Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturdays, 8am - 10am

NPR's Peabody Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon captures the spirit of Saturday with an informative and worldly blend of news and analysis, and special features including the topics of sports, gardening, entertainment and more.

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Around the Nation
6:37 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Blizzard Batters Northeast with Heavy Snow, High Winds

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 12:11 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A winter storm in New England has dumped more than two feet of snow and left 650,000 homes and businesses without power. Right now, authorities are closely watching the shoreline as huge waves from the powerful storm cause flooding. High tide hit a bit earlier today. NPR's Jeff Brady has been monitoring developments from Boston and he joins us now. Jeff, thanks for being with us. What can you tell us?

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Economy
6:37 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Effects Of Postal Service Cuts Could Ripple Through Middle Class

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 12:11 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The continued downsizing of the U.S. Postal Service has especially hit African-Americans and armed forces veterans. These are two groups that have long relied on postal jobs for a good income, job security and a path to the middle class. For more, we're joined by Philip Rubio. He's a former letter carrier who's now an assistant professor of history at North Carolina A&T State University and author of the book, "There's Always Work at the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice and Equality."

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Around the Nation
6:37 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Despite Shadow Of Sandy Hook, Schools Considered 'Safe'

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 12:11 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And of course, members of Congress aren't alone in reconsidering their position on guns and public safety. Schools across the country have been increasing security since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. As one school official in suburban Washington, D.C. said, Newtown changed school security the way 9/11 changed air travel. A high school in Illinois recently staged a lockdown drill with administrators shooting blanks in the hallways while the kids huddled in the classrooms with the doors locked and lights off.

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Music News
5:45 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Frank Ocean's Big Year, And What Hasn't Changed In Hip-Hop

Frank Ocean performs at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 2012.
Kevin Mazur WireImage

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 12:11 pm

Frank Ocean is set to take a victory lap at this year's Grammys. He's up for six awards for his album Channel Orange, including best new artist, and he'll be performing as well. But just a few months ago, Frank Ocean's music wasn't the story — his sexuality was.

To review: After a listening party for Channel Orange last July, a BBC journalist pointed out that a few of the love songs referenced a "him" where you might have expected to hear "her."

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Economy
5:09 am
Sat February 9, 2013

For Rural Towns, Postal Service Cuts Could Mean A Loss Of Identity

Brookfield, Vt., residents fear that Postal Service changes will eventually lead to the closing of their small town post office. About 1,300 people live in Brookfield, according to 2010 U.S. Census figures.
Steve Zind Vermont Public Radio

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 12:11 pm

In rural Vermont, the U.S. Postal Service decision to discontinue Saturday letter delivery is yet another blow to an institution that's long been a fixture of village life.

Last year, the U.S. Postal Service abandoned plans to close thousands of small post offices, opting instead to cut hours. But there are fears the cuts will continue until the rural post office is no more.

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Afghanistan
5:09 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Afghanistan, Pakistan Seek A Fatwa Against Suicide Attacks

Afghan police and officials visit the site of a suicide attack in Kabul in September. A suicide bomber blew himself up alongside a minivan carrying foreigners on a major highway leading to the international airport in the Afghan capital, police said, killing at least 10 people, including nine foreigners.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 10:21 pm

The Muhammad Mustafa mosque sits in a fairly well-off part of Kabul where government employees and some high-ranking officials live. Muhammad Ehsan Saiqal, a moderate, 54-year-old Muslim who welcomes girls into his Quran classes, is the imam. The slight, gray-bearded cleric preaches against suicide bombings.

"Islam doesn't permit suicide attacks," he says. "If someone kills any Muslim without any cause, under Shariah law [Islamic law] it means that he kills the whole Muslim world."

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Reporter's Notebook
5:08 am
Sat February 9, 2013

For Some In Minneapolis, National Gun Debate Hits Close To Home

President Obama greets law enforcement officers after speaking on ideas to reduce gun violence at the Minneapolis Police Department Special Operations on Monday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 12:11 pm

The shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in December revived a national debate about gun violence. It's one that is emotional and often highly personal, and it's happening in places far from the halls of Congress. Earlier this week, President Obama was in Minneapolis advocating new limits on guns; no law or set of laws, he said, can keep children completely safe. NPR's David Welna was there for the visit and sent this reporter's notebook about the voices he encountered.

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Monkey See
3:49 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Play-By-Play: Read Along With The Grammy Awards

Taylor Swift gives the opening performance at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards Sunday in Los Angeles.
Christopher Polk Getty Images for NARAS

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 1:11 am

With the conclusion of Sunday night's ceremony, Linda Holmes and I have now live-blogged fully one-eleventh of the Grammy Awards' 55 annual incarnations. Below is our original post and an archived live blog of the telecast:

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Remembrances
6:39 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Remembering New York's Large-Than-Life Mayor, Ed Koch

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 3:07 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ED KOCH: Hi, hi. How am I doing?

SIMON: Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York, died yesterday at the age of 88. He was as New York as a salt bagel with an extra schmear. I profiled him when he ran for re-election in 1981.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Television
6:39 am
Sat February 2, 2013

'House Of Cards' A Delicate Balance Of Politics And Drama

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 3:07 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Kevin Spacey's got a memorable entrance in the new series "House of Cards." He looks into the camera and talks to the audience while he strangles an injured dog.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "HOUSE OF CARDS")

KEVIN SPACEY: (as Francis Underwood) There are two kinds of pain: the sort of pain that makes you strong; or useless pain, the sort of pain that's only suffering. I have no patience for useless things.

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Africa
6:39 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Dodging Clashes, Cairo's Deliverymen Take Big Risks

An Egyptian man delivering bread rides through Cairo's Tahrir Square last year. Couriers are taking great risks as they work around Egypt's capital.
Marco Longari AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 10:14 pm

In Cairo you can get most anything — food, medicine, groceries — delivered right to your door, anytime. But civil unrest in the streets of the Egyptian capital has made it a riskier job for deliverymen.

Tabouleh restaurant, an upscale Lebanese joint, is tucked into a quiet neighborhood just south of Tahrir Square, the center of Egypt's revolution.

It's usually packed. But clashes between protesters and police have been ongoing for a week just two blocks away. On a recent night, there's only one table of diners.

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Around the Nation
5:26 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Undocumented In The U.S.: 11 Million And Counting

While a vast majority of undocumented immigrants in the United States come from Mexico, many also come from Central American nations, China, parts of Africa and India.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 8:06 pm

There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, and it's a number you might have heard a lot about this week from Washington lawmakers.

Since the 1970s, Jeff Passel, now senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, has been keeping tabs on a group that actively tries to stay off the radar. He says many actually do participate in the census count and other surveys.

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Literature
5:17 am
Sat February 2, 2013

How To Save A Public Library: Make It A Seed Bank

The seed library is a partnership between the Basalt Public Library and the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute. Seed packets encourage gardeners to write their names and take credit for their harvested seeds.
Courtesy of Dylan Johns

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 3:07 pm

Despite the cold and snow, some signs of spring are starting to break through in Colorado. The public library in the small town of Basalt is trying an experiment: In addition to borrowing books, residents can now check out seeds.

In a corner of the library, Stephanie Syson and her 4-year-old daughter, Gray, are just finishing a book with a white rabbit on the cover.

When Gray approaches the knee-high shelves filled with seed packets, she zeroes in on a pack labeled "rainbow carrots."

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Simon Says
5:12 am
Sat February 2, 2013

History Sometimes Rewards Those Who Are Sidelined

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith looks on from the sidelines during the overtime period against the New York Giants on Jan. 22, 2012, in San Francisco.
G. Newman Lowrance AP

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 5:26 am

You might look for a player along the sidelines in the Super Bowl on Sunday named Alex Smith and wonder, as he might, if he'll be the next Wally Pipp or Ken Mattingly.

Pipp was the Yankee first baseman in 1925 who had a headache and was told to take two aspirin and sit out the game. A young player named Lou Gehrig took his place — and stayed at first base for 14 years, becoming one of baseball's most storied players.

Pipp wound up working in a screw factory. He was a good sport who told fans in later years, "I took the two most expensive aspirin in history."

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Deceptive Cadence
5:34 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Treasures In The Attic: Finding A Jazz Master's Lost Orchestral Music

Stride piano pioneer James P. Johnson had dreams of becoming a successful symphonic composer.
William Gottlieb

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 5:13 pm

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NPR Story
7:43 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Egypt Looks To Secure Loan As Feeding Families Gets Harder

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Egyptian military's been deployed to the streets of Port Said today. Riots erupted in that city last night just northeast of Cairo after a controversial court verdict. At least 25 people have been reported dead. The violence comes amid mass street protests in Egypt against the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.

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NPR Story
7:43 am
Sat January 26, 2013

As Apple Flounders, Samsung Gains Strength

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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NPR Story
7:43 am
Sat January 26, 2013

EU Money Sends Migrants Stuck In Greece Home

Mohammad Afzaal, a 35-year-old house painter from northeastern Pakistan, has signed up for a voluntary repatriation program run by the International Organization of Migration and financed by the European Commission.
Joanna Kakissis NPR

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Like many of the estimated 350,000 undocumented migrants living in Greece, Mohammad Afzaal is trapped in a devastated economy.

He slipped into Greece 11 years ago, when he was 24, and found good work in Athens as a house painter. He wired a chunk of his earnings to his family in the northeastern Pakistani city of Gujrat.

"Each month, I sent 200 or 300 euros back home to my wife, parents and brothers and sisters," says Afzaal, a slight man with a trim black beard. That's around $270 to $400. "I supported seven people."

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Author Interviews
6:33 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Dave Barry's 'Insane' Miami Mixes Refugees, Gangsters, Escorts And A Burmese Python

Putnam

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

It wouldn't do to call Insane City "a typical Dave Barry novel." What kind of thing is that to say about a book? The story begins with a bachelor dinner that goes off the rails, then brings in Russian mobsters, the fourth-place finisher in the Miss Hot Amateur Bod contest, a goodhearted escort and her "sales representative," if you please, an albino Burmese python — or is that a Burmese albino python?

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Simon Says
5:28 am
Sat January 26, 2013

'Ebony' Editor Began Life Black In Nazi Germany

Hans Massaquoi told his story in Destined to Witness: Growing up Black in Nazi Germany. The former managing editor of Ebony magazine died on his 87th birthday last Saturday.
Matthew P. D'Agostino AP

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

The proudest moment of Hans Massaquoi's boyhood was when his babysitter sewed a swastika on his sweater. He was a 7-year-old boy in Hamburg who wanted to be part of the excitement of the times he saw. But when his mother got home, she snipped off the swastika.

He also wanted to join the Hitler Youth. "They had cool uniforms," Massaquoi wrote years later, "and they did exciting things — camping, parades, playing drums."

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