Weekend Edition Saturday on IPR News and News/Studio One

Saturdays at 7 a.m. on IPR News and News/Studio One
 

From civil wars in Bosnia and El Salvador, to hospital rooms, police stations, and America's backyards, National Public Radio's Peabody Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon brings a well-traveled perspective to his role as host of "Weekend Edition Saturday."

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NPR Story
5:52 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Cabrera's Stunning Summer

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 12:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. I'm going to be on vacation for a couple of weeks and after today's show. You know what I'm going to miss? Our crew here and the chance to say: Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

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NPR Story
5:52 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Troubles Linger In 'Shadow Dancer'

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 12:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

"Shadow Dancer," is the name of the new film from James Marsh. The director won an Oscar for his 2008 documentary, "Man on a Wire," and his film, "Project Nim," was also a documentary winner at Sundance. But his latest is a fictional film based on very real events, the bloody civil war in Northern Ireland known as The Troubles. Pat Dowell has more.

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Music Interviews
4:54 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Anna Von Hausswolff: An Artist In Thrall To A Mega-Instrument

Swedish musician Anna von Hausswolff says she was drawn to the church organ by its physicality: "When you play it, you can really feel it because you're sitting close to the pipes. It's almost as if you're becoming a part of the instrument."
Anders Nydam Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 12:22 pm

Swedish performer Anna von Hausswolff is one of the few recording artists in the world who plays the pipe organ in popular music. Her latest album, Ceremony, was recorded over five days at a church in her hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden.

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StoryCorps
4:52 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Brothers Lost On Deployment; Sister Mourns 'Soul Mates'

Monica Velez and her two brothers, Freddy (left) and Andrew, in 1996. Freddy died in Iraq in 2004, and Andrew died in Afghanistan in 2006.
Courtesy of Monica Velez

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 12:22 pm

Cpl. Jose "Freddy" Velez served in Iraq. His brother, Spc. Andrew Velez, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Both died in their early 20s. They are survived by their sister, Monica.

"My mom left us when I was 7, so my dad was a single parent," Monica says. "And I did all the household chores. I got the boys dressed for school, I taught them how to ride their bike, I taught them how to read and write."

One of her favorite memories is when both brothers came back from basic training and told her she could no longer be bossy.

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Simon Says
4:47 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Retire The Phrase, 'This Wouldn't Be A Scandal In Europe'

Reporters swarm around former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer as he attempts to collect signatures for his run for New York City comptroller.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 12:22 pm

I hope we've heard the last of people saying, "This would never be a scandal in Europe." They usually mean "sex scandal," and by now I think Americans are entitled to boast that we've become as blase about politicians with their pants down — or, in the case of Anthony Weiner, pec-flexing with his shirt off — as Europeans like to think they are.

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News
11:49 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Abortion Rights Activists Plan Challenge To Texas Measure

Abortion rights opponents, dressed in blue, and supporters, wearing orange, rally in the state Capitol rotunda Friday before the vote on a set of sweeping abortion restrictions.
Tamir Kalifa AP

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 12:31 pm

In a major victory for the anti-abortion movement, the Texas state Senate passed a sweeping bill early Saturday that has become a flashpoint in the national abortion debate. Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign it in short order.

But the fight is not over. Abortion rights supporters say that the new law attempts to overturn Roe vs. Wade in Texas, and that's why they plan to take their fight to the courts.

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National Security
8:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Defense Contractors See Their Futures In Developing World

A mannequin in night-vision goggles is part of a display at a border-security expo in Pheonix last year. Defense companies are seeking growth in markets in the developing world, or in homeland and cybersecurity.
Amanda Meyers AP

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 4:12 pm

Defense manufacturers worldwide are facing tough times ahead, as tight budgets force Western governments to cut spending. But while the West is cutting back, developing countries around the world are spending more on defense — a lot more.

Last fall, defense contractors warned of massive layoffs if the U.S. government enacted the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. Now, sequestration is in effect, but job losses are limited, in part because many Pentagon contracts were already in place and will keep assembly lines rolling for much of this year.

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Pop Culture
8:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Miranda July: From The Outboxes Of The Noteworthy

Performance artist Miranda July's new project, We Think Alone, blasts a set of random emails from some well-known names on intimate topics to anyone who signs up for them.
Courtesy the artist

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:16 pm

Filmmaker and artist Miranda July is blasting emails copied from the outboxes of some well-known names on intimate topics to anyone who signs up.

The project is called We Think Alone, and includes messages sent from a range of notable people (who agreed to participate in advance, of course). Those names include the NBA's all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul Jabar, fashion-designing siblings Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, and a Canadian-American theoretical physicist.

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Music Interviews
8:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

George Benson Follows The Path Of His 'Unforgettable' Idol

George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, is a tribute to his hero.
Greg Allen Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 12:22 pm

You could say George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, was conceived decades ago. Benson was just a kid when he first mimicked Cole off the radio, singing his own version of "Mona Lisa" while accompanying himself on the ukulele. He even made a recording.

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Environment
7:25 am
Sat July 6, 2013

One Garden's Climate Struggle (And How To Save Yours)

Many of the flowers at Hillwood are doing well despite the ever-changing local climate.
Emily Files NPR

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 11:44 am

At the Hillwood Estate gardens in Washington, D.C., the new norm is: "Expect the unexpected." So says volunteer coordinator Bill Johnson, who has worked on property belonging to the heiress of the Post cereal fortune for 30 years.

Like home gardeners, the horticulturalists and professional gardeners at Hillwood are confronting an unpredictable climate.

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Political Crisis In Egypt
7:21 am
Sat July 6, 2013

The U.S. Holds The Aid Card, Yet Egypt Still Trumps

Egyptian protesters celebrate in Tahrir Square on Wednesday. The United States has managed to alienate just about every political actor in Egypt.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 8:04 pm

The ouster of Mohammed Morsi puts the U.S. in an awkward position: By law, the administration is supposed to cut off aid to a country after a military coup, but Egypt's military has been a key to regional stability. As the administration considers its next steps, it's come under criticism from all sides in Egypt over how it's handling the situation.

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Around the Nation
5:24 am
Sat July 6, 2013

With Bullets Scarce, More Shooters Make Their Own

Since the Newtown school shooting in December, gun stores nationwide have had difficulty keeping ammunition, like these .223-caliber rifle bullets, in stock.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 8:05 pm

Gun stores around the country have had difficulty keeping up with demand for ammunition in recent months. Fears of government tightening of gun and ammunition controls have meant that retailers, from Wal-Mart to mom-and-pop gun shops, haven't been able to keep bullets on the shelves.

Cliff Poser's gun shop, Cliff's Guns, Safes and Reloading in Boise, Idaho, is one of them. Business has been so crazy lately that he has to keep a special stash of ammunition, just so customers who buy guns from him can also buy bullets.

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Code Switch
3:48 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Remembering Birmingham's 'Dynamite Hill' Neighborhood

Three civil rights workers stand guard in front NAACP attorney Arthur Shores' house in Sept. 1963. The house was blasted by dynamite the night before.
AP

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 8:54 am

Long before the Civil Rights marches of 1963 thrust Birmingham, Ala. into the national spotlight, black families along one residential street were steadily chipping away at Jim Crow segregation laws — and paying a price for it. As part of our series looking back at the seminal events that changed the nation 50 years ago, NPR's Debbie Elliott paid a visit to Birmingham's Dynamite Hill.

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Health
3:31 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Growing The Latest In 16th-Century Medicine

The opium poppy is the most common source of opium and morphine.
New York Botanical Garden

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 5:37 pm

The Renaissance Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, a re-creation of a 16th-century medicinal garden, is so lush and colorful, it takes only a stroll through to absorb its good medicine.

The garden, part of a summer exhibit called Wild Medicine: Healing Plants Around the World, is a small-scale model of the Italian Renaissance Garden in Padua, Italy, Europe's first botanical garden.

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Theater
5:29 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

For Hannibal & Co., A Horrifying New Stage

Exorcistic, a rock parody inspired by a certain 1971 novel and the William Friedkin film made from it, showcases Merlin as a rapping priest inspired by Max von Sydow's Father Merrin. Above, the show poster for the musical's Los Angeles fringe production.
David Haverty Hollywood Fringe

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 1:26 pm

What do a reanimated deviant surgeon, a cannibalistic serial killer and a demon-plagued, vomit-spattered priest have in common? They're all characters in camp stage musicals inspired by horror films — and they're all played by the same classically trained opera singer.

His name is Jesse Merlin, and he looks a little like a young, untanned George Hamilton. But he has a bass-baritone voice that would be perfect for Gilbert and Sullivan.

Since that's not what Hollywood's looking for, Merlin had to scare up roles elsewhere.

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Monkey See
4:50 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Girls' Legos Are A Hit, But Why Do Girls Need Special Legos?

Olivia also has a treehouse.
Lego

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 8:55 pm

Two years ago, in 2011, 90 percent of Lego's consumers were boys. A tough statistic to swallow for those of us who grew up playing with Lego's gender-neutral buckets of bricks. But the statistic came straight from Lego, which was then focused on boys with franchised sets based on properties like Star Wars and The Avengers after weathering a disastrous period in the 1990s that left the company on the brink of collapse.

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Music
11:54 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Sasha Dobson's Journey Out Of Jazz And Into Songwriting

Formerly a scat singer, Sasha Dobson has just released her first solo album of original songs, Aquarius.
L. Arthi Krishnaswami Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 2:44 pm

Smith Dobson was one of the most sought-after pianists of the Bay Area when he died in a car crash in 2001. He was part of a musical family — his wife, Gail, a jazz singer; his son a drummer. His daughter, Sasha Dobson, was a scat singer who followed the family's jazz muse until her dad's tragic death.

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NPR Story
10:41 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Egyptian Protests Grow Violent

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 2:44 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

President Obama may be in South Africa but his attention is also on Egypt. Mr. Obama said today, he's concerned about political protests and clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi which have left at least three people dead, including one American.

Joining us now is NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson from Cairo. Thanks for joining us, Soraya.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: You're welcome.

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Books News & Features
8:05 am
Sat June 29, 2013

'Empire Falls' Author Richard Russo Gives E-Publishing A Try

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 2:44 pm

Richard Russo, the writer who won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for his book Empire Falls, published a new novel six months ago. If you're wondering how you missed it, it might be because Russo chose not to publish with a traditional publisher. There are no hardcover or paperback copies of Nate in Venice -- it's only available by subscription on Byliner, a digital publishing service, where you can only read it on an e-reader, phone or tablet.

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Author Interviews
7:08 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Steamy Novel An 'Education' In Youth, Love And Mistakes

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 12:23 pm

Susan Choi's previous novels have pulled from events in the headlines: the Korean War for The Foreign Student; the Patty Hearst kidnapping for American Woman; and the Wen Ho Lee accusations for A Person of Interest. But her latest book, My Education, was inspired by something else — youthful passion.

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Space
7:08 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Shuttle Atlantis Lands For Good At Kennedy Space Center

The space shuttle Atlantis, with its cargo arm extended, goes on display today the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 5:06 pm

Visitors to the new Atlantis exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center walk into the building under a big orange external fuel tank like the one the shuttle rode into space.

The tank's a replica — but the shuttle inside is the real deal.

People who worked on the shuttle program, like retired technician Tom Boarman, are looking forward to reuniting with Atlantis.

"Well, it will be a very familiar sight to me," Boarman said. "I've seen it on the pad many times — all the shuttles."

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The Salt
7:08 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Preserving The Season's Fruits With A Canning Evangelist

For the sweetest, smoothest strawberry jam, author Kevin West suggests staying as far away as possible from what he calls "Pamela Anderson fruit": the big strawberries found in regular supermarkets. He prefers picking small, red berries from farm stands, instead.
Kevin West Knopf

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 2:44 pm

Shopping at a farmers market on a weekend morning can turn bittersweet if your eye for just-picked summer fruit is bigger than your refrigerator and appetite.

That's a crisis first-time cookbook author Kevin West found himself in a few years back. After one particular farmers market spree, West's buyer's remorse came from a big package of fresh strawberries.

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Parallels
7:08 am
Sat June 29, 2013

War Correspondent's Unflinching 'Diary Of A Bad Year'

A Syrian woman is evacuated after being wounded in shelling by regime forces in the Shaar neighborhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on Oct. 13, 2012.
Fabio Bucciarelli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 10:50 pm

  • Listen to Kelly McEvers' Hourlong Documentary

NPR's Kelly McEvers struggled with intense, unexpected emotions during the Arab Spring, when friends were being kidnapped and worse. It made her wonder, why do otherwise intelligent people risk their lives to report on conflicts?

In early 2011, I started seeing things in slow motion. I cried unpredictably. It was the time of the Arab uprisings. Colleagues and friends were getting kidnapped. Some were getting killed.

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NPR Story
6:20 am
Sat June 29, 2013

A Tribute To 'Annoying Music' Host

Jim Nayder, host of the The Annoying Music Show and Magnificent Obession, died this week. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon, left, remembers his good friend.
Courtesy Scott Simon

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 3:46 pm

Longtime Chicago radioman Jim Nayder brought ear-aching music from his Annoying Music Show to Weekend Edition for many years. He died on Friday at the age of 59. Host Scott Simon has this remembrance of his friend.

Jim Nayder was a sweet soul and a cockeyed wit in a world with too little of both. He said annoying music wasn't bad, so much as good songs recorded by big stars who should have known better.

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NPR Story
6:20 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Can The Tour Be Won Without Drugs?

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 2:44 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

NEARY: Lance Armstrong says it's impossible to win the Tour de France without drugs and today marks the start of the 100th Tour de France race. A murder charge against former New England Patriots' tight end Aaron Hernandez has rattled football fans. But it's not all crime and punishment in sports. There's also the U.S. Women's Open in golf.

NPR's Tom Goldman joins us now. Hi, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hiya, Lynn.

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NPR Story
6:20 am
Sat June 29, 2013

As Doctors Leave Syria, Public Health Crisis Looms

Refugees fill cans with water inside a camp in Baalbek, Lebanon, for Syrians who have fled the fighting in their country.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 2:44 pm

The death toll in Syria's ongoing civil war may now be as high as 100,000. As the violence mounts, another emergency is looming: a public health crisis across the region.

That's the conclusion of a new study published by the British medical journal The Lancet. Syria's health care system is near collapse. Outbreaks of disease are on the rise in the country, and refugees sheltered beyond the border are also at great risk.

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News
4:21 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Gay Marriage Now A State-By-State Battle

Advocates for gay marriage in gather outside the New Jersey Statehouse on Thursday.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 2:44 pm

Gay rights activists celebrated two big victories this week before the U.S. Supreme Court, as justices overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and cleared the way for same-sex marriages in California.

Now gay marriage opponents and supporters are turning their attention to individual states, like New Jersey, where polls show most residents support same-sex marriage. So far, one person, Gov. Chris Christie, has stood in the way.

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Health
4:17 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Despite Alzheimer's, Couple Holds Tight To Old Memories

The Greenes say they take it a day at a time and relish the many long-term memories they've shared for nearly 60 years.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 2:44 pm

Right now, 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. One of them is 73-year-old Pansy Greene. She's in the early stages of Alzheimer's, and she and her husband, Winston, want people to know that so far, their daily lives have changed little despite the diagnosis.

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Sports
4:15 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Randonneurs Are In It For The Ride, Not The Race

Michael Bingle of Vancouver, Wash., rides through Grand Ronde, Ore., during a 400-kilometer randonnée in May.
Angela Evancie

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 2:44 pm

For many of us, a single cycling event — the Tour de France — defines athleticism on two wheels. The epic race was first organized by a French newspaper editor named Henri Desgrange in 1903. But Desgrange also had a hand in the creation of a very different style of cycling: the randonnée, a long distance-ride that prizes camaraderie and self-sufficiency over flat-out speed.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:36 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Why Tchaikovsky's Bells And Cannons Sound Every July 4

The Boston Pops rehearses for its Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular on July 3, 2012, at the Charles River Esplanade.
Paul Marotta Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 2:44 pm

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and on the big day, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture will be heard from coast to coast, complete with fireworks and cannons. But how did a Russian composition, depicting the rout of Napoleon's Army, end up as the unofficial soundtrack for our most quintessentially American holiday?

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