that disguises his schemes to manipulate, betray and destroy. He fools Othello into believing that his wife is betraying him - she's not - then manipulates his old friend and commander into having her killed in a fit of engineered jealousy.

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8:00am

Sat January 7, 2012
Around the Nation

The View From The Unemployed

Originally published on Sat January 7, 2012 10:20 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits has been dropping around the country as the new year begins. Companies are laying off fewer workers, and hiring may be picking up. The U.S. Labor Department reported yesterday that the unemployment rate is now 8.5 percent, the lowest level in almost three years.

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6:55am

Sat January 7, 2012
Opinion

Iowa, New Hampshire: Small States With Big Roles

Iowa and New Hampshire are not demographic snapshots of America. They are smaller, less diverse and more rural than California, New York or Illinois, which have a lot more votes.

But Iowa and New Hampshire win a lot of attention early in an election year. As an old political columnist, now departed, once told me over the din of clinking cups in an Iowa diner, "If the first presidential caucuses were in Hawaii, congress would give federal subsidies to make gasoline out of pineapples."

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