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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Author Interviews
8:00 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Post-9/11 Life As A 'Non-Enemy Combatant'

Alex Gilvarry's dark first novel occupies a wacky continuum that begins at the center of haute couture, and ends in solitary confinement. The book is From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant and it looks at one man's trip into military detention. Host Rachel Martin talks with Gilvarry about his book.

From Our Listeners
8:00 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Your Letters: Teaching Soldiers To Be 'Army Strong'

Last week we aired a segment about the U.S. Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program which aims to teach soldiers how to be emotionally and psychologically strong. Host Rachel Martin reads letters about that story and more.

NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Somalian Refugees Sing Of Peace

The Daadab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya is home to half a million Somalis who have fled the chaos and bloodshed of their homeland. Some are recent arrivals. But many have lived there for decades, including musicians. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton met up with some who have put their hopes and dreams into song.

NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Romney Hard-Sells S.C.; Christian Conservatives Turn Away

This week brought a change of scenery for Republican presidential candidates from New Hampshire to South Carolina, where voters will cast ballots on Saturday. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Mara Liasson about the political state of the play in the GOP nominating contest.

Author Interviews
5:58 am
Sun January 15, 2012

'In Our Prime'? What It Means To Be Middle-Aged

iStockphoto.com

Not so long ago, being middle-aged was associated with being over the hill. But not anymore — nowadays, 60 is the new 40. In her new book, In Our Prime, Patricia Cohen, a culture reporter for The New York Times (who isn't shy about telling us she's 51), explores the evolution of that oft-maligned, middle period of life.

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Sunday Puzzle
12:01 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Second To Last

NPR Graphic

On-Air Challenge: Think of a word that can follow a given word to complete a familiar two-word phrase or name. The first two letters of your word must be the second and last letters, respectively, of the given word. For example, if given "fallen," the answer would be "angel."

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Music Interviews
3:00 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Charlie Haden: A Moment Of Clarity

Charlie Haden's latest album is Come Sunday, a collaboration with the late pianist Hank Jones.
Courtesy of the artist

Charlie Haden is a legend in jazz music. He started as a singer on his family's country radio show when he was just 2 years old. After losing his voice to polio as a teenager, he found a new voice by picking up the bass. That decision launched a career that spans jazz, country and gospel music.

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Author Interviews
8:16 am
Sun January 8, 2012

'Orphan': A New Novel Imagines Life In North Korea

istockphoto.com

When North Korean President Kim Jong Il died last month, media outlets around the world tried to cover the story with very few facts. That's because there really are no clear facts about North Korea. It's arguably the most closed society in the world — run as a hereditary fiefdom by a family of dictators.

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The Record
6:11 am
Sun January 8, 2012

Soundtracking 'The Descendants' With 'Real' Hawaiian Music

Gabby Pahinui (center), playing in his family's backyard with (from left to right) Leland "Atta" Isaacs, Philip Pahinui, Cyril Pahinui and Martin Pahinui. This photo is in the album insert for the 1972's Gabby.
Courtesy of the Pahinui Ohana

As the Oscar race heats up, one contender has already won over fans in Hawaii, where the movie was filmed. And not just for its story of a family grappling with death and infidelity — but also for its soundtrack. The Descendants has no orchestral score. Instead, director Alexander Payne chose to fill his movie exclusively with music by Hawaii artists — much of it from existing recordings.

Payne didn't know much about the music when he started the project. Then he discovered one of the giants of Hawaiian music, Gabby Pahinui.

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Religion
6:10 am
Sun January 8, 2012

Has Obama Waged A War On Religion?

Some political and religious leaders say there is a White House-led war against religion.
Joe Drivas Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:35 pm

Americans' religious liberties are under attack — or at least that's what some conservatives say.

Newt Gingrich warns the U.S. is becoming a secular country, which would be a "nightmare." Rick Santorum says there's a clash between "man's laws and God's laws." And in a campaign ad, Rick Perry decried what he called "Obama's war on religion," saying there is "something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly ... pray in school."

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Sunday Puzzle
8:00 pm
Sat January 7, 2012

Arrange The Notes

On-Air Challenge: Each answer is a five-letter word or phrase containing the letters N, O, T, E plus one other letter. Answer the clues to get the words.

Last Week's Challenge: Name certain scores in a certain sport. The score and the sport are both two-word phrases with a total of 10 letters (five letters in each word). Rearrange the letters to name a different sport, also in two words (six letters in the first word, four in the second). What are the scores, and what is the sport?

Answer: Rearrange "field goals" to name "ladies golf."

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Music Interviews
4:00 pm
Sat January 7, 2012

Carolyn Wonderland: A Full 'Meal' Of Texas Blues

Carolyn Wonderland (center) learned guitar after getting thrown out of school at 17.
Todd Wolfson

Austin musician Carolyn Wonderland kicks off her new album, Peace Meal, with "What Good Can Drinkin' Do," an old Janis Joplin tune. You'd be excused if you thought you were listening to Joplin herself.

"You know, it's a funny thing growing up in Texas: If you're a girl, you pretty much learn that you sing Janis songs to yourself in private," Wonderland says. "You don't do it in public. If it's not against the law, I'm not sure why."

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun January 1, 2012

A New Year's Forecast For The Health Care Bill

One of the biggest political question marks going into 2012 is the fate of the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Audie Cornish speaks with Noam Levey of the Los Angeles Times about what's ahead for Americans in terms of health care in the new year, including a constitutional challenge to the law's mandatory health care provision.

NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun January 1, 2012

GOP Candidates Join Another Party For New Year's

Originally published on Sun January 1, 2012 10:53 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

Even though seven Republican presidential candidates ushered in the New Year, a new poll by the Des Moines Register in Iowa makes it look like a three-person race. We'll fill you in on the latest shuffle of front-runners in a moment. But first, how did the Republicans candidates spend New Year's Eve?

So we sent NPR's Sonari Glinton to find out.

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Europe
8:00 am
Sun January 1, 2012

The Euro Pictures Its First 10 Years

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Cautious optimism is about all eurozone countries could muster for the 10 year anniversary of their shared currency, after months of worry over whether the euro would truly survive. When the euro launched its first banknotes and coins 10 years ago, it was amid fireworks and celebration. This year, a more modest approach. The European Central Bank is issuing a new, two-euro coin, a sort of brass and nickel birthday card for the euro.

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Movies
8:00 am
Sun January 1, 2012

Screenwriter John Logan's Very Good Year

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. And in this part of the program, we're going to talk to writers at the top of their game. In the world of music, Ryan Adams has been one of the most prolific balladeers on the road. We'll hear from him in a moment. But first, screenwriter John Logan. You'll be forgiven for not knowing his face, but you're bound to recognize the names he's helped bring to the silver screen.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE MONTAGE)

RUSSELL CROWE: (as Maximus) My name is Gladiator.

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Music
5:44 am
Sun January 1, 2012

The Year Ahead In Latin Music

Y La Bamba is one of Alt.Latino's acts to watch for 2012.
Courtesy of the artist

You may have noticed that in 2011, Weekend Edition Sunday featured a lot more Latin music. That's because all year, the show has been visited by Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd, hosts of the NPR Music podcast Alt.Latino.

To ring in 2012, Jasmine and Felix chat with host Audie Cornish about their predictions for the coming year in Latin alternative music — as well as some of the artists they'll have their eyes on as the months unfold.

Sunday Puzzle
4:00 am
Sun January 1, 2012

The Fame Game

NPR Graphic

On-Air Challenge: It's our annual year-end news quiz, compiled with the help of Kathie Baker and Tim Goodman. You are given new names in the news — people you probably never heard of before 2011, but who became famous during the past 12 months. Explain why they're famous.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun December 25, 2011

Young And Undocumented: Immigration In Ariz.

Increased deportations in the U.S. have led to more broken families among immigrants. Reporter John Faherty recently profiled three undocumented high school students living together without their families in a trailer in Phoenix, Ariz. Host Audie Cornish speaks with Faherty about his reporting on how Arizona's immigration law has impacted immigrant children.

NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun December 25, 2011

'Toyland Express' Readers Hunt For The Hidden

The "Can You See What I See?" children's book series are photo-puzzles made from Walter Wick's signature photographic compositions of model toys and odds and ends. His latest book is called Toyland Express. Wick joins host Audie Cornish to talk about how he puts together is photo illustrations.

NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun December 25, 2011

Gingrich Camp: More Talk Than Action?

Former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign has suffered a setback on this Christmas weekend. Gingrich failed to get enough signatures to be on the ballot in Virginia, calling into question his organizational ability to sustain a long campaign.

National Security
8:00 am
Sun December 25, 2011

Monumental Year For U.S. National Security

With the end of the war in Iraq, the end of a skyrocketing defense budget and the end of Osama bin Laden, 2011 was a milestone year in the world of national security. To put it all into perspective, NPR's national security correspondent Rachel Martin speaks with host Audie Cornish.

Sports
8:00 am
Sun December 25, 2011

NBA's Opening Day

The NBA's Christmas gift to fans this year is a full slate of marquee matchups. The lockout-delayed season officially opens Sunday with five highly anticipated games. NPR's Mike Pesca joins host Audie Cornish for a look at what to expect.

World
8:00 am
Sun December 25, 2011

Russians Make Historic Demand For Election Re-Run

As Russians mark the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union, their political system has reached another watershed moment. Tens of thousands turned out Saturday for another huge protest against apparent fraud in this month's parliamentary election. The urban middle class in Moscow has risen up to demand greater political rights.

Europe
8:00 am
Sun December 25, 2011

Only The Brits: Not Christmas Without Pantomime

If you think of the British as reserved and proper, think again. This is the season when the Brits loosen their stiff upper lips and, even in these austere times, devote themselves to merry-making. They grab their kids and head for the theater for a raucous and peculiarly British form of entertainment: the traditional Christmas pantomime.

Politics
8:00 am
Sun December 25, 2011

A Report Card For The Tea Party

Congress watcher Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, gives the Tea Party a report card for the year. Ornstein talks with host Audie Cornish about GOP dynamics in the House and Senate and how relationships are beginning to fray.

It Was A Good Year For...
6:01 am
Sun December 25, 2011

With New Strategy, Record Numbers Deported

Honduran migrants deported from the United States wait to complete their paperwork as they return to their home country in August.
Orlando Sierra AFP/Getty Images

2011 was a record year for deportations. During the last federal fiscal year, 396,000 people were removed from the U.S., mostly sent to Latin America.

John Morton heads the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency that identifies people inside the country illegally and prosecutes them.

"We set out to have a year of smart immigration enforcement, and we did just that," he says.

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Music News
5:46 am
Sun December 25, 2011

'Messiah': A Holiday Tradition Transcending Time

A statue of George Frideric Handel, posing with his Messiah transcript, at London's Westminster Abbey.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

This Christmas season, musicians around the country are continuing a centuries-old holiday tradition: performing George Frideric Handel's Baroque masterpiece, Messiah.

In Washington, D.C., the National Symphony Orchestra has finished its 58th annual performance of the work. This year, guest conductor Matthew Halls led the orchestra, which was accompanied by four soloists and the University of Maryland Concert Choir.

Though the performance marked Halls' debut with the NSO, he is not a newcomer to Messiah.

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Food
4:14 am
Sun December 25, 2011

Jewish And Mexican Cooking Meet In 'Challa-peño'

Schmidt's fiesta potato latkes recipe blends Jewish tradition with Mexican flavors.
Susan Schmidt

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 10:04 am

Food memories are vivid. What you ate as a kid can whisk you right back to that lost time in your life — but for my mother's parents, Martha and Jerry Schneider, one special food memory eludes them. My grandparents spent most of their lives in Mexico City but now live in Los Angeles. After many years of living in Mexico City, one particular recollection still stands out: the best Jewish food they had ever tasted was cooked by a couple in downtown Mexico City on a street called Justo Sierra.

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Sunday Puzzle
12:01 am
Sun December 25, 2011

Unwrap The Phrase To Reveal A Gift

NPR Graphic

On-Air Challenge: Identify a gift for a child spelled by consecutive letters in familiar two-word phrases. For example, if given "tomato paste," the answer would be "top."

Last Week's Challenge: Take the word "at." Put a man's first name on each side of it, and say the word out loud. Phonetically, you'll get a word that describes a growing part of our country.

Answer: Put "Jerry," "at," and "Rick" together, and phonetically, you get "geriatric."

Winner: Ginny Walters from Shelburne, Vt.

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