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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Strange News
8:25 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Need A Soprano? Get A Gibbon On Helium

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This just in: Gibbons on helium sing like sopranos. Wired magazine reports on a study at Kyoto University in which an ape named Fuku-chan was placed in a chamber filled with helium enriched air. This was not a party trick. Helium-rich air apparently allows scientists to more easily analyze vocalizations. Fuku-chan's bellow went from this:

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLOWING)

SIMON: To this:

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLOWING)

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Around the Nation
6:28 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Hurricane Andrew: Florida's Unwelcome Visitor

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Politics
6:28 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Ahead Of Conventions, Candidates Hone Message

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Republicans and Democrats will talk a lot about the economy during their national conventions over the next couple of weeks. And yet, the man who is about to be nominated by the Republican convention, Mitt Romney, briefly strayed from an economic message yesterday, while speaking in the Detroit suburb of Commerce, Michigan.

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Politics
6:28 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Revisiting Conventions Of Elections Past

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Political conventions used to be dramatic events that made history. They nominated candidates for president. They debated crucial issues under glaring lights. Now, not so much. Presidential candidates win or lose nominations in primaries, and parties tend to see - and use - conventions as what amounts to advertisements for themselves. Our apologies to Norman Mailer.

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Around the Nation
6:28 am
Sat August 25, 2012

'D'oh!' Simpsons Stamps A Flop For Postal Service

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There's only one way to begin this item.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME FROM "THE SIMPSONS")

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NPR Story
5:47 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Remembering Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia's Champion

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 8:35 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Ethiopia's longtime prime minister died this week. Meles Zenawi was 57. He came to power in 1991 when a rebel army toppled that nation's Marxist dictator and the Ethiopian leader became a trusted U.S. ally in the war against terrorism. As NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports, he leaves behind a mixed legacy.

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NPR Story
5:47 am
Sat August 25, 2012

New U.S. Ambassador To Afghanistan Faces Tough Job

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. James Cunningham has taken one of the most difficult diplomatic posts in the world. He is the new U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan.

AMBASSADOR JAMES CUNNINGHAM: I, James D. Cunningham...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Do solemnly swear.

CUNNINGHAM: ...do solemnly swear...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: That I will support and defend.

CUNNINGHAM: ...that I will support and defend...

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NPR Story
5:47 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Not All Chinese Restaurants Are Created Equal

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Hungry? You might give a listen now to David Chan. Mr. Chan is a Los Angeles tax lawyer who says he's eaten in more than 6,000 Chinese restaurants in North America and knows how to identify the best. David Chan joins us on the line now.

Thanks very much for being with us.

DAVID CHAN: Well, thanks for having me, Scott.

SIMON: So what do you look for?

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Selah Sue: From Online Stardom To A Stage With Prince

Selah Sue performs at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 11:18 am

Just a small-town girl, living in a lonely world — in Belgium, with her guitar and a MySpace page. That's how Selah Sue used to introduce her music to those outside her hometown: with short videos made between high-school classes and weekend shows at local clubs, posted to her online journal.

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Sean Rowe: An Outdoorsman Enters Civilization

Sean Rowe's new album is The Salesman and the Shark.
Marius Bugge

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Sean Rowe has a voice and a style that stands out in popular music. His voice is deep — really, truly deep — fine, and often doleful. He's a baritone troubadour who sings of roads not taken, regrets and the dreams that shake you awake at 3 in the morning.

After years of working bars, road houses and more bars, Rowe is playing concert stages and winning over critics for his story-songs and that remarkable voice. But, as he tells NPR's Scott Simon, he wasn't always so proud to be a singer.

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Music Al Fresco
2:03 am
Sat August 25, 2012

A Roving Percussionist On The Big Easy's Busy Streets

Clyde Casey has been performing on the streets of New Orleans for 40 years.
Tegan Wendland

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 12:53 pm

All summer long, Weekend Edition has been bringing listeners the sounds of music played outdoors by all manner of street performers. Of all the cities in America that embrace buskers, New Orleans, with its tradition of jazz and oompah bands at Mardi Gras, may be the most welcoming. It also happens to be a city with a certain eccentric flair — so Weekend Edition wasn't surprised to find Clyde Casey there.

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Sports
9:43 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Preparing For The 2012 Paralympic Games In London

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 3:03 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty
6:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Valomilks: A Sweet Treat That Runs Down Your Chin

The family-owned Russel Sifers Candy Company has been making Valomilks — and only Valomilks — for decades.
Melisa Goh NPR

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 5:23 pm

The Valomilk was once advertised as "the 5-cent candy bar with the 50-cent taste." And while the price has changed, the product has not.

For more than 80 years, the family-owned Russell Sifers Candy Company has been using the same recipe to churn out a rich concoction of chocolate and creamy marshmallow goo.

The candy-making machines are busy on the factory floor in Merriam, Kan., just southwest of Kansas City. This is the headquarters of the century-old company, where Russell Sifers himself is a fourth-generation candy maker.

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Europe
6:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

France To Hollande: Time To Get To Work

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 3:03 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The president of France, Francois Hollande, has just passed 100 days in office. Mr. Hollande swept to victory in a wave of discontent aimed at former President Nicolas Sarkozy. But now, there are concerns that the new president's slow, cautious manner may not be suited to solving some of the challenges facing his country. Eleanor Beardsley sends us this report from Paris.

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Middle East
6:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Fighting Continues To Scar Syrian Cities

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 3:03 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The last U.N. military observers are pulling out of Syria today. Their mission has been made near impossible by the heavy fighting gripping the country.

A former Algerian foreign minister is taking over as U.N. envoy on Syria, but he's not optimistic about a quick end to the fighting. And neighboring Lebanon remains on edge, after a spate of kidnappings this week related to the Syrian conflict. NPR's Anthony Kuhn joins us from Beirut.

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Sports
6:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Week In Sports: The Nationals And Steven Strasbourg

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 9:58 am

Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon speaks with Howard Bryant about sports this week and the Nationals' plans for star pitcher Steven Strasbourg.

NPR Story
6:17 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Wrapping Up Week One Of Romney-Ryan

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 3:03 pm

Last week, Mitt Romney announced that he had selected Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. NPR's Ari Shapiro has been covering the pair for a week now, and he joins Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks with him about the past week of campaigning for the new pair.

NPR Story
6:17 am
Sat August 18, 2012

For Julian Assange, A Tricky Exit For Asylum

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 3:03 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week, Ecuador announced that it would grant Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, political asylum. He's been holed up in Ecuador's London embassy since June facing extradition to Sweden over sexual assault claims that he denies. But somehow he's got to get from London to Ecuador and he can't just buy a ticket, buy a canister of tea in duty-free and fly to Quito. The British government says that Julian Assange will be arrested if he sets a foot out of the embassy door.

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NPR Story
6:17 am
Sat August 18, 2012

In Wall Street 2.0, Computers Are King

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 3:03 pm

Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks to Sean Gourley, physicist and founder of quid.com, about the computers that trade stock shares faster than human minds can comprehend.

Europe
4:54 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Italian Yacht Owners Weigh Anchor To Dodge Taxes

The quayside at Compagnia della Vela in Venice, Italy, is largely deserted. Authorities have targeted yacht owners as part of a crackdown on tax evasion, and many boat owners have sailed to other countries in the Mediterranean.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 8:24 pm

Italy has a public debt of nearly 2 trillion euros, and it's cracking down on its notoriously wily tax evaders. Owners of luxury yachts are a prime target, with tax police launching dockside raids to see how individual tax files line up with owning and maintaining an expensive boat.

But yachts are mobile assets. In response, many boat owners are simply weighing anchor and setting course for more tax-friendly Mediterranean marinas.

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