Ongoing Coverage:

Weekend Edition Saturday

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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Law
10:10 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

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.
8:41 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 10:10 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 lechón, 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
6:50 am
Sat December 27, 2014

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

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 10:10 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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U.S.
6:46 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Protests Reflect Real Harm From Police Policies, Organizer Says

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

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

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Deceptive Cadence
6:46 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 10:10 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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Movies
9:59 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 11:05 am

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 — 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
9:56 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 10:39 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 — though dissidents say other security people follow you.

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Animals
8:13 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 10:39 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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NPR Story
6:47 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Cubans Blame Their Woes On The U.S. Embargo

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 3:08 pm

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

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Sports
6:47 am
Sat December 20, 2014

What A Thaw In Cuba Relations Means For Baseball

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 10:39 am

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

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(MUSIC)

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Music Interviews
6:35 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Wexford Carols Brings Irish Holiday Relics To Life

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 10:39 am

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

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Fine Art
6:35 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Turner Was A Brute, But He Painted With Romantic Radiance

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 10:39 am

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

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Remembrances
6:35 am
Sat December 20, 2014

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

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 10:39 am

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

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Politics
9:55 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Government Funding Bill Rolls Back Trucker Rest Requirements

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 1:21 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
8:53 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,” but in 1964, blacks weren't allowed to eat there.
Courtesy Ollie McClung Jr.

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 1:21 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 — taking out the meal — 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
8:12 am
Sat December 13, 2014

It's Ugly Christmas Sweater Season — Share Your Best (Bad) Attire

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

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 8:56 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 — 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
7:12 am
Sat December 13, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 6:26 pm

Copyright 2014 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
7:12 am
Sat December 13, 2014

London Men Decks Their Beards With Beads And Baubles

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 1:21 pm

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

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Space
7:12 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Geminids Promise A Light Show In The Night Sky

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 11:52 am

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

NPR Story
10:51 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Mourning Turns To Protest At Brooklyn Victim's Funeral

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 12:07 pm

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

Middle East
10:33 am
Sat December 6, 2014

American Hostage Killed During Rescue Attempt In Yemen

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 10:53 am

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

Author Interviews
10:33 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Journalist Documents The Many 'Trials Of Oscar Pistorius'

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 10:51 am

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

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Valentine's Day 2013, and a world-famous athlete who inspired people around the world shot the woman he loved four times as she lay behind a bathroom door.

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Space
6:48 am
Sat December 6, 2014

NASA's Orion Capsule Looks And Acts Like Apollo

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 10:51 am

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

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Sports
6:48 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Less Wrestling, More Sport In Roller Derby World Cup

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 2:03 pm

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

Sports
6:48 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Pro Athletes Show Support For Ferguson Protesters

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 10:51 am

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

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

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Code Switch
11:05 am
Sat November 29, 2014

A Musical Tribute For A Waiter Who Spoke Out Against Racism

Justin Hopkins sings during a tribute show for Booker Wright, who worked in a whites-only restaurant in the Mississippi Delta.
Brandall Atkinson Courtesy of Southern Foodways Alliance

Editor's note: This story contains racial slurs.

A new musical work pays tribute to an unlikely and little-known civil rights activist: Booker T. Wright. You won't find his name in history textbooks. But his story is a testament to the everyday experiences of blacks in the Jim Crow South.

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History
10:15 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Jesus Started A Chain Letter — And Other Hoaxes

Published in London around 1795, this "copy" of a letter from Jesus in heaven was the imagined correspondence between Jesus and King Abgar of Edessa.
Sheridan Libraries JHU

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 1:26 pm

William Shakespeare wrote in the margins of his books. Noah washed up in Vienna after the flood. Jesus sent a letter back to Earth after his ascension to heaven.

Did you miss those artifacts of history?

Of course you did. They're all frauds, concocted to convince the unsuspecting — and often they did.

These frauds are part of a new exhibit, "Fakes, Lies and Forgeries," at the George Peabody Library in Baltimore.

Curator Earle Havens says the exhibit is timely — these days, the media presents us with fakes and lies all the time.

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Around the Nation
8:59 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Foreign Dollars Fuel A New Condo Boom In Miami

The $1 billion Brickell City Centre, currently under construction, will house condos, a hotel and a retail and entertainment complex. Condo projects are booming in Miami, financed mostly by foreign buyers.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 10:34 am

Few people track Miami development closer than Peter Zalewski. He runs Cranespotters.com, a business that keeps tabs on all the new construction proposed in downtown Miami.

In an area that covers less than 4 square miles, he notes, there's a lot going on. In "downtown Miami, we're looking at 69 towers, 18,400 units," all residential condominiums, Zalewski says.

If history is any guide, not all of the projects will be built. But Zalewski says there are other big projects coming that are likely to add to the total.

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StoryCorps
8:42 am
Sat November 29, 2014

A Decade After Battle, Medic And Wounded Soldier Reunite

Retired 1st Sgt. Keith Melick (right) and retired Army Special Forces Command Sgt. Maj. Roy Wilkins met when Melick, a medic, treated Wilkins after an IED explosion. They were reunited nearly 10 years later.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 11:05 am

StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the U.S. military who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ten years ago, Keith Melick was a medic in the Army, and Roy Wilkins was a command sergeant major in the Army's Special Forces.

They crossed paths in Afghanistan, where Wilkins was wounded in an IED explosion.

And then this August, by chance, they met again — in the gym at a VA medical center in North Carolina, where Wilkins was playing with his wheelchair basketball team.

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Around the Nation
6:46 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Red Tape Ties Up Purchases Of D.C. Affordable Housing

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 11:05 am

Nearly 1 in 5 Washington, D.C., residents live at or below the poverty line, but affordable-housing developers are having trouble selling units. This story originally aired on All Things Considered on Nov. 25, 2014.

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

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