Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturdays 8:00am-10:00am

Whether revealing events in small-town America or overseas, or profiling notable personalities, Weekend Edition from NPR News appreciates the extraordinary details that make up every story. This two-hour weekend morning newsmagazine covers hard news, a wide variety of newsmakers, and cultural stories with care, accuracy, and a wink of humor.

Weekend Edition Saturday 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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Politics
5:26 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Taxing Work Ahead: Have Negotiating Tables Turned?

President Obama speaks about the economy and the deficit at the White House on Friday. He says this time around, he has proof that Americans agree with his approach.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 1:38 pm

Republicans and Democrats agree: Election season may have ended just four days ago, but it's already time to get back to work. In this case, "back to work" might mean "back to fighting."

Leaders in both parties made their opening bids Friday on how to deal with the tax, spending and debt problems that face the country at the end of this year.

While the scenario echoes last year's spending battle, there are some differences that could push the parties toward the resolution they never reached last time around.

Where The President Stands

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Asia
5:26 am
Sat November 10, 2012

A Grim Chronicle Of China's Great Famine

Chinese villagers welcome the arrival of tractors purchased by a farmers' cooperative in April 1958, during the Great Leap Forward campaign. The disastrous modernization program ended in China's great famine and tens of millions of deaths.
Keystone-France Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 11:29 am

First of two parts

It's not often that a book comes out that rewrites a country's history. But that's the case with Tombstone, which was written by a retired Chinese reporter who spent 10 years secretly collecting official evidence about the country's devastating great famine. The famine, which began in the late 1950s, resulted in the deaths of millions of Chinese.

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Music News
12:10 am
Sat November 10, 2012

A Veteran's Standing Ovation, 70 Years In The Making

This month, a symphony composed by World War II veteran Harold Van Heuvelen had its premiere.
Kevin Gift

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 10:55 am

When you reach a certain age, big life surprises tend to come few and far between, unless you're Harold Van Heuvelen. Van, as everyone calls him, has had a blockbuster week full of dreams fulfilled. The story of his dream starts more than 70 years ago, on Dec. 7, 1941.

Van Heuvelen enlisted in the Army after Pearl Harbor. He was posted to a base in New Orleans as an instructor for recruits. He spent the war stateside, training men who were being shipped out to Europe and the South Pacific.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:00 am
Sat November 10, 2012

John Williams' Inevitable Themes

Flanked by composer Leonard Slatkin and soprano Jessye Norman, John Williams takes a bow during his 80th-birthday celebration at Tanglewood in August.
Stu Rosner

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 10:52 am

For more than 50 years, John Williams' music has taken us to galaxies far, far away through adventures here on earth, made us feel giddy joy and occasionally scared us to death.

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NPR Story
10:48 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Manhattan Celebrates The Return Of Power

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The lights are back on in Manhattan this morning, but the effects of Sandy are still being felt across many states. Hardest hit, of course, are New York and New Jersey and we have several reports this hour. First, NPR's Robert Smith was in Lower Manhattan last night, as much of the service was restored, and as he reports, it came not a moment too soon

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NPR Story
10:48 am
Sat November 3, 2012

What Went Wrong? N.Y. Hospitals Swiped By Sandy

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The power outages and flooded also critically affected New York's hospitals. Several had to evacuate patients during the storm. New York University's Langone Medical Center was one of them. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston has the story.

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NPR Story
7:55 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Obama Tries To Bank Early Votes In Ohio

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 10:48 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And the multi-billion dollar presidential campaign has come down to its final weekend. All that money, all these months are campaigning come down to just a few more frantic days for the candidates. The polls now show a close contest between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as they campaign in a handful of swing states. Mr. Obama begins campaigning today where he left off yesterday in - have we said this before? - Ohio. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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NPR Story
7:55 am
Sat November 3, 2012

In Storm-Drenched New Jersey, A Fight For Ice

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 10:48 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In the aftermath of giant storms and during long power outages, common things can become precious commodities, things like gasoline, fresh milk and ice.

JOE ROMANO: Well, they need it for their perishable foods and also one thing that people don't keep in mind is medicine has to be refrigerated.

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NPR Story
7:55 am
Sat November 3, 2012

China Prepares For New Leaders In Critical Transition

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 10:48 am

Just two days after the U.S. presidential election, China opens the most important event in a decade on its political calendar: a transition of power. Host Scott Simon talks to NPR's Louisa Lim and Frank Langfitt in China about the upcoming 18th Party Congress.

NPR Story
7:55 am
Sat November 3, 2012

The Political Middle: What Ohioans Have To Say

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 10:48 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It's already starting to rain over northern Ohio this past weekend as the outer whirls of Hurricane Sandy approached. Just a few days before the election, people in Reminderville, the village of about 3,000, were concerned about turnout.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Trick or treat.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Trick or treat.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Hey, what's going on?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Hi.

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Fine Art
5:17 am
Sat November 3, 2012

The Story Of Steadman, Drawn From His 'Gonzo' Art

Among his many accomplishments, Ralph Steadman illustrated Hunter S. Thompson's 1971 novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, about a journalist's reporting trip turned hallucinogenic bender.
Courtesy of Itch Film

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 9:36 am

Every morning, British illustrator Ralph Steadman wakes up in his country estate in rural England and attacks a piece of paper, hurling ink, blowing paint through a straw and scratching away layers to reveal lines and forms that surprise even him.

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House & Senate Races
5:17 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Race For Redrawn Calif. District Is Tight And Pricey

Democrat Ami Bera is challenging Lungren. Bera ran against Lungren in 2004 and lost, but since the district was redrawn, the race has become competitive.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 10:48 am

Dan Lungren has been in and out of public office since 1979. The Republican represented a Southern California district in the '80s, served as the state's attorney general for eight years, and then returned to Congress to represent the Sacramento area in 2004.

These days, he's still the same pro-business, limited-government conservative he's always been, Lungren told a friendly audience in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:17 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Storm Scores: Finding Poignant Reminders In Water-Damaged Music

A window-screen view toward conductor Marin Alsop's studio, badly damaged during the hurricane.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 10:18 am

This past week has been filled with some truly tragic stories of loss and devastation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. There are also a few stories of near misses and disasters averted. Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, fortunately has one of the latter.

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Europe
5:16 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Putin, Russia's Man Of Action, Is Slowed By Injury

Russian President Vladimir Putin pilots a motorized hang glider while taking part in a project to help endangered cranes on Sept. 5. Shortly after, the president — who has cultivated the image of a man of action — was photographed wincing in apparent pain.
Alexey Druzhinin/Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 5:25 pm

Take it easy, tough guy.

Russian officials are acknowledging that President Vladimir Putin has been slowed by back problems, but they insist he won't be sidelined for long.

Rumors about an injury began to float in early September, when the Russian leader was seen wincing at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vladivostok.

A Kremlin spokesman said it's a minor injury, about what you'd expect in an athletic fellow like the 60-year-old Putin. Nonetheless, several overseas trips have been canceled.

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Author Interviews
5:16 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Nick, Nora (And Asta) Return In 'Thin Man' Novellas

Myrna Loy and William Powell (and a wire-haired terrier) starred as Nick and Nora Charles (and Asta) in the 1934 film adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 2:33 pm

Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man invented a new kind of crime fiction. It was hard-boiled, but also light-hearted; funny, with a hint of homicide. Nick and Nora Charles — and Asta, their wire-haired terrier — were rich, witty and in love, when America was in the middle of the Depression. They also drank a lot — Nick and Nora, not Asta, though he got an occasional leftover slurp.

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Around the Nation
5:15 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Nation's Christmas Tree Plucked From Colorado

This year's Capitol Christmas Tree comes from White River National Forest in Northwest Colorado. The spruce is more than 70 feet tall.
Luke Runyon for NPR

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 1:57 pm

The undeniable smell of fresh-cut spruce filled the air Friday morning as crews crowded around the trunk of this year's Capitol Christmas Tree, prepping it for departure to Washington, D.C.

The task of finding this year's tree was left largely up to one man: Scott Fitzwilliams, forest supervisor for the White River National Forest in Colorado. In picking the tree, Fitzwilliams was asked to follow a few guidelines.

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Music News
2:03 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Radio Tanzania: A Disappearing History On Tape

Radio Tanzania archivist Bruno Nanguka stands with just a few of the 15,000 reel-to-reel tapes stored in the station's archives.
Jonathan Kalan

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 7:10 pm

At the archives of Radio Tanzania, more than 15,000 reel-to-reel tapes are stacked in floor-to-ceiling shelves. Each band, musician and recording date is painstakingly notated. The tapes reside inside three musty rooms of the Tanzania Broadcasting Corp., which occupies the old brick-and-concrete BBC building in Dar es Salaam.

Radio Tanzania was the country's only station from its birth in 1951 until the mid-1990s, when competing stations came on the air and state-controlled radio became irrelevant.

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Media
11:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Sexual Abuse Scandal Rocks U.K.'s BBC Network

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The BBC, one of the world's most prominent broadcasters, is in an uproar over allegations that one of its most famous TV personalities was a pedophile who preyed upon youths who appeared on his shows. As NPR's David Folkenflik reports, the BBC is both investigating the actions of the late Jimmy Savile and fielding sharp questions about why it killed a documentary exploring such accusations late last year.

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Presidential Race
11:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Tax Reform: Then And Now

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In an election year marked by heated partisan exchanges and personal attacks, President Obama and Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, agree on something: tax reform.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: When it comes to our tax code, Governor Romney and I both agree that our corporate tax rate is too high. So I want to lower it, particularly for manufacturing...

MITT ROMNEY: The secondary then, taxation, we agree, we've got to bring the tax rates down, and I do, both for corporations and for individuals.

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Movies
11:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Horror Movies Surge Back To Mainstream Audiences

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Halloween is almost here, so perhaps it's no surprise that the film "Paranormal Activity 4" led the box office in its opening weekend. It is the latest entry in an already successful movie franchise. As Beth Accomando of member station KPBS reports, film audiences still enjoy a good scare - but what scares us keeps changing.

BETH ACCOMANDO, BYLINE: Horror renaissance man Clive Barker says the first person to scare him was Walt Disney.

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Middle East
11:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Variety Of Weapons Increases In Syrian Conflict

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In the months leading up to the cease-fire, combatants on both sides have escalated the scale of weaponry used in the conflict. The war in Syria is notoriously difficult to cover, making it very hard to know exactly what weapons are being used. Eliot Higgins runs the Brown-Moses blog, which is often cited as an authoritative source on the weapons used in the Syrian conflict. We've reached him in the United Kingdom. Mr. Higgins, thanks so much for being with us.

ELIOT HIGGINS: That's no problem.

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Media
11:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

How Is The BBC Handling Abuse Scandal?

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

For more about the implications of the scandal with the BBC, we're joined by Martin Bell, OBE. He has a distinguished career as one of the BBC's most famous war correspondents. He covered 11 conflicts, reported from 80 countries over the course of 30 years. Martin Bell was seriously wounded by shrapnel while reporting the war in Bosnia, and if that weren't punishment enough, he then went on to be an independent member of the British parliament from 1997 to 2001.

Martin Bell joins us from London. Thanks so much for being with us.

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World
11:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Reporter's Notebook: Celebrating In Pakistan

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Muslims around the world are celebrating the holy festival of Eid this weekend. That includes almost all of the people of Pakistan. NPR's Philip Reeves is in that country, and sent us this postcard.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAFFIC NOISES)

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Sports
11:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

World Series Heats Up; NBA's Commish Retires

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Baseball comes to Motown for game three of the World Series. But, will Detroit's heavy hitters show up? The International Cycling Union says none of the above, or below, won the Tour de France in the years that Lance Armstrong copped the title and it plans for some organizational soul-searching. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us.

Morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

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Around the Nation
11:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Mammals Get A Facelift At N.Y. History Museum

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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