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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6:52am

Sat September 15, 2012
Sports

Sports: Chances In Baseball And NFL Midwest Battle

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Baseball's pennant races are in full swing. Will the words Baltimore, October, and baseball be heard in the same sentence for the first time since Cal Ripken Jr. was in short pants? But times are more trying for the Pittsburgh Pirates. And the battle in the American League Central between the surging Tigers and some nimble pale hose. For more, we're joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine.

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6:52am

Sat September 15, 2012
Politics

Foreign Policy Pulls Political Focus

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Joined now by Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor in our studios. Ron, thanks very much for being with us.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Scott.

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6:34am

Sat September 15, 2012
NPR Story

Would You Like A Calorie Count With That?

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Next week, McDonald's will become the largest fast-food chain in the country to display calorie counts on its menu boards. Won't that make you think twice when asked: You want fries with that?

NPR's Allison Aubrey has been reporting on McDonald's announcement this week. She joins us in our studios. Allison, thanks for being with us.

ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: Hi, Scott. Glad to be here.

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6:34am

Sat September 15, 2012
NPR Story

Libya Hit With Turbulent Week

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. There have been unexpectedly violent protests across much of the Arab world this week. The first was in Cairo. Then, of course, in Benghazi, Libya, protesters attacked and killed four U.S. embassy staff there.

Since then, protests have broken out across the region, again in Egypt, in Tunisia and in Yemen. NPR's correspondent in Benghazi is Leila Fadel. She joins us now. Leila, thanks for being with us.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Thanks for having me.

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6:34am

Sat September 15, 2012
NPR Story

Egypt Explores Limits Of Tolerance For Free Speech

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We turn now to Egypt where, as we mentioned earlier, the protest started this week. More than 250 people have been reported injured in clashes there that began when protesters scaled the embassy wall in Cairo and tore down an American flag. Many of them are demonstrating against a film, which portrayed the prophet Muhammad as a womanizer and a religious fraud.

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5:37am

Sat September 15, 2012
Books

'The Black Count,' A Hero On The Field, And The Page

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 10:35 am

General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Gen. Thomas-Alexandre Dumas was one of the heroes of the French Revolution — but you won't find a statue of him in Paris today.

He led armies of thousands in triumph through treacherous territory, from the snows of the Alps to the sands of Egypt, and his true life stories inspired his son, Alexandre Dumas, to write The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

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5:06am

Sat September 15, 2012
Movie Interviews

Amy Adams: A Steely Wife Stands Behind 'The Master'

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 11:57 am

In Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, Amy Adams plays Peggy Dodd, the spouse of a charismatic spiritual leader, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Adams says her character is smart and educated but feels "more powerful behind a man than in front of a man."
The Weinstein Co.

Amy Adams has played a Disney princess, a puckish Amelia Earhart, an innocent young nun and a blogging Brooklynite who wants to follow the recipe for being Julia Child.

But she takes a more steely turn in her latest role in The Master, which has just opened in New York and Los Angeles. The film, written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, also stars Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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5:06am

Sat September 15, 2012
Books News & Features

A Father's Decades-Old Bedtime Story Is Back In Print

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 1:13 pm

One night in 1947, an intensely curious 5-year-old boy named Michael McCleery asked his father for a story. So his father, William McCleery, produced a tale that revolved around a wolf named Waldo, a hen named Rainbow, and another little boy, the son of a farmer, named Jimmy Tractorwheel. Over weeks and weeks, William serialized the story, telling it in installments to Michael and his best friend during bedtimes and Sunday afternoon outings.

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5:05am

Sat September 15, 2012
Middle East

U.S., Israel Divided Over 'Red Line' For Iran

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 7:27 am

President Obama talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in March. Netanyahu and the Obama administration clashed openly this week over the issue of Iran's nuclear program.
Amos Ben Gershom GPO via Getty Images

The Obama administration often talks about its strong bonds with Israel, but relations between the two leaders don't look that way at all.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Obama administration openly clashed over Iran this week. The White House also announced that President Obama would not have time to meet Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister is in the U.S. later this month.

The two men did have a lengthy phone conversation, but some say what they really need is a marriage counselor.

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1:03am

Sat September 15, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

Trouble In The Twin Cities: Two Orchestras In Labor Disputes

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:47 pm

The Minnesota Orchestra may go on strike after management proposed to cut musicians' salaries by 28 percent.
Courtesy of the Minnesota Orchestra

For a metro area of only about 3.5 million people, the Twin Cities region is unusual in the way it supports not one, but two world-class orchestras. Now, with looming deficits on the horizon and musicians' contracts at both the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra expiring Sept. 30, the Twin Cities may have two orchestras on strike.

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1:03am

Sat September 15, 2012
Music Interviews

Calexico: Road Songs For Wandering Souls

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 9:55 am

John Convertino and Joey Burns have been performing as Calexico since 1996. Their latest album is called Algiers.
Jairo Zavala Courtesy of the artist

At 11 a.m. on a weekday, Calexico rehearses for its upcoming tour in a cramped studio on the south side of Tucson, Ariz. The stereotypical musician would just be getting up, but lead singer and songwriter Joey Burns has been up since dawn with his twin baby girls.

Trumpet player Jacob Valenzuela arrives late to the rehearsal — and that's because his washing machine broke and he had to deal with a small flood. Valenzuela grabs his trumpet as the band launches into "Splitter," the first single from Calexico's new album.

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1:03am

Sat September 15, 2012
Music Interviews

Radiohead's Guitarist Adapts To Life In Widescreen

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 12:47 pm

Jonny Greenwood is responsible for the score of The Master and There Will Be Blood.
S. Katan Courtesy of the artist

Reviews of the new film The Master have ranged from acclaim to disdain. Almost all the critics, though, seem to admire the film's music, composed by Jonny Greenwood.

Greenwood's story begins in the early 1990s, when he was playing the viola at Oxford University and not making much of an impression — even on himself.

"I was headed for the back of the viola section in some orchestra," Greenwood says. "If I practiced hard enough."

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7:16am

Sat September 8, 2012
World

Haqqani Designation Complicates Pakistan Relations

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

After long deliberations, the U.S. State Department has designated one of Afghanistan's deadliest insurgent groups to be a terrorist organization. The Haqqani network has been blamed for many attacks on U.S. troops and the embassy in Afghanistan. Although the group is made up primarily of Afghan fighters, it is based in northwest Pakistan.

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7:16am

Sat September 8, 2012
Europe

Investors Comb Greece's Finances To Check On Bailout

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Envoys from what they call the Troika, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, are back in Greece today and will resume combing through the country's finances to determine if Greece ought to keep receiving bailout loans. They're also expected to push for more austerity measures in exchange for those loans.

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7:16am

Sat September 8, 2012
Music

Canadian Poet Inspires Men's Community Choir

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Leonard Cohen is known for distinctive, haunting and provocative songs. His music inspired one artist in the Bay Area with amounts to a vision: that there ought to be a community choir of men singing a cappella exclusively from the Leonard Cohen songbook. Lisa Morehouse spent some time with the group. They call themselves the Conspiracy of Beards.

LISA MOREHOUSE, BYLINE: The Beards, as they're known, don't all have beards, but they do stand out.

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