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 November 12, 2011
NPR Story

Teachers Unions Mobilize To Survive In Ohio

This week, Ohio voters soundly rejected Gov. John Kasich's plan to scale back collective bargaining rights for public employees. The vote was a big victory for labor; in particular, it showed how important the nation's teachers unions have become beyond the classroom. Teachers groups are mobilizing like never before — because they face threats to their very existence.

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7:57am

Sat November 12, 2011
Deceptive Cadence

Aaron Copland's Forgotten Score Premieres At Last

Manhattan, Copland's "Quiet City," at night.
Joseph Gareri iStock

American composer Aaron Copland began work on Quiet City in 1939 and completed it two years later. A lonely trumpet and an English horn, backed by hushed strings, offer an ode to New York.

The orchestral version of Quiet City is fairly well known, but there's more to this story. Another version has recently come to light.

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6:00am

Sat November 12, 2011
The Record

Non-Jamaican Reggae: Who's Making It And Who's Buying It

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 8:41 am

Hawaiian reggae band The Green. From left to right Zion Thompson, JP Kennedy, Caleb Keolanui and Ikaika Antone.
Tammy Moniz Courtesy of Press Junkie PR

Reggae music and the island of Jamaica are inseparable, right? Lately, a crop of artists from places like Hawaii, California and Italy are proving that hit reggae can come from anywhere. In the process, they're raising some complex questions about culture and ownership.

There's a new generation of reggae artists with two things in common: They're not from the birthplace of reggae music, and they are enormously successful.

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5:36am

Sat November 12, 2011
Author Interviews

'Mrs. Nixon' Reimagines An Enigmatic First Lady

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 8:41 am

Aside from being the wife of one of the most well-known politicians in recent American history, Pat Nixon is mostly a mystery. Throughout crisis and scandal, she somehow managed to remain a private public figure.

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5:30pm

Fri November 11, 2011
The Record

'Stairway To Heaven' Turns 40: Celebrate With 7 Covers

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:25 pm

Heart's Nancy Wilson onstage in 1983, looking very Jimmy Page.
Paul Natkin WireImage

10:08am

Sat November 5, 2011
Author Interviews

'Train Of Small Mercies': RFK's Last Journey Imagined

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 11:51 am

Penguin Group USA

In the news business, time is marked by great events: the anniversaries of elections, wars, hit songs and the births and deaths of famous people.

But each of us also has a personal timeline by which we measure our life: the day we start our first job, fulfill a dream or glimpse history passing by, close enough to touch.

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8:00am

Sat November 5, 2011
Author Interviews

Basketball Legend Shares 'Charmed, Tormented Life'

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Jerry West is the symbol of the National Basketball Association - truly so. The NBA's logo silhouette of a player dribbling the ball down court in perfect form is drawn from a 1969 photo of Jerry West when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers, which he did for 14 years and was an All Star 14 times.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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8:00am

Sat November 5, 2011
Simon Says

America's Stake In A United Europe

President Obama salutes service members from both sides of the Atlantic as he walks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy during the G-20 summit in Cannes, France, last week.
Markus Schreiber AFP/Getty Images

It is always tempting for Americans to look at problems in Europe and ask, "What does that have to do with me?"

Well, U.S. banks hold almost $17 billion in Greek debt and billions more bought through European banks. Billions of dollars that Americans have saved for retirement, college — or the rainy days that may be — are now invested in Greece.

But we also might remind ourselves why the euro and the European Union were created.

The problems of Europe led to two world wars in the 20th century, and America got involved in each.

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4:32am

Sat November 5, 2011
Author Interviews

A Global History, Told Through '100 Objects'

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:17 am

Trustees of the British Museum

Sometimes it's the little things that tell the best story. Across the ages, everyday items like plates, pots and even pipes have stood the test of time — and they are just as integral to our history as any monument or cathedral.

A new book takes a selection of these everyday objects and weaves their stories together to tell the ultimate story — a history of the world. In A History of the World in 100 Objects, author Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, culled 100 artifacts from his museum's collection to help him with the task.

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4:02pm

Fri November 4, 2011
Music Interviews

John Wesley Harding: The Musical Side Of A Split Personality

John Wesley Harding's latest album is called The Sound of His Own Voice.
Allison Michael Orenstein Courtesy of the artist

"When I first started making music, I took a fake name to disguise the fact I was going to embark on what was bound to be a short, unsatisfactory musical career," John Wesley Harding says. That was 23 years ago.

Harding recently launched a side career as a novelist, for which he uses his given name: Wesley Stace. But he's continued to release music under his alias, a name he shares with a 1967 Bob Dylan record. Speaking with Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon, Harding says he's learned to spread the wealth between his two creative personas.

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3:54pm

Fri November 4, 2011
Marin Alsop on Music

Arthur Honegger's Joan Of Arc For The Ages

Actress Jean Seberg plays Joan of Arc in the 1957 Otto Preminger film Saint Joan.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

I became fascinated with Jeanne d'Arc Au Bûcher (Joan of Arc at the Stake) by Swiss-French composer Arthur Honegger many years ago, when I first heard a snippet of the piece on the radio. It was one of those arresting moments where I felt I'd heard the music before and couldn't place it for the life of me. As it turns out, I'd never heard it, but it's understandable why I thought I had.

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12:47pm

Sat October 29, 2011
NPR Story

American Troops Die In Afghan Attack

Originally published on Sat October 29, 2011 12:47 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. In Afghanistan today, a Taliban suicide bomber slammed a car packed with explosives into an armored bus carrying NATO troops in Kabul. At least 13 U.S. soldiers died in the attack. According to a Pentagon spokesman, the blast incinerated the vehicle and is the latest in a series of recent high-profile attacks in Afghanistan. For more on the incident, we're joined now by NPR's Ahmad Shafi in Kabul. Shafi, what more details can you give us about the attack?

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8:00am

Sat October 29, 2011
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: From Boxing Bros To Iowa Polls

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPING)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Last week, we spoke with NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea. He was in Iowa talking to voters about Republican presidential contenders ahead of the 2012 presidential caucuses.

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8:00am

Sat October 29, 2011
NPR Story

Cardinals Are 2011 World Series Champions

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Texas Rangers by a score of 6 to 2 Friday night to win the Series in seven games. NPR's Tom Goldman has game highlights.

8:00am

Sat October 29, 2011
NPR Story

The World Series As An Old Pro Sees It

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Jim Bouton knows what it's like to stand on the pitching mound in a World Series with the world watching. He pitched three World Series games for the New York Yankees in 1963 and '64. Of course, he's also wrote the classic baseball memoir about baseball and life, "Ball Four." Jim joins us from Western Massachusetts. Thanks so much for being with us.

JIM BOUTON: Good morning, Scott.

SIMON: Couple of months ago, would a sane observer see the Cardinals winning the World Series?

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8:00am

Sat October 29, 2011
NPR Story

Remembering The Father Of Artificial Intelligence

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 1:10 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.

John McCarthy, the American mathematician known universally as the father of Artificial Intelligence, died last Monday at his home in Palo Alto. He was 84.

WEEKEND EDITION's Math Guy, Keith Devlin, knew McCarthy and has this remembrance.

KEITH DEVLIN, BYLINE: I first got to know John McCarthy when I arrived at Stanford as a visiting professor in 1987. He was 60 years old at that time, with a towering and, to me, somewhat daunting, reputation.

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5:22am

Sat October 29, 2011
Author Interviews

After 40 Years, Grisly 'Exorcist' Book Gets A Rewrite

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 1:10 pm

'I'm Not Regan': Linda Blair played the young Regan MacNeil in the 1973 film adaptation of William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist. In the book, Regan becomes possessed by a malevolent demon who makes her head turn 360 degrees.

AP Warner Bros. Entertainment

In 1971, a novel set off a frenzy that soon inspired a film — and then a firestorm.

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4:20pm

Fri October 28, 2011
Studio Sessions

Tony Bennett's Art Of Intimacy

Michael Katzif NPR

When you think of American classics, you might think of baseball, Abe Lincoln, apple pie ... and Anthony Dominick Benedetto. That's Tony Bennett to you.

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4:03pm

Fri October 28, 2011
Music

A Musical Style That Unites Mexican-Americans

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 1:10 pm

Mono Blanco, a veteran Son Jarocho band from Veracruz, performs in Los Angeles.

Betto Arcos

11:23am

Sat October 22, 2011
NPR Story

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Dies

Originally published on Sat October 22, 2011 11:49 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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8:00am

Sat October 22, 2011
Author Interviews

'Jane Austen Made Me Do It,' Authors Claim

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

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8:00am

Sat October 22, 2011
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: Herman Cain's Tax Math

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPING)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Lots of mail about my interview last week with Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain, especially what Mr. Cain said about the taxes paid by a family of four making $50,000 under the current tax system.

HERMAN CAIN: Based upon standard deductions and standard exemptions, they're going to pay $10,200 in taxes.

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8:00am

Sat October 22, 2011
Simon Says

It's A Girl! The New iPhone Speaks

Siri's answer to the meaning of life is actually kind of impressive.

Oli Scarff Getty Images

Why is Siri female?

Siri is the name of a new talking virtual assistant feature on the latest iPhone that can tell you when you have an appointment, where to find a Thai restaurant and what the pollen count will be.

I have friends who have the phone and love to ask Siri, "What's the meaning of life?" She has an answer, which is impressive. Maybe it takes a circuit board to recognize the special quality of life. But frankly, her answer sounds a little robotic.

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3:41pm

Sun June 19, 2011
Health

A County Triumphs Over Prescription 'Pill Mills'

Portsmouth Public Health Nurse Lisa Roberts helped found the Scioto County Prescription Drug Action Team. Behind her is a memorial to victims of prescription drug abuse.
Noah Adams NPR

Ohio's pain management clinics come under tough new regulations Sunday. Many of the clinics are blamed for prescription drug abuse in a state where the leading cause of accidental death is unintentional drug overdose. In the south of the state, Scioto County is leading the fight against the so-called "pill mills."

Anybody you talk to around the city of Portsmouth can tell you about a family member, a teammate or a colleague who's been in trouble with painkillers.

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8:42am

Sat June 18, 2011
Simon Says

Vegan Pad Thai Serves As Red Meat In A Food Fight

The biggest story in the Big Apple by the end of this week may not have been Weinergate, but The Diva vs. Doc smackdown.

A judge in Manhattan Criminal Court acquitted Marcella Caprario, an opera singer, of assaulting Dr. Catherine London, a family practitioner, over a vegan tofu pad-Thai frozen dinner in the aisle of a Trader Joe's market on the Upper West Side.

According to testimony, last Jan. 9 Ms. Caprario's husband, Bill Hobbs, leaned forward to reach for the vegan entrée in the freezer section. He found his route interrupted by Dr. London's 13-year-old son, Noah.

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8:00am

Sat June 18, 2011
NPR Story

Karzai Says U.S. In Peace Talks With Taliban

Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed Saturday that Afghanistan and the U.S. are engaged in peace talks with the Taliban. Also on Saturday, there was a suicide bomber attack near the presidential palace that cost two policemen their lives. Host Scott Simon gets the latest from NPR's Quil Lawrence in Kabul.

8:00am

Sat June 18, 2011
Pop Culture

'Bohemian Rhapsody,' We Will Not Let You Go

Queen's 1975 opera-inspired hit, Bohemian Rhapsody, has been named the most popular song ever in the UK by BBC Radio 4 listeners. Host Scott Simon talks to music writer Alan Connor about the meanings behind the song's sometimes obscure lyrics.

8:00am

Sat June 18, 2011
From Our Listeners

Your Most Embarrassing Dad Moments

Following last week's interview with the Utah dad who dressed in costume every school morning to wave goodbye to his teenage son's school bus, we hear from listeners who phoned in their own memorable "embarrassing dad" moments.

8:00am

Sat June 18, 2011
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: The Value Of College; Toronto Raccoons

In our interview last week, UCLA professor Mike Ross said higher education should be measured by more than just future earning power. Also, a report by Anita Elash on the burgeoning raccoon population in Toronto drew responses from many. Host Scott Simon reads listener letters.

8:00am

Sat June 18, 2011
Sports

U.S. Open, Wimbledon Herald Summer Season

Summer sports are all about traditions. Wimbledon's strawberries and cream are synonymous with rain delays and grunts echoing across grass tennis courts. And the smell of a hot dog and the slurp of a light beer evoke baseball's more genteel imagery compared to the hooligans at the All England Club. Host Scott Simon talks about the U.S. Open golf tournament and Monday's start of Wimbledon tennis with Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine.

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