Weekend Edition - Saturday

Saturdays 8am to 10am

From civil wars in Bosnia and El Salvador, to hospital rooms, police stations, and America's backyards, National Public Radio's Peabody Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon brings a well-traveled perspective to his role as host of Weekend Edition Saturday.

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Law
8:18 am
Sat February 21, 2015

Police Are Learning To Accept Civilian Oversight, But Distrust Lingers

Late last month, a scuffle cut short a St. Louis Board of Aldermen meeting where a committee was to discuss a proposed civilian review board for the city's police force.
Robert Cohen Courtesy of St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 11:29 am

Late last month, during a meeting of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, a shoving match broke out among members of the public — some of them off-duty police officers.

The cause of the tension was a proposal to create a new civilian oversight authority for the police. Advocates of police reform like civilian oversight, but police officers say the boards are often politicized and unfair to them.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Sat February 21, 2015

There's A Reason We Say 'Self-Declared Islamic State'

Fighters from the self-declared Islamic State parade through Raqqa, Syria, in June 2014.
Raqqa Media Center AP

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 12:14 pm

Eight months after a notorious group of fighters in Iraq and Syria became regular characters in the news, NPR still begins most of its reports with words such as these:

-- "Self-declared Islamic State."

-- "Self-proclaimed Islamic State."

-- "The group that calls itself the Islamic State."

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Simon Says
6:56 am
Sat February 21, 2015

The Heavy Moral Weight Of Carnegie Mellon's 800 Botched Acceptances

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 7:20 am

A lot of people saw their hopes and dreams fulfilled this week — for just a few hours.

Carnegie Mellon University emailed about 800 people who had applied to graduate school to say, 'Congratulations, you're in.' They were — to quote the message of acceptance — "one of the select few" to be accepted into Carnegie Mellon's prestigious Master of Science in Computer Science program.

A young woman in India who was accepted wrote on Facebook that she quit her job, bolstered by this act of faith in her future. Her boyfriend proposed marriage.

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Around the Nation
6:03 am
Sat February 21, 2015

Superstorm Sandy Victims Say FEMA's Role Is Fatally Conflicted

Kathy Hanlon and her sons, Sergio (left) and Cristian, were traumatized by Superstorm Sandy. Hanlon says her flood insurance company made life after Sandy even more horrible
Charles Lane NPR

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 7:20 am

After Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Kathy Hanlon's life crumbled. Her Long Beach, N.Y., home had no electricity, her family was traumatized and one of her sons was getting sick. On top of that, there was the bureaucratic maze of flood insurance.

"I cried many times because I was so angry when I got off the phone with the insurance company," Hanlon says. "It was demeaning. We had to send them things repeatedly. We had to wait for phone calls. We had to wait for people to come visit the house."

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Sports
6:03 am
Sat February 21, 2015

NASCAR And Mayweather Vs. Pacquiao: The Week In Sports

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 7:20 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Music Interviews
6:03 am
Sat February 21, 2015

The Mavericks Release An Album, Minus Robert Reynolds

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 7:20 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Music Interviews
6:03 am
Sat February 21, 2015

Pussy Riot Releases Its First Song In English

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 7:20 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
8:15 am
Sat February 14, 2015

Around The U.S., Voting Technology Is All Over The Place

Election worker Bradley Kryst loads voting machines onto a truck at the Clark County election warehouse on Nov. 3, in North Las Vegas. As voting machine technology changes, state elections officials are trying to keep up.
John Locher AP

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 10:46 am

Remember all that new voting equipment purchased after the 2000 presidential election, when those discredited punch card machines were tossed out? Now, the newer machines are starting to wear out.

Election officials are trying to figure out what to do before there's another big voting disaster and vendors have lined up to help.

During their annual meeting in Washington, D.C., this week, state election officials previewed the latest voting equipment from one of the industry's big vendors, Election Systems and Software.

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Around the Nation
6:43 am
Sat February 14, 2015

West Coast Port Closures Are Hitting Several Industries Hard

A few trucks move along the docks at the Port of Los Angeles on Thursday. Seaports in major West Coast cities that normally are abuzz with the sound of commerce are falling unusually quiet due to an ongoing labor dispute.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Sat February 14, 2015 10:53 am

No cargo will go in or out of 29 West Coast ports this weekend.

It's the third partial shutdown in operations at these ports in a week, the result of a bitter labor dispute between shipping lines and the union representing 20,000 dock workers. The dispute has been dragging on for eight months, and now the economic impacts of the shutdown are starting to be felt.

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Fine Art
5:32 am
Sat February 14, 2015

In Art For The Blind, Touching Exhibits Is Mandatory

Originally published on Sat February 14, 2015 8:15 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sports
5:32 am
Sat February 14, 2015

Basketball's All-Star Weekend Kicks Off

Originally published on Sat February 14, 2015 8:15 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Animals
5:32 am
Sat February 14, 2015

Thanks To Technology, Toucan Gets A Second Beak On Life

Originally published on Sat February 14, 2015 8:15 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Environment
9:19 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Climate Change Puts Alaska's Sled Dog Races On Thin Ice

The sun sets over a swath of black spruce forest blanketed by a thin layer of snow in Alaska's interior. Unseasonably warm weather has Alaskans worried about the impact of climate change on dog sledding.
Emily Schwing NPR

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 2:20 pm

For more than 30 years, the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog race, which begins Saturday, has followed the Yukon River between Whitehorse, Canada, and Fairbanks, Alaska.

A little open water along the Yukon Quest trail is nothing new, but in recent years, long unfrozen stretches of the Yukon River have shaken even the toughest mushers.

Last year, musher Hank DeBruin of Ontario had stopped along the Yukon River to rest his dog team in the middle of the night, when the ice started to break up.

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Simon Says
9:19 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Oscar Romero, The Murdered Archbishop Who Inspires The Pope

People look at a portrait of Oscar Romero at the cathedral of San Salvador, where as archbishop he resisted a brutal regime. He was murdered and the Vatican has declared him a martyr.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis and the Vatican have recognized Oscar Romero as a martyr. This may move the name of the late archbishop of San Salvador a little further in the process that could one day make him a saint.

But being deemed a martyr is also holy. It means the church believes his life can inspire people; Pope Francis has said Romero inspires him.

Romero was considered a kindly, orthodox conservative parish priest when Pope Paul appointed him archbishop in 1977. He did not question El Salvador's ruling regime.

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Television
5:56 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Family Flees To 'Schitt's Creek' — That's 'Schitt' With A C

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 9:19 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Music Interviews
5:56 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Grammys Show Producer Explains The Origin Of Onstage Mashups

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 9:45 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Author Interviews
5:56 am
Sat February 7, 2015

An Expansive View Of Vietnam In 'She Weeps Each Time You're Born'

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 9:44 am

A woman named Rabbit is a kind of miracle: She was pulled out of her dead mother's grave beside the Ma River in Vietnam, on the night of a full moon — when folklore says that a rabbit walks the moon. Rabbit is the center of poet and author Quan Barry's new novel, She Weeps Each Time You're Born.

The Vietnam War is raging; American troops have just begun to pull out, and Rabbit grows up in a landscape of leveled homes, shattered lives, and barren, poisoned fields, her life slipping between present tense and parable.

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Animals
5:56 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Birders Predict Another Snowy Owl 'Irruption'

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 9:46 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Book News & Features
5:56 am
Sat February 7, 2015

From 'Game Of Thrones' Pitch Letter: No One Is Safe

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 9:19 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
9:41 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Four Years After Revolution, Libya Slides Into Chaos

Bullet holes from recent clashes riddle an apartment building in Tripoli.
Bilal Hussein AP

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 1:55 pm

There was hope in Libya and around the world for Libya after Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown four years ago.

But today, Libya is a country torn apart. There are now two competing governments, in different cities with their own parliaments and their own military.

A traveler first needs a visa from one government to land in Tripoli, then a so-called "landing permission" to fly east to the other government's territory — and has to hopscotch around jihadist-controlled areas along the way.

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Education
9:16 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Party Ban Is Patronizing, U.Va. Sorority Women Say

University of Virginia students walk to fraternities at the start of rush week. Sorority women are always invited to Boys' Bid Night, but this year national sororities have ordered women to stay clear.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 4:00 pm

Saturday is Boys' Bid Night at the University of Virginia, when fraternities welcome their new members.

Women from U.Va.'s sororities are always invited to join the Boys' Bid Night party, but this year, they're under strict orders from national sorority presidents to stay clear of frat houses. The orders come after a Rolling Stone article about a gang rape at U.Va. that was later discredited.

But the women at U.Va.'s sororities are outraged, calling the ban unnecessary and patronizing.

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Remembrances
5:37 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Rod McKuen, The Cheeseburger To Poetry's Haute Cuisine

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:14 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Europe
5:37 am
Sat January 31, 2015

An Arctic Institution, Sweden's Ice Hotel Turns 25

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:08 am

This year marks 25 years of the original Ice Hotel, carved from snow and ice bricks in far northern Sweden. This story originally aired on All Things Considered on Jan. 29, 2015.

Sports
5:37 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Super Bowl And Skullduggery: The Week In Sports

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:10 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Simon Says
7:05 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Let's Play Two! Remembering Chicago Cub Ernie Banks

Chicago Cub Ernie Banks, right, told NPR's Scott Simon, left, in 2014 that he had a lot of fun winning games, but the main thing in his life was "making friends."
Peter Breslow NPR

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 10:00 am

Every Saturday just before our show begins I get on the public address system here to announce to our crew, "It's a beautiful day for a radio show. Let's do two today!"

It's an admiring imitation of Ernie Banks, the Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame baseball player who died last night at the age of 83. Ernie used to say, especially in the long years of hot summers — including this last one, when the Cubs were stuck in last place — "It's a beautiful day for a ballgame. Let's play two today!"

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Author Interviews
6:42 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Why A Black Man's Murder Often Goes Unpunished In Los Angeles

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 10:15 am

In the State of the Union this week, President Obama noted that crime in America is down. "For the first time in 40 years," he said, "the crime rate and the incarceration rate have come down together."

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Sports
6:42 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Remembering Ernie Banks, A Fan Favorite Whose Favorite Was The Fans

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 9:29 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Technology
6:42 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Facebook Aims To Weed Fakes From Your News Feed

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 1:50 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Latin America
6:42 am
Sat January 24, 2015

In Argentinian Murder Mystery, Prosecutor's Death Spawns Many Suspects

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 1:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Latin America
8:51 am
Sat January 17, 2015

Traveling To Cuba Getting Easier, But Expect Turbulence On The Way

Travelers wait to check in for charter flights from Miami to Havana at Miami International Airport.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 2:03 pm

New rules that went into effect on Friday mark the biggest change in U.S. relations with Cuba in more than 50 years.

While tourism remains off-limits, the Obama administration opened new opportunities in Cuba for banks, airlines, telecommunications companies and regular Americans.

For the first time in decades, under the new rules, Americans who don't have family on the island can travel to Cuba without receiving special permission from the U.S. government.

No Tourists Allowed — Yet

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