Weekend Edition Sunday

Sundays at 8AM

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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Politics
11:49 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Kicking The Can Down The Road: A Habit That's Hard To Kick

President Obama speaks in front of the Interstate 495 bridge near Wilmington, Del., on Thursday. Obama said he supports the temporary highway bill passed by the House last week — but he doesn't like it.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 1:55 pm

The Senate is expected to vote on a temporary transportation spending bill later this week — with an emphasis on the word temporary.

The bill would keep highway funding flowing through May of next year, and avert a looming infrastructure crisis. Without congressional action, the highway trust fund would run out of cash in August.

The short-term fix follows a familiar pattern. It goes something like this:

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Performing Arts
11:40 am
Sun July 20, 2014

At Monty Python Reunion Show, The Circus Makes One Last Flight

Michael Palin, left, and Terry Gilliam perform on the opening night of Monty Python Live (Mostly). The final performance of the reunion show, on Sunday, will be live-streamed at theaters around the world.
Dave J Hogan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:08 pm

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The Sunday Conversation
11:13 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Astronaut Who Walked On The Moon: 'It Was Science Fiction To Us'

During the Apollo 12 mission, astronaut Alan Bean holds a container of lunar soil. The astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad, who took the photograph, is reflected in Bean's faceshield. Bean says he used to think that in his lifetime, we'd build a base on the moon and start preparing to travel to Mars.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 2:20 pm

In November of 1969, astronaut Alan Bean became the fourth man to walk on the moon. His mission, Apollo 12, arrived at the moon a few months after Apollo 11 made the first moon landing. That historic event celebrates its 45th anniversary Sunday.

Apollo 12 got off to a dramatic start: A storm rolled in as the rocket was scheduled to launch. Bean, with fellow astronauts Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon, sat inside the spacecraft while the bad weather threatened the operation.

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Television
10:48 am
Sun July 20, 2014

James Garner Of 'Rockford Files' And 'Maverick' Dies At 86

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:09 pm

Garner was known for wise-cracking, tough-guy characters who were not afraid to bend the rules. NPR's Arun Rath talks with biographer Jon Winokur about the actor's prolific career.

NPR Story
10:14 am
Sun July 20, 2014

'Transformers' Inspires Chinese Farmer-Artists

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:08 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

And while we are celebrating zombies who shuffle from movies into comic book, what about the toy robots that became a cartoon that then became a movie series and now have inspired Chinese farmers to become master replica robot builders?

(SOUNDBITE OF "TRANSFORMERS" THEME SONG)

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: Transformers, more than meets the eye.

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NPR Story
10:14 am
Sun July 20, 2014

As Polar Icebox Shrinks, Infectious Pathogens Move North

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:08 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Infectious diseases may be spreading more quickly, thanks to global warming. Viruses that were kept in check by the polar ice box are being released. And as some animals move north to keep cool, they're bringing all sorts of parasites with them, from microbes to ticks. Christopher Solomon has written about this in the August issue of "Scientific American." And he joins me now from Montana Public Radio in Missoula. Welcome.

CHRISTOPHER SOLOMON: Good to be here, Arun.

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NPR Story
10:14 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Facility Sets Up Extreme Precautions To Treat Ebola Patients

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:08 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath. The worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded continues to spread in West Africa. And medical workers in Sierra Leone have responded by expanding an extraordinary field hospital. It opened less than a month ago, but it now has the largest Ebola isolation unit ever built, with 64 beds. NPR's Jason Beaubien visited and describes for us the infection control measures that go into treating this highly contagious disease.

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Middle East
11:47 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Palestinians Seek Shelter At Supply-Strapped U.N. Schools

Palestinian families travel to a United Nations school to seek shelter after evacuating their homes near the Israel-Gaza border Sunday. Israel has been warning residents to leave.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 2:14 pm

Residents in Northern Gaza have been fleeing their homes in anticipation of a new Israeli assault, as the exchange of Hamas rockets and Israeli airstrikes enters its sixth day. A brief ground action conducted by Israel Sunday morning came as Israel warns that a larger campaign may be coming.

But United Nations schools in Gaza, which expect to shelter tens of thousands of Palestinians, say they're short on resources to help provide for the evacuees.

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Middle East
11:47 am
Sun July 13, 2014

People Evacuate Gaza Strip As Tensions Increase

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is a WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath in for Rachel Martin. The international community is trying to resolve the bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Yet today, the crisis is getting worse, not better. People are evacuating the Gaza Strip and Israel has made its first ground incursion. NPR's Ari Shapiro's in Jerusalem and joins us with the latest. Hi Ari.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hey, Arun.

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Music Interviews
11:47 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Charlie Haden's Lessons On Music And Life

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Sports
9:52 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Soccer Biter Will Return From His Ban To Play For A New Club

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 11:47 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Sports
9:52 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Germany And Argentina To Finish Up World Cup

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 11:47 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

You're listening to NPR News. This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm a Arun Rath.

(SOUNDBITE OF MIKE PESCA THEME SONG)

RATH: That triumphant fight song means it's time to talk sports with slate.com's Mike Pesca, host of the podcast, The Gist. Hi Mike. Good to talk to you.

MIKE PESCA: Triumphant, yes.

(LAUGHTER)

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NPR Story
9:52 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Founders Claimed A Subversive Right To 'Nature's God'

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 1:14 pm

The U.S. was not founded as a Christian nation, says historian Matthew Stewart. He tells NPR's Arun Rath about his book Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic.

World
9:52 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Jihadi Videos Push Islamic Music's Austere Boundaries

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 1:15 pm

Islamist militants have stepped up their game when it comes to the music and visuals in their videos. NPR's Arun Rath talks to scholar Peter Neumann about today's tech-savvy jihadists.

Remembrances
9:52 am
Sun July 13, 2014

'Without Tommy, There's No Ramones'

Tommy Ramone, the original drummer for the Ramones, died Friday at the age of 65.
Ian Dickson Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 8:38 am

Punk rock music has lost one of its earliest pioneers.

Tommy Ramone died of cancer on Friday at his home in Queens, N.Y. He was the last surviving member of the original Ramones.

Tommy Ramone was Tamás Erdélyi before he became a "Ramone" and produced punk rock classics like "Rockaway Beach."

He was born in Budapest, where, as kid, he once had a memorable trip to see a movie about America.

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World
10:46 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Quebec Town Honors Train Derailment Victims, One Year Later

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 12:50 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Games & Humor
8:10 am
Sun July 6, 2014

If You Cut In The Middle, Go To The End Of The Line

NPR

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 12:50 pm

On-air challenge: Two clues will be given for two five-letter answers. Move the middle letter of the first answer to the end of the word to get the second answer. Example: A weapon that's thrown; a tire in the trunk. Answer: spear/spare

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Animals
7:55 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Study Shows Penguins Endangered By Waning Antarctic Ice

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 12:50 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. A study published in the journal "Nature Climate Change" says, the population of Emperor penguins in Antarctica is in danger. Hal Caswell is a scientist emeritus at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He co-authored the report. And he joins us from Amsterdam. Welcome.

HAL CASWELL: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: You've been studying the Emperor penguin population in Antarctica. What's happening to them?

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Around the Nation
7:55 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Keeping Time By Rubidium At The Naval Observatory

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 12:50 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

We're spending part of our summer stargazing. And this week, as part of our series looking at the heavens, we went to the U.S. Naval Observatory, which sits on high ground, overlooking most of Washington. You're probably already familiar with what it does.

(SOUNDBITE OF RECORDED MESSAGE)

FRED COVINGTON: U.S. Naval Observatory Master Clock. At the tone, the Eastern daylight time - 14 hours, 20 minutes exactly. Universal time...

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Author Interviews
7:55 am
Sun July 6, 2014

'Coffee For Roses' And Other Garden Myths Debunked

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 12:50 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's summer time, when all that hard work putting in the garden really pays off. But some of the hard work might've been for nothing. The garden is a place filled with old wives tales and unscientific advice. For instance, have you ever been told that rusty nails planted with hydrangeas will turn the flowers blue? That myth is busted in a new book by horticulturalist C. L. Fornari. It's called "Coffee For Roses And 70 Other Misleading Myths About Backyard Gardening." C. L. Fornari, welcome to our program.

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Europe
1:13 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

In Paris, Training Wheels For The Littlest Riders

Not quite 3 years old, Oscar Bayeda is just learning to ride with the help of P'tit Velib's bike-sharing program for children.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 3:58 pm

A bike rental scheme in Paris that began seven years ago has been such a success, the city has launched a version for children. Parents can now rent bikes for tots up to 8 years old at locations across the city.

Officials say the program won't cost Paris a cent and might help build a new generation of environmentally conscious citizens — or perhaps inspire a few future Tour de France champions.

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Economy
12:31 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

Housing Market Fake-Outs Stump Economists

Homebuilding remains slumped at levels not seen since WWII.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 3:13 pm

Many homebuyers have been throwing down cold hard cash for their entire house purchase in recent years. Some are baby-boomers who sold a bigger house and are downsizing. Some are investors. Others are from outside the U.S.

"Top of the list in terms of cash sales in the first quarter was Florida, with 64 percent of all sales going to cash buyers, followed by New York, 59 percent; Alabama, 56 percent," says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, which did a study on cash purchases.

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Strange News
11:55 am
Sun June 29, 2014

How 'Professor Godzilla' Learned To Roar

For William Tsutsui, incoming president of Hendrix College and author of Godzilla On My Mind, the iconic lizard is an obsession and an inspiration.
Hillsman Jackson

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 4:15 pm

Hendrix College, a small school outside of Little Rock, Ark., is about to get a new president. His name is William Tsutsui, a Princeton-, Oxford-, and Harvard-educated economist, but he's best known for a certain expertise that has landed him the nickname Professor Godzilla.

Tsutsui first heard the infamous roar of the radioactive monster lizard when he was 8 years old, living in the tiny college town of Bryan, Texas.

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Media
10:54 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Advertisers Come Out Of The Closet, Openly Courting Gay Consumers

Boyfriends, or roommates? Decades ago, commercials like this 1997 Volkswagen Golf ad left homosexual relationships implied, in a sort of secret code. These days, gay-friendly advertisers don't feel the need to be covert.
YouTube

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 3:16 pm

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Sports
8:12 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Die-Hard Fans Still Fill The Grids With Balls And Strikes

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 12:23 pm

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

And before R. A. Dickey headed off to the ballpark, I tossed him one more question about a decades-old baseball ritual - following the game with a pencil and a scorecard - keeping score.

R. A. DICKEY: I grew up watching WGN and TBS from my living room and having a scorebook there and, like, keeping score off the television. At the end of it, it's like you've put together this really neat puzzle and woven this story, and you've somehow played a part in it.

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Author Interviews
8:12 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Pitcher R.A. Dickey Tells Kids It's OK To Be Different

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 12:23 pm

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

R. A. Dickey is a phenomenal pitcher. He's also a lone wolf.

(SOUNDBITE OF BASEBALL GAMES)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #1: 1-2 to Davis...

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #2: In the air. Strike three. Whoa. Back-to-back one-hitters for R. A. Dickey...

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #3: The phenomenon that is Robert Allen Dickey continues to get more and more unlikely.

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Humans
8:12 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Curious Father Decodes His Unborn Son's DNA

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 5:22 pm

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

Couples awaiting the birth of a child face a lot of unknowns. Boy or girl? Will they be healthy? Advances in genetic testing allow parents to know more than ever. But current tests generally target a single medical condition. It's only recently that the genes of a fetus have been completely genotyped.

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Iraq
12:10 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

'I'm An Iraqi': A Family Attacked, A Brother Missing

In 2005, Iqbal al-Juboori's family, who is Sunni, was attacked at home. The attackers kidnapped Juboori's brother simply because of his ethnicity, she believes.
Courtesy of Iqbal al-Juboori

Originally published on Sun June 22, 2014 12:33 pm

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Iqbal al-Juboori is well acquainted with the ethnic tensions coming to a head in her home country of Iraq right now. In 2005, her family, who is Sunni, was attacked in their home and her brother was kidnapped simply because of his ethnicity, Juboori believes.

Her brother hasn't been seen since.

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Fine Art
11:35 am
Sun June 22, 2014

'The Illustrated Courtroom' Finds Art In Real-Life Legal Drama

Artist Elizabeth Williams sketched NPR's Rachel Martin during their conversation.
Elizabeth Williams

Originally published on Sun June 22, 2014 1:26 pm

For some trials, courtroom sketches are the only images the public ever sees. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with artist Elizabeth Williams about her new book, which looks at 50 years of such drawings.

Shots - Health News
11:34 am
Sun June 22, 2014

Shortage Of Saline Solution Has Hospitals On Edge

Reid Kennedy, materials manager at San Francisco General Hospital, stands next to racks of saline solution. He has had to carefully manage the hospital's supply of saline during this shortage.
Mark Andrew Boyer KQED

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:09 am

Hospitals across the country are struggling with a shortage of one of their essential medical supplies.

Manufacturers are rationing saline solution — essentially pharmaceutical-grade saltwater. The stuff is used all around hospitals to clean wounds, mix medications or treat dehydration. Now drug companies say they won't be able to catch up with demand until next year.

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