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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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
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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7:16am

Sat September 8, 2012
Author Interviews

'Yankee Miracles': Rising Through Baseball Ranks

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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7:16am

Sat September 8, 2012
Politics

Labor Report Has Romney And Obama On Down Note

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The presidential candidates are back on the campaign trail, sprinting, now that the political conventions are behind them. President Obama and Mitt Romney were both in Iowa and New Hampshire yesterday. Both of their message were affected by some bad news on the job's front as NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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7:16am

Sat September 8, 2012
Europe

Violence Seizes French Port City

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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7:16am

Sat September 8, 2012
Sports

A Star At U.S. Open, NFL Opens, Paralympics To Close

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: (Singing) Ah, to remember the kind of September.... The seasons are flipping, and so Serena's poised to win again, not just today. NFL season opens in earnest, and the real Olympic spirit still lives on in London. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us.

Morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Seasons are flipping, I fear you are too.

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: Tom, I'll make the jokes here, please.

GOLDMAN: Thank you.

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7:16am

Sat September 8, 2012
Politics

Split Polls In Iowa Boost State's Importance

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The bright lights of the political conventions dimmed. President Obama and Mitt Romney hit the campaign trail Friday. Both candidates headed for the politically critical states of Iowa and New Hampshire. We asked reporters in those both those places to find out how voters are feeling about the two questions that dominated the conventions: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? And which presidential candidate has the best plan for country? We go first to Sarah McCammon of Iowa Public Radio.

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7:16am

Sat September 8, 2012
Europe

Europe Debt Plan Raises Hopes, With Much To Do

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Once again, this week, European officials sat down and tried to figure out what to do about the debt crisis, and once again, they came up with a plan that they say will help heavily indebted countries, including Spain and Italy, turn a corner. Investors seemed to like the plan. Stock prices rose, but the plan still faces hurdles, including a major court ruling in Germany next week.

NPR's Jim Zarroli joins us from Berlin. Jim, thanks for being with us.

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7:16am

Sat September 8, 2012
Around the Nation

The Burn Of Unemployment Still Stings New Hampshire

Transcript

JOSH ROGERS, BYLINE: I'm Josh Rogers in Concord, New Hampshire. Pretty much every poll in this race shows the Granite State as a tossup. Economic issues tend to dominate here, and even though New Hampshire has weathered the recession relatively well - unemployment stands at just 5.2 percent - you wouldn't know it by talking to voters at Manchester's Red Arrow Diner.

NEAL POITRAS: I ran into a tough situation where I actually bought a house five years ago and I just recently sold it for a $46,000 loss.

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7:16am

Sat September 8, 2012
Presidential Race

Will Convention Give Obama A Boost In N.C.?

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Democrats in North Carolina are hoping to extend the momentum of the convention, organizing to get out the vote in November. President Obama narrowly won the state four years ago, but recent polls have shown Mitt Romney now ahead. The weak economy still looms over their organizing efforts. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

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7:16am

Sat September 8, 2012
Health

What To Do In Case Of A Zombie Apocalypse

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now to an odd potential problem here.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME FROM "THE WALKING DEAD")

SIMON: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging all Americans to...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Prepare for the zombie apocalypse.

SIMON: At least a zombie visit. They even put a to-do list on their "Public Health Matters" blog. The guidelines don't much resemble the rules of survival in the movie "Zombieland."

(SOUNDBITE OF THE MOVIE, "ZOMBIELAND")

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7:16am

Sat September 8, 2012
Middle East

Inside Security Council Talks On Syria

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Last week, the French ended their rotation at the head of United Nations Security Council. Their permanent representative, Ambassador Gerard Araud, had one preeminently difficult issue on his agenda while in charge. And, of course, that was the question of what to do about Syria. Ambassador Araud joins us from his office in New York City. Mr. Ambassador, thanks very much for being with us.

AMBASSADOR GERARD ARAUD: Good morning.

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