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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U.S.
7:33 am
Sat November 10, 2012

A Stunning Fall For CIA's Celebrated Petraeus

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 11:29 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

David Petraeus has resigned as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, citing an extramarital affair and saying that he showed, quote, "extremely poor judgment." It was a stunning fall for one of the most celebrated generals in recent U.S. history. NPR's Tom Bowman is here to talk about it. Tom, thanks so much for being with us.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: You're welcome, Scott.

SIMON: What do we know now about what happened?

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Author Interviews
5:43 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Ian McEwan's 'Sweet Tooth' Pits Spy Vs. Scribe

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 11:29 am

Author Ian McEwan's latest creation, Serena Frome, isn't much of a spy. She got recruited into MI5 by her Cambridge history tutor, whom she wanted to dazzle. But he dumps her, and she never sees it coming. She winds up on the clerical side of the operation, cross-filing schemes and plots to stop terrorists, until one day, in the middle of the Cold War, she's summoned to the fifth floor of the agency, where five wise men ask her to rank three British novelists according to their merit: Kingsley Amis, William Golding and David Storey.

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Asia
5:26 am
Sat November 10, 2012

A Grim Chronicle Of China's Great Famine

Chinese villagers welcome the arrival of tractors purchased by a farmers' cooperative in April 1958, during the Great Leap Forward campaign. The disastrous modernization program ended in China's great famine and tens of millions of deaths.
Keystone-France Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 11:29 am

First of two parts

It's not often that a book comes out that rewrites a country's history. But that's the case with Tombstone, which was written by a retired Chinese reporter who spent 10 years secretly collecting official evidence about the country's devastating great famine. The famine, which began in the late 1950s, resulted in the deaths of millions of Chinese.

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Politics
5:26 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Taxing Work Ahead: Have Negotiating Tables Turned?

President Obama speaks about the economy and the deficit at the White House on Friday. He says this time around, he has proof that Americans agree with his approach.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 1:38 pm

Republicans and Democrats agree: Election season may have ended just four days ago, but it's already time to get back to work. In this case, "back to work" might mean "back to fighting."

Leaders in both parties made their opening bids Friday on how to deal with the tax, spending and debt problems that face the country at the end of this year.

While the scenario echoes last year's spending battle, there are some differences that could push the parties toward the resolution they never reached last time around.

Where The President Stands

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StoryCorps
5:25 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Amidst War, U.S. Guardsman Forges Unexpected Bond

Ali, an Iraqi teenager, wears Spc. Justin Cliburn's helmet and radio equipment in Baghdad. Ali and Cliburn became unlikely friends while Cliburn trained Iraqi police in 2005 and 2006.
Courtesy of Justin Cliburn

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 3:11 pm

The Military Voices Initiative, a StoryCorps' project, collects stories from members of the U.S. armed forces, with a special focus on those who served in post-Sept. 11, 2001, conflicts. Every month, highlights from that initiative air on Weekend Edition Saturday.

Spc. Justin Cliburn, 30, was deployed to Iraq in 2005 with the Oklahoma Army National Guard. His job was to train the Iraqi police in Baghdad. During his time there, he got to know a boy in his early teens named Ali, who walked through their compound one day.

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Music News
12:10 am
Sat November 10, 2012

A Veteran's Standing Ovation, 70 Years In The Making

This month, a symphony composed by World War II veteran Harold Van Heuvelen had its premiere.
Kevin Gift

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 10:55 am

When you reach a certain age, big life surprises tend to come few and far between, unless you're Harold Van Heuvelen. Van, as everyone calls him, has had a blockbuster week full of dreams fulfilled. The story of his dream starts more than 70 years ago, on Dec. 7, 1941.

Van Heuvelen enlisted in the Army after Pearl Harbor. He was posted to a base in New Orleans as an instructor for recruits. He spent the war stateside, training men who were being shipped out to Europe and the South Pacific.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:00 am
Sat November 10, 2012

John Williams' Inevitable Themes

Flanked by composer Leonard Slatkin and soprano Jessye Norman, John Williams takes a bow during his 80th-birthday celebration at Tanglewood in August.
Stu Rosner

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 10:52 am

For more than 50 years, John Williams' music has taken us to galaxies far, far away through adventures here on earth, made us feel giddy joy and occasionally scared us to death.

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NPR Story
7:55 am
Sat November 3, 2012

The Political Middle: What Ohioans Have To Say

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 10:48 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It's already starting to rain over northern Ohio this past weekend as the outer whirls of Hurricane Sandy approached. Just a few days before the election, people in Reminderville, the village of about 3,000, were concerned about turnout.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Trick or treat.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Trick or treat.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Hey, what's going on?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Hi.

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NPR Story
7:41 am
Sat November 3, 2012

China Prepares For New Leaders In Critical Transition

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 10:48 am

Just two days after the U.S. presidential election, China opens the most important event in a decade on its political calendar: a transition of power. Host Scott Simon talks to NPR's Louisa Lim and Frank Langfitt in China about the upcoming 18th Party Congress.

NPR Story
7:41 am
Sat November 3, 2012

In Storm-Drenched New Jersey, A Fight For Ice

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 10:48 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In the aftermath of giant storms and during long power outages, common things can become precious commodities, things like gasoline, fresh milk and ice.

JOE ROMANO: Well, they need it for their perishable foods and also one thing that people don't keep in mind is medicine has to be refrigerated.

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NPR Story
7:41 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Obama Tries To Bank Early Votes In Ohio

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 10:48 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And the multi-billion dollar presidential campaign has come down to its final weekend. All that money, all these months are campaigning come down to just a few more frantic days for the candidates. The polls now show a close contest between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as they campaign in a handful of swing states. Mr. Obama begins campaigning today where he left off yesterday in - have we said this before? - Ohio. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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House & Senate Races
5:17 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Race For Redrawn Calif. District Is Tight And Pricey

Democrat Ami Bera is challenging Lungren. Bera ran against Lungren in 2004 and lost, but since the district was redrawn, the race has become competitive.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 10:48 am

Dan Lungren has been in and out of public office since 1979. The Republican represented a Southern California district in the '80s, served as the state's attorney general for eight years, and then returned to Congress to represent the Sacramento area in 2004.

These days, he's still the same pro-business, limited-government conservative he's always been, Lungren told a friendly audience in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova.

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Arts + Life
5:17 am
Sat November 3, 2012

The Story Of Steadman, Drawn From His 'Gonzo' Art

Among his many accomplishments, Ralph Steadman illustrated Hunter S. Thompson's 1971 novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, about a journalist's reporting trip turned hallucinogenic bender.
Courtesy of Itch Film

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 9:36 am

Every morning, British illustrator Ralph Steadman wakes up in his country estate in rural England and attacks a piece of paper, hurling ink, blowing paint through a straw and scratching away layers to reveal lines and forms that surprise even him.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:17 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Storm Scores: Finding Poignant Reminders In Water-Damaged Music

A window-screen view toward conductor Marin Alsop's studio, badly damaged during the hurricane.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 10:18 am

This past week has been filled with some truly tragic stories of loss and devastation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. There are also a few stories of near misses and disasters averted. Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, fortunately has one of the latter.

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Around the Nation
5:15 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Nation's Christmas Tree Plucked From Colorado

This year's Capitol Christmas Tree comes from White River National Forest in Northwest Colorado. The spruce is more than 70 feet tall.
Luke Runyon for NPR

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 1:57 pm

The undeniable smell of fresh-cut spruce filled the air Friday morning as crews crowded around the trunk of this year's Capitol Christmas Tree, prepping it for departure to Washington, D.C.

The task of finding this year's tree was left largely up to one man: Scott Fitzwilliams, forest supervisor for the White River National Forest in Colorado. In picking the tree, Fitzwilliams was asked to follow a few guidelines.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
5:15 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Lessons From Katrina Boost FEMA's Sandy Response

Victims of Superstorm Sandy wait in line to apply for recovery assistance at a FEMA processing center Friday on New York's Coney Island. The agency has been praised for its response to the storm.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 1:22 pm

Following Superstorm Sandy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has received good grades from politicians and even some survivors of the storm. In part, that's due to lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina seven years ago.

For Staten Island resident Deb Smith, whose house was flooded by the storm surge from Sandy, FEMA has been a savior.

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Economy
5:15 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Divergent Labor Markets: Private Gains, Public Losses

Job applicants meet potential employers at the NYC Startup Job Fair in September. Last month, the private sector created jobs while the public sector resumed laying off workers.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 1:00 pm

The last unemployment report before the election came out Friday, and the news was middling: Unemployment ticked up to 7.9 percent.

The private sector created more than 180,000 new jobs, but state and local governments resumed laying workers off. That discrepancy is part of a longer-term trend.

For a few years now, private sector employment has been growing, but since mid-2010, state and local governments have eliminated roughly half a million jobs.

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Music News
2:03 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Radio Tanzania: A Disappearing History On Tape

Radio Tanzania archivist Bruno Nanguka stands with just a few of the 15,000 reel-to-reel tapes stored in the station's archives.
Jonathan Kalan

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 7:10 pm

At the archives of Radio Tanzania, more than 15,000 reel-to-reel tapes are stacked in floor-to-ceiling shelves. Each band, musician and recording date is painstakingly notated. The tapes reside inside three musty rooms of the Tanzania Broadcasting Corp., which occupies the old brick-and-concrete BBC building in Dar es Salaam.

Radio Tanzania was the country's only station from its birth in 1951 until the mid-1990s, when competing stations came on the air and state-controlled radio became irrelevant.

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Movies
11:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Horror Movies Surge Back To Mainstream Audiences

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Halloween is almost here, so perhaps it's no surprise that the film "Paranormal Activity 4" led the box office in its opening weekend. It is the latest entry in an already successful movie franchise. As Beth Accomando of member station KPBS reports, film audiences still enjoy a good scare - but what scares us keeps changing.

BETH ACCOMANDO, BYLINE: Horror renaissance man Clive Barker says the first person to scare him was Walt Disney.

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Sports
11:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

World Series Heats Up; NBA's Commish Retires

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Baseball comes to Motown for game three of the World Series. But, will Detroit's heavy hitters show up? The International Cycling Union says none of the above, or below, won the Tour de France in the years that Lance Armstrong copped the title and it plans for some organizational soul-searching. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us.

Morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

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