Weekend Edition Saturday on IPR News and Studio One

Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Hosted by Scott Simon
Julie Englander

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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Monkey See
5:08 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Explaining Muppet Theory: Are You An Ernie Or A Bert?

Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie in the 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade. They even look like a clash between Order and Chaos, don't they?
Matthew Simmons Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 1:22 pm

Most of the time, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick covers the Supreme Court. She's been doing that for the last 13 years. But recently, you may have seen her name floating around in connection with the piece she recently wrote that she discusses with Scott Simon on Saturday's Weekend Edition.

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Middle East
5:06 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Militant Territory Cleared In Yemen, For Now

Yemeni residents walk past vehicles and houses which were destroyed during recent fighting between the army and militants on a road leading to the city of Zinjibar on Thursday.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 11:27 am

In southern Yemen, government forces backed by U.S. advisers claim they are routing al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and allied groups from territory that the militants had controlled over the past year.

This is the same al-Qaida that has tried to send so-called underwear bombers to attack U.S.-bound planes.

Abandoned Streets

Just outside the town of Zinjibar, it's clear that fierce battles went on here. It's deserted. There are no people, but there are an enormous number of bullet and shrapnel holes in the buildings.

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Around the Nation
4:55 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Daredevil High-Wired For Success Over Niagara Falls

Nik Wallenda crosses over Niagara Falls on a tightrope on Friday. He became the first person to cross directly over the falls from the U.S. into Canada.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 1:22 pm

Daredevil Nik Wallenda became the first person to walk directly over Niagara Falls on Friday night. More than 100,000 people crowded onto the U.S.-Canadian border to watch him inch along a tightrope.

Wallenda's wire weighed seven tons and took hours to string across the falls with a helicopter. Crews held it in place with two construction cranes.

Wallenda is part of the famous "Flying Wallendas" circus family. Over seven generations, they've pulled off daring stunts all over the world.

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Music Interviews
6:52 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Glen Hansard: The Best Songs Come 'As A Gift'

Glen Hansard's new album, his first proper solo release, is titled Rhythm and Repose.
Heidi Rose

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 8:59 am

Glen Hansard began singing on the streets of Dublin when he was just 13. Now, in his early 40s, it's almost hard to count his honors. Once, the musical featuring his songs, just won eight Tony Awards.

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Annoying Music
6:48 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

The Most Annoying Songs Of The Summer (So Far)

No one ever said summer music had to be fun.
Ryan Lane iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 1:22 pm

NPR Music has already put together a list of 50 of our favorite songs to help you celebrate the summer. On it, you'll find cheery synth-pop singles, smooth R&B ballads, thumping club bangers and fist-pumping rock anthems.

Missing, however, are those "deep cuts" that lend themselves to a detached, ironic, slightly campy appreciation — the songs that are so bad they're good.

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Sports
2:42 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Behind The Crowns And Roses, A Deadly Race

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 6:41 pm

Today had the promise of history — that is, until the horse I'll Have Another was scratched from the Belmont Stakes. Also scratched: hopes for a long-awaited Triple Crown winner. It was yet another piece of bad news for the horse racing industry, which is under new scrutiny over the safety and treatment of the horses.

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Simon Says
9:58 am
Sat June 9, 2012

When A Job Interview Turns Into Psychoanalysis

Why should someone who wants a job have to confide their fears and flaws to judgmental strangers?
Royal Five/iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 9:17 am

What is your greatest weakness? And is that really any of my business?

Dear Lucy, the workplace advice column written by Lucy Kellaway in the Financial Times, ran a letter this week from a 52-year-old unemployed male.

"I've just been asked in a job interview to name my greatest weakness," he said. "I hummed and hawed for a bit and then said something like, 'Why don't you ask my wife?' I didn't get the job."

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World
8:33 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Bahrain's Crackdown On Activists Extends To Twitter

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 12:42 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

From Syria we head now to Bahrain, where a prominent human rights activist is back in detention this time for what he's been writing on Twitter. The U.S. says it's looking into the case and continuing to encourage Bahrain to allow free speech. Activists say the U.S. isn't pushing its ally hard enough.

NPR's Michele Kelemen spoke with a Bahraini human rights advocate who was in Washington, D.C. this week to remind U.S. officials that activists are still under pressure a year after Bahrain cracked down on anti-government protesters.

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Politics
6:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Licking Their Wounds, Progressives Regroup

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 9:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: And I'm Scott Horsley in Providence. Netroots Nation is part pep rally, part technology seminar, and - this year at least - part postmortem. Netroots chairman Adam Bonin kicked off the gathering just two days after the Wisconsin vote, which was viewed very differently in this crowd than it was by the audience at CPAC.

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Sports
6:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Sports Roundup: Basketball, Boxing And Euro Soccer

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 9:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: And there won't be a Triple Crown winner this year. But it's still a weekend for major matchups of all kinds, with Nadal and Djokovic, LeBron James and the Boston Celtics, and the peerless Manny Pacquiao in action. NPR Sports Correspondent Tom Goldman joins us.

Morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

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Europe
6:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Restructuring Europe Amid A Complex Political Climate

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 9:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Around the Nation
6:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

New Plan Sees More Illegal Immigrants Deported From U.S.

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 9:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Last month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made a significant policy change. They increased the number of agents responsible for finding and deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records by nearly 25 percent. Now, the agency says it wants to remove offenders who pose the greatest threat to public safety or national security.

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Strange News
6:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

What's That Sound? Preserving The Noise Of Old Gadgets

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 9:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Technology is making a lot of things quieter. A dozen years ago, we recorded a lot of our interviews on magnetic tape.

LIANE HANSEN: This is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

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Politics
6:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Conservative Confab Rallies Behind Wisconsin Victory

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 9:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. It seems that every week, there's a new study out on political polarization in America. More and more, we talk to, vote with, and get our news from only those who think the way that we do. So, this week we sent reporters on a couple of polar expeditions to political gatherings on the left and the right. And in a moment, we'll hear from NPR's Scott Horsley at Netroots Nation in Rhode Island. First, now here's NPR's David Schaper at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Chicago.

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Around the Nation
6:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

At N.Y. Speedway, Families Join Dreams Of Race Glory

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 9:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

To the daredevils of motor sports now - stock car racers. The Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, New York - racing takes on a hometown feel. North Country Public Radio's Sarah Harris went to an early season race and has our story.

SARAH HARRIS, BYLINE: At the Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, it's all stock car racing all day.

(SOUNDBITE OF ENGINE REVVING)

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Middle East
6:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Tension Grows In Syria's Continuing Conflict

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 9:58 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

It's been another bloody week in Syria. This week, dozens of people were reportedly killed in cold blood in a tiny farming hamlet in Central Syria by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. It is the latest atrocity in a 15-month revolt against the regime.

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Author Interviews
5:10 am
Sat June 9, 2012

'Mission': Secrecy And Stardom On The Edge Of War

Mission to Paris book cover

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 9:58 am

Fredric Stahl is "the sympathetic lawyer, the kind aristocrat, the saintly husband, the comforting doctor, or the good lover." At least onscreen.

He's an American movie star, born in Vienna, and says "my dear" with a kind of dreamy, trans-European cosmopolitan allure that makes him seem "a warm man in a cold world." He's also the hero of Alan Furst's new novel, Mission to Paris, set in Furst's favorite locale: Europe on the brink of war.

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Around the Nation
5:09 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Saving Niagra Falls, One (Tightrope) Step At A Time

Nik Wallenda walks a tightrope in the rain during a training session for his upcoming stunt in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Gary Wiepert AP

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 6:42 pm

Niagara Falls has long been a magnet for daredevils, but strict laws have kept them away for more than a century. That's expected to change Friday, when circus performer Nik Wallenda will walk a two-inch-thick wire above the giant waterfall. It's an exception officials hope will rescue tourism — and the city's economy.

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World
5:08 am
Sat June 9, 2012

The Young And The Jobless: Hopes On Hold In Spain

Graffiti on a wall in Madrid reads, "We want to work, let the businessmen who have gotten rich from our labor pay for the crisis." Nearly 50 percent of young adults in Spain are unemployed.
Denis Doyle Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 8:46 pm

The crowd of job seekers at an unemployment office in downtown Madrid looks different than it did a few years ago.

When the housing market went bust, construction workers flooded the lobby. Now, labor reforms have made it easier for corporations to fire workers without seniority. So now young people, including those with an education, are unable to find work.

Jaime Garcia de Sola, a former intern at an investment bank, was one of those waiting in the unemployment line.

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Author Interviews
1:03 am
Sat June 9, 2012

How 'The Queen Of British Ska' Wrestled With Race

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 6:44 am

The British ska-revival band The Selecter formed in the late 1970s, playing what can be described as rock fused with calypso and American jazz.

Much of what set the band apart was its charismatic lead singer, Pauline Black. As one of few women in a musical movement dominated by men, she was called "The Queen of British Ska."

That experience is one of many recounted in her new memoir, Black by Design, which has just been released in the U.S.

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Music
7:29 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Kishi Bashi: Unique Performances In Time

Kishi Bashi is the stage name of Japanese-American multi-instrumentalist K. Ishibashi.
Jennifer Leigh

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 9:58 am

Consider this name: Kishi Bashi. It has a pleasant, repetitive character with a nice — if unusual — little loop. It's an apt stage name for a musician who's creating something haunting, beautiful and maybe a little off-kilter through the technology of looping.

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Simon Says
7:35 am
Sat June 2, 2012

Just Deserts Follow Attempted Pasty Tax

Protesters gather outside Downing Street in London to deliver a petition against the so-called "pasty tax," a government bid to levy 20 percent tax on hot takeaway food.
Justin Tallis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 1:39 pm

Sometimes, politicians eat their words. This week, the British government reversed course on a plan to place a 20 percent tax on all foods sold hot — with no exemption for pasties.

Pasties are hand food, baked for Cornish miners to eat when they could put aside their pickaxes. People eat pasties today as they sit on a bench for a few minutes' respite or walk along the street between chores. They have become comfort, convenience, pub-crawling and football-watching food.

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Media
6:55 am
Sat June 2, 2012

Britain's Ad Authority Releases Most-Hated List

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 12:30 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The agency that monitors advertising in Britain turned 50 this week and in honor of the occasion it released a list of the most-hated ads ever to air on the telly. Vicki Barker reports.

VICKI BARKER, BYLINE: In this ad from 2010 for Paddy Power, an Irish-based betting company some blind soccer players kick a ball with a bell on it. They don't see but we see and the ref sees Tiddles the cat wander onto the field and then...

(SOUNDBITE OF CAT SCREECHING)

BARKER: ...the ref puts a consoling arm over the player's shoulder.

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Sports
6:55 am
Sat June 2, 2012

French Open Hasn't Been Great For Americans In Paris

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 10:01 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for sports!

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: It's the French Open and you know, already, there's almost not an American left in Paris - Andy Roddick, Serena and Venus Williams all out already. And elsewhere, the NBA semifinals are in full swing. But let's hold the hardwood and go first to the clay. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the magazine joins us now from the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris. Howard, thanks for being with us.

HOWARD BRYANT: Hey, Scott, how are you doing?

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Middle East
6:55 am
Sat June 2, 2012

Mubarak Convicted In Charges Of Protesters' Deaths

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 10:01 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in deaths of hundreds of protesters during the revolution that ousted him last year. The former Egyptian president is the first Arab leader to be hauled in for trial by his own people.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD)

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Middle East
6:55 am
Sat June 2, 2012

As Killings Continue In Syria, A Look At UN's Role

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 10:01 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Last night in Syria, the third massacre in a week. This time a dozen workers were found shot to death, their bodies dumped in a field. The United Nations has called for an investigation into the mass killings last weekend in Houla of more than 100 people, many of them women and children. We're joined now from the United Nations in New York by Kieran Dwyer. He's the chief spokesman for the U.N. Peacekeeping Department. Mr. Dwyer, thanks for taking the time to speak with us.

KIERAN DWYER: Hello.

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Middle East
6:55 am
Sat June 2, 2012

A Case For Military Intervention In Syria

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 10:01 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

For more on possible options in Syria, we're joined by Thomas P.M. Barnett. He is a former Pentagon analyst who's written in support of military intervention in Syria on Time magazine's Battleland blog. Mr. Barnett's also chief analyst at Wikistrat, a consultancy firm on geopolitical analysis. He joins us from his office in Indianapolis. Mr. Barnett, thanks for being with us.

THOMAS P.M. BARNETT: Thanks for having me on.

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Business
6:55 am
Sat June 2, 2012

Implications Of The Facebook Let-Down

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 10:01 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You know, if Facebook were a Broadway show, they'd be firing the director and rewriting the script. Facebook share price closed this week at $27.72. That's more than a 25 percent drop from its initial public offering price. The social networks debut as a publically traded company last month has been panned, questioned and trouble by a Securities and Exchange Commission probe and shareholder lawsuits.

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Economy
6:55 am
Sat June 2, 2012

Europe's Debt Weighs On U.S. Employers

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 10:01 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

So, why is job growth slowing? Well, part of the problem, as we just heard, appears to be in Europe. The economic turmoil there is looking worse, and that has ripped into the U.S. economy and slowing down hiring. NPR's Chris Arnold has more from Boston.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: The weather this week was beautiful in Boston, so it's perfect for tourists having lunch outside by the harbor or taking a trolley bus around to do some sightseeing.

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Religion
6:55 am
Sat June 2, 2012

Nuns Fight Back Against Vatican Report

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 10:01 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. There's a showdown between American sisters and the Vatican. The Vatican is cracking down on the largest organization for U.S. sisters, called the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Pope Benedict has appointed an archbishop to oversee and reform the organization, accusing it of what amounts to doctrinal dissidence. Now, the sisters are fighting back - at least verbally. We're joined by NPR's religion correspondent, Barbara Bradley Hagerty. Barbara, thanks for being with us.

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