Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturdays from 6:00 - 9:00 a.m.
  • Hosted by Scott Simon

Whether revealing events in small-town America or overseas, or profiling notable personalities, Weekend Edition from NPR News appreciates the extraordinary details that make up every story. This two-hour morning newsmagazine covers hard news, a wide variety of newsmakers, and cultural stories with care, accuracy, and a wink of humor.

The virgin Astroturf is springy underfoot, and the neon yellow goal posts stretch up into the blue September sky. The Comets should be playing well.

They're not.

After seven years of away-games, the football team at Cody High School in Detroit has their own field. The facility at Cody was in such terrible shape that they couldn't play there.

That changed Friday night. Unfortunately, the Comets homecoming did not start well.

The old federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay is one of the city's top tourist attractions. Beginning Saturday, it's also the site of an installation by one of China's most famous dissident artists, Ai Weiwei.

The work, "@Large" explores themes of freedom and confinement. Finding freedom under restriction is a worthy challenge, Ai says. Confined to China himself, the artist had to pull it all off without setting foot in the U.S.

Here's an idea for weekend fun: Pick up a banned book.

Look for "the good parts" — the sections of Ulysses, The Grapes of Wrath, The Color Purple, Catch-22, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Lolita, the Harry Potter series, Animal Farm, A Farewell to Arms or In the Night Kitchen that have scenes and language that once made people gasp, blush or shudder. The parts that made them say, "We can't let people read this!"

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Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And now it's time for Sports. Derek Jeter takes his final curtain. The Ryder Cup tees off Scotland, still part of the United Kingdom. And FIFA contends with scandalous charges and BJ Lederman writes our theme music.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The candidates running for Texas governor, Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and Democratic State Sen. Wendy Davis, held their first televised debate on Friday in heavily Hispanic South Texas, in the border county of Hidalgo in the Rio Grande Valley.

The county is 90 percent Hispanic. It was the first gubernatorial debate on the border since 1998.

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the fast-growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and many Republicans believe their survival lies in recruiting Hispanic supporters.

Sierra Leone is holding a country-wide experiment: For three days, no one is allowed to leave their home.

It's part of the country's strategy for controlling the deadly Ebola virus. While people across Sierra Leone stay at home, teams of workers go door-to-door, educating the public about the disease.

The effort got its shaky start on Friday.

The streets were empty in the heart of Freetown, the capitol. The only sound came from a few street sweepers and a police van blasting a song from an old speaker.

In sultry Barcelona, it was a unexpected gathering of bagpipes, tartan plaid, Scotch and even haggis — the traditional Scottish innards-and-oatmeal dish.

Spaniards turned out en masse to celebrate Scotland's referendum on independence from the United Kingdom.

"For one day, I would like to be Scottish," said Gabriel Herredero, 25, who wore a Scottish kilt out to a bar. "As Catalans, we would be proud also to be able to vote for something we really want."

A man known around here as "The Host Whisperer" has died.

David Candow was 74. He was a slightly tubby man from Newfoundland with a sly smile and a soft voice. I wanted nothing to do with him.

David was a consultant, brought in to work with NPR hosts and reporters on writing and delivery. People who make their living on the air often distrust consultants. We figure they've been brought in by executives who have usually never recorded more than a voicemail message, and want all hosts to sound the same.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2014 WBHM-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wbhm.org.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for the governor of Texas, came to the attention of most Americans outside Texas when, as state senator, she filibustered a highly restrictive abortion bill for 11 straight hours.

Now Davis is making headlines for her newly released memoir, Forgetting to Be Afraid. In the book, Davis revealed for the first time that she had two abortions herself. She also details her gritty and sometimes unhappy life growing up, first in Rhode Island and then Texas, Oklahoma and California.

President Obama arguably won the Democratic primary in 2008 because of his strong opposition to the Iraq war. Now he's arguing he doesn't need congressional approval to ramp up a bombing campaign in Iraq and expand air strikes into Syria.

This month brought two more exonerations based on new DNA evidence. Henry Lee McCollum was 19 years old and his half-brother, Leon Brown, was 15 when they were arrested. The two black, intellectually disabled half brothers were convicted of the rape and murder of an 11-year-old Sabrina Buie and spent 30 years on death row.

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Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Wade Goodwyn and it's time for Sports.

You know the nursery rhyme:

Hey diddle diddle
The cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed
To see such sport
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

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WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

Language warning: This story contains words some may find offensive.

The Highway Beautification Act will be 50 years old next year. As envisioned by Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, it was supposed to protect the natural landscape from billboards.

Ever since its passage, scenic activists and billboard companies have been at war over the views along American highways. The outdoor advertising industry says its signs are informational, and helpful to local businesses. Open-space advocates call them "sky trash" and "litter on a stick."

The air in the Baghdad morgue is thick with the smell of death. There are perhaps two dozen corpses in black plastic bags lying around in the sweltering heat. One of them is burned and has its face exposed, white teeth stark against charred skin.

"The crisis began in June," says Zaid al Yousif, the director of the Medical Legal Center, which houses the morgue. "The number of victims in June increased, double to triple." Many of those bodies have marks of trauma, including blunt injuries, he says.

There might be a recliner rebellion going on.

At least three flights have been grounded in little more than a week after passengers had disputes over reclining their seats, or not being able to. On most airlines these days, passengers are packed so close that — insert your favorite Joan Rivers joke here.

Stars Line Up To Reimagine Laura Nyro

Sep 6, 2014
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Where BJ Leiderman writes our theme music and now, including this one - it's time for Sports.

The day he was booked, Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave a big smile for his mug shot — which was then printed up on t-shirts to demonstrate just what a farce he thought the indictment was. In a press conference, the scorn dripped from Perry's voice as he took up the sword — defender, not of himself, but of the state's constitution.

"We don't settle political differences with indictments in this country," he said. "It is outrageous that some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state's constitution."

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