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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Author Interviews
5:56 am
Sat December 1, 2012

A Compelling, Chutzpadik History Of 'Jews And Words'

Scott Rothstein iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:42 am

For thousands of years the Jewish people have been forced to move around — fleeing bigotry, slavery, pogroms, famines and tyrants. But words are portable, and to Jews — who are among those known as "the People of the Book" — they are precious possessions. As Amos Oz and his daughter, Fania Oz-Salzberger, write in their new book, Jews and Words, "Ours is not a bloodline, but a text line."

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It's All Politics
5:49 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Obama Back In Campaign Mode; This Time, It's Taxes

President Obama looks over a roller coaster with K'Nex inventor and Chairman Joel Glickman (left) and President and CEO Michael Araten on Friday during a tour of the company in Hatfield, Pa.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 4:07 pm

President Obama is hoping the same campaign tools that helped him win re-election will also deliver a policy win in the fight over federal taxes.

The president wants Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts for most Americans, while allowing taxes to go up for the wealthiest 2 percent. His aides are using email, social media and beyond-the-Beltway campaign appearances in hopes of putting pressure on Republican lawmakers.

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National Security
5:43 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Farewell: USS Enterprise Starred In History And Film

Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Joseph carries his 1-year-old daughter, Maleah, to his re-enlistment ceremony aboard the USS Enterprise at the Norfolk Naval Station on March 8. The ship began its final deployment on March 11.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 1:17 pm

Sailors, veterans and their families are saying goodbye in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday to the USS Enterprise, which was the largest ship in the world and the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier when it was commissioned in 1961.

In its illustrious history, the Enterprise served at the center of international events for a half-century — from the Cuban missile crisis to Vietnam to the Iraq War.

And it had a distinguished Hollywood career as well, playing a leading role in the 1986 film Top Gun, which starred Tom Cruise as a young naval aviator.

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Music Interviews
9:43 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

A Trove Of Chats With Music Icons, Now Online

Joe Smith poses with Rod Stewart, circa 1974. The former record executive conducted informal interviews with dozens of musicians in the mid-1980s.
Jeff Smith

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 1:26 pm

In the mid-1980s, a record executive and former DJ named Joe Smith saw that a lot of the big-band greats were disappearing: Count Basie, Harry James and others.

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Music Interviews
10:30 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Piney Gir: From 'The Muppets' To 'Geronimo'

Piney Gir grew to love performing after getting solos in the choir at church.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 2:44 pm

What do you do if you're an aspiring drummer and someone steals your drum set? Well, if you're Piney Gir, you become a singer — because, as she figured it, they can't steal your voice.

Gir grew up in a fundamentalist Pentecostal household in Kansas, attending church four or five times a week. She got the solos in the choir and grew to love performing. The singer, whose real name is Angela Penhaligon, eventually found her way to London and the world of indie art-rock.

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NPR Story
10:30 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Songwriter Paloma Faith's 'Fall To Grace'

Paloma Faith's newest album is called Fall to Grace.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 2:48 pm

Paloma Faith has been described as smart, vivacious, red-streaked and a singular talent. Before breaking into the music business, Faith worked as a magician's assistant and a dancer. She debuted as a solo artist in the UK in 2009 with the album Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? Her latest album is no less provocatively titled — it's called Fall to Grace.

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Sports
6:34 am
Sat November 24, 2012

'Winningest' Coach Succeeded With Discipline

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 10:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

John Gagliardi is hanging up his clipboard. He announced his retirement this week, as the winningest coach in the history of college football. Over the course of 64 seasons - that's also a record; most of them at the St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota - Coach Gagliardi has racked up 489 wins, 138 losses and 11 ties. He's now 86 years old. Coach Gagliardi joins us from his home. Thanks very much for being with us.

JOHN GAGLIARDI: It's my pleasure.

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Movie Interviews
6:34 am
Sat November 24, 2012

The Unsung Overdub Star In 'Sound Of Music'

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 10:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We spoke with Christopher Plummer last week, and couldn't resist asking the famed stage and screen actor if he ever still sings "Edelweiss."

CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER: Of course not.

SIMON: (Laughter)

PLUMMER: Are you mad?

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: I had to ask.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE SOUND OF MUSIC")

BILL LEE: (as Plummer's Captain Von Trapp) (Singing) Edelweiss, edelweiss, every morning you greet me...

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Economy
6:34 am
Sat November 24, 2012

How Steep The Fiscal Cliff Looks From Europe

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 10:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Much of our political oxygen is taken up with fiscal cliff negotiation and speculation in the United States as people try to figure out whether we will indeed go hurtling over into recession or inch back from the edge of the cliff. Since all our economies are linked in a global network these days, we thought we'd get the view of all of this from elsewhere.

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Business
6:34 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Retail Arms Race Escalates To New Level

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 10:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In American retail history, this may be the year that Black Friday shaded into Thursday night. Toys "R" Us, Wal-Mart, several other retailers opened on Thursday night, Thanksgiving night, and on Friday, many other online retailers offered flash sales - special deals lasting just a couple of hours. Patty Edwards is the chief investment officer for Trutina Financial, a financial services firm in Washington state. She joins us from member station KUOW in Seattle. Thanks so much for being with us.

PATTY EDWARDS: Absolutely my pleasure.

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Author Interviews
5:48 am
Sat November 24, 2012

A Refugee's Multilayered Experience In 'Ru'

Random House Canada

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 10:31 am

Vietnamese author Kim Thuy's new novel unfolds in the way a flower casts off petals: one small scene after another. Ru is an autobiographical novel in which memories are shuffled back and forth to tell the story of a 10-year-old born in Saigon during the 1968 Tet Offensive.

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Europe
5:43 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Glitzy Burgundy Wine Auction Taps Celebrities

France's former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, auctioneer Francois de Ricqles and former soccer coach Guy Roux preside over the 152nd Hospices de Beaune wine auction Sunday in Beaune, France. The charity auction raised an all-time high of $7.5 million, which goes to area hospitals.
Tardivon Jean-Christophe Maxppp /Landov

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 2:09 pm

For the last century and a half, the wine season in France's grape-growing region of Burgundy has revolved around one major commercial event. On the third Sunday in November, hundreds of barrels of the recent harvest are sold to the highest bidder in a charity wine auction. The historic event, which took place this year on Nov. 18, has evolved into an A-list rendezvous for the power players in the international wine industry.

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Europe
5:32 am
Sat November 24, 2012

A Wave Of Plagiarism Cases Strikes German Politics

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) has given guarded support to Education Minister Annette Schavan, who is facing calls to resign over allegations of plagiarism.
Thomas Peter Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 1:43 pm

More than half a dozen politicians in Germany are caught up in an embarrassing cheating scandal that last year cost the German defense minister his job.

The country's education minister is also implicated. She, like the other politicians, is accused of plagiarizing while earning a doctorate degree.

Their accusers are private citizens who use the Internet to coordinate their hunt for cheaters.

One of Germany's more famous cybersleuths is an American professor named Debora Weber-Wulff.

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Simon Says
5:27 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Jesse Jackson Jr.: Great Hopes And Disappointments

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. speaks to constituents in Chicago in 2009. Jackson resigned from Congress on Wednesday, following a hospitalization and an investigation into misuse of campaign funds.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 2:27 pm

Jesse Jackson Jr. has a famous name and fabulous contacts, and had what looked like boundless prospects when he was first on the national stage at the Democratic National Convention in 1988.

John F. Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Kennedy had appeared to talk about the legacy of their late father, the president. But a few nights later, Jackson took the podium to present his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and said, "My name is Jesse Louis Jackson Jr., and I also proudly carry a great American name."

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Around the Nation
5:26 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Strumming The Pain, Songwriters Play Vets' Stories

Songwriter Jay Clementi works on a song with Sgt. 1st Class Scott McRae at the weekend retreat near Fort Hood in Central Texas.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for NPR

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 12:25 pm

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Middle East
7:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Hamas Remains Defiant As Fighting Escalates

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 9:28 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Middle East
7:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Renewed Violence In Gaza A Test For New Leaders

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 9:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The violence in Gaza is the first escalation of this intensity since uprisings in the Arab world almost two years ago. We're joined now by Rob Malley. He's with the International Crisis Group. He joins us from Dubai. Mr. Malley, thanks so much for being with us.

ROB MALLEY: Thanks for having me.

SIMON: And do you think a ground war is just a matter of time?

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Author Interviews
7:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

'The Lawgiver': Telling Moses' Story, Differently

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Remembrances
7:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Valerie Eliot Helped Shape A Writing Legend's Legacy

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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U.S.
7:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

FBI And Petraeus Affair: Back The 'Bad Old Days'?

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The scandal ensnaring General Patreaus has raised new questions about the CIA and the FBI. For more, we're joined by Tim Weiner. He's the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of two books on security services - one, "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA," the second, "Enemies: The History of the FBI." He joins us from New York. Thanks very much for being with us.

TIM WEINER: My pleasure, Scott.

SIMON: It's been a week of revelations, ruined careers, shaken families. Any crimes revealed?

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