Weekend Edition Saturday on The News And Ideas Network

Saturdays, 8am - 10am
Scott Simon

From civil wars in Bosnia and El Salvador, to hospital rooms, police stations, and America's backyards, NPR's Peabody Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon brings a well-traveled perspective as he hosts Weekend Edition Saturday.
 

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Simon Says
10:35 am
Sat September 22, 2012

The Emoticon Turns 30, Seems Happy About It :-)

The emoticon turns 30 this week.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 11:33 am

The emoticon, punctuation to depict a facial expression, began 30 years ago this week. Using three keystrokes, the colon, dash and parenthesis, to suggest a smile may not be a great scientific advance, like the coronary stent or computer chip. But the emoticon has been simple, useful and enduring.

There had been previous hints of emoticons. A newspaper transcript of Abraham Lincoln drawing a laugh in 1862 follows it with a semi-colon and parentheses, but that may have simply been a printer's typo.

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It's All Politics
9:55 am
Sat September 22, 2012

There's Still Time For Romney To Make An Effective Case

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign event at the Cox Pavilion Friday in Las Vegas.
David Becker Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:35 am

Despite a series of political fumbles, Mitt Romney is "still very much in the game," according to political strategist Steve Schmidt. But, he says, it will take some work.

Schmidt served as John McCain's senior strategist in the 2008 election and helped George W. Bush get reelected in 2004. He spoke with Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon about the Romney campaign's stresses.

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Education
8:23 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Duncan On Chicago: 'When Adults Fight, Kids Lose'

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Chicago teachers voted to end their strike this week, the first in 25 years, and came back to class. It brought an end to a heated confrontation between leaders of the Chicago teachers union and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who repeated this phrase time and again during the strike.

MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL: This was a strike of choice and it's a wrong choice for the children. Really, it was a choice.

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Africa
7:14 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Labor Unrest In S. African Mines Spreads

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:35 am

In South Africa, thousands of mineworkers have embarked on industrial action that began with a deadly pay strike by platinum workers. They've agreed a wage deal with their management, this week, but the labor unrest is spreading to other platinum and gold mines in an industry that's the engine of South Africa's economy. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton discusses the repercussions with host Scott Simon.

Europe
7:14 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Can The Franco-German Bond Live Long In Debt?

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There have been many milestones along the road that Europe is on right now, searching for unity and a relief to its debt crisis. Today, we look at one milestone that's especially important to the 150 million people of France and Germany. To do that we're going to step back in time with NPR's Philip Reeves.

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Presidential Race
7:14 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Warring Political Ads: One Community's Experience

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If you live in a swing state, the political ads on TV right now are inescapable, and they're only going to get more intense in the seven weeks before Election Day. NPR's Ari Shapiro wanted to see the impact that all this advertising's having on one community. He's been in Colorado Springs for the last week reporting a pair of stories that will air on Morning Edition and All Things Considered on Monday. Ari joins us now. Thanks so much for being with us.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

SIMON: How deep and profound is this impact?

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Around the Nation
7:14 am
Sat September 22, 2012

U.S. Border Industry Grows As Immigration Slows

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It's been more than a quarter century since the federal government enacted any immigration legislation which wasn't about enforcement and over that time, the government has spend hundreds of billions of dollars on fences, aircrafts, detention centers and agents. NPR's Ted Robbins looks at what taxpayer money has bought and why it's not likely to go away, even as budgets shrink and illegal immigration lessens.

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Sports
7:14 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Baseball Breakdown: What's Left In MLB

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:35 am

Only 12 days left of Major League Baseball. Host Scott Simon looks at the numbers with baseball historian Bill James.

Presidential Race
7:14 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Nev. Voters Scrutinize Candidates' Economic Messages

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns yesterday after months of pressure, and this week President Obama and his opponent sparred over remarks secretly recorded at a recent Romney fundraiser. Mr. Romney was in Nevada again yesterday. Both candidates have spent a lot of time in that battleground state. NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea talked to voters in Reno.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: The battle for Nevada will likely be settled in Washoe County, which is home to Reno.

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Author Interviews
5:49 am
Sat September 22, 2012

The Haunted Life Of Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini

AP

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:35 am

Ray Mancini carried hopes and ghosts into the boxing ring. He was the son of a great contender, Lenny Mancini, who was wounded in World War II before he ever got a chance at a championship. Mancini inherited his father's ring nickname — "Boom Boom" — and his championship dreams. In 1980, Mancini succeeded in winning the lightweight championship of the world, earning him widespread adoration.

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Europe
5:34 am
Sat September 22, 2012

'Time Banks' Help Spaniards Weather Financial Crisis

Unemployment is rampant in Spain and full-time jobs are scarce. Here a woman works at a street stall in Madrid. Some Spaniards are signing up for "time banks," where individuals perform services based on their skills, and receive another service in return. No money changes hands. A woman is shown here working at a street stall in Madrid.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:35 am

After saving money for years, Lola Sanchez was finally able to buy a car refitted with a ramp and space for a wheelchair in the back for her teenage son, who has cerebral palsy.

A nurse used to come each day to help with her son's care. That service was cut amid government austerity measures, though Sanchez still gets a small check every month.

"What I need is physical help, even more than financial assistance," Sanchez says, "because I can't physically lift him on my own."

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History
5:34 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Harlem Hosts First Strokes Of Emancipation

Emancipation, a wood engraving by Thomas Nast in 1865. The official Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 12:01 pm

Saturday marks the 150th anniversary of a crucial moment in U.S. history. On Sept. 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, announcing his intention to free the slaves in the states rebelling against the Union.

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Rickie Lee Jones: 'One Devil With One Guitar'

Rickie Lee Jones' new album, The Devil You Know, is a collection of covers. "I think [I recorded the album] partially to remind people that a singer is the one who interprets the song," she says. "And once you do that, it's yours."
Myriam Santos Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:35 am

It takes chutzpah to redo the kind of songs that get labeled as iconic, like The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," or "The Weight' by The Band, or Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart." But Rickie Lee Jones has made a career out of surprising p

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Kid Koala: All Roads Lead To The Blues

Kid Koala's new album is titled 12 Bit Blues.
Corinne Merrell Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:35 am

Eric San, who goes by the name Kid Koala, plays the blues. But just as Kid Koala isn't a traditional blues name like Blind Lemon Jefferson or Doctor Ross the Harmonica Boss, he isn't a standard blues man.

Kid Koala is a DJ. Big turntables, fast hands, scratching old-fashioned vinyl records — the whole deal. Now, he's taken that DJ equipment and produced a "turntable blues" album titled 12 Bit Blues.

So how did a Canadian DJ discover the blues, exactly? San says it all happened in high school.

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NPR Story
7:34 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Egypt Explores Limits Of Tolerance For Free Speech

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 10:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We turn now to Egypt where, as we mentioned earlier, the protest started this week. More than 250 people have been reported injured in clashes there that began when protesters scaled the embassy wall in Cairo and tore down an American flag. Many of them are demonstrating against a film, which portrayed the prophet Muhammad as a womanizer and a religious fraud.

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NPR Story
7:34 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Libya Hit With Turbulent Week

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 10:55 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. There have been unexpectedly violent protests across much of the Arab world this week. The first was in Cairo. Then, of course, in Benghazi, Libya, protesters attacked and killed four U.S. embassy staff there.

Since then, protests have broken out across the region, again in Egypt, in Tunisia and in Yemen. NPR's correspondent in Benghazi is Leila Fadel. She joins us now. Leila, thanks for being with us.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Thanks for having me.

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NPR Story
7:34 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Would You Like A Calorie Count With That?

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 10:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Next week, McDonald's will become the largest fast-food chain in the country to display calorie counts on its menu boards. Won't that make you think twice when asked: You want fries with that?

NPR's Allison Aubrey has been reporting on McDonald's announcement this week. She joins us in our studios. Allison, thanks for being with us.

ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: Hi, Scott. Glad to be here.

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NPR Story
7:34 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Foreign Policy Pulls Political Focus

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 10:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Joined now by Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor in our studios. Ron, thanks very much for being with us.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Scott.

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NPR Story
7:34 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Sports: Chances In Baseball And NFL Midwest Battle

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 10:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Baseball's pennant races are in full swing. Will the words Baltimore, October, and baseball be heard in the same sentence for the first time since Cal Ripken Jr. was in short pants? But times are more trying for the Pittsburgh Pirates. And the battle in the American League Central between the surging Tigers and some nimble pale hose. For more, we're joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine.

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NPR Story
7:34 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Chicago Teachers Rally With Deal In The Works

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 10:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Chicago Teachers Union and city school officials have reportedly reached what they call a framework for an agreement that would end a five-day teacher strike. The walkout has shut down school for 350,000 students this week. They could be back in class as early as Monday.

We're joined now by NPR education correspondent Claudio Sanchez. Claudio, thanks for being with us.

CLAUDIO SANCHEZ, BYLINE: Good to be here.

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