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.

President Obama responded sharply this week when a reporter asked if he was "content" to celebrate the nuclear deal with Iran when at least three and possibly four Americans are being held in Iranian jails.

"Nobody's content," he said, "and our diplomats and our teams are working diligently to try to get them out."

At least one former American hostage thinks the deal is worth signing, despite the remaining hostages.

This week, Tour de France riders cranked through three grueling days in the Pyrenees mountains. Once more, they've all made the curious decision not to just get off their bikes and take a bus like sensible people.

Be that as it may, the Alps are still to come, and there's plenty of pedaling to go before they sprint into Paris on July 26.

So, while fans await that triumphant homecoming, there's no better time to turn to know-it-all journalist A.J. Jacobs. He takes NPR's Scott Simon on a tour of their own, talking trivia with a bit of bicycling lore.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Change of mood now. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

"Extreme." "Unprecedented." "Historic." Those are just a few of the words being used to describe the start of this year's fire season in North America.

The wildfires are centered in the northwest of the continent, but their consequences are far-reaching. Thick smoke has blanketed parts of Wisconsin and North Dakota. It's triggered air alerts in Minnesota and Montana and muddied skies as far south as Tennessee and Colorado.

And, of course, things are even worse at the source.

Our days are full of things to remember, and they don't always arrive in an orderly fashion. Perhaps you begin your commute home and remember that you need to pick up milk. But then immediately, another to-do springs to mind: You never called back your friend last week. You may try to hold both in your head, but in the end the milk, the phone call or both still sometimes fall away, forgotten.

A new scientific model of forgetting is taking shape, which suggests keeping multiple memories or tasks in mind simultaneously can actually erode them.

Wimbledon, Golf And The Week In Sports

Jul 11, 2015
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WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

The movie "Forrest Gump" came out more than 20 years ago and it's still inspiring people.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "FORREST GUMP")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As reporter) Why are you running?

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It's been wet in Texas this year — exceptionally wet, as a matter of fact. With record amounts of rain, Texas is more than a little hot, green and rife with happy insects.

Take the tarantula hawk, for example. In case you've never heard of it, it's a wasp that's so big, and so nasty, that it attacks tarantulas — who happen to be quite big and nasty themselves.

So, what does a happy tarantula hawk look like? Ben Hutchins, an invertebrate biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, takes NPR's Wade Goodwyn through all the gruesome wasp-on-tarantula details.

In the dirty, crowded, and impoverished immigrant barrios of Buenos Aires of 1913, a 17-year-old girl arrives with little more than some clothes and her grandfather's violin.

Her name is Leda, and she's the character at the heart of Carolina De Robertis' third novel, The Gods of Tango.

Leda, an Italian girl, was sent for by her cousin-husband, but widowed before her ship even lands in South America. She soon finds comfort and excitement in a new kind of music that's filling the city's courtyards, bars and brothels: the tango.

It's controlled after-school anarchy at the Christian-Carter household. Seven-year-old Chloe has rolled herself up in an exercise mat in the living room of the family's Oakland, Calif., home.

"Look I'm a burrito," Chloe shouts.

Her 4-year-old sister, Jackie, swoops in for a bite — and a hard push.

"Ow!" Chloe shouts. "Mom! Jackie pushed me!"

When Secretary of State John Kerry goes to Havana to raise a flag over the soon to be reopened embassy this summer, it won't be just an important symbolic moment.

The administration says the U.S. will be able to station more American personnel in Cuba, and that should be a big help in practical terms as more Americans travel to and trade with the Cold War-era foe.

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ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

Remembering 'Britain's Schindler'

Jul 4, 2015
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ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

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ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

Ladies and gentlemen, light your fuses.

(SOUNDBITE OF FIREWORKS)

From 1891 until 1990, just shy of a century, Phoenix Indian School boarded students from Navajo, Apache and other tribes across the Southwest.

Patty Talahongva is a Hopi who went to Phoenix Indian until 1979. By then, attendance was voluntary. That wasn't the case for generations of students before her.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Tens of thousands of people have been gathering in the Belgian countryside over the last week to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo. The bloody battle of June 18, 1815, marked the final defeat for Napoleon at the hands of a coalition of his enemies. The re-enactment is attracting history buffs, tourists and wannabe soldiers.

Volunteer Rangers Work To Rein In Antler Poachers

Jun 20, 2015

The trick to looking for antlers in the wild — if you're going about it ethically — is to keep your eyes to the ground.

"You're trying to just find something that looks out of the ordinary," Rob Tanner says.

Tanner and his brother-in-law Troy Capps are hiking around juniper trees and bitterbrush in the high-desert terrain of central Oregon. They're looking for antlers that were shed by deer or elk, otherwise known as shed hunting.

"It's just an adrenaline rush," Tanner says. "It's like, 'Oh, you know, this could be the one.' "

Construction workers clamp scaffolding onto the historic facade of Colmado Quilez, an old-fashioned general store selling wine and cheese in downtown Barcelona.

One hundred years ago, customers rolled up here in horse-drawn carts. Now BMWs park on the Rambla de Catalunya, which has become one of Barcelona's poshest avenues.

So posh, in fact, that this family business can no longer afford to stay.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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The first time I went inside Clinton Correctional Facility was more than a decade ago.

I was there to do a story about the architecture and history of this maximum security prison, built in the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York in the 1840s. It was a rare glimpse of a world and a culture few people ever see.

When Feeding The Homeless Runs Afoul Of The Law

Jun 13, 2015

Every Tuesday night, Joan Cheever hits the streets of San Antonio to feed the homeless. In a decade, she's rarely missed a night. But on a recent, windy Tuesday, something new happens.

The police show up.

"He says we have to have a permit," Cheever says. "We have a permit. We are a licensed nonprofit food truck."

Cheever runs a nonprofit called the Chow Train. Her food truck is licensed by the city. On this night, she has loaded the back of a pickup with catering equipment and hot meals and driven to San Antonio's Maverick Park, near a noisy downtown highway.

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