NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturdays, 7am - 9am
Scott Simon

Saturday mornings are made for Weekend Edition Saturday, the program wraps up the week's news and offers a mix of analysis and features on a wide range of topics, including arts, sports, entertainment, and human interest stories. The two-hour program is hosted by NPR's Peabody Award-winning Scott Simon.

Drawing on his experience in covering 10 wars and stories in all 50 states and seven continents, Simon brings a humorous, sophisticated and often moving perspective to each show. He is as comfortable having a conversation with a major world leader as he is talking with a Hollywood celebrity or the guy next door.

Weekend Edition Saturday has a unique and entertaining roster of other regular contributors. Marin Alsop, conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, talks about music. Daniel Pinkwater, one of the biggest names in children's literature, talks about and reads stories with Simon. Financial journalist Joe Nocera follows the economy. Howard Bryant of EPSN.com and NPR's Tom Goldman chime in on sports. Keith Devlin, of Stanford University, unravels the mystery of math, and Will Grozier, a London cabbie, talks about good books that have just been released, and what well-read people leave in the back of his taxi. Simon contributes his own award-winning essays, which are sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant.

Weekend Edition Saturday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States, and around the globe on NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

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4:31am

Sat December 29, 2012
The Record

Reflecting On EMI, An Industry Giant Felled In 2012

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:38 pm

The London headquarters of EMI, whose sale this year brought the number of major labels from four to three.
Simon Dawson Bloomberg via Getty Images

4:22am

Sat December 29, 2012
Europe

Same-Sex Marriage And Adoption: Unresolved Issues In France

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 7:14 pm

A man wears a costume reading "Dad" and "Mom" during a demonstration against gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples in Nice, France, in October.
Valery Hache AFP/Getty Images

France is known as a tolerant country on many social issues, yet the country is embroiled in a debate about same-sex marriage and adoption.

President Francois Hollande is following through on a campaign promise to bring full rights to gay couples. France legalized civil unions more than a decade ago, though same-sex couples must still go abroad to marry or adopt.

But opposition to Hollande's measure has been unexpectedly fierce, something the Socialist government wasn't expecting.

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4:22am

Sat December 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Congressional Leaders Hopeful As Fiscal Cliff Deadline Nears

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:38 pm

House Speaker John Boehner arrives at the White House on Friday for talks with President Obama and congressional leaders aimed at avoiding the "fiscal cliff."
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Even though the top four congressional leaders left their White House meeting with the president separately and silently on Friday, they cast the hourlong encounter in a positive light back at the Capitol.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described the tone of the discussion to head off across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts as "candid." An aide to House Speaker John Boehner put out a statement that noted that the group agreed the next step should be the Senate's — a tacit acknowledgement that Boehner is no longer the lead negotiator with President Obama.

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4:21am

Sat December 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama: 'The American People Are Watching What We Do Here'

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:38 pm

"I'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time," the president said after meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Friday.
Evan Vucci AP

We have reached the last weekend of the year, and Washington still has not reached a deal to avert the big tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff.

President Obama met with top congressional leaders at the White House on Friday afternoon: John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi from the House, and Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell from the Senate.

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1:03am

Sat December 29, 2012
Music Interviews

Johnny Cash's Boyhood Home Tells The Story Of A Town

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:38 pm

The Cash family house today.
Michael Hibblen

It's been almost a decade since Johnny Cash died, but fans still travel from around the world to see the place the music legend often described as key to his development: his boyhood home in the eastern Arkansas town of Dyess. The small house will soon serve as a museum — not only as a tribute to Johnny Cash, but also to tell the history of the town.

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6:11pm

Fri December 28, 2012
Best Books Of 2012

Short Stories To Savor On A Winter Weekend

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:38 pm

Nishant Choksi

Hortense Calisher, a virtuoso of the form, once called the short story "an apocalypse in a teacup." It's a definition that suits the remarkable stories published this year by three literary superstars, and two dazzling newcomers with voices so distinctive we're likely to be hearing from them again. These stories are intense, evocative delights to be devoured singly when you have only a sliver of time, or savored in batches, at leisure, on a winter weekend.

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8:48am

Sat December 22, 2012
Commentary

The Mayan Apocalypse: Worthwhile, In Hindsight

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 10:40 am

Visitors at the Chichen Itza archaeological park in Yucatan state, Mexico, celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar cycle. Even a failed apocalypse has value, in reminding us that life is fragile and unpredictable.
Pedro Pardo AFP/Getty Images

Yesterday came and went, but I never finished Ulysses. I never took up skydiving. Come to think of it, I didn't even really finish cleaning up my closet before the "Mayan Apocalypse," which did not occur yesterday, Dec. 21.

I remember thinking,"Finally, I get a Friday off — but there's an apocalypse."

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6:34am

Sat December 22, 2012
Asia

A Tumultuous Year, Seen Through North Korean Eyes

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 10:40 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is the end of a tumultuous year for North Koreans, who in the past year have seen the death of a longtime leader, the ascension of his young son, a failed rocket launch and most recently, the successful launch of a long-range rocket. NPR's Louisa Lim recently had a rare opportunity to see the year through North Korean eyes after she met five North Koreans in China, all of whom left the north earlier this year. We bring you that story in this encore broadcast.

(SOUNDBITE OF NORTH KOREAN BROADCAST)

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5:37am

Sat December 22, 2012
NPR Story

After 'Plan B' Fizzles, What's Boehner's Next Move?

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 10:40 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As we've just heard, this breakdown in negotiations within the Republican Party is troubling for Speaker Boehner. It also stifles negotiations to avert the combination of deep spending cuts and tax increases. That will come without a bipartisan agreement.

We're joined by Norm Ornstein, an experienced observer of Congress and politics. He's resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Thanks for being with us.

NORM ORNSTEIN: Oh, it's always a pleasure, Scott.

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5:37am

Sat December 22, 2012
NPR Story

Brutal Rape In India Triggers Widespread Public Anger

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 10:40 am

An update on last weekend's rape of a student in New Delhi, an incident which provoked widespread outrage, and calls for a crackdown on sexual violence in India. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Julie McCarthy in India.

5:37am

Sat December 22, 2012
NPR Story

Making The Case For More Guns And More Gun Control

Originally published on Sat December 22, 2012 9:16 am

Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks with Atlantic correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg about the massacre in Newtown, Conn. He wrote the cover story in this month's issue, titled "The Case For More Guns — And More Gun Control." In it, Goldberg posits that it's impossible to reduce gun crime with the number of guns already on the street, and that maybe the answer is to allow more people to carry them.

4:56am

Sat December 22, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

Marin Alsop: A Utopian Musical Dream From South America

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 10:40 am

Marin Alsop conducted the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra in a beachfront concert Sunday for 20,000 people in Santos, Brazil.
Desiree Furoni

Discovering Brazil has been a series of wonderful revelations for me. As principal conductor of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra for the past year, I have been deeply moved and even changed by my exposure to this culture of passion and positivity.

Brazil's inherent societal belief that music improves quality of life, contributes to improved social behavior, and is an important vehicle to establish a peaceful society filled with tolerance and respect is a philosophy I once thought existed only in my utopian dreams.

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4:56am

Sat December 22, 2012
The Record

'Kuduro,' The Dance That Keeps Angola Going

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 10:40 am

Dancer Fogo de Deus, who is part of the Os Kuduristas project of traveling kuduro artists.
courtesy of Os Kuduristas

4:40am

Sat December 22, 2012
U.S.

Immigrants Welcomed: A City Sees Economic Promise

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 10:40 am

Adolphe Bizwinayo left Rwanda as a refugee and says his new city, Dayton, Ohio, helped him transition to American life with initiatives like the Dayton World Soccer Games.
Shawndra Jones for NPR

If there's one common language that some recent immigrants in Dayton, Ohio, seem to share, it's soccer.

The first Dayton World Soccer Games kicked off earlier this year, an initiative hosted by the city to welcome an influx of immigrants. On the field, a rainbow of brightly colored jerseys represented nearly 20 of the different immigrant communities in the city.

"I've been really surprised to see that there's a lot of soccer going on in Dayton," says Adolphe Bizwinayo, who left Rwanda as a refugee.

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4:39am

Sat December 22, 2012
Arts & Life

The Joy Of Salt Licking: Contest Turns Farm Animals Into Fine Artists

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 10:40 am

Sculptures entered in the Great Salt Lick Contest await the judging and auction.
Taki Telonidis

Whit Deschner stands in the middle of a pasture outside of Baker, Ore., probably 30 or 40 feet away from a black cow licking a white salt block.

To most of us, this may look like a bucolic scene from ranch country, a smattering of black cattle on a vast field that spreads toward distant mountains. But, for Deshner, it's art in the making.

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