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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Opinion
6:17 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Can A Change Of Heart Beat The Flip-Flop Charge?

President Barack Obama told ABC this week that he supports gay marriage.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 12:46 pm

Most Americans give politicians low marks for sincerity and see every decision they reach as a cold, poll-driven calculation. Often enough, it is. Politicians, after all, have asked pollsters where they should spend their summer vacations.

Yet when pundits and interest groups urge politicians to change their minds and they do, they're assailed for flip-flopping.

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House & Senate Races
5:52 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Indiana Senate Race: The Bigger Picture

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 7:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

From Wisconsin, we head over to Indiana, where this week, six-term Republican Senator Richard Lugar lost by a landslide to State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who was supported by the Tea Party.

Now, Senator Lugar was known for working with senators on the other side of the aisle to pass legislation. That may not be the political flavor of the month in his party or his state.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:03 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Roman Totenberg: A Musical Life Remembered

At 101, Roman Totenberg was teaching students up to the very end of his life.
Suzanne Kreiter The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:54 pm

[Roman Totenberg was a child prodigy who became a violin virtuoso, as well as a master teacher who passed along his command of craft and his love of music — and life — to thousands. He was also the man you wanted to sit next to at the table because he was so funny. Totenberg died this week at the age of 101, surrounded by loving family, friends and students. We asked his daughter, Nina Totenberg, for this remembrance. — Scott Simon]

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Author Interviews
8:26 am
Sun May 6, 2012

The 'Marvelous' Rise Of King Henry's Adviser

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 1:57 pm

When Hilary Mantel's new book opens, the spark has gone out of Henry VIII's second marriage. His roving eye leaves Anne Boleyn and begins to settle on Jane Seymour, another woman at court. The monarch doesn't go to a marriage counselor or divorce lawyer, not when Thomas Cromwell is his chief adviser.

Bring Up the Bodies is the sequel to Wolf Hall, which won the Man Booker Prize and worldwide acclaim. It is also the latest in a planned trilogy about Cromwell.

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NPR Story
10:52 am
Sat May 5, 2012

French Election Marks A Fork In The Road

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

The French presidential runoff is tomorrow. President Nicolas Sarkozy and his opponent Socialist candidate Francois Hollande represent two different visions for their country.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley sends this report.

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From Our Listeners
5:11 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Your Letters: A Tale Of Injustice

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 4:13 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF LETTERS THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: The name that kept popping up in our email box this week was Michael Morton. He was the subject of a report last Saturday by NPR's Wade Goodwyn, who told the story of how Mr. Morton was convicted in 1987 of murdering his wife, Christine, near Austin, Texas. He was innocent, but served almost 25 years in prison.

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NPR Story
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Clinton Leaves China, But Activist's Story Isn't Over

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has left China after a diplomatic roller coaster of a trip fraught with human drama. Now, this revolved around the fate of Chen Guangcheng, the blind dissident who is still in a Beijing hospital. But last night, China indicated that it would let Mr. Chen apply for permission to study overseas, hinting at a way out of the crisis that had overshadowed the summit Secretary Clinton had gone to China to attend. Our Beijing correspondent Louisa Lim joins us. Louisa, thanks for being with us.

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NPR Story
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Adam Yauch Gave Distinct Sound To Genre-Bending Band

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A famous trio has lost a member. Whether you knew him as Adam Yauch, Nathanial Hornblower or MCA, he brought a distinct sound to a genre-bending band.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

BEASTIE BOYS: (Singing) ...if what you get is what you see, c'mon...

SIMON: MCA was a founding member of the Beastie Boys, a band that helped make hip-hop mainstream. Now, before they rapped, the Beastie Boys were just punks.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TIME FOR LIVIN' ")

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NPR Story
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Testimony In John Edwards' Trial Gets Personal

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The federal corruption trial of John Edwards continued this week in Greensboro, North Carolina. Government witnesses painted an ugly portrait of the former senator and presidential candidate. But the prosecution may have been less successful in making the case that he deliberately violated campaign finance law. North Carolina Public Radio's Jeff Tiberii was in the courtroom.

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From Our Listeners
7:12 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Your Letters: Veterans And Record Nostalgia

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 10:22 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for Your Letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Many of you were moved by our story about the Soldier Ride, a four-day cycling event organized by the Wounded Warriors Project. Iraq War veteran Sergeant Michael Owens spoke about why he rides.

SERGEANT MICHAEL SULLIVAN: I think it's really important for warriors and veterans like myself to be able to know that we can still do the same things we did before, or new things that we never tried before.

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NPR Story
5:50 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Sports: NBA Playoffs About To Begin

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 10:22 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon, and time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The NBA playoffs are about to begin. Will LeBron James and the Miami Trio live up to their promise? Will Metta World Peace ever live up to his name? And will Albert Pujols ever live up to his salary?

NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Morning, Tom.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Happy opening day of the playoffs day to you, Scott.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

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NPR Story
5:50 am
Sat April 28, 2012

The Woes Washington Baseball Fans

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 10:22 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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NPR Story
5:50 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Hollywood's Garry Marshall Shares His 'Happy Days'

Host Scott Simon talks to actor, director, writer and producer Garry Marshall about his new memoir My Happy Days In Hollywood and his long and successful career.

Simon Says
8:19 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Prostitution's Real Casualties Aren't Secret Service

Six U.S. Secret Service agents have lost their jobs so far after a prostitution scandal that took place at the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena, Colombia, just before President Obama's arrival at the Summit of the Americas conference earlier this month.
Manuel Pedraza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 8:46 am

I've been curious about a question I haven't heard in the stories about U.S. Secret Service agents misbehaving before President Obama's arrival at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.

Why were world leaders meeting in a place with legalized prostitution?

There might have been a time — after I saw Toulouse-Lautrec's poignant paintings of life in Paris brothels, or Billy Wilder's clever Irma la Douce — when I thought of prostitution as a harmless enterprise between consenting adults.

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From Our Listeners
5:41 am
Sat April 21, 2012

A Clarification: No First-Class Flying Here

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 8:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A small clarification now: A few weeks ago on this program, Tom Goldman told us that he was about to catch a flight to Denver to cover the NCAA Women's Basketball championships. I joked: By the way, United Airlines, if you're listening, please upgrade Mr. Goldman - our compliments.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: I'm already first-class.

SIMON: In all ways, my friend.

GOLDMAN: Oops, did I say that?

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NPR Story
9:15 am
Sat April 14, 2012

A Political Tempest In A Tweetpot

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Spring Playoffs In Sports

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPORTS THEME MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: Its spring and its playoffs, the march to the Stanley Cup is under way in hockey. NBA teams are still jostling for spots in their post-season.

Joining us to sort it all out is NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman.

Hey, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hello.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

'The Lifeboat': Who Gets Saved In Titanic Times?

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now, a piece of fiction inspired by the Titanic's fateful voyage. In the weeks leading up to the anniversary of the famous shipwreck, a cluster of books have been released looking back on the voyage. But the book that caught the eye of NPR's Lynn Neary is invented. It's the story of a fictional shipwreck that occurred two years after the Titanic. It's called "Lifeboat." Here's her report.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Romney Talks Freedom At NRA Conference

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Linda Wertheimer. After a long, turbulent primary season, Mitt Romney is now fully in general election mode. With Rick Santorum out of the race, Romney is trying to clarify the differences between himself and President Obama. He's also trying to nail down his support from the Republican base. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from St. Louis on Romney's speech yesterday, to the annual convention of the National Rifle Association.

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The Record
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Indian Record Label Hits The Road To Save Traditional Music

Sakar Khan with his kamancha in his home in Hamira, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. He's passed his favorite kamancha — the one he got from his father — to his son, Darra. But this one plays just fine, if he's the guy playing it.
Michael Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 2:24 pm

The number of major record labels is down to three. But that's not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to promoting music that's out of the mainstream. A label called Amarrass Records, founded in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is dedicated to exposing and preserving indigenous folk music before it disappears.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

As Brazil Grows, U.S. Refits Relationship

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now that President Obama is in Cartagena, he'll begin the conversations about trade and business opportunities in Latin America. But the Summit of the Americas is not the first meeting this week for President Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

On Monday, Rousseff visited the White House. And after this weekend's summit, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will head to that Brazil's capital, Brasilia.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

World Powers Meet With Iran For Nuclear Talks

Originally published on Sun April 15, 2012 6:43 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Ahead Of Summit, Obama Underscores Growing Exports

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

President Obama is in Colombia today, along with 33 leaders, gathered for the Summit of the Americas. During his visit, the president hopes to highlight growing economic ties within the region. On his way to Colombia, Mr. Obama made a swing-state pit-stop in Tampa, Florida.

NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Secret Service Agents Recalled From Colombia

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

As the Summit of the Americas gets under way today, there is one embarrassing incident which threatens to distract from international efforts to focus on trade and the economy. Twelve U.S. Secret Service agents have already been sent home for alleged misconduct involving prostitutes in Cartagena. The agents have been replaced and the Secret Service says its security plans at the summit has not been compromised.

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Books
4:02 am
Sat April 14, 2012

'Prague Fatale': 'Downton Abbey With SS'

Penguin USA

Philip Kerr is a British novelist, born a decade after the end of World War II, who has written a series of compelling thrillers about crime in wartime Nazi Germany. His hero — mostly a hero — is a tough and cynical Berliner, a cop named Bernie Gunther. The newest book is the eighth in the series; it's called Prague Fatale.

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Music Interviews
3:04 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

The Magnetic Fields: 'Out Late At A Bar, Writing A Song'

Stephin Merritt (far left) has led The Magnetic Fields since the early 1990s, with a songwriting style that ranges from sincere to bitter to ironic.
Marcelo Krasilcic

For more than 20 years, the indie-pop group The Magnetic Fields has been singing songs about love, though not always in the traditional sense. With a style that ranges from bitter to sincere to ironic, Stephin Merritt — the group's frontman, writer and producer — has created a growing cast of characters surviving love's vicissitudes.

In his characteristic deadpan, Merritt tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer that he owes the inspiration for many of those characters to a particular ritual of his.

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Simon Says
6:43 am
Sat April 7, 2012

Bosnia Remembers When The World Looked Away

Red chairs fill a main street in Sarajevo on Friday as the city marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the Bosnian war. Officials lined up 11,541 chairs in 825 rows to represent the 11,541 Sarajevans who were killed during the siege.
Amel Emric AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:53 am

I think that one of the great works of humankind runs below an airport runway in Sarajevo.

Sixty-six feet of a 3,000-foot-long tunnel built during the Siege of Sarajevo have been restored. Twenty years ago this weekend, the city was surrounded by Serb armies, who rained down mortar, rockets and sniper fire.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 7, 2012

The 'Heart Of Spiritual Life': Joy, Not Happiness

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Tomorrow, Christians all over the world will observe Easter Sunday with joy. But what is joy? Not just happiness, laughs, or satisfaction, but joy? We turn to Father James Martin. He's a Jesuit priest, a contributing editor to America Magazine, and the author of "Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter Are at the Heart of Spiritual Life." He joins us from our studios in New York.

Jim, thanks for being with us.

FATHER JAMES MARTIN: My pleasure.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 7, 2012

On A Mission: What The U.N. Faces In Syria

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

So, what's the situation facing the United Nations team on the ground in Syria this weekend? For more on the kinds of challenges that Norwegian Major General Robert Mood and his staff will face, we're joined by Peter Harling. Mr. Harling is Middle East project director with the International Crisis Group. He's in and out of Syria frequently, and he joins us by Skype from Cairo. Mr. Harling, thanks for being with us.

PETER HARLING: Thank you.

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NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 7, 2012

Embattled D.C. School District Has A New Vibe

Originally published on Sat April 7, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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