Weekend Edition

Weekends at 8-10AM
  • Hosted by 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.

This week, an increasing number of consumers are going online to take advantage of Black Friday deals.

Sales for what's known as one of the biggest shopping days of the year were up 20 percent this year, and most of those online shoppers were using smartphone apps.

If you want to get a glimpse of just how difficult it is out here for retailers, just ask 11-year-old Ava Bassarat, who's on a mission to buy an iPod Touch.

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Jonathan Pollard is out of prison, if not totally free, after 30 years. He's on parole for another five years, during which he'll have to wear a GPS ankle bracelet, won't be able to give interviews, or leave for Israel, where he is considered a hero, and says he wants to live.

He also won't be able to use the internet without U.S. government scrutiny. Someone will point out: can any of us?

In a run-down stretch of Chicago's South Michigan Avenue, miles from the museums and skyscrapers, an army of foot-high paving stones stand on shelves along the street. It's a handmade memorial to honor the young people who have died at the hands of the city's street violence. A name is written on each of the 574 stones.

But they are not just names to Diane Latiker.

It's common wisdom that families should avoid talking about politics around the Thanksgiving table.

But if you're reading this, you might be in an NPR family. And coming up on election year — with polls and gaffes every day — won't it be hard to talk about Car Talk the whole night?

So we turned to Miss Manners, aka writer Judith Martin, to ensure our etiquette's up-to-date this holiday season.

For Martin, the age-old rule, "don't talk politics," still stands.

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I wait all week to say time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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After a turbulent week spurred by racial tensions at the University of Missouri, students are reflecting and thinking about what changes they hope for next on campus.

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We're following to news from France today after a night of devastating violence in Paris. Coordinated attacks killed more than 120 people in six separate attacks, leaving the city really and on edge. A Parisian man spoke with France 24 today.

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Security restrictions have gone into place across France and also here in the United States. NPR's Arnie Seipel has more.

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Haxie Meyers-Belkin is a journalist with France 24. She was on the scene immediately after the attacks and joins us now from Paris. Thanks so much for being with us.

HAXIE MEYERS-BELKIN, BYLINE: Hello.

Millions of people grew up in a time when we had nuclear nightmares. We worried that a few huge bombs might blow up the world, and we rehearsed how we should hide below our school desks if sirens ever sounded.

On Thursday, Maamoun Abdulkarim came to address the Italian Parliament regarding the plight of Syria's 10,000 archaeological sites. Italy has been active in helping protect antiquities in conflict zones.

Abdulkarim, the head of Syria's antiquities agency, says that 99 percent of museum collections — some 300,000 museum pieces — have been salvaged, but civil war has still caused massive damage.

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Time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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The Keystone XL pipeline project has been in front of Barack Obama for most of his administration. Yesterday, President Obama said it won't be built.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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We now observe an important historical milestone.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WILD THING")

THE WILD ONES: (Singing) Wild thing...

SIMON: You were expecting another anniversary of the Magna Carta?

For more on this story, including photos of the performances, check out this story by our colleagues at KPCC.

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An Inner-City Team Is Putting U.S. Rugby On The Map

Oct 31, 2015

If you're a sports fan in this country, it's more likely you'll be tuned into the World Series than the Rugby World Cup this weekend.

And here, rugby is more associated with prep schools or elite colleges. But now that one Memphis high school rugby team has flown onto the international radar, that could change.

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It's time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Ron Nagle is a lot like his ceramics: compact, tidy, quirky — and colorful.

The artist, who has helped take clay to the heights of the contemporary art world, recently sported black pants, a blue-and-white striped T-shirt, white shoes, red socks and a rose-colored hat.

Around his neck hangs a long silver chain, filled with charms. There's a heart, signifying Valentine's day, the date he was married decades ago; an R for his first name; a skull representing death; a hare, Nagle's sign in Chinese astrology.

As Democrats gain from the nation's growing diversity — attracting solid majorities among Hispanic and African American voters — Republicans are gaining among white, working-class voters, a group that was once a Democratic stronghold.

Nowhere is this clearer than in West Virginia, where the president touched down this week to talk about drug addiction.

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Just off the Old Dixie Highway in Northwest Georgia, a white building stands proudly on a hilltop.

"To me, it looks like a church," says Marian Coleman, who has taken care of this building for some 20 years. She stands out front, looking up at the gleaming paint, the big windows and the pointed roof.

It never was a church. Instead, it was a two-room schoolhouse.

Obama's plan to leave 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of his term means he won't fulfill a promise to remove all American forces from that war zone. While he added the disclaimer, "I do not support the idea of endless war," he also said he's not disappointed.

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