Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturdays at 8AM

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 morning newsmagazine covers hard news, a wide variety of newsmakers, and cultural stories with care, accuracy, and a wink of humor.

On Saturdays, host Scott Simon's award-winning commentaries sum up an idea or event related to the week's news. There are fresh reports from a cross-section of NPR correspondents on topics from religion to health to food to politics. Simon's interviews with key artists, authors, performers and personalities are always memorable.

On Sundays, Weekend Edition combines the news with colorful arts and human-interest features, appealing to the curious and eclectic. With a nod to traditional Sunday habits, the program offers a fix for diehard crossword addicts-word games and brainteasers with The Puzzlemaster, a.k.a. Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times. With Cornish on the sidelines, a caller plays the latest word game on the air while listeners compete silently at home. The NPR mailbag is proof that the competition to go head-to-head with Shortz is rather vigorous.

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Health
9:48 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Needle Exchange Program Creates Black Market In Clean Syringes

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 3:54 pm

On Friday afternoons, several dozen people line up in the narrow hallway of Prevention Point Philadelphia. The men and women, all ages, hold paper and plastic bags full of used syringes.

"We obviously have a space challenge, but people come in, they drop off their used syringes and they ask for what they need," says Silvana Mazzella, the director of programs at the service center for injection drug users.

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Space
8:00 am
Sat January 3, 2015

NASA Hopes A Hack Will Overcome Mars Rover's Memory Gap

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 11:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

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Remembrances
8:00 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Remembering The Voice Of Babe The Pig

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 11:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

You probably won't realize that you recognize Christine Cavanaugh until you hear her. The actress gave voice to popular cartoon and film characters throughout the 1990s, and last month, she passed away. NPR's Jasmine Garsd has this remembrance.

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Author Interviews
8:00 am
Sat January 3, 2015

The Zig-Zagging History Of The Number Zero

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 10:17 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Law
11:01 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Finding A Jury Of Your Peers Actually Is Pretty Complicated

Demonstrators march in New York after grand juries failed to indict police officers in the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Many are calling for the officers to be tried before a jury of their peers.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 1:05 pm

Over the past few weeks, thousands of people have protested after grand juries failed to indict police officers in the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. What they wanted was to have the officers tried in an open court before a jury of their peers. But the notion of a jury of your peers isn't so straightforward.

Take, for example, 21-year-old Roderick Giles' experience. When he got a jury summons in the mail, he reacted the way a lot of people do.

"I did not want to go to jury duty," he says. "That was the last thing on my mind to do."

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U.S.
9:41 am
Sat December 27, 2014

For Cubans In Key West, A Longing To Fill In 'Gaps Of Who We Are'

Cuba is 90 miles away from the southernmost point in the United States, in Key West, Fla. "There used to be a ferry that ran between the two islands every day," says 89-year-old Gregorio Garcia, who emigrated in 1958. "I hope they operate it again someday."
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 11:10 am

Like Cuban-American families throughout the diaspora, the Garcias of Key West, Fla., gather on Noche Buena, or Christmas Eve, to catch up on news and eat a traditional meal of lechΓ³n, or roast pig.

Wayne Garcia, a local building contractor and artist, prepared the pork for the family feast this year. He smokes it for seven hours in a hole dug in his backyard, in a style he says was passed down from his great-grandparents.

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Around the Nation
7:50 am
Sat December 27, 2014

High Electric Bills Gobble Up Savings From Cheap Oil In New England

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 11:10 am

Falling oil prices are perhaps nowhere more welcome than in northern New England, where most homes burn heating oil in their furnaces and high electricity prices are going up.

This story originally aired on Morning Edition on Dec. 22, 2014.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:46 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Steinway Bids Farewell To Its Historic Hall

The rotunda at the historic Steinway Hall in Manhattan. The building will be torn down to build luxury condominiums.
Steinway & Sons

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 11:10 am

New York is saying goodbye to another historic building. Steinway Hall, the main showroom for Steinway & Sons pianos, will be moving to a new location, leaving its home of almost 90 years on 57th Street near Carnegie Hall. The first floor has been designated a landmark and will be preserved, while the rest of the building will be torn down to build high-rise luxury condominiums.

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U.S.
7:46 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Protests Reflect Real Harm From Police Policies, Organizer Says

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 11:10 am

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

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Goats and Soda
6:59 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Ebola Survivor: The Best Word For The Virus Is 'Aggression'

Dr. Ian Crozier stands with a group of survivors and a nurse at the Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone. He contracted Ebola and was on the brink of death, but he survived.
Courtesy of WHO/J Amone

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 11:10 am

When Dr. Ian Crozier arrived in West Africa this past summer, he was stepping into the epicenter of the Ebola hot zone. The American doctor was working in the Ebola ward of a large, public hospital in Sierra Leone's dusty city of Kenema.

The trip nearly cost him his life. First came a fever, then a severe headache. "My first thought was, 'Oh, I must have missed a few days of my malaria prophylaxis,' " Crozier recalls.

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Code Switch
6:50 am
Sat December 27, 2014

ICYMI 2014: Soccer Field Standoff Highlights Gentrification Tension

Screenshot via YouTube

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 11:22 am

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Author Interviews
6:32 am
Sat December 27, 2014

'The Bishop's Wife' Tracks A Killer In A Mormon Community

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 11:10 am

Writer Mette Ivie Harrison is no stranger to struggles of faith; she says she spent six years as an atheist within the Mormon church.

"It wasn't something that I talked about openly," she tells NPR's Eric Westervelt. "I lost my faith, and I felt like I had made a promise to my husband and my children that I would continue to participate in the Mormon church. So I kept going."

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Movies
10:59 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Hollywood Pros Fear A Chilling Effect After Sony Bows To Hackers

A worker carries a poster for the movie The Interview away from its display case at a theater in Atlanta. "It feels like the margin's narrowed about what kind of movies Hollywood will be making," says veteran Hollywood producer Stephanie Striegel.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 12:05 pm

President Obama is not the only one thinking about the precedent set when Sony decided not to release the comedy The Interview. Around Hollywood, the action drew immediate rebuke as celebrities took to Twitter β€” like director and producer Judd Apatow:

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel agreed, writing, "An un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent."

In writing rooms and comedy clubs in Los Angeles, however, the conversations are more nuanced.

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Simon Says
10:56 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Despite Its Beauty, Cuba Isn't Quite Ready For Tourists

In 1959, Fidel Castro imposed a law forbidding the import of foreign cars, so many Cubans drive and maintain older models.
Kate Skogen JetKat Photo

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 11:39 am

I've always had a good time in Cuba. The people are friendly and funny, the rum is smooth, the music intoxicating and the beaches wide, white and soft.

But you're accompanied everywhere by government minders. They call them responsables. Any Cuban you interview knows your microphone might as well run straight to their government.

If you want to talk to someone with a different view, you have to slip out of your hotel in the middle of the night without your minder β€” though dissidents say other security people follow you.

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Animals
9:13 am
Sat December 20, 2014

A Snail So Hardcore It's Named After A Punk Rocker

This spiky mollusk is called Alviniconcha strummeri, named after Joe Strummer, the late frontman for the Clash.
Taylor & Francis Online

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 11:39 am

Shannon Johnson, a researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, found that when she talked to youngsters about sea snails, she communicated a little more effectively if she skipped the technical description and called them "punk-rock snails."

"Their entire shells are covered in spikes," Johnson explains. "And then the spikes are actually all covered in fuzzy white bacteria."

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Sports
7:47 am
Sat December 20, 2014

What A Thaw In Cuba Relations Means For Baseball

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 11:39 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

How every week I look forward to saying, time for BJ Leiderman's Sports theme.

(MUSIC)

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NPR Story
7:47 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Cubans Blame Their Woes On The U.S. Embargo

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 4:08 pm

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

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Remembrances
7:47 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Bridwell Created A Big Red Dog That Grew With Readers' Love

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 11:39 am

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

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Politics
10:55 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Government Funding Bill Rolls Back Trucker Rest Requirements

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 2:21 pm

The spending bill in Congress is not just about money. Tucked inside the bill are provisions to change regulations affecting everything from banking to the environment. One regulatory rollback has those concerned about truck safety especially upset.

The regulation is part of a series of rules that spell out the number of hours that long-haul truck drivers, the ones behind the wheel of the big rigs on the interstates, can be on the road.

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Race
9:53 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Forced To Seat Blacks, Ala. Restaurant Complied With History

Ollies Barbecue was a Birmingham, Ala., landmark where where white plumbers and electricians sat next to white doctors and bank presidents,Β” but in 1964, blacks weren't allowed to eat there.
Courtesy Ollie McClung Jr.

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 2:21 pm

At Lena's, a diner in Birmingham, Ala., the cashier hands a customer a plastic bag with food which he carries out of the restaurant. There's nothing noteworthy about it now, but that action β€” taking out the meal β€” is a faint echo of the Jim Crow South.

Fifty years ago Sunday, the Supreme Court effectively ended segregation in restaurants. Before that ruling, restaurants were segregated, but some white establishments would serve black customers take-out.

Washington Booker, eating breakfast at Lena's, remembers the routine.

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Arts & Life
9:18 am
Sat December 13, 2014

It's Ugly Christmas Sweater Season β€” Share Your Best (Bad) Attire

So bad it's ... good? Consumer appetite for ugly Christmas sweaters β€” the tackier, the better β€” has had an impact on how retailers stock for the season.
TheUglySweaterShop.com Flickr

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 9:56 pm

Looking for a stylish sweater for the holidays? Forget cashmere. Instead, go for the light-up, dancing Santa.

This season, holiday shoppers are demanding the ugliest, gaudiest, tackiest sweaters out there. They need them for ugly sweater parties, ugly sweater fun runs β€” even an ugly sweater party cruise.

All that demand has had an impact on stores large and small. On the national level, Wal-Mart, Kohl's and Target all sell vintage-looking sweaters with all the bells and tinsel you could want.

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Movie Interviews
8:12 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Finland's HIM Releases Early Work In 'Lashes to Ashes'

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 7:22 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It is very cold and very dark in Finland this time of year - every time of year, I understand. But there's a band that finds inspiration in that dark and cold. For more than 20 years, the group HIM has been heating up Helsinki nights.

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Strange News
8:12 am
Sat December 13, 2014

London Men Decks Their Beards With Beads And Baubles

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 2:21 pm

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

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Space
8:12 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Geminids Promise A Light Show In The Night Sky

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 12:52 pm

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

Middle East
11:53 am
Sat December 6, 2014

American Hostage Killed During Rescue Attempt In Yemen

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

NPR Story
11:51 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Mourning Turns To Protest At Brooklyn Victim's Funeral

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 1:07 pm

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

Sports
7:48 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Less Wrestling, More Sport In Roller Derby World Cup

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 3:03 pm

Copyright 2014 KERA Unlimited. To see more, visit http://www.kera.org/.

Sports
7:48 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Pro Athletes Show Support For Ferguson Protesters

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 11:51 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now it's time for Sports, which can get caught up in real life, too.

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Space
7:48 am
Sat December 6, 2014

NASA's Orion Capsule Looks And Acts Like Apollo

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 11:51 am

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

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Author Interviews
7:48 am
Sat December 6, 2014

First-Generation 'Boston Girl' Becomes Career Woman In Diamant's Latest

cover crop
Scribner

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 11:51 am

Anita Diamant's new novel Boston Girl begins with a question: a granddaughter asks her grandmother, "How did you get to be the woman you are today?"

Addie Baum was "the other one"-- an afterthought β€” the youngest of three sisters, born in 1900 in Boston's North End to Jewish immigrant parents. It was a time when most women didn't finish school, couldn't vote, and worked at low-level jobs just until they were married, to men they likely didn't choose for themselves.

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