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Weekend Edition-Saturday

Saturdays, 7am - 9am
  • Hosted by Scott Simon

Saturday mornings are made for Weekend Edition Saturday, the program wraps up the week's news and offers a mix of analysis and features on a wide range of topics, including arts, sports, entertainment, and human interest stories. The two-hour program is hosted by NPR's Peabody Award-winning Scott Simon.

Drawing on his experience in covering 10 wars and stories in all 50 states and seven continents, Simon brings a humorous, sophisticated and often moving perspective to each show. He is as comfortable having a conversation with a major world leader as he is talking with a Hollywood celebrity or the guy next door.

Weekend Edition Saturday has a unique and entertaining roster of other regular contributors. Marin Alsop, conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, talks about music. Daniel Pinkwater, one of the biggest names in children's literature, talks about and reads stories with Simon. Financial journalist Joe Nocera follows the economy. Howard Bryant of EPSN.com and NPR's Tom Goldman chime in on sports. Keith Devlin, of Stanford University, unravels the mystery of math, and Will Grozier, a London cabbie, talks about good books that have just been released, and what well-read people leave in the back of his taxi. Simon contributes his own award-winning essays, which are sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant.

Weekend Edition Saturday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States, and around the globe on NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Holidays can be hell. The rounds of parties with toasts of warm white wine or spiked red wine punch, people saying oh, come on now, just a sip and even simple friendly inquiries like so, how you been, can be especially rough on those fighting to recover from addiction to drinking or drugs. Neil Steinberg, a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times and author of the memoir "Drunkard: A Hard-Drinking Life" and Sara Bader,...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Silicon Valley has reportedly done some soul-searching after last month's presidential election. Many in high-tech supported Hillary Clinton and have criticized Facebook and Google for being vehicles to spread fake news stories, many of which vilified Clinton. And some wonder if Silicon Valley entrepreneurs lack understanding and concern for those millions of Americans left behind by the technological innovation...

The Latest In Sports

Dec 3, 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Time now for sports. (SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) SIMON: And did you hear? B.J. Leiderman writes our theme music. LeBron James played his friend and former teammate Dwyane Wade last night, and he walked in wearing a Cubs jersey. Here's a man who lives by his word. Howard Bryant of ESPN joins us now. Howard, thanks so much for being with us. HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Scott. SIMON: How did this... BRYANT: I know that made...

I always had a wonderful time in Fidel Castro's Cuba, and usually wound up feeling bad about it. The island is beautiful, the people even sunnier: warm and friendly, especially to Americans. The responsables — government minders — assigned to each reporting crew would tease me about being from Chicago. "Your mobsters used to run this place," they'd say. "Sam Giancana, The Godfather. You made our men bellboys and our women prostitutes." And then they'd treat you to mojitos and...

TSA Takes To Twitter For AMA

Nov 26, 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: It's the holiday season - packed buses, jammed-up freeways and millions heading to the airport with suitcases full of, well, anything you might imagine. BOB BURNS: When you see some of these items, you just have to wonder what the thought process is while they were packing. SIMON: That's Bob Burns of the Transportation Security Administration. He used to screen passengers at the Cincinnati airport. BURNS: You have...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bgemCaaQkU Andy Grammer's latest single, "Fresh Eyes," is a love song — but it grew in meaning when he filmed the music video on Skid Row in Los Angeles. Over the course of the video shoot, the pop singer and his team provided haircuts, clean clothes, meals and kindness to people seeking shelter at the Union Rescue Mission in L.A. "We probably spent, I don't know, eight to 10 hours down there, just to really get to know people and share some love with them,"...

During the campaign, Donald Trump railed against "sanctuary cities" — generally understood to be jurisdictions where local law enforcement doesn't cooperate sufficiently with federal immigration authorities. Sanctuary cities were an especially hot issue because of the death of Kate Steinle , a tourist shot by a Mexican national in San Francisco in 2015. In an August campaign speech, Trump promised to "end" sanctuary cities by blocking their federal funding. But keeping that promise will be...

The most contentious presidential campaign and election in memory has many people dreading the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Some have even canceled plans , unwilling to face family members on the other side of the country's hardening political divide. Not so for the McNeish family of Roanoke, Va., though they still differ mightily on what to expect from a President Trump over the next four years. "I have no faith in him whatsoever," says Danny, 35, who works with a company that supplies and...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCEvfVzrkPc Nina Diaz joined the punk band Girl in a Coma when she was just 13 years old. It was her sister's band, but she quickly made a name for herself as a fierce and magnetic vocalist, guitarist and songwriter. Around that same time, she also started drinking. Then came drugs. It wasn't long before she struggled with full-on addiction to alcohol, cocaine and meth. Now Diaz is clean, and she's just released a new solo album, The Beat Is Dead. The...

Donald Trump's election win has focused attention on his business interests around the world and how they might affect his foreign policy. One such place is Turkey, an important NATO ally neighboring the hot spots of Syria, Iraq and Iran. By far the most prominent reminders of the U.S. president-elect in Turkey are Istanbul's own Trump Towers. They rise above the Bosporus Strait on the city's European side, twin glass and steel edifices bearing the familiar Trump brand. In this case, it's...

The Karamlesh village meeting begins the traditional way, with Christian prayers led by a priest, murmured and sung, lingering in the evening air. But the meeting's not in the actual village of Karamlesh. It's 40 miles away in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, on red plastic chairs under a dust-yellow sky, next to the corrugated trailers some of these people have been living in since 2014 when the Islamic State took their village. Karamlesh is one of a cluster of Christian villages nestled in...

Is Birdfeeding Just, Well, For The Birds?

Nov 12, 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Time now for some Talkin' Birds. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROCKIN' ROBIN") UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Tweedly-deedly-dee (ph). UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: A bird show - I like that. I love birds. (SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLING) UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Tweedly-deedly-dee (ph). UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Ray Brown's Talkin' Birds. UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Tweet. SIMON: Ray Brown is host of the radio show and podcast Talkin'...

2016: An Election Year That Pervaded Sports

Nov 12, 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: In this political year, many athletes used their celebrity to make statements about our country. We're joined now by our friend, NPR's Tom Goldman. Tom, thanks for being with us. TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: My pleasure, Scott. SIMON: Michael Jordan famously said he didn't want to get involved in politics 'cause everybody buys Air Jordans. He didn't want to offend a potential customer. But LeBron James, this year,...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: A couple of brothers from Slovakia are the fastest grave diggers in Central Europe. And they say it's a dream job. Ladislav and Csaba Skladan won the grave-digging championships at this week's International Exhibition of Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services. Ten teams using only picks and shovels dug graves 5 feet deep, 6 and a half feet long and 3 feet wide. It turns out that Slovak graveyards can be crowded. So...

While the race at the top of the ballot between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton consumes the nation's attention, a series of consequential district attorney races around the country could reshape the criminal justice system from the ground up. One of those races is in the Orlando area, in one of Florida's largest judicial circuits. With no general election opponent, Aramis Ayala is highly likely to become Florida's first black state's attorney in an area with 1.3 million residents. She'll...

I know baseball is not real life. While Chicago's streets teemed with loud whoops and waving banners as the Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years, 18 more people were killed over two days on the south and west sides of the city. The number of homicides in Chicago has surged past 600 this year. 2016 could be the city's deadliest year in nearly 20, and the people in those afflicted neighborhoods, usually a long way from Wrigley Field, will remember this year more for their losses than...

How Shirley Collins Got Her Voice Back

Nov 5, 2016

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvVpKpPx04U http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_QMW4mv6As For nearly four decades, Shirley Collins ' presence has been an absence. One of the most striking voices of British folk music from the 1950s through the '70s, she helped pave the way for younger musicians by blending folk with jazz and rock. But an emotional crisis robbed her of her singing voice, and she vanished from the music scene — until now. The 81-year-old Collins has just released her first album in...

Troll dolls, those novelty toys with fluorescent Don King hair, are now the stars of their own movie. It's a balance between feel-good fun and the kind of offbeat humor that aims to keep adults in their seats. Tending to these relentlessly charming creatures is veteran animator Mike Mitchell. He's worked with many different, er, species (a sponge, chipmunks, ogres) in his career. Mitchell claims Shrek is the most difficult of all of them. Trolls, he says, are by far the easiest. That's...

How 'Food Truck Voting' Is Catching On In One Idaho County

Oct 29, 2016

Elections officials in one Idaho county have found a delicious new way to get out the vote: by bringing "food truck voting" straight to the people. OK, so it's not a real food truck. You can't get a meal there. The Ada County mobile voting booth is actually a converted cargo trailer, complete with walk-up windows and a giant "I voted" sticker painted on the side. As the most populous county in Idaho (the capital of Boise is the county seat and most urban city in the mostly rural state), Chief...

The Berlin Wall was a scar — a concrete and barbed wire boundary that divided families, East and West, communism and capitalism, tyranny and democracy. People died trying to climb over it while others labored to carve tunnels beneath it. In his new book, The Tunnels, Greg Mitchell writes about a time in the early 1960s when two groups of diggers built tunnels that were filmed and financed by U.S. television networks. Those networks wanted to turn acts of daring into primetime...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Does anybody sing the national anthem more than Wayne Messmer? He sung the anthem over the years at Chicago Cubs home games and for the Bulls, the Blackhawks, the Bears and the Chicago Wolves. He sings it beautifully and believes there's a particular way to sing it. We're at Sluggers Lounge, which is right across from Wrigley Field, with Wayne Messmer and his wife Kathleen Messmer, who often joins him in the anthem...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: There's been so much emphasis on the historic 108-year-old losing streak of the Chicago Cubs. But the Cleveland Indians have their own story to tell. And right now, of course, they're ahead two games to one in the World Series - no one better to tell that story than Terry Pluto, the great columnist at the Cleveland Plain Dealer and author of a forthcoming book "Comeback: LeBron, The Cavs & Cleveland." Terry, thanks...

Thirty years ago this week, an unknown filmmaker walked into a club in Washington, D.C., with a videotape in his hand. It was one of those nights when anyone could screen their work ... but this was the first public screening of a short documentary that's gone on to become the very definition of a cult classic. Heavy Metal Parking Lot was only 16 and a half minutes long, and the concept was bare-bones: just fans and staff outside the Capital Centre arena in Largo, Md., before a...

In the sunlit courtyard of a mosque, overlooked by jagged mountains, dozens of men arrive to offer condolences to the family of Brigadier Hamid Birmous. The commander with the Iraqi Kurdish forces known as peshmerga was killed in action by an ISIS bomb during the operation to retake the city of Mosul, which began this week . Iraqi security forces continue to fight their way through villages and countryside outside the city. In the mainly ethnic Kurdish city of Dohuk, most of the men wear...

I have a special respect for political losers. Losing can reveal a candidate's character in a humbling, vulnerable moment.

An Ohio politician who lost a race for governor once explained to me that most politicians are used to being popular. They were often class officers and top athletes as kids, who become lawyers, professors, or business owners. They get used to people listening to them, and laughing at their jokes.

"So when thousands or millions of people who know...

A version of this story also appeared on Alaska Public Radio . Every year, the U.S. military moves hundreds of thousands of service members and their families all across the globe. In 2014, the Defense Department spent more than $4.3 billion on moving costs, but officials don't know where all that money is going. Lt. Col. Alan Brown and his family are among the many that have had to move over and over again for his military career. Standing on his deck earlier this summer, Brown...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Hurricane Matthew brought torrential rains to both North and South Carolina. And now a week after the storm, swollen rivers are flooding communities and residents have been evacuated. South Carolina's Public Radio's Cooper McKim reports from Conway. COOPER MCKIM, BYLINE: I meet 29-year-old RaDraya Williams and her husband, Michael, in the middle of what used to be Bucksport Road and that is now under nearly a foot...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Finally time for sports. (SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) SIMON: American and National League Championship Series are underway - LA, Chi-Town, Cleveland and Toronto. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Morning, Tom. TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hello. SIMON: Last night, the Cleveland Indians handcuffed the Toronto Blue Jays, didn't they? GOLDMAN: Oh, boy, they did. You know, they won - I'll wait till the theme song goes away. They won......

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: One of the great American plays has been revived on Broadway with a great American cast. "The Front Page", the 1928 Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur play set in the pressroom of Chicago's criminal courts building on the night before a hanging, is back in all of its profane and swaggering glory. It stars Nathan Lane as the crusty editor, John Goodman as the blustery sheriff, Holland Taylor as the fusty mother-in-law...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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