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
4:41 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Detroit Driving Toward Its Own Debt Cliff

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 5:38 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, BYLINE: The city of Detroit is approaching its own fiscal precipice. The city is deeply in debt and could run out of cash by the end of this month. That would mean more layoffs from a city workforce that's already been cut so much that a reported two-thirds of the city's streetlights do not work. The amount of empty, abandoned land in the city, which produces no tax revenue, is estimated to be as large as the entire city of Paris.

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Europe
3:38 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Getting The Royal Treatment En Route To Versailles

The Belvedere on Marie Antoinette's estate.

Courtesy of Christian Recoura

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 12:39 pm

The opulence of the court of Louis XIV ... on a commuter train from Paris?

That's the surprise awaiting some lucky visitors to the Palace of Versailles. The cars of about 30 trains traveling between Paris and the palace have been completely decked out to reflect the sprawling and stately residence of former French kings, providing a sneak preview of sorts.

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Africa
3:29 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Voters Decide How To Share Ghana's Boom

Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama arrives at a polling station to cast his vote.
Pius Utomi Ekpei AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 7:39 pm

Voting for a new president and parliament in Ghana has been extended into a second day in some areas due to glitches with the new biometric voter verification system.

Ghana, which began pumping crude oil in 2010 and is also a major cocoa and gold exporter, has gained an enviable reputation in its often-turbulent West African neighborhood. It's admired for being a relative oasis of stability and peace in the region — despite tensions in the build-up to the vote.

A Peaceful Democracy

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Tracey Thorn Finds Joy And Angst In Christmas Songs

Tracey Thorn's new holiday-themed album is called Tinsel and Lights.
Molly Bloom StateImpact Ohio

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 5:38 am

A season for being with friends and family can be hard on those who are lonely; a season of giving can be hard on those who go without. All the tinsel and lights can also make people blink, shudder and wonder about which of life's gifts they'll never find under the tree — or which they'll unwrap and find fleeting and fragile.

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Simon Says
9:09 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Sexiest Man Alive Gets 'The Onion' Taken Seriously

The satirical news source The Onion named North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un 2012's Sexiest Man Alive.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

If satire had an Olympics, The Onion might have won a gold medal this week. The satirical news source announced that its Sexiest Man Alive for 2012 is Kim Jong Un, North Korea's Supreme Leader.

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Latin America
4:28 am
Sat December 1, 2012

What's In Store For Mexico And Its New President?

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 8:41 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

For more on the developing relationship between Mexico and United States, we're joined now by Jorge Castaneda. Mr. Castaneda served as Mexico's secretary of foreign affairs from 2000-2003. In 2004, he launched an independent bid to run for president as the people's candidate, but Mexico's Supreme Court declared he couldn't run without the endorsement of an official party. These days, Mr. Castaneda is an academic and commentator. He joins us from his home in Manhattan. Thanks very much for being with us.

JORGE CASTANEDA: Thank you.

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Latin America
4:28 am
Sat December 1, 2012

How Brazil Sees The U.S. Battle Over Taxes

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 8:41 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This month on WEEKEND EDITION, we've been taking a look at the so-called fiscal cliff from the perspective of other countries. After all, the government's automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled for January could have impacts throughout what's an increasingly linked global economy.

Tomorrow, my colleague Rachel Martin checks in with Hong Kong. Right now, we'll go to Latin America. We're joined now by Joseph Leahy. He's the Brazil bureau chief for the Financial Times. Joe, thanks very much for being with us.

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Sports
4:28 am
Sat December 1, 2012

The Galaxy Waves Bye Bye To Beckham

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 8:41 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Tonight marks the end of the on-field career of a man who's been arguably the most famous athlete in the world. David Beckham will play his last competitive game for the L.A. Galaxy. He signed with the team in 2007 and earned himself something close to a 4250 million over the last five years in salary, and his own line of underwear, sportswear and cologne. Roger Bennett joins us now, he's the voice of Premier League soccer on ESPN, an ESPN columnist and co-host of Grantland's "Men In Blazers" show. Roger, thanks for being with us.

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Author Interviews
3:56 am
Sat December 1, 2012

A Compelling, Chutzpadik History Of 'Jews And Words'

Scott Rothstein iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:42 am

For thousands of years the Jewish people have been forced to move around — fleeing bigotry, slavery, pogroms, famines and tyrants. But words are portable, and to Jews — who are among those known as "the People of the Book" — they are precious possessions. As Amos Oz and his daughter, Fania Oz-Salzberger, write in their new book, Jews and Words, "Ours is not a bloodline, but a text line."

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It's All Politics
3:49 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Obama Back In Campaign Mode; This Time, It's Taxes

President Obama looks over a roller coaster with K'Nex inventor and Chairman Joel Glickman (left) and President and CEO Michael Araten on Friday during a tour of the company in Hatfield, Pa.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 2:07 pm

President Obama is hoping the same campaign tools that helped him win re-election will also deliver a policy win in the fight over federal taxes.

The president wants Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts for most Americans, while allowing taxes to go up for the wealthiest 2 percent. His aides are using email, social media and beyond-the-Beltway campaign appearances in hopes of putting pressure on Republican lawmakers.

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Performing Arts
3:43 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Hispanics Call For Kennedy Center Honors

Honorees (from left) James Levine, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Simon, Chita Rivera and James Earl Jones stand beside first lady Laura Bush and President George W. Bush during the 25th Kennedy Center Honors in 2002. Rivera was the last Hispanic recipient of the award.
Shawn Thew AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 8:41 am

This weekend, some big names are coming to Washington for a red-carpet event. Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, ballerina Natalia Makarova, blues guitarist Buddy Guy and the British rock band Led Zeppelin will be receiving the annual Kennedy Center Honors.

It's a prestigious award given to only a handful of performers each year. But over the past few months there's been controversy surrounding the awards. In its 35-year history, only two honorees have been Hispanic, despite the fact that Hispanics are the largest minority in the United States.

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National Security
3:43 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Farewell: USS Enterprise Starred In History And Film

Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Joseph carries his 1-year-old daughter, Maleah, to his re-enlistment ceremony aboard the USS Enterprise at the Norfolk Naval Station on March 8. The ship began its final deployment on March 11.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 11:17 am

Sailors, veterans and their families are saying goodbye in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday to the USS Enterprise, which was the largest ship in the world and the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier when it was commissioned in 1961.

In its illustrious history, the Enterprise served at the center of international events for a half-century — from the Cuban missile crisis to Vietnam to the Iraq War.

And it had a distinguished Hollywood career as well, playing a leading role in the 1986 film Top Gun, which starred Tom Cruise as a young naval aviator.

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Music Interviews
7:43 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

A Trove Of Chats With Music Icons, Now Online

Joe Smith poses with Rod Stewart, circa 1974. The former record executive conducted informal interviews with dozens of musicians in the mid-1980s.
Jeff Smith

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 11:26 am

In the mid-1980s, a record executive and former DJ named Joe Smith saw that a lot of the big-band greats were disappearing: Count Basie, Harry James and others.

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Book Reviews
5:02 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Short Stories To Savor On A Winter Weekend

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 3:38 pm

Hortense Calisher, a virtuoso of the form, once called the short story "an apocalypse in a teacup." It's a definition that suits the remarkable stories published this year by three literary superstars, and two dazzling newcomers with voices so distinctive we're likely to be hearing from them again. These stories are intense, evocative delights to be devoured singly when you have only a sliver of time, or savored in batches, at leisure, on a winter weekend.

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Music Interviews
8:29 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Piney Gir: From 'The Muppets' To 'Geronimo'

Piney Gir grew to love performing after getting solos in the choir at church.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 12:44 pm

What do you do if you're an aspiring drummer and someone steals your drum set? Well, if you're Piney Gir, you become a singer — because, as she figured it, they can't steal your voice.

Gir grew up in a fundamentalist Pentecostal household in Kansas, attending church four or five times a week. She got the solos in the choir and grew to love performing. The singer, whose real name is Angela Penhaligon, eventually found her way to London and the world of indie art-rock.

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NPR Story
8:23 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Songwriter Paloma Faith's 'Fall To Grace'

Paloma Faith's newest album is called Fall to Grace.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 12:48 pm

Paloma Faith has been described as smart, vivacious, red-streaked and a singular talent. Before breaking into the music business, Faith worked as a magician's assistant and a dancer. She debuted as a solo artist in the UK in 2009 with the album Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? Her latest album is no less provocatively titled — it's called Fall to Grace.

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Movie Interviews
4:34 am
Sat November 24, 2012

The Unsung Overdub Star In 'Sound Of Music'

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 8:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We spoke with Christopher Plummer last week, and couldn't resist asking the famed stage and screen actor if he ever still sings "Edelweiss."

CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER: Of course not.

SIMON: (Laughter)

PLUMMER: Are you mad?

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: I had to ask.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE SOUND OF MUSIC")

BILL LEE: (as Plummer's Captain Von Trapp) (Singing) Edelweiss, edelweiss, every morning you greet me...

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Economy
4:34 am
Sat November 24, 2012

How Steep The Fiscal Cliff Looks From Europe

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 8:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Much of our political oxygen is taken up with fiscal cliff negotiation and speculation in the United States as people try to figure out whether we will indeed go hurtling over into recession or inch back from the edge of the cliff. Since all our economies are linked in a global network these days, we thought we'd get the view of all of this from elsewhere.

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Sports
4:34 am
Sat November 24, 2012

'Winningest' Coach Succeeded With Discipline

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 8:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

John Gagliardi is hanging up his clipboard. He announced his retirement this week, as the winningest coach in the history of college football. Over the course of 64 seasons - that's also a record; most of them at the St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota - Coach Gagliardi has racked up 489 wins, 138 losses and 11 ties. He's now 86 years old. Coach Gagliardi joins us from his home. Thanks very much for being with us.

JOHN GAGLIARDI: It's my pleasure.

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Business
4:34 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Retail Arms Race Escalates To New Level

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 8:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In American retail history, this may be the year that Black Friday shaded into Thursday night. Toys "R" Us, Wal-Mart, several other retailers opened on Thursday night, Thanksgiving night, and on Friday, many other online retailers offered flash sales - special deals lasting just a couple of hours. Patty Edwards is the chief investment officer for Trutina Financial, a financial services firm in Washington state. She joins us from member station KUOW in Seattle. Thanks so much for being with us.

PATTY EDWARDS: Absolutely my pleasure.

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Author Interviews
3:48 am
Sat November 24, 2012

A Refugee's Multilayered Experience In 'Ru'

Random House Canada

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 8:31 am

Vietnamese author Kim Thuy's new novel unfolds in the way a flower casts off petals: one small scene after another. Ru is an autobiographical novel in which memories are shuffled back and forth to tell the story of a 10-year-old born in Saigon during the 1968 Tet Offensive.

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Europe
3:43 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Glitzy Burgundy Wine Auction Taps Celebrities

France's former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, auctioneer Francois de Ricqles and former soccer coach Guy Roux preside over the 152nd Hospices de Beaune wine auction Sunday in Beaune, France. The charity auction raised an all-time high of $7.5 million, which goes to area hospitals.
Tardivon Jean-Christophe Maxppp /Landov

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 12:09 pm

For the last century and a half, the wine season in France's grape-growing region of Burgundy has revolved around one major commercial event. On the third Sunday in November, hundreds of barrels of the recent harvest are sold to the highest bidder in a charity wine auction. The historic event, which took place this year on Nov. 18, has evolved into an A-list rendezvous for the power players in the international wine industry.

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Europe
3:32 am
Sat November 24, 2012

A Wave Of Plagiarism Cases Strikes German Politics

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) has given guarded support to Education Minister Annette Schavan, who is facing calls to resign over allegations of plagiarism.
Thomas Peter Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 11:43 am

More than half a dozen politicians in Germany are caught up in an embarrassing cheating scandal that last year cost the German defense minister his job.

The country's education minister is also implicated. She, like the other politicians, is accused of plagiarizing while earning a doctorate degree.

Their accusers are private citizens who use the Internet to coordinate their hunt for cheaters.

One of Germany's more famous cybersleuths is an American professor named Debora Weber-Wulff.

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Simon Says
3:27 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Jesse Jackson Jr.: Great Hopes And Disappointments

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. speaks to constituents in Chicago in 2009. Jackson resigned from Congress on Wednesday, following a hospitalization and an investigation into misuse of campaign funds.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 12:27 pm

Jesse Jackson Jr. has a famous name and fabulous contacts, and had what looked like boundless prospects when he was first on the national stage at the Democratic National Convention in 1988.

John F. Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Kennedy had appeared to talk about the legacy of their late father, the president. But a few nights later, Jackson took the podium to present his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and said, "My name is Jesse Louis Jackson Jr., and I also proudly carry a great American name."

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Around the Nation
3:26 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Strumming The Pain, Songwriters Play Vets' Stories

Songwriter Jay Clementi works on a song with Sgt. 1st Class Scott McRae at the weekend retreat near Fort Hood in Central Texas.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for NPR

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 10:25 am

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Business
3:22 am
Sat November 24, 2012

More Shopping? Small Retailers Want Your Business

A flag urges customers to shop locally near a store in Boalsburg, Pa., on Friday. Owners of small stores hope to get a boost from Small Business Saturday.
Genaro C. Armas AP

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 11:04 am

Jammed between Gray Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is yet another day devoted to shopping: Small Business Saturday.

Wallets are expected to open yet again on Saturday — this time for mom-and-pop stores. Main Street in Littleton, Colo., is filled with them. The street is lined with small bars and restaurants along with other businesses, including a spice store and a men's clothing boutique.

Dave Drake owns Colorado Frame and Savvy Stuff, the "savvy stuff" being women's accessories, purses, scarves and decorations.

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Sports
5:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

A Peek At Basketball, How Head Trauma In The NFL

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: L.A. topsy-turvy with the Clippers now the top NBA team in town, while the Lakers try to pick themselves up with a new coach. And remember those three NFL quarterbacks who were knocked out of their games last week? A couple of them kept playing. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us now.

Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

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Food
5:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

For Calif. Family, It's Not Thanksgiving Without Rice

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 10:10 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

What does a two-time James Beard award-winning chef make every Thanksgiving? Well, if you're San Francisco's Traci Des Jardins, it's rice. Lisa Morehouse has our story.

(SOUNDBITE OF CUTTING)

LISA MOREHOUSE, BYLINE: I asked Traci Des Jardins to demonstrate one favorite dish for this story. But when I get to her house, she's making half her Thanksgiving menu.

TRACI DES JARDINS: One dish. It's Thanksgiving. You can't do one dish for Thanksgiving. For God's sake, you're lucky I didn't do like 10.

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NPR Story
5:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Renewed Violence In Gaza A Test For New Leaders

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The violence in Gaza is the first escalation of this intensity since uprisings in the Arab world almost two years ago. We're joined now by Rob Malley. He's with the International Crisis Group. He joins us from Dubai. Mr. Malley, thanks so much for being with us.

ROB MALLEY: Thanks for having me.

SIMON: And do you think a ground war is just a matter of time?

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NPR Story
5:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

'The Lawgiver': Telling Moses' Story, Differently

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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