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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8:04am

Sat April 12, 2014
Author Interviews

Jackie Collins' Mob Princess Serves Up A Cookbook You Can't Refuse

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 12:52 pm

Courtesy of St. Martin's Press

Lucky Santangelo is a household name — at least, in those households where the shelves are packed with Jackie Collins novels. And considering there are more than 500 million copies sold, well, Santangelo's certainly got a fan base.

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8:04am

Sat April 12, 2014
Book News & Features

So You Need A Celebrity Book. Who Ya Gonna Call? Ghostwriters

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 12:33 pm

You might not notice their names on their book covers — and sometimes they're not named at all. But ghostwriters don't mind the anonymity.
Hobvias Sudoneighm (striatic) Flickr

The next time you're in a bookstore, take a look at the nonfiction shelf. See all those celebrity autobiographies — the memoirs of actors, athletes and politicians? Chances are, they're the work of a ghostwriter.

David Fisher is one of those invisible authors. He's ghostwritten over 70 books, adopting the voices of quarterback Terry Bradshaw, attorney Johnnie Cochran and actor and comedian Leslie Nielsen, among others.

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11:32am

Sat April 5, 2014
Health Care

With Enrollee Goal Met, Obamacare Still Faces Political Trial

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 12:03 pm

President Obama arrives in the Rose Garden on Tuesday to trumpet 7.1 million signups under the Affordable Care Act.
Carolyn Kaster AP

President Obama and his supporters had a rare opportunity to celebrate this week.

A last-minute surge in people signing up for health insurance sent the total government enrollment figures over the seven-million mark.

That number seemed out of reach just a few months ago, when a crash-prone website threatened to undermine the president's signature health care law.

Republicans are still bent on repealing the law, but now millions more Americans have a stake in Obamacare's survival.

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10:46am

Sat April 5, 2014
Africa

'Hotel Rwanda' Manager: We've Failed To Learn From History

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 12:38 pm

Paul Rusesabagina, who sheltered more than 1,000 people in his hotel during the Rwandan genocide, says the brutal violence in Syria, the Central African Republic and the Congo shows history repeats itself while people fail to learn from it.
Courtesy Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation

Paul Rusesabagina is a figure from history — a terrible history.

He was the manager of the Diplomat Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, 20 years ago, when the genocide of Rwanda's Tutsi people began. More than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus would be killed in just three months.

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6:52am

Sat April 5, 2014
Book Reviews

'In Paradise,' Matthiessen Considers Our Capacity For Cruelty

Originally published on

In his six-decade career, Peter Matthiessen has written 33 books, including The Snow Leopard and Shadow Country.
Linda Girvin Courtesy of Riverhead Books

At age 86, Peter Matthiessen has written what he says "may be his last word" — a novel due out Tuesday about a visit to a Nazi extermination camp. It's called In Paradise, and it caps a career spanning six decades and 33 books.

Matthiessen is the only writer to ever win a National Book Award in both fiction — for his last book, Shadow Country, and adult nonfiction for his 1978 travel journal, The Snow Leopard.

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6:52am

Sat April 5, 2014
Music Interviews

Puerto Rico's Most-Loved And Most-Hated Band

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 10:11 am

The bad boys of Puerto Rico have grown up. Step brothers Rene Perez Joglar and Eduardo Cabra of Calle 13 have a new album that takes a more thoughtful route to deliver their message.

6:52am

Sat April 5, 2014
Sports

Final Four Fans Bedeck Themselves In Team Colors

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 10:18 am

The men's Final Four in college basketball is Saturday in North Texas. With the teams come fans, some rabid in their love for for all things Huskies, Gators, Badgers and Wildcats.

12:28pm

Sat March 29, 2014
Politics

The Story Of Calif. Senator's Arrest Reads Like Pulp Fiction

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 3:04 pm

San Francisco state Sen. Leland Yee leaves the San Francisco Federal Building after he was arrested and released on bond Wednesday.
Ben Margot AP

It's a case that has stunned California's political community: A prominent Democratic lawmaker has been accused in a federal complaint of participating in an elaborate conspiracy involving guns, gangs, drugs and bribery.

State Sen. Leland Yee was known as a champion of open government and gun control, but not any more. A 137-page federal affidavit accuses the lawmaker of soliciting and taking bribes from an undercover FBI agent in exchange for political favors.

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11:51am

Sat March 29, 2014
Health Care

Latinos Wary Of All-Out Push To Sign Up For ACA

Planned Parenthood worker Alicia Gonzales promotes the Affordable Care Act during an outreach event for the Latino community in Los Angeles in September.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters /Landov

All throughout the country, supporters of the Affordable Care Act have worked to reach the uninsured, holding health fairs and putting ads on TV and radio.

The push continues to get as many enrolled as possible, especially Latinos — the most uninsured group in the country.

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10:36am

Sat March 29, 2014
Business

Boeing's Iconic 747 May Be Flying Into The Sunset

Sales of the airliner are flagging, and airlines are retiring their 747 fleets. The end may be near for the original "jumbo jet," but in its day, it offered an experience like no other.
Elaine Thompson AP

While global attention has been focused on Malaysia Airlines' missing 777 this week, Boeing's best-known aircraft, the 747, was also in the news. The Federal Aviation Administration ordered Boeing to immediately fix a software glitch that could cause problems during landing.

The software flaw is not the only problem for the enormous 747. Over four decades ago, it was the original "jumbo jet," but the newest version of Boeing's iconic plane has not sold well. On Monday, Japan's All Nippon Airways announced it will officially retire its aging 747 passenger fleet.

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7:09am

Sat March 29, 2014
Simon Says

A Bill To Distill Simmers In Tennessee

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 10:27 am

What legally makes whiskey taste like Tennessee?
Piotr Wawryniuk iStockphoto.com

Would Tennessee whiskey by any other name taste as sweet?

A debate in Tennessee simmers over a legal definition of what makes Tennessee whiskey "Tennessee."

The state legislature passed a bill last year saying whiskey can be labeled "Tennessee" only if it's made in the state from a mash that's 51-percent corn, trickles through maple charcoal, and is aged in new, charred oak barrels.

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6:59am

Sat March 29, 2014
History

Helen Keller's Glimpse Of Beethoven's 'Heavenly Vibration'

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 10:27 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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6:59am

Sat March 29, 2014
Author Interviews

'Lovesongs' Examines What It Means To Come Home

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 10:27 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

How long do good friends keep growing up with each other? Leland, or Lee, is a rock star. He tours the world but keeps coming back, if not back home, to the place where he grew up - Little Wing, Wisconsin, a fictitious Midwestern town that feels as real as Eau Claire, which is where the author, Nickolas Butler grew up. His new novel, "Shotgun Lovesongs" interlaces the stories of friends who keep coming back to each other and try to get hold of where they are in the world.

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11:22am

Sat March 22, 2014
Parallels

Always Watching: A Fragile Trust Lines The U.S.-Mexico Border

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 1:21 pm

Dob Cunningham (left) and his friend Larry Johnson look over the edge of Cunningham's 800-acre ranch in Quemado, Texas.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

We drove 2,428 miles on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and it's safe to say that for much of the road trip, we were being watched.

Border Patrol agents, customs officers, cameras, sensors, radar and aircraft track movement in the Borderland. None of that has stopped the struggle to control the border, or the debate over how best to do it.

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9:02am

Sat March 22, 2014
Parallels

Russia-U.S. Tensions Could Stall Syrian Chemical Weapons Removal

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 10:18 am

The Russian ship Pyotr Velikiy (Peter the Great), seen here docked in the Cypriot port of Limassol in February, is part of the team involved in escorting shipments of Syria's chemical weapons material for destruction.
AFP/Getty Images

As U.S.-Russian relations sour, some observers fear the plan to eliminate Syria's chemical arsenal might stall.

This past week, the removal of chemicals from Syria reached the halfway mark. Without pressure from both superpowers, however, some believe Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will begin to drag his feet.

"I think what you're likely to see is that the Assad regime will comply just enough, at a slower pace, as it consolidates its hold over the country militarily," says Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert, at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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