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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4:35am

Sat January 12, 2013
Author Interviews

NBA Star Aims To Inspire Young Readers With 'Slam Dunk'

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 11:08 am

Scholastic & Klutz

Amar'e Stoudemire is known as "STAT," an acronym for "standing tall and talented." He's an 11-year-old basketball player who wants badly to learn how to dunk — that's Amar'e the character, anyway.

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4:34am

Sat January 12, 2013
History

World War II Exhibit Asks Visitors, 'What Would You Do?'

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 11:08 am

Using touchscreens, visitors decide how they would make wartime choices.
Courtesy National WWII Museum

For many, the stakes and the scale of World War II are hard to fathom. It was a war fought around the world, against powerful, determined regimes in Europe and the Pacific; some 65 million people died. And as the number of people who have actual memories of the war dwindle — as of next year, there will be fewer than 1 million living veterans — the mission of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans becomes all the more urgent.

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4:34am

Sat January 12, 2013
Books

The Seedy Underbelly Of The Belle Epoque, 'Painted'

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 11:54 am

Just who is The Little Dancer, Aged 14? Who is the actual girl, cast 2/3 of her life size by Edgar Degas?

That little dancer was Marie van Goethem, one of three sisters left to fend for themselves after their father dies and their mother begins spending her washerwoman's income on absinthe.

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1:03am

Sat January 12, 2013
Music Interviews

A Night Out With Sam Cooke: 'Harlem Square' Turns 50

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 11:08 am

Sam Cooke in the studio in the early 1960s.
Courtesy of Legacy Recordings

Fifty years ago Saturday, Sam Cooke stepped onstage at a club in Miami. He'd come a long way to get there.

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5:56am

Sat January 5, 2013
Africa

Congo's Tutsi Minority Enveloped In Complex Conflict

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's hard to tell whether the ongoing conflict in Eastern Congo is a battle between rival ethnic groups or a fight for resources. There are so many militant groups in Eastern Congo with so many shifting alliances and demands. But a tiny ethnic minority in Congo has been at the center of this conflict for the past 20 years. NPR's Gregory Warner tells their story from the Eastern Congoli city of Goma.

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5:53am

Sat January 5, 2013
NPR Story

'The Americans': Looking Back On The Cold War 'Fondly'

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The end of football is in sight, so what to do with that couch? What about another classic rivalry? An old fashioned spy versus spy Cold War drama?

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE AMERICANS")

MATTHEW RHYS: (as Phillip) Super secret spies living next door. They look like us, they speak better English than we do. According to Misha, they're not allowed to say a single word in Russian once they get here. I mean, come on. Someone's been reading too many spy novels. Talking figment of the imagination.

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5:53am

Sat January 5, 2013
NPR Story

Pakistani Cafe Is Oasis In Desert Of Civil Discourse

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In Pakistan, there's a cafe called the Second Floor. It's listed in a local Karachi social blog as one of the coolest cafes in town. Since it opened its doors five years ago, it's become a haven in a city more known for its violence than its civil discourse. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston paid a visit.

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: The artwork on the front stoop of the Second Floor Cafe in Karachi says it all.

SABEEN MAHMUD: I wanted something right at the entrance...

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5:53am

Sat January 5, 2013
NPR Story

Another Think Coming? Scrutinizing An Oft-Misused Phrase

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS CONFERENCE)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, good afternoon, everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: Good afternoon.

OBAMA: Welcome to the White House.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

At a news conference earlier this week, President Obama tried to put pressure on Republicans and federal budget negotiations. The president said he would not accept spending cuts from Republicans without some tax increases. Then he used a phrase that raised a few eyebrows.

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4:29am

Sat January 5, 2013
Author Interviews

'Death Of Bees' Captures A Grim, Gory Coming-Of-Age

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

The Death of Bees is a story about two young girls living in a Glasgow, Scotland, housing project. And if you believe the first sentences of a novel are often the most difficult to write, try this beginning paragraph:

"Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard.

"Neither of them were beloved."

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4:28am

Sat January 5, 2013
World

London Real Estate, A Magnet For Mega-Rich From Around The Globe

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

Foreign buyers are pushing the prices of prime London real estate through the roof. Neighborhoods such as West London, Kensington and Chelsea are particularly popular.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Looking for a London pied-a-terre? How about a four-bedroom duplex overlooking Hyde Park? It could be yours, if you're prepared to spend $25 million.

In most of the United Kingdom, property prices are slumping. But in some of London's most upscale neighborhoods, they're going crazy.

Robin Perona sweeps the sidewalk at Egerton Crescent, a gracious semicircle of white townhouses in fashionable Chelsea.

In the 1990s, they cost about $700,000 each. Today the average price is some $13 million — or 8 million British pounds.

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4:28am

Sat January 5, 2013
It's All Politics

Often Written Off, Biden Has Long List Of Deals To His Name

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

Vice President Joe Biden leads the first meeting of the working group to explore solutions following the Newtown shooting with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and other law enforcement leaders on Dec. 20.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

When President Obama finally announced a fiscal cliff agreement late Tuesday night, he thanked several people who had worked to get a deal.

The first one he mentioned by name was the man standing next to him at the podium: "my extraordinary vice president, Joe Biden."

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1:03am

Sat January 5, 2013
Music Interviews

Preserving The Home, And History, Of New Orleans' Piano Professor

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 1:10 pm

Professor Longhair performs at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, circa 1970.
David Redfern Redferns

On the tough side of Terpsichore Street in New Orleans stands a duplex — a two-story, wood-framed building with wood floors, high ceilings and a nice fireplace. But this old house is empty: no furniture, no walls, no electricity, no toilet. Iron bars hide the windows; there's a lockbox on the door. The facade is three different shades of blecch, blurgh and blah.

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1:03am

Sat January 5, 2013
Music Interviews

Emel Mathlouthi: Voice Of The Tunisian Revolution

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

Emel Mathlouthi
Ghaith Ghoufa Courtesy of the artist

With all that's going on in the Middle East right now, it's easy to forget that the Arab Spring began just two years ago in Tunisia.

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4:38pm

Sat December 29, 2012
Music

'Prayer Flags,' A Song About Waiting On Heavenly Help

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 4:37 pm

Musician Kristina Olsen says Tibetan prayer flags flying over porches near her home in Venice, Calif., became the inspiration for a song.
Courtesy of the artist

For some, bringing in the new year means praying for good things to come. Kristina Olsen ponders the reasons for prayer in her song, "Prayer Flags." She tells the story behind it in the latest edition of What's in a Song, a series from the Western Folklife Center.

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5:13am

Sat December 29, 2012
Commentary

Recalling Battles Of Congress Past

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

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

There is nothing new about the Congress coming to a hostile halt at a critical moment - fussing and fuming, holding impromptu news conferences at the Ohio Clock - that's a nearly 200-year-old timepiece that counts the hours outside the Senate Chamber - or representatives stopping to chat in the beautiful Rayburn reception room outside the House with George Washington looking disapprovingly down from his portrait.

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