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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Simon Says
6:05 am
Sat August 16, 2014

Remembering The Highs And Lows Of Robin Williams

Actor Robin Williams, when he was Mork, in April 1978.
AP

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 12:37 pm

Why can't some of the people who seem to bring the most joy into this world find it for themselves?

The death of Robin Williams, by his own hand, in his own home, possibly after he learned he was in the early stages of Parkinson's, caused a lot of people to ask that question this week.

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Author Interviews
5:54 am
Sat August 16, 2014

An Unlikely Psychologist-Patient Friendship Unfolds In 'The Story Hour'

Thrity Umrigar has authored six novels and is a professor of English at Case Western Reserve University.
Robert Muller Thrity Umrigar

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 6:28 am

The Story Hour explores an unlikely — and medically unethical — friendship between a psychologist and a patient. "It's a bit of a mystical connection," novelist Thrity Umrigar tells NPR's Scott Simon.

Lakshmi is stuck in a loveless marriage. She works for her husband, whom she loathes, in a small restaurant. Dr. Maggie Bose takes Lakshmi on as a patient, but soon decides her patient doesn't need a shrink — she needs an escape.

Umrigar is the author of five previous novels, including Bombay Time and The Space Between Us.

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Europe
8:08 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Exasperating Detour Drives One Brit To Build His Own Road

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 9:40 am

Most people have been frustrated at least once in their driving lives by construction delays and detours.

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It's All Politics
7:36 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Perry And Cruz Do The Presidential Candidacy Dance

Texas Gov. Rick Perry highlighted his executive leadership at the annual RedState Gathering on Friday.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 9:40 am

It's the presidential race no one is talking about. Two Texas political stars are testing the waters for a run in 2016 — without mentioning it, of course.

Potential Republican candidates Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry spoke Friday at the annual meeting sponsored by the conservative website RedState, and both danced around the candidacy question.

Three years ago, at RedState's South Carolina get-together, Perry announced his 2012 presidential bid. This time, he made no announcement, but Perry sounded like he was giving a campaign speech.

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Religion
6:49 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Effort To Preserve Yiddish Works Not 'Bupkes'

Visitors look at an exhibit at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass.
Courtesy of the Yiiddish Book Center

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 9:40 am

The preservation of Yiddish as a spoken language gets more attention, but Yiddish once had a vibrant written tradition as well.

Plays, poetry, novels, political tracts — all were published in Yiddish until the Holocaust. A great deal of these works can now be found at the National Yiddish Book Center in Western Massachusetts.

The center was founded by Aaron Lansky, who began his efforts to save Yiddish books in 1980, while enrolled in a Jewish Studies program at McGill University in Montreal.

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Parallels
6:00 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Letter From Beyond The Grave: A Tale Of Love, Murder And Brazilian Law

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 7:23 am

The story of Lenira de Oliveira and her dead lover's letter is a tale of Brazil. It's a story of love, jealousy, forgiveness, life after death and the criminal court system. And it's true — though it sounds like fiction.

It sounds, in particular, like the work of the late Gabriel Garcia-Marquez.

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Sports
5:51 am
Sat August 9, 2014

With First Female Assistant Coach, Spurs Lead A Cultural Shift

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 9:40 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lourdes Garcia-Navarro. Time now for sports. Scott Simon is away this week so no talk of the Cubs. But B.J. Liederman still wrote our theme song.

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World
9:19 am
Sat August 2, 2014

Sanctions Target Russian Oil, But Will That Persuade Putin?

An oil refining factory owned by the Russian company Rosneft, outside the town of Achinsk, Russia, in 2013. The company says that hundreds of sites are being explored throughout the country as potential sources of oil and gas — but to tap those sites, Russia depends on Western companies.
Ilya Naymushin Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 10:48 am

Both the United States and Europe announced new economic sanctions this week against Russia for its role in the conflict in Ukraine. Among other things, Western companies will no longer be able to sell Russia new technologies to develop its oil fields.

The move comes at a time when oil exports have become more important than ever for the Russian economy.

President Obama says the sanctions are meant to send a strong message:

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Music Interviews
8:15 am
Sat August 2, 2014

No Lie: Shakira's 'Hips' Gets An Oxford Makeover

The Oxford a cappella group Out of the Blue.
Courtesy of Out of the Blue

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 1:13 pm

A group of undergraduate students in Oxford, England, must be pretty chuffed right now (that's how Brits say "pleased," by the way).

Why? They've managed to get the attention of Shakira, one of the biggest pop stars in the world:

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Author Interviews
6:34 am
Sat August 2, 2014

In 1879, Explorers Set Sail To Solve Arctic Mystery, Once And For All

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 9:25 am

It's hard for us to imagine now, but there was a time when people simply didn't know what was in the Arctic circle.

"Whether it was ice, whether it was sea, whether it was land, whether there was a civilization up there — there were a lot of weird theories about holes in the Earth," author Hampton Sides tells NPR's Scott Simon.

So in July 1879, more than 30 explorers set sail from San Francisco to find out. They were hoping to discover an unspoiled, verdant paradise at the top of the world which they could claim in the name of American exploration.

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Middle East
6:34 am
Sat August 2, 2014

Egypt's Shifting Role As Mideast Mediator

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 9:50 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Israel and Gaza continue to exchange fire today. Another humanitarian cease-fire that was supposed to last for 72 hours fell apart after mere hours.

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Movies
6:34 am
Sat August 2, 2014

What If 'Gone With The Wind' Had This Ending, Instead?

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 9:50 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Here's a scrap of alternative history that never came to be. "Gone With the Wind" ends with Scarlett O'Hara asking Rhett Butler, Rhett, Rhett, Rhett, if you go, where shall I go? What shall I do? - and Rhett replying.

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Around the Nation
6:34 am
Sat August 2, 2014

Comedian Irwin Corey Turns 100

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 9:50 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Professor Irwin Corey is known as the world's foremost authority.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM)

IRWIN COREY: Based on the state of inertia developing a centripetal force which is used as a catalyst more than a catalytic agent.

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Parallels
11:14 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Barrel Bomb Attacks Devastate Iraqi Families

Smoke rises from buildings in May after shelling on the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which is currently held by anti-government fighters. Rights workers say civilians are being killed by government attacks with so-called barrel bombs.
Sadam el-Mehmedy AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:44 am

Human rights groups are accusing the Iraqi government of indiscriminate bombing. Baghdad officials deny that and note they're fighting a Sunni insurgency that commits mass executions and suicide bombings.

Yet rights workers say civilians are being killed by government attacks with so-called barrel bombs — the crude weapons made famous in Syria's current conflict. Barrel bombs are illegal and indiscriminate explosives, packed in things like oil drums or gas cylinders.

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Sports
8:33 am
Sat July 26, 2014

NFL Faces Criticism Over Ray Rice Suspension From Ravens

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:32 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Remembrances
8:33 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Bel Kaufman Took Us 'Up The Down Staircase'

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:32 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Strange News
8:15 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Dressing Up As A T-Rex Is All Part Of The Job

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:32 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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NPR Story
6:35 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Bobby Patterson's 'Got More Soul,' Heart And Spirit

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:32 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

When it comes to music, Bobby Patterson is an old soul.

(SOUNDBITE OF A SONG, "I GOT MORE SOUL")

BOBBY PATTERSON: (Singing) Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Someone get the hose from Ms. Annie Rose because she's hotter than a $2 pistol.

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NPR Story
6:35 am
Sat July 26, 2014

'Back Channel' Turns Up White House Intrigue

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:32 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. When Stephen Carter's new novel opens, President Kennedy is alone in a bedroom with the beautiful intern. Did I say this was a novel? We'll let Professor Carter pick up his narrative.

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NPR Story
6:35 am
Sat July 26, 2014

If All The Ice Melts, What Happens To Hockey?

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:32 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Iraq
10:12 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Extremists Leave A Violent Message In A Small Iraqi Town

Thousands of Iraqis fleeing Sunni extremists fled to the Kurdish city of Erbil, where they lined up here on June 12 at a checkpoint before entering.
EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 8:49 am

A small Sunni Arab town north of Baghdad put up a fight when Sunni Muslim extremists from the so-called Islamic State tried to impose their rule on the town.

The residents lost, and now the town, Zowiya, just outside of Tikrit, is destroyed. More than 200 of its homes have been blown up, and the residents have fled.

The Islamic State leveled the town as a warning to anybody else that dares to fight them.

"My town is gone," says Abu Saad, a businessman in his sixties. "They bombed all our houses. Everything we have is gone."

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World
9:33 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Inspectors Struggle To Collect Evidence At MH17 Crash Site

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 10:11 am

At the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was downed in eastern Ukraine, inspector Michael Bociurkiw says rebels have allowed some access, but the inspectors are hampered by a lack of equipment.

Shots - Health News
8:30 am
Sat July 19, 2014

As New York Embraces HIV-Preventing Pill, Some Voice Doubts

Truvada has been around for a decade as a treatment for people who are already HIV-positive. In the last few years, it has also been shown to prevent new infections, and New York officials are embracing the pill as a way to prevent the spread of AIDS.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 9:22 pm

AIDS researchers and policymakers from around the globe are gathering in Melbourne, Australia, for a major international conference that starts this Monday. They'll be mourning dozens of colleagues who died in the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

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Music Interviews
6:11 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Marisa Ronstadt, Cousin Of Linda, Spans Genres For 'Moon'

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 9:45 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Marisa Ronstadt bears a musical name but she has her own style, which seems to be a mix of Mariachi, Classic Rock, Soul, R&B, Indie Pop - maybe she'll fill in any that we've missed. She's played music since she was seven and has her own band now "Marisa Ronstadt And The Know-It-All's." Their debut album is "Blueberry Moon." It's out now - let's hear a little.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BLUEBERRY MOON")

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Remembrances
6:05 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Elaine Stritch: 'I'm Not Easy'

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 9:45 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We want to take a moment now to remember Elaine Stritch. She died this week at the age of 89 after a career that ran for seven decades on Broadway and the West End, movies and television. She sang about "The Ladies Who Lunch" in her signature voice - gruff, bruised, but strong.

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Middle East
6:05 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Israel Intensifies Ground Operation In Gaza

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 9:45 am

International correspondent Ari Shapiro talks with NPR's Scott Simon from Jerusalem about about the second day of the Israeli military's ground operation of the Gaza Strip.

Animals
6:05 am
Sat July 19, 2014

In Tracking Bats, It Helps To Find Them Adorable

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 9:45 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This summer, we're hearing from young people who've landed unusual jobs - sometimes really unusual jobs. Today, we meet 27-year-old Julia Hoeh. Her job is downright batty. Reporter Daniel Potter caught up with her in the mountains of Tennessee and sent us this story.

DANIEL POTTER, BYLINE: Julia Hoeh works late - past midnight - and doesn't get done until around three a.m.

JULIA HOEH: We typically lead kind of the same nocturnal life that bats do.

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Opinion
8:56 am
Sat July 12, 2014

A Mother's Essay Challenges Assumptions About Poverty

Darlena Cunha says that she wrote her essay about her family's temporary poverty so her twin daughters would learn not to judge people on government assistance.
Courtesy of Darlena Cunha

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 10:09 am

The stereotype of the so-called welfare queen driving a luxury car while leaching off of society is an enduring one.

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Shots - Health News
8:18 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Searching For Stress Relief? Try Feeling Your Breath

Stressed? Try taking a fresh look at what's actually going on.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 10:12 am

Many Americans are swamped with stress, but there may be ways to ease the tension without changing the circumstances.

Almost half of all adults say they've experienced a major stressful event in the past year, according to a poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Meditation can help people cope, says author Sharon Salzberg, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Mass.

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Law
7:25 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Brooklyn DA Shifts Stance On Pot, But That Won't Impact NYPD

Outside New York City Hall, a policeman watches a protest against racial disparities in marijuana arrests. The majority of those arrested are black or Latino, even though those groups are not more likely to smoke pot.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 10:12 am

Marijuana enthusiasts should still think twice before lighting up in the streets of Brooklyn.

The borough's district attorney announced this week that he'll no longer prosecute most low-level marijuana possession cases. But not all law enforcement officials in New York City are on board. Police Commissioner William Bratton responded to Thompson's decision with a shrug.

"It will not have any impact on our officers and the discretion they have as they go about their business," says Bratton.

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