Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturday at 6am

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.

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NPR Story
9:26 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Veteran Journalist Helen Thomas Leaves An Outspoken Legacy

Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas broke barriers and became a White House fixture, but her famous bluntness caused her downfall in the end.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 1:09 pm

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NPR Story
5:23 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Neorealism Goes Hollywood

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 2:48 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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NPR Story
5:23 am
Sat July 20, 2013

European Films In Russia's Heartland

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 2:48 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. For the past few years, in July the Russia provincial town of Vologda has hosted a European Film Festival. Vologda is a sleepy city far from the Russian metropolises of Moscow and St. Petersburg, and every year the arrival of European filmmakers and actors to the Russian heartland is a very special event.

This year, NPR's Eleanor Beardsley attended the festival.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLS RINGING)

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NPR Story
5:23 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Enlisting Passers-By In Scientific Research

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 2:48 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Scientific research can be expensive, but a lack of funds did not stop one scientist in Buffalo from moving forward with his project. State University of New York professor Chris Lowry came up with a creative and cheap way to get measurements on stream levels across the state by crowdsourcing his research.

Chris Lowry joins us from member station WBFO in Buffalo, New York. Professor Lowry, thank you very much for coming in.

CHRIS LOWRY: Oh, thanks for having me.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:02 am
Sat July 20, 2013

A Veteran's Piercing True Story Leaps From Page To Stage

The Long Walk, Brian Castner's memoir of PTSD and a difficult homecoming, will soon be an opera.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 4:26 pm

Iraq veteran Brian Castner wrote a book about his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder for his kids, so they could someday know what he'd been going through when he came home from war.

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The Salt
2:58 am
Sat July 20, 2013

From Ramen To Rotini: Following The Noodles Of The Silk Road

In Turkey, bits of meat are wrapped in squares of pasta to make manti.
thebittenworld Flickr

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 5:22 pm

Popular lore has it that the Italian merchant Marco Polo was responsible for introducing the noodle to China. This legend appeals to Italians, but if you ask the Chinese, they may beg to differ.

In her latest book, On the Noodle Road, author Jen Lin-Liu chronicles a six-month journey along the historic Silk Road from eastern China, through central Asia, Turkey, Iran and eventually arriving in Italy, in search of the true origin of the noodle.

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News
2:57 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Detroit Businesses See Opportunity In Bankruptcy

The Detroit skyline gleams from Grand River Ave., a major thoroughfare into some of the city's blighted neighborhoods.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 2:48 pm

Few Detroiters think the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history is great news.

But plenty see it as an opportunity. Many Detroit business owners hope the bankruptcy will mean more stability and certainty, in a city that has had little of either in recent years.

Sandy Baruah, head of the Detroit Regional Chamber, says the bankruptcy filing did not come as a surprise to him, nor should it surprise anybody else.

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News
2:56 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Obama Breaks His Silence On Trayvon Martin Verdict

"Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," President Obama told the press Friday.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 2:48 pm

President Obama broke his silence on the Trayvon Martin shooting case Friday, speaking publicly for the first time since a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman.

Obama didn't question the jury's not-guilty verdict, but he spoke in unusually personal terms about the history and experiences that shape the way African-Americans in particular see the case.

He spoke frankly about the pain the Trayvon Martin case has left, especially in the African-American community. He said that's a product of a common history that doesn't go away.

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Parallels
1:09 am
Sun July 14, 2013

Despite Repeated Tries, Afghan Peace Efforts Still Sputter

Afghan soldiers take positions following a clash with Taliban fighters on the outskirts of the eastern city of Jalalabad on July 7. The U.S. is trying to organize peace talks, but the latest effort has been put on hold while the fighting continues.
Noorullah Shirzada Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 2:48 pm

The U.S. has been pushing the Taliban and the Afghan government to find a political solution for the past year and a half. But every time it seems the parties are close to starting peace talks, a new demand or controversy arises and nothing happens.

In the latest attempt, the Taliban finally opened a political office in Qatar, a move that was supposed to set the stage for negotiations. But when the Taliban envoys gave that office the trappings of an embassy, a furious Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, called off the talks, and they have yet to be re-scheduled.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Brits On Royal Baby Watch As Rumored Due Date Arrives

Royal well-wisher Terry Hutt poses for a picture as he waits outside the Lindo Wing of Saint Mary's Hospital in London on Friday.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 9:15 pm

Although Buckingham Palace has never confirmed the exact date, Saturday is rumored to be the official due date for the child who will become the third in line to the British throne.

"There are really only two questions: boy or girl? And, what's the name?" Robert Hardman, a reporter with The Daily Mail, tells NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday.

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News
5:16 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Painful Recovery Begins In Lac-Megantic

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 11:22 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In Canada, 28 bodies have been located one week after a devastating train explosion in Eastern Quebec. Railcars full of oil sped down a long hill into the heart of a small town before derailing and exploding. The death toll is expected to reach 50. North Country's Public Radio's Brian Mann, has been on the scene throughout the week and says the people are taking the first painful steps towards recovery.

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NPR Story
4:52 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Carnegie Hall Creates National Music Camp

The National Youth Orchestra — the very first American National Youth Orchestra — rehearses and performs this summer with conductor Valery Gergiev and and solo violinist Joshua Bell. It may be the best summer music camp ever — and it's free.

NPR Story
4:52 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Cabrera's Stunning Summer

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 11:22 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. I'm going to be on vacation for a couple of weeks and after today's show. You know what I'm going to miss? Our crew here and the chance to say: Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

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NPR Story
4:52 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Troubles Linger In 'Shadow Dancer'

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 11:22 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

"Shadow Dancer," is the name of the new film from James Marsh. The director won an Oscar for his 2008 documentary, "Man on a Wire," and his film, "Project Nim," was also a documentary winner at Sundance. But his latest is a fictional film based on very real events, the bloody civil war in Northern Ireland known as The Troubles. Pat Dowell has more.

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Music Interviews
3:54 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Anna Von Hausswolff: An Artist In Thrall To A Mega-Instrument

Swedish musician Anna von Hausswolff says she was drawn to the church organ by its physicality: "When you play it, you can really feel it because you're sitting close to the pipes. It's almost as if you're becoming a part of the instrument."
Anders Nydam Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 11:22 am

Swedish performer Anna von Hausswolff is one of the few recording artists in the world who plays the pipe organ in popular music. Her latest album, Ceremony, was recorded over five days at a church in her hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden.

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StoryCorps
3:52 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Brothers Lost On Deployment; Sister Mourns 'Soul Mates'

Monica Velez and her two brothers, Freddy (left) and Andrew, in 1996. Freddy died in Iraq in 2004, and Andrew died in Afghanistan in 2006.
Courtesy of Monica Velez

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 11:22 am

Cpl. Jose "Freddy" Velez served in Iraq. His brother, Spc. Andrew Velez, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Both died in their early 20s. They are survived by their sister, Monica.

"My mom left us when I was 7, so my dad was a single parent," Monica says. "And I did all the household chores. I got the boys dressed for school, I taught them how to ride their bike, I taught them how to read and write."

One of her favorite memories is when both brothers came back from basic training and told her she could no longer be bossy.

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Simon Says
3:47 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Retire The Phrase, 'This Wouldn't Be A Scandal In Europe'

Reporters swarm around former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer as he attempts to collect signatures for his run for New York City comptroller.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 11:22 am

I hope we've heard the last of people saying, "This would never be a scandal in Europe." They usually mean "sex scandal," and by now I think Americans are entitled to boast that we've become as blase about politicians with their pants down — or, in the case of Anthony Weiner, pec-flexing with his shirt off — as Europeans like to think they are.

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News
10:49 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Abortion Rights Activists Plan Challenge To Texas Measure

Abortion rights opponents, dressed in blue, and supporters, wearing orange, rally in the state Capitol rotunda Friday before the vote on a set of sweeping abortion restrictions.
Tamir Kalifa AP

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 11:31 am

In a major victory for the anti-abortion movement, the Texas state Senate passed a sweeping bill early Saturday that has become a flashpoint in the national abortion debate. Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign it in short order.

But the fight is not over. Abortion rights supporters say that the new law attempts to overturn Roe vs. Wade in Texas, and that's why they plan to take their fight to the courts.

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Pop Culture
7:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Miranda July: From The Outboxes Of The Noteworthy

Performance artist Miranda July's new project, We Think Alone, blasts a set of random emails from some well-known names on intimate topics to anyone who signs up for them.
Courtesy the artist

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 11:16 am

Filmmaker and artist Miranda July is blasting emails copied from the outboxes of some well-known names on intimate topics to anyone who signs up.

The project is called We Think Alone, and includes messages sent from a range of notable people (who agreed to participate in advance, of course). Those names include the NBA's all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul Jabar, fashion-designing siblings Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, and a Canadian-American theoretical physicist.

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National Security
7:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Defense Contractors See Their Futures In Developing World

A mannequin in night-vision goggles is part of a display at a border-security expo in Pheonix last year. Defense companies are seeking growth in markets in the developing world, or in homeland and cybersecurity.
Amanda Meyers AP

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 3:12 pm

Defense manufacturers worldwide are facing tough times ahead, as tight budgets force Western governments to cut spending. But while the West is cutting back, developing countries around the world are spending more on defense — a lot more.

Last fall, defense contractors warned of massive layoffs if the U.S. government enacted the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. Now, sequestration is in effect, but job losses are limited, in part because many Pentagon contracts were already in place and will keep assembly lines rolling for much of this year.

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Music Interviews
7:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

George Benson Follows The Path Of His 'Unforgettable' Idol

George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, is a tribute to his hero.
Greg Allen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 11:22 am

You could say George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, was conceived decades ago. Benson was just a kid when he first mimicked Cole off the radio, singing his own version of "Mona Lisa" while accompanying himself on the ukulele. He even made a recording.

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Environment
6:25 am
Sat July 6, 2013

One Garden's Climate Struggle (And How To Save Yours)

Many of the flowers at Hillwood are doing well despite the ever-changing local climate.
Emily Files NPR

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 10:44 am

At the Hillwood Estate gardens in Washington, D.C., the new norm is: "Expect the unexpected." So says volunteer coordinator Bill Johnson, who has worked on property belonging to the heiress of the Post cereal fortune for 30 years.

Like home gardeners, the horticulturalists and professional gardeners at Hillwood are confronting an unpredictable climate.

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Political Crisis In Egypt
6:21 am
Sat July 6, 2013

The U.S. Holds The Aid Card, Yet Egypt Still Trumps

Egyptian protesters celebrate in Tahrir Square on Wednesday. The United States has managed to alienate just about every political actor in Egypt.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 7:04 pm

The ouster of Mohammed Morsi puts the U.S. in an awkward position: By law, the administration is supposed to cut off aid to a country after a military coup, but Egypt's military has been a key to regional stability. As the administration considers its next steps, it's come under criticism from all sides in Egypt over how it's handling the situation.

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Around the Nation
4:24 am
Sat July 6, 2013

With Bullets Scarce, More Shooters Make Their Own

Since the Newtown school shooting in December, gun stores nationwide have had difficulty keeping ammunition, like these .223-caliber rifle bullets, in stock.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 7:05 pm

Gun stores around the country have had difficulty keeping up with demand for ammunition in recent months. Fears of government tightening of gun and ammunition controls have meant that retailers, from Wal-Mart to mom-and-pop gun shops, haven't been able to keep bullets on the shelves.

Cliff Poser's gun shop, Cliff's Guns, Safes and Reloading in Boise, Idaho, is one of them. Business has been so crazy lately that he has to keep a special stash of ammunition, just so customers who buy guns from him can also buy bullets.

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Code Switch
2:48 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Remembering Birmingham's 'Dynamite Hill' Neighborhood

Three civil rights workers stand guard in front NAACP attorney Arthur Shores' house in Sept. 1963. The house was blasted by dynamite the night before.
AP

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 7:54 am

Long before the Civil Rights marches of 1963 thrust Birmingham, Ala. into the national spotlight, black families along one residential street were steadily chipping away at Jim Crow segregation laws — and paying a price for it. As part of our series looking back at the seminal events that changed the nation 50 years ago, NPR's Debbie Elliott paid a visit to Birmingham's Dynamite Hill.

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Health
2:31 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Growing The Latest In 16th-Century Medicine

The opium poppy is the most common source of opium and morphine.
New York Botanical Garden

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 4:37 pm

The Renaissance Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, a re-creation of a 16th-century medicinal garden, is so lush and colorful, it takes only a stroll through to absorb its good medicine.

The garden, part of a summer exhibit called Wild Medicine: Healing Plants Around the World, is a small-scale model of the Italian Renaissance Garden in Padua, Italy, Europe's first botanical garden.

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Theater
4:29 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

For Hannibal & Co., A Horrifying New Stage

Exorcistic, a rock parody inspired by a certain 1971 novel and the William Friedkin film made from it, showcases Merlin as a rapping priest inspired by Max von Sydow's Father Merrin. Above, the show poster for the musical's Los Angeles fringe production.
David Haverty Hollywood Fringe

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 12:26 pm

What do a reanimated deviant surgeon, a cannibalistic serial killer and a demon-plagued, vomit-spattered priest have in common? They're all characters in camp stage musicals inspired by horror films — and they're all played by the same classically trained opera singer.

His name is Jesse Merlin, and he looks a little like a young, untanned George Hamilton. But he has a bass-baritone voice that would be perfect for Gilbert and Sullivan.

Since that's not what Hollywood's looking for, Merlin had to scare up roles elsewhere.

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Monkey See
3:50 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Girls' Legos Are A Hit, But Why Do Girls Need Special Legos?

Olivia also has a treehouse.
Lego

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 7:55 pm

Two years ago, in 2011, 90 percent of Lego's consumers were boys. A tough statistic to swallow for those of us who grew up playing with Lego's gender-neutral buckets of bricks. But the statistic came straight from Lego, which was then focused on boys with franchised sets based on properties like Star Wars and The Avengers after weathering a disastrous period in the 1990s that left the company on the brink of collapse.

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Music
10:54 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Sasha Dobson's Journey Out Of Jazz And Into Songwriting

Formerly a scat singer, Sasha Dobson has just released her first solo album of original songs, Aquarius.
L. Arthi Krishnaswami Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 1:44 pm

Smith Dobson was one of the most sought-after pianists of the Bay Area when he died in a car crash in 2001. He was part of a musical family — his wife, Gail, a jazz singer; his son a drummer. His daughter, Sasha Dobson, was a scat singer who followed the family's jazz muse until her dad's tragic death.

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NPR Story
9:41 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Egyptian Protests Grow Violent

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 1:44 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

President Obama may be in South Africa but his attention is also on Egypt. Mr. Obama said today, he's concerned about political protests and clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi which have left at least three people dead, including one American.

Joining us now is NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson from Cairo. Thanks for joining us, Soraya.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: You're welcome.

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