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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NPR Story
6:52 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Calling 911? Or Did You Just Sit Down?

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 8:25 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Are you calling 911 or you just glad to sit down? Mayor Michael Bloomberg released a study this week that shows that 38 percent of the calls received by New York's emergency services are mistakes - mobile phones that dial 911 when a user jostles a phone in their purse or pocket. The popular term for such calls is pocket or butt calls.

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Author Interviews
5:19 am
Sat May 12, 2012

'In One Person': A Tangled Gender-Bender

Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 8:25 am

The star of John Irving's new novel, In One Person, is Billy Abbott. Billy is a character at the mercy of his own teenage crushes, which are visited upon by a whole repertory company of gender-bending characters.

It's a repertory company in the most literal sense, too. Billy spends many days backstage at the local theater — where gender can also fluctuate and where his family members are regulars.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:03 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Roman Totenberg: A Musical Life Remembered

At 101, Roman Totenberg was teaching students up to the very end of his life.
Suzanne Kreiter The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:54 pm

[Roman Totenberg was a child prodigy who became a violin virtuoso, as well as a master teacher who passed along his command of craft and his love of music — and life — to thousands. He was also the man you wanted to sit next to at the table because he was so funny. Totenberg died this week at the age of 101, surrounded by loving family, friends and students. We asked his daughter, Nina Totenberg, for this remembrance. — Scott Simon]

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Author Interviews
9:21 am
Sun May 6, 2012

The 'Marvelous' Rise Of King Henry's Adviser

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 2:57 pm

When Hilary Mantel's new book opens, the spark has gone out of Henry VIII's second marriage. His roving eye leaves Anne Boleyn and begins to settle on Jane Seymour, another woman at court. The monarch doesn't go to a marriage counselor or divorce lawyer, not when Thomas Cromwell is his chief adviser.

Bring Up the Bodies is the sequel to Wolf Hall, which won the Man Booker Prize and worldwide acclaim. It is also the latest in a planned trilogy about Cromwell.

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NPR Story
11:52 am
Sat May 5, 2012

French Election Marks A Fork In The Road

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

The French presidential runoff is tomorrow. President Nicolas Sarkozy and his opponent Socialist candidate Francois Hollande represent two different visions for their country.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley sends this report.

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From Our Listeners
7:56 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Your Letters: A Tale Of Injustice

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 5:13 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF LETTERS THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: The name that kept popping up in our email box this week was Michael Morton. He was the subject of a report last Saturday by NPR's Wade Goodwyn, who told the story of how Mr. Morton was convicted in 1987 of murdering his wife, Christine, near Austin, Texas. He was innocent, but served almost 25 years in prison.

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Art & Design
6:11 am
Sat May 5, 2012

I Shall 'Scream' At Such A Price Tag

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:26 am

One of four versions Edvard Munch made of his masterpiece, The Scream, one of the most recognizable works of art in the world, was auctioned at Sotheby's this week for a record-setting price: $119 million.

NPR Story
5:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Clinton Leaves China, But Activist's Story Isn't Over

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has left China after a diplomatic roller coaster of a trip fraught with human drama. Now, this revolved around the fate of Chen Guangcheng, the blind dissident who is still in a Beijing hospital. But last night, China indicated that it would let Mr. Chen apply for permission to study overseas, hinting at a way out of the crisis that had overshadowed the summit Secretary Clinton had gone to China to attend. Our Beijing correspondent Louisa Lim joins us. Louisa, thanks for being with us.

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NPR Story
5:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Adam Yauch Gave Distinct Sound To Genre-Bending Band

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A famous trio has lost a member. Whether you knew him as Adam Yauch, Nathanial Hornblower or MCA, he brought a distinct sound to a genre-bending band.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

BEASTIE BOYS: (Singing) ...if what you get is what you see, c'mon...

SIMON: MCA was a founding member of the Beastie Boys, a band that helped make hip-hop mainstream. Now, before they rapped, the Beastie Boys were just punks.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TIME FOR LIVIN' ")

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NPR Story
5:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Testimony In John Edwards' Trial Gets Personal

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The federal corruption trial of John Edwards continued this week in Greensboro, North Carolina. Government witnesses painted an ugly portrait of the former senator and presidential candidate. But the prosecution may have been less successful in making the case that he deliberately violated campaign finance law. North Carolina Public Radio's Jeff Tiberii was in the courtroom.

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NPR Story
5:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

'Bring Up The Bodies': Taking Down Anne Boleyn

Originally published on Sat May 5, 2012 12:01 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

When Hilary Mantel's new book opens, the spark has gone out of Henry the VIII's marriage; second marriage, in fact. Anne Boleyn hasn't given him a son. Now, he finds the sharp remarks she makes that used to charm sometimes come at his expense. His roving eye begins to settle on Jane Seymour, another woman at court. But in Henry's time, a monarch doesn't go to a marriage counselor or divorce lawyer, not when Thomas Cromwell is the king's chief advisor.

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NPR Story
5:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

The Race Is On: Obama Heads To Battleground States

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Obama tried to best the face on yesterday's jobs report. He told students at a Virginia high school that private employers have added more than four million jobs over the last two years, but he acknowledge recovery is not happening fast enough.

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NPR Story
5:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

News Corp. Fallout: The Implication Of Being 'Unfit'

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week, the British Parliamentary committee that was convened to investigate accusations of phone hacking and executive misconduct at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., delivered its findings. And the headlines it created make uncomfortable reading for a media magnate who has been under the microscope for 18 months now.

MPs accused News Corp. as a whole of what they call willful blindness. And they went on to make some further damning observations on Rupert Murdoch's own competency.

Here's Labour Member of Parliament Tom Watson.

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From Our Listeners
7:03 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Your Letters: Veterans And Record Nostalgia

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 11:22 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for Your Letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Many of you were moved by our story about the Soldier Ride, a four-day cycling event organized by the Wounded Warriors Project. Iraq War veteran Sergeant Michael Owens spoke about why he rides.

SERGEANT MICHAEL SULLIVAN: I think it's really important for warriors and veterans like myself to be able to know that we can still do the same things we did before, or new things that we never tried before.

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Movies
5:13 am
Sat April 28, 2012

A Creative Collaboration With A 'Darling Companion'

Beth (Diane Keaton) and her daughter (Elisabeth Moss) rescue an injured dog from the side of the highway. Beth's husband (Kevin Kline) later loses the beloved pet, an event co-writer Meg Kasdan says is inspired by a real-life incident.
Wilson Webb Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 11:22 am

Lawrence Kasdan became famous for writing the blockbusters The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark, but he went on to a successful directing career with high-profile films like Body Heat, The Big Chill and Grand Canyon.

His latest film, and his first in nine years, is Darling Companion, which Kasdan wrote with his wife, Meg. The film was her idea.

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Movie Interviews
5:04 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Michelle Yeoh: Portraying An Icon In 'The Lady'

Michelle Yeoh plays pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi in The Lady. Yeoh says it was important that the film portrayed Suu Kyi's struggles realistically, including how her 15-year house arrest kept her from her husband and sons.
Cohen Media Group

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 11:22 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters at a recent film premiere that she'd told Aung San Suu Kyi that she was moving from being an icon to being a politician.

The film Clinton saw is The Lady, starring Michelle Yeoh as the pro-democracy activist who spent 15 years under house arrest in Myanmar (also known as Burma), and who won the Nobel Peace Prize before being freed in 2010.

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Author Interviews
5:04 am
Sat April 28, 2012

'The Art Of The Sale': Life's A Pitch

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 11:22 am

Salesmen are rarely heroic figures in American culture. They're often shown as slick, unscrupulous charlatans like Ricky Roma in David Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross. And then there are sad, defeated characters like Willy Loman in Death Of A Salesman, who shortly before taking his life says, "After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive."

Yet sales drive the economy. The cleverest invention or product will disappear — creating no income, no employment — unless someone can sell it.

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The Picture Show
5:03 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Taking Photo Exhibits To The Streets

Pedestrians in Philadelphia cross a street in view of a billboard with a photo by Zoe Strauss. Only a dozen years after first picking up a camera to chronicle her beloved hometown's overlooked people and places, Strauss was honored with a solo show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:50 am

Zoe Strauss is not really a photographer. She sees herself primarily as an installation artist. About 12 years ago, someone gave her a camera for her birthday, and she used it for a project called Under I-95.

She would take photos in her South Philadelphia neighborhood and display them there, too — on concrete columns supporting an interstate overpass. She wanted her images to be outside, in an urban setting, at home.

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Monkey See
12:59 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Garry Marshall On His 'Happy Days'

Director Garry Marshall and sister, actress-director Penny Marshall, seen here in 2004 when she received her star on the Walk Of Fame.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 11:22 am

Director Garry Marshall has worked on so much popular comedy in his career — television like Happy Days and The Odd Couple, movies like Pretty Woman and Beaches — that something he's done has probably made you laugh. And now he's written a memoir called, fittingly, My Happy Days In Hollywood: A Memoir.

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Middle East
9:29 am
Sun April 22, 2012

Israel Sounds Alarm As Iran Engages In Nuclear Talks

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Last weekend's meeting on Iran's controversial nuclear program didn't produce breakthroughs, but the envoys from six world powers and Iran suggested that the talks in Istanbul started a process that could lead to an eventual compromise. But one nation, Israel, was not happy with the results. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from Jerusalem.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: While much of the world is relieved that Iran is finally engaged in talks on his suspect nuclear program, Israel is sounding an alarm.

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Presidential Race
10:47 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Campaign Finance Disclosures Mark A Turning Point

Mitt Romney may like to say the president is out of ideas, but Obama's re-election campaign is definitely not out of money.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 4:10 pm

We have a new look at the fundraising contest being waged by President Obama and apparent Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Their campaign committees filed monthly disclosures Friday night at the Federal Election Commission — as did superPACs that are active in the presidential contest.

Their reports show a turning point in the campaign as the president's re-election operation powers toward November and the Romney team revs up after the GOP primary contest.

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Middle East
9:46 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Homs Is Calm, A Day After Syria-Wide Protests

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. The U.N. Security Council has passed a resolution that would call for hundreds of monitors to enter Syria should the Syrian government not keep to the terms of a cease-fire. The government was supposed to pull its troops and heavy arms out of cities and towns, but as NPR's Kelly McEvers reports, dozens of people were killed during protests yesterday.

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From Our Listeners
9:46 am
Sat April 21, 2012

A Clarification: No First-Class Flying Here

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A small clarification now: A few weeks ago on this program, Tom Goldman told us that he was about to catch a flight to Denver to cover the NCAA Women's Basketball championships. I joked: By the way, United Airlines, if you're listening, please upgrade Mr. Goldman - our compliments.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: I'm already first-class.

SIMON: In all ways, my friend.

GOLDMAN: Oops, did I say that?

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Sports
9:46 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Sports: Who's Starting Baseball Season Well

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 12:31 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Let me hang up the phone now. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Baseball's fast starts - some teams founder early and the anniversary of the Big Green Monster. Errrrr. Howard Bryant joins us, senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine; joins us from New England Public Radio in Amherst, Massachusetts. Howard, thanks for being with us.

HOWARD BRYANT: Hey, Scott. How are you?

SIMON: Fine, thanks.

BRYANT: So, who's off to a good start and who hasn't had a good time at all?

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Simon Says
9:46 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Prostitution's Real Casualties Aren't Secret Service

Six U.S. Secret Service agents have lost their jobs so far after a prostitution scandal that took place at the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena, Colombia, just before President Obama's arrival at the Summit of the Americas conference earlier this month.
Manuel Pedraza AFP/Getty Images

I've been curious about a question I haven't heard in the stories about U.S. Secret Service agents misbehaving before President Obama's arrival at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.

Why were world leaders meeting in a place with legalized prostitution?

There might have been a time — after I saw Toulouse-Lautrec's poignant paintings of life in Paris brothels, or Billy Wilder's clever Irma la Douce — when I thought of prostitution as a harmless enterprise between consenting adults.

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Presidential Race
9:46 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Can Romney Keep Arizona Red?

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Republican campaign for president literally heated up yesterday. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the likely nominee, was in the Phoenix area. He addressed a rally of sun-soaked supporters, a meeting of Republican state chairmen and a group of Hispanic leaders. Now, in the moment, we'll hear more about how Republicans plan to reach out to Hispanic voters this election season. First, NPR's Ted Robbins has this report.

MITT ROMNEY: Thank you, thank you.

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Economy
9:46 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Local Economy Could Soar With Boston-Tokyo Flight

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Boston is getting the country's first commercial route flown by the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Now, the flight lifts off tomorrow afternoon, nonstop service from Boston to Tokyo. The Japan Airlines flight will also give a lift to Boston's economy, with Japanese tourists and business travelers now just 13 hours away.

From member WBUR in Boston, Curt Nickisch reports on the city's nonstop excitement.

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Europe
9:46 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Nazi Past Has French Town Wary Of Far-Right Politics

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Voters go to the polls tomorrow in France to cast ballots in the first round of their presidential election. President Nicolas Sarkozy still trails his socialist opponent Francois Hollande. Mr. Sarkozy has tried to close that gap by appealing to voters on the right. Much of the French campaign this time around focused on right-wing issues like crime, security and immigration.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley visited a town in France that is still haunted by ghosts of its far-right past, to see what people think about that.

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