Weekend Edition

Saturday 7-9a & Sunday 9-11a

Weekend news magazine from NPR.

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Music
3:59 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Charlotte Church Returns, A 'Beautiful Wreck' In A Digital Age

Charlotte Church's new album is titled One & Two.
Jack Alexander Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 3:30 pm

Charlotte Church was just 12 years old when she made her 1998 debut album, Voice of an Angel — and that's what she seemed to posses. The tween rocketed into success with classical and religious music, singing for the pope, the Clintons, Nelson Mandela and the queen of England.

"If I look at it cynically, I was just a little bit of a freak, really: This small little girl with this big adult voice," Church says. "And I was a commodity for a while, you know. But I think that's also just the bare truth of it, really. People are always curious about child stars."

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Poetry
3:34 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Does Poetry Still Matter? Yes Indeed, Says NPR NewsPoet

Tracy K. Smith was NPR's first NewsPoet.
Tina Chang

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

April is the cruelest month, according to one of the most famous poems in the English language. Perhaps to take the edge off of April, the Academy of American Poets chose it as the month to draw attention to the art and legacy of poetry — and the achievement of American poets.

We're celebrating this month by hearing from young poets about how they chose — or were chosen by — poetry, and why poetry — one of the oldest human art forms — still matters.

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Asia
3:13 am
Sat April 6, 2013

U.S. Parries N. Korean Threats With A Fresh Plan

South Korea conducts military exercises near the border with North Korea on Wednesday.
Ahn Young-joon AP

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:32 pm

You might think alarm bells would be sounding in Washington, given the warnings coming out of North Korea. But when they talk about North Korea, U.S. officials are sounding like exasperated parents responding to a child's tantrum.

At the White House on Friday, spokesman Jay Carney said the United States "would not be surprised" if North Korea actually carries out a missile test.

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Simon Says
3:11 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Roger Ebert: Elegance and Empathy

The iconic Chicago photographer Art Shay took portraits of presidents, prizefighters, prose poets — and in the person of Roger Ebert, at least one Pulitzer-winning critic.
Art Shay

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

Roger Ebert was a critic, not a blowtorch. He could be sharp if he thought a movie insulted the audience, but had a champ's disdain for a cheap shot.

Many critics ridiculed the film Deep Throat when it came out in 1973. Who couldn't mock its absurdities? Roger just wrote, "If you have to work this hard at sexual freedom, maybe it isn't worth the effort."

Roger Ebert was a Chicago newspaperman who typed with two fingers — it sounded like a machine gun, columnist Bob Greene remembered on Friday — who was from the age when reporters were fueled by ink and booze.

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Theater
2:33 am
Sat April 6, 2013

On Broadway, Old Shows And New Tricks

Willemjin Verkaik is the latest leading lady to play Elphaba, the misunderstood green girl who grows up to become the Wicked Witch of the West in Broadway's long-running Wicked. She has also played the role in Dutch and German in Europe.
Bankhoff-Mogenburg

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

When I was a teenager falling in love with the theater, I picked up a book called Broadway's Greatest Musicals. The sole criterion for inclusion was that a show run for at least 500 performances, which translates to about a year and a quarter.

How quaint.

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Movie Interviews
1:03 am
Sat April 6, 2013

In '42,' A Young Star Suits Up For A Hero's Role

Chadwick Boseman plays baseball's trailblazing Jackie Robinson in the upcoming biopic 42.
D. Stevens Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

The number 42 has been retired from every team in Major League Baseball, and in recent years, teams have been eager for fans to remember why: It was the number Jackie Robinson wore for the Brooklyn Dodgers when he broke the sport's color barrier — and began to break a new path in American history.

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Sports
6:16 am
Sat March 30, 2013

Elite 8 Take To The NCAA Courts

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 8:34 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Know why I am hoarse? Because it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: All that cheering. Florida Gulf Coast Eagles got eaten by the Gators yesterday, but the Cardinals are still flying high. Louisville, Florida, Michigan and Duke move on to men's college basketball Elite 8; and baseball season opens tomorrow when the Texas Rangers face the Houston Astros.

We're now joined by Howard Bryant, of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. Good morning, Howard.

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
4:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

Gay Marriage Recap: Will Justices Rule On Constitutionality?

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 8:34 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon and we'll have to wait until June to learn what the U.S. Supreme Court has decided on the two gay marriage cases before it. But this week, the justices heard oral arguments and they gave perhaps some hints of their thinking. One case concerns the constitutionality of California's ban on gay marriage, the other case is a challenge to what's called DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act.

We're joined now by NPR legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg. Thanks for being with us.

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Europe
4:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

German Anti-Euro Group Has Big-Name Backers

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 8:34 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Arts & Life
4:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

A Fossilized Confection Baked For Easter 1807

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 8:34 am

A British couple believes they've come across a hot cross bun that was baked more than 200 years ago. Host Scott Simon explains.

NPR Story
5:57 am
Sat March 23, 2013

From One Author To Another, Letters Of Praise

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 6:13 am

Host Scott Simon reads some of the best fan mail to authors, written by authors.

NPR Story
5:57 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Gay Lobbying On The Hill Has Short Yet Strong History

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 11:37 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

One argument used by some conservatives in the Supreme Court cases is that gay Americans have become so politically powerful and prominent they don't need special consideration from the courts. Whether or not that's true, it is clear that lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgendered advocacy groups have built a strong network of lobbyists and political activists in Washington, D.C.

NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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NPR Story
5:57 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Obama Leaves Middle East With Mixed Reviews

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And President Obama heads home from the Middle East today after a mixed reception to his four-day visit. Mr. Obama spent much of that time in Israel trying to lay the groundwork to revive the long-stalled peace process with Palestinians. He also traveled to the West Bank and met with Jordan's King Abdullah. NPR's Scott Horsley has a recap.

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Music Interviews
4:25 am
Sat March 23, 2013

The Milk Carton Kids: At Life's Crossroads, A Duo Looks Both Ways

Kenneth Pattengale (left) and Joey Ryan, who record as The Milk Carton Kids. Their new album is called The Ash & Clay.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:28 am

Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan were doing just fine as solo performers. Then one night, Ryan walked into a bar where Pattengale was playing.

"I heard Kenneth perform a song that he had written from the perspective of a dead dog, only very recently having been hit by a truck," Ryan says, wryly. "And it was that sort of uplifting material that drew us together."

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Author Interviews
4:24 am
Sat March 23, 2013

'Z' Tells The Fitzgeralds' Story From Zelda's Point Of View

St. Martin's Press

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 6:13 am

F. Scott Fitzgerald first saw his future wife from across a crowded room at a country club dance in Montgomery, Ala., where he was in basic training and she was waiting to be discovered by the world. They wed in 1920, and the two went on to have a famously turbulent marriage — tarnished by personal and professional jealousy, alcohol abuse and mental illness — which they both immortalized in their writing.

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Middle East
4:24 am
Sat March 23, 2013

In Saudi Arabia, Shiite Muslims Challenge Ban On Protests

Anti-riot police face off with protesters in Saudi Arabia's eastern city of Qatif on March 11, 2011. Despite bans on the demonstrations, Shiite Muslims in the eastern part of the country have continued to stage protests, demanding political changes.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 2:27 pm

Editor's note: When Arab Spring protests broke out in Saudi Arabia in 2011, the government reacted quickly, pumping $130 billion into the economy and cracking down on dissent. While this approach has worked in some cities, the Shiite Muslims in the Eastern Province continued to demonstrate. Reese Erlich, on assignment for GlobalPost and NPR, managed to get into the city of Qatif and meet with protest leaders.

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NPR Story
3:14 am
Sat March 16, 2013

Reading The Tea Leaves Of Obama's Mideast Trip

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 7:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:14 am
Sat March 16, 2013

Bright Beginnings, Sad Endings In Sports News

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 5:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Spring has sprung with a doubleheader of baseball - spring training and the World Baseball Classic. Nothing classic, though, about the defeat of the U.S. team last night by Puerto Rico. They were eliminated but doesn't really matter. The Miami Heat continue the streak while a college team does too, just in the opposite direction. We're joined now from Sedona, Arizona by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. Good morning, Howard.

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NPR Story
3:14 am
Sat March 16, 2013

What's Changed: From Brady Bill To Current Gun Control Push

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 5:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Sarah Brady has worked for tougher gun laws for decades. Her husband, Jim Brady, was shot in the head by John Hinckley when he attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. Jim Brady was President Reagan's press secretary and has lived with a disability ever since. The Bradys founded the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which worked to pass a law that now bears their name, the Brady Bill.

And Sarah Brady joins us from her home in Virginia. Ms. Brady, thanks very for being with us.

SARAH BRADY: Thank you for having me.

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Movie Interviews
2:03 am
Sat March 16, 2013

'Leviathan': The Fishing Life, From 360 Degrees

The noisy film is mostly wordless, with animals and nature filling in the blanks between its strangely stark images.
The Cinema Guild

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 5:46 am

Leviathan is a documentary — and yet not a documentary. It's a near-wordless, almost abstract depiction of an 80-foot groundfishing boat heading out of New Bedford, Mass. The film's unusual structure and point of view has gotten rave reviews at festivals and from many critics.

Sometimes you don't know quite what you're seeing and listening to in Leviathan. You hear metal groaning and rasping, see fish, gloves and tools tossed about on a boat that's pitching and rolling in a roaring wind.

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Simon Says
6:18 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Snowquester Fizzles, But We're Humbled Anyway

The failed Snowquester reminds us, during a time of national debate, that experts can still be wrong.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 12:22 pm

Snowquester fizzled.

Wednesday was more or less canceled this week in official Washington, D.C. An enormous winter storm bore down on the region, threatening ice, a foot of snow in the city (more in the suburbs), and wind and misery throughout the region.

Most of the federal government was closed. I know, I know. How could they tell? Local governments and schools, too. Flights were canceled, planes diverted, and throngs descended on grocery stores, picking the shelves clean of bread, milk and toilet tissue.

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Around the Nation
5:25 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Amid Unemployment Numbers, Faces Of Those Who've Lost Hope

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 6:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

At the same time, there are millions of Americans you can't find in monthly job reports. They've been unemployed so long they're no longer counted, or they're working just a few hours a week in jobs that can't support them. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also said yesterday that what they call the labor force participation rate fell again to 63.5 percent, the lowest number since 1981.

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U.S.
5:10 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Found At Sea, Civil War Sailors Buried In Arlington

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 6:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Two American sailors were laid to rest yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery more than 150 years after they died.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "TAPS")

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Middle East
5:10 am
Sat March 9, 2013

When Insects Go Biblical: Swarms Head Toward Israel

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 6:47 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If it just sounded like this, might not be all that bad.

(SOUNDBITE OF GRASSHOPPER)

SIMON: That's a grasshopper, and this is the sound of what happens when grasshoppers go biblical, and become a swarm of locusts.

(SOUNDBITE OF SWARM OF LOCUSTS)

SIMON: Just such a swarm of locusts have entered Israel's Negeve desert on Friday and that's bad news for farmers because the insects eat everything that's green.

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Middle East
5:10 am
Sat March 9, 2013

From The U.S., Watching Syria's Slow And Brutal Spiral

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 6:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Not every Syrian American can go to the lengths that Abu Ahmed did, but here in the United States, they are watching the conflict closely. Muna Jondy was born in this country, but her father's family is from Daraa where the first protest back in 2011 began. She's an immigration lawyer in Flint, Michigan and president of a group called United for a Free Syria. She joins us from Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor. Thanks for being with us.

MUNA JONDY: Thank you for having me, Scott.

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The Salt
4:15 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Career Suicide Or Lifesaver? Why A Professional Foodie Went Vegetarian

Washington Post food editor Joe Yonan has made the decision to go vegetarian.
Cristian Baitg iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 3:53 pm

It takes an adventurous palate to be a food journalist, who must sample and judge from a wide world of cuisines. So it's understandable why some chefs and foodies might be suspicious of a food editor who decides to cut himself off from a broad swath of eating possibilities by becoming vegetarian.

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StoryCorps
3:42 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Returning From Duty, Finding Families' Embrace

Luke and Mark Radlinski reunite at the airport after Mark's deployment in 2007.
Courtesy of Luke Radlinski

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 10:29 am

StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the military who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of the participants in this project have been speaking about being separated from their loved ones.

This week, Weekend Edition is featuring two stories of families reuniting after deployment.

Brothers' Bond

Both of the Radlinski brothers served in the Navy. Luke deployed in 2001 to the Persian Gulf in support of the conflict in Afghanistan. His brother, Mark, went to Iraq in 2006.

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Latin America
3:40 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Venezuelan Oil Subsidies Still Buoy Neighbors, For Now

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Leonel Fernandez, the president of the Dominican Republic, sign an agreement in 2010. The Dominican Republic gets about 40,000 barrels of oil a day from Venezuela.
Manuel Diaz AP

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 12:06 pm

Venezuela's late president, Hugo Chavez, was a tremendous supporter of Latin American countries, especially those sympathetic to his socialist ideals.

The country's vast oil reserves are a key source of economic aid, but the Chavez didn't just help out his ideological peers like Cuba and Nicaragua. He was also a great benefactor to key U.S. allies in the Caribbean — many of whom now worry whether their vital oil lifeline is about to be shut off.

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Author Interviews
3:40 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Living A Life Of Joy 'Until I Say Good-Bye'

Cover of Until I Say Goodbye

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 6:18 am

Susan Spencer-Wendel knows how to spend a year.

She left her job as an award-winning criminal courts reporter for The Palm Beach Post and went to the Yukon to see the northern lights. Then to Cyprus, to meet family that she never knew. She and her husband, John, took their children on trips on which her daughter got to try on wedding dresses and Susan got kissed by a dolphin.

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Commentary
6:11 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Pianist Van Cliburn, Warmed Russian Hearts During Cold War

Van Cliburn accepts flowers from the audience in the Moscow Conservatory in April 1958, after a performance during the first International Tchaikovsky Competition, which he won.
Courtesy Van Cliburn Foundation AP

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 4:35 pm

Van Cliburn thawed out the Cold War.

He went to Moscow in 1958 for the first International Tchaikovsky Competition. When he sat down to play, Russians saw a tall, 23-year-old Texan, rail thin and tousle-haired, with great, gangly fingers that grew evocative and eloquent when he played the music of the true Russian masters — Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and Borodin.

Cliburn died Wednesday at his home in Fort Worth, Texas. He was 78.

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