Weekend Edition

Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 10am
Scott Simon and Rachel Martin

News, analysis, essays, and features for your weekend, anchored by Scott Simon on Saturdays, NPR's Peabody Award-winning host and correspondent. Sundays are hosted by NPR's Rachel Martin and feature The New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz offering a challenging puzzle each week. Hosted locally by Liz Reid.

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Parallels
5:38 am
Sun October 13, 2013

For Myanmar's Kachin Rebels, Life Teeters Between War, Peace

Members of the Kachin Independence Army train at a refugee camp in northern Myanmar.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:04 pm

Despite progress in its transition to democracy, Myanmar has struggled to end all the ethnic insurgencies that have long divided the country.

Now the Kachin — the last of the insurgent groups that have been fighting the government — have signed a preliminary agreement that could end the conflict.

The agreement falls short of an actual cease-fire, but calls for both sides to work "to end all armed fighting."

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Author Interviews
11:05 am
Sun October 6, 2013

'Book Of Matt': An Alternative Motive Behind The Infamous Murder

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:21 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Fifteen years ago today, a young man named Matthew Shepard was beaten and tied to a fence outside Laramie, Wyo. He later died of those injuries. The two men convicted of his murder, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, were said to have been motivated by hate because Matthew was gay. The event drew national attention. President Bill Clinton condemned it as a hate crime.

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Sunday Puzzle
10:27 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Find The Rhyme And The Reason

NPR

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 3:05 pm

On-air challenge: For each given category, name things in the category starting with the letters R, H, Y, M, E. For example, if the category were "chemical elements with names ending in -ium," you might say: radium, helium, yttrium, magnesium and einsteinium. You can give the answers in any order, and any answer that works is fine.

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Sports
7:18 am
Sun October 6, 2013

When The Bond Between Teams And Players Goes Sour

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 11:14 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. And it's time to talk sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: Everyone knows that in sports players and coaches come and go, 'cause it's just business, except when it's not. NPR's Mike Pesca has some insight into some particularly bad working relationships in both the NFL and the MLB. Good morning, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello. How are you doing?

MARTIN: Hello. You and I - good relationship. Good.

PESCA: That's right.

MARTIN: So...

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Politics
7:18 am
Sun October 6, 2013

GOP Bears The Brunt Of Public Anger At Shutdown

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 11:14 am

By a slight margin, Americans think Republicans are to blame for the government shutdown, says Michael Dimock, director of the Pew Research Center for People and the Press. Dimock talks to host Rachel Martin about how the public is responding to the standoff in Congress.

National Security
7:18 am
Sun October 6, 2013

U.S. Raids Terror Targets In North Africa

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 11:14 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Two military raids, two terrorism targets and this morning a lot of unanswered questions. Yesterday, U.S. forces launched separate operations in Africa - one in Somalia, the other in Libya. In both cases, the targets were suspected leaders linked to major terrorism attacks in Africa.

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Parallels
6:10 am
Sun October 6, 2013

As Afghan Troops Take The Lead, They Take More Casualties

Afghan medics at Forward Operating Base Nolay in the southern province of Helmand treat an Afghan police officer shot by militants.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:46 am

The Taliban have been waging a particularly bloody offensive this year now that Afghan government forces are in charge of security. The result: Afghan army and police are suffering record numbers of casualties — far more than NATO ever did at the height of its troop presence in Afghanistan.

So even as NATO forces are preparing to leave, they are working to bolster the medical capabilities of Afghan forces at hospitals, clinics and training centers across the country.

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Movie Interviews
6:08 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Revisiting The Doomed On Their Quest For 'The Summit'

Pemba Gyalje Sherpa survived his August 2008 climb on K2 and was even able to help save some of the other expeditionaries. But 11 died trying to conquer the mountain that month.
Robbie Ryan IFC Films

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 7:05 pm

Mountain climbing requires stamina and skill, but at some point — especially on the world's tallest and riskiest peaks — it becomes a game of chance. In August of 2008, if you were one of the dozens of people trying to climb to the top of K2, the odds of your living to tell your story weren't good: During the last push to the summit and the immediate descent that followed, 11 people died.

In the documentary The Summit, filmmaker Nick Ryan tries to piece together what happened in what has been called the deadliest event in modern mountain climbing.

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Music
6:01 am
Sun October 6, 2013

The Women Of HAIM On Starting Young

HAIM's debut album, Days Are Gone, is out now. Left to right: Alana Haim, Este Haim, Danielle Haim.
Bella Lieberberg Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 11:14 am

Days Are Gone, the debut of the California sibling act HAIM, has been pegged for months as one of the year's most anticipated releases and was finally released this week. But before Este, Alana and Danielle Haim formed their current musical trio, they were in another group — with their parents. Under the name Rockinhaim, the sisters performed covers of classic rock songs alongside their parents. Danielle Haim says their musical indoctrination began early on.

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Parallels
6:00 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Car-Centric Spain Begins To Embrace The Bicycle

Cyclists whiz past Madrid's Puerta de Alcalá monument as part of Bici Crítica, a movement that seeks to raise awareness of bike safety. On the last Thursday of every month, thousands of cyclists ride in unison through downtown Madrid, blocking traffic during rush hour.
Lauren Frayer NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 9:47 am

For the first time on record, bicycles have outsold cars in Spain.

Higher taxes on fuel and on new cars have prompted cash-strapped Spaniards to opt for two wheels instead of four. Last year, 780,000 bicycles were sold in the country — compared to 700,000 cars. That's due to a 4 percent jump in bike sales, and a 30 percent drop in sales of new cars.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:44 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Minnesota Orchestra Conductor Resigns After Carnegie Hall Cancellations

Conductor Osmo Vanska, who resigned his post at the Minnesota Orchestra this morning.
Todd Buchanan Courtesy of the Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 11:14 am

The latest chapter in the saga of the Minnesota Orchestra closed at a perilous point Tuesday morning, with its widely beloved conductor, Osmo Vänskä, announcing his resignation.

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Music Interviews
8:03 am
Sun September 29, 2013

O'Brien And Scott Return To Stripped-Down Roots

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 10:42 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Back in 2000, roots country musicians Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott recorded an album together called "Real Time." It was regarded as a tour de force and fans waited hungrily for their next studio release. For 13 years they've waited with baited breath. The fans can now exhale.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MEMORIES AND MOMENTS")

TIM O'BRIEN AND DARRELL SCOTT: (Singing) I wish that I could hold you when day is done till (unintelligible) through. But all I have to hold onto are these memories and moments.

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Author Interviews
8:03 am
Sun September 29, 2013

'Size 12' Finds The Right Mix Of Snark And Drama

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 11:22 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Sunday Puzzle
8:02 am
Sun September 29, 2013

What's That (Vowel) Sound?

NPR

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 4:13 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a made-up, two-word phrase in which each word has two or more syllables. The first vowel sound in the first word is a short "e." Change that short "e" to a short "a" sound, and phonetically you'll get the second word of the phrase. For example, given "energetic backwoods father," you would say "peppy pappy."

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Movie Interviews
5:58 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, On Life And The Lenses We Look Through

With Don Jon, the actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who stars as the titular porn-addicted Jersey boy, adds writer and director to his resume.
Relativity Media

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 11:22 am

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's movie Don Jon is about a young, simple guy with a few basic passions: his body, his pad, his cars, his family, his church, his girls, and his porn.

That's right: Jon is addicted to pornography. You could say he's managing that addiction pretty well — until he becomes taken with Barbara, played by Scarlett Johansson.

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Television
5:58 am
Sun September 29, 2013

The Most Shocking Moments Are True In 'Masters Of Sex'

Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan play famous sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson in a new series, Masters of Sex.
Craig Blankenhorn Showtime

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:53 pm

The new TV series Masters of Sex is set in the middle of the last century — before the 60's, before the pill, almost, it seems, before the invention of sex. It's the story of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, pioneering researchers in the field of human sexual response, and it's based on a 2009 book of the same name, by Thomas Maier.

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Politics
5:43 am
Sun September 29, 2013

House Vote Brings Government To The Verge Of A Shutdown

The lights are on at the Capitol as the House of Representatives works into the night Saturday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 11:22 am

Shortly after midnight Sunday morning, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would keep the government's lights on. It would also delay the Affordable Care Act for a year, making the legislation a non-starter for Senate Democrats and the president.

The ball is back in the Senate's court now, with fewer than 40 hours until a government shutdown begins.

The House bill does three things. First, it's a temporary measure to keep government operations funded through the middle of December.

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Sports
7:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

New NBA Cameras Could Catch Lazy Players

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 11:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A little over a year from now, if you walk into any NBA arena, there's a good chance you'll be standing underneath six expensive high tech cameras. You probably won't see these cameras, though. They'll be tucked away up in the rafters, but during the game those six cameras will be tracking the exact location of every player on the court and the ball 25 times a second.

Zach Lowe has been reporting on this phenomenon for the sports website Grantland.com. He joins us now from our studios in New York. Hi Zach.

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Sports
7:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Extra Wild Card Adds Man-Made Drama To MLB

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 11:20 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's almost October, which means baseball playoff time. So for the uninitiated, let's review how Major League Baseball recently changed who gets to go to the playoffs. As always, the top three spots in each league go to the best teams in the three divisions; best teams from East, West and Central. There's also a fourth slot - the wildcard slot.

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Middle East
7:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Historic Thaw Possible In U.S., Iran Relations

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 11:20 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

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Movie Interviews
5:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

'Wadjda' Director: 'It Is Time To Open Up'

Women aren't permitted to travel unattended in the streets of Saudi Arabia, so Wadjda director Haifaa Al Mansour worked from inside a van, communicating with her crew via walkie-talkie.
Tobias Kownatzki Razor Film/Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 11:20 am

Wadjda, being touted as the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia — a country with no movie theaters and a relationship with cinema that's complicated at best — tells the story of a defiant 10-year-old pushing back against the social expectations that define her life as a young Saudi woman.

Wadjda's source of independence comes in the form of a green bicycle she wants to buy for herself. But girls in Saudi Arabia don't ride bicycles, so she has to be creative.

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It's All Politics
5:36 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Obama's Passing Up Chances To Turn On The Charm

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at last year's congressional picnic on the South Lawn of the White House. This year, the picnic — seen as a chance for lawmakers to socialize beyond party lines — was canceled.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 11:20 am

President Obama isn't known as a schmoozer like Bill Clinton or a back-slapper like George W. Bush. But he does know that a personal touch can woo allies and soften adversaries.

Right now, domestic and international crises are looming on all sides of the president. Although a little tenderness might come in handy, Obama is repeatedly passing up opportunities to wage a charm offensive.

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Asia
11:34 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

Bo Xilai's Life Sentence Reveals China's Leadership Problem

Disgraced politician Bo Xilai stands during his trial on corruption charges in August.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 11:20 am

A court in East China sentenced former top Chinese official Bo Xilai to life in prison for corruption after one of the highest-profile political trials of recent years.

Media coverage of the court hearings transfixed audiences with details of murder, a love triangle and lavish official life styles. The case may prove to be a political Pandora's box that could bring down even higher-ranking officials and widen divisions over the country's future direction.

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Middle East
11:48 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Syria Deal Puts Russia, And Its Influence, In Spotlight

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 8:50 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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NPR Story
7:48 am
Sun September 15, 2013

The Olympics Has A Big Problem

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 8:50 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

MARTIN: NPR's Mike Pesca was in Buenos Aires last week for the International Olympic Committee's big announcement of who will host the 2020 Olympics. It's Tokyo, by the way. While he was there, it really set in for him that the Olympics has a problem. He thinks he knows a way to fix it. He joins us now. Hey, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: I just talked to smart, informed people. I didn't really come up with it...

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