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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Music Interviews
8:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

The Handy Ambassador To New Zealand's Music Scene

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:44 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

New Zealand is famous for a lot of different things: sheep, stunning vistas, even Hobbits. And one of the specific island's most notable musical exports is a guy named Neil Finn. He took to the stage in the 1980s with the chart-topping kiwi bands Split Ends and Crowded House. Neil Finn has also had a strong solo career. And his new album, "Dizzy Heights," comes out Tuesday.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

NEIL FINN: (Singing) You must reveal your inter sorrow. Show what you're made of, don't know what you're afraid of...

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Author Interviews
8:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

A Vietnamese Pioneer, Modeled On An American Legend

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:44 am

Pioneer Girl is the story of a young woman whose brother has disappeared. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with author Bich Minh Nguyen about the novel, and its connection to the writer Laura Ingalls Wilder.

The Salt
11:27 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Sap Discovery Could Turn Syrup-Making Upside Down

Buckets collect sap on maple trees in Vermont. A new discovery means that sap doesn't have to be collected from mature trees out in the wild.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 12:51 pm

Last year researchers at the University of Vermont announced something that could change the way we think about Vermont — or at least how it produces its famous maple syrup.

The time-honored method calls for inserting a tap near the bottom of a tall, mature maple tree. At the end of February, the tree thaws, and voila: Sap starts flowing out the spigot at the bottom.

But in 2010, these researchers were testing ways to gather sap from mature trees when they noticed something unusual.

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All Tech Considered
9:57 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Should Uber Be Responsible For Driver Recklessness?

The transportation app Uber matches ride-seekers with drivers. Drivers must keep checking their phones to catch customers, and critics say that may have dangerous consequences on the road. Is Uber responsible for the risk?
Lucy Nicholson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 11:04 am

A man named Syed Muzaffar drove for Uber, the San Francisco-based company that makes money selling car rides. He lives in a suburb of San Francisco and on New Year's Eve, he says, he was in the city for the sole purpose of picking up partygoers who needed a ride.

His night ended early and tragically, around 8 p.m., when he turned a corner and hit a family in a crosswalk.

"The mother sustained facial fractures," says Police Sgt. Eric Mahoney, who is investigating the case. "The 4-year-old boy suffered abrasions on his face, and the 6-year-old girl was fatally injured."

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The Sunday Conversation
9:17 am
Sun February 2, 2014

There's 'More To Life Than Sports': Lineman On Leaving NFL

John Moffitt, #74, protects Seattle Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst in a 2011 game versus the Cincinnati Bengals.
Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 4:35 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

John Moffitt started playing football when he was 8 years old, and made it all the way to the top of the game. He played offensive lineman for the Seattle Seahawks for two seasons, then got traded to another powerhouse team, the Denver Broncos.

Incidentally, those two teams are playing in Super Bowl XLVIII, but Moffitt won't be on the field; he quit midway through this season.

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Sunday Puzzle
8:33 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Drop The Zero And Get With The Hero

NPR

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 2:17 pm

On-air challenge: For each single letter given, recombine it with the letters in the word "ZERO" to spell a new word. For example, ZERO plus F would be "FROZE."

Last week's challenge: What word, containing two consecutive S's, becomes its own synonym if you drop those S's?

Answer: Blossom, bloom

Winner: Trey Moody of Killeen, Texas

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Music Interviews
7:53 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Music For Folks Who've Been Through A Few Things

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 11:57 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Shelby Earl always loved music, and straight out of college in Seattle, she went to work in the music industry. She worked as a booking agent, then at a record label, an eventually at Amazon's music department.

SHELBY EARL: So, all of those little blurbs you see all over the music page on Amazon - those are written by people. And I was one such person.

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Middle East
7:53 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Despite Scars Of War, Karachi Holds Onto Its Chutzpah

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 2:17 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. When you hear us say Karachi, Pakistan, you might assume we're going to bring you're a story about terrorism or a bombing or a kidnapping - and you would often be right. It is the most violent city in all of Pakistan. But NPR's Philip Reeves found that isn't all there is to the city. In fact, there's often a gap between Karachi's reputation and the reality of the place, as he explains in this letter from Pakistan.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAFFIC NOISE)

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Sports
7:53 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Seahawks, Broncos Fans Mingle In D.C. Watering Hole

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 2:17 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In living rooms and sports bars across the country later today, football fans -and yes, just those of us who want to watch the budget commercial and dig into nachos - will sit down to watch the Super Bowl. In Denver and Seattle living rooms, there will be less casual viewing, of course, and that goes for anywhere else that fans of the Broncos and Seahawks gather.

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Politics
12:48 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

The Income Gap: How Much Is Too Much?

John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 1:13 pm

In the debate over income inequality, the right and left seem to agree on one point: The U.S. is more the land of equal opportunity than the land of equal outcomes.

But what's the real relationship between the growing income gap and opportunity? A new report out last week has triggered more debate about the haves and the have-nots.

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Asia
12:03 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

A Crusader Against Corruption, Chinese Activist Sentenced To Jail

At a Beijing Courthouse on Sunday, activist Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four years in prison.
Goh Chai Hin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 12:47 pm

China's government has recently jailed officials and issued a slew of new rules to curb corruption, but it's apparently not an effort that independent citizens groups are welcome to join.

On Sunday, a Chinese court sentenced Xu Zhiyong, a leading proponent of civil society, to four years in jail. Police have also arrested around a dozen other members of his group, called the New Citizens' Movement.

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Author Interviews
12:03 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

In Fragments Of A Marriage, Familiar Themes Get Experimental

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 12:47 pm

Love, parenthood, infidelity, a crumbling marriage ... these are pretty traditional themes for fiction. It's not the kind of stuff that normally makes for an experimental novel.

But in Jenny Offill's new book, Dept. of Speculation, those familiar subjects take on an unusual form. The book is short, just 46 brief chapters, and instead of forming a narrative, they're disconnected snippets of prose, poetry and anecdotes. The story centers on two characters, "the wife" and "the husband," who are never named.

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The Sunday Conversation
12:03 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

At Great Risk, Group Gathers Evidence Of War Crimes In Syria

William Wiley is a former Canadian army officer who has worked on international criminal law cases in Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Iraq.
Courtesy of William Wiley

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 12:47 pm

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

William Wiley has made a career out of international criminal law, working on cases in Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Iraq. He now oversees a nonprofit called the Syrian Commission for Justice and Accountability (SCJA).

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The Salt
11:18 am
Sun January 26, 2014

New Law Puts Gloves On California Bartenders

Under California's new food safety law, bartenders can't do this without gloves.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 1:01 pm

Bartender Cameron Hall hadn't heard of a new California law that bans culinary workers from touching uncooked food with their bare hands.

The rule applies to bartenders, who are now supposed to wear gloves to put limes in the mojitos and cherries in the Manhattans — even to scoop ice into a glass.

But when a reporter fills him in, Hall stops serving drinks at Rocco's Tavern, a little spot in downtown Culver City, just long enough to rant.

"It'd just be a pain," he says. "It'd be a nuisance. I'm gonna start making my customers wear gloves, in opposition!"

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Race
11:01 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Growing Up 'White,' Transracial Adoptee Learned To Be Black

Chad Goller-Sojourner (center) and his family.
Courtesy Chad Goller-Sojourner

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 9:08 am

A couple of weeks ago, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin spoke to Rachel Garlinghouse, a white adoptive mother of three African-American children. Our conversation on transracial adoption drew a lot of responses, so we decided to follow up with another perspective.

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Sports
9:41 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Yankees Spend Big On Masahiro Tanaka

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 12:47 pm

The Yankees signed the Japanese superstar pitcher this week for a whopping $155 million. NPR's Rachel Martin talks sports with sports correspondent Mike Pesca about what that means for the Bronx Bombers' bottom line.

Sunday Puzzle
9:21 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Take Synonyms For A Spin (Or Pirouette)

NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:28 pm

On-air challenge: For each word given, name a synonym in which the first two letters are the same as the second and third letters of the given word. For example, spin and pirouette.

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Middle East
9:18 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Russia May Be Key To Syria Talks

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 1:34 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Talks between the Syrian government and the opposition have now moved to separate rooms in Geneva. The two sides met face to face this morning but so far have failed to find agreement on a humanitarian cease-fire that would allow humanitarian aid into the city of Homs. U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said today that he hopes people will be able to leave Homs in the next few days. Women and children are already beginning to depart. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: In fact, women and children have not yet begun to leave.]

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Law
12:57 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

New York's Medical Marijuana Experiment Begins With Caution

New York is one of the only states in the Northeast without a medical marijuana program.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was opposed to medical marijuana, and attempts to create a law have failed to get through the state Senate for years.

Now Cuomo has reversed himself, proposing a medical marijuana research program run under exacting federal guidelines that would be the most restrictive in the country.

Strictly For Research

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Law
11:59 am
Sun January 19, 2014

South Texas: The New Hot Spot For Illegal Crossing

The Rio Grande near McAllen, Texas, is more dangerous than it looks because of swift currents and Border Patrol surveillance.
Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 1:31 pm

As the U.S. government has militarized the California and Arizona segment of the Southwest border over the last two decades, illegal crossers have moved to another area. South Texas has become the new border hot spot.

The Rio Grande Valley is also the closest route to Central America. Two-thirds of those caught crossing are from that troubled region.

The Border Patrol and local authorities are straining to keep up.

Fleeing Poverty And Murder

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The Sunday Conversation
10:06 am
Sun January 19, 2014

Hard-Working Hollywood Extra Hopes For Bigger Roles

Actor Jesse Heiman has had some less-busy years, but says, "this town works in crazy ways ... and your next big day could be tomorrow. So you just gotta keep your head up and keep going."
Bobby Quillard

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 11:59 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

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Sunday Puzzle
8:15 am
Sun January 19, 2014

Three B's Bring You To One

NPR

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 1:30 pm

On-air challenge: Name a word that, when combined with three words beginning with the letter B, completes a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase. For example, given "brew," "body" and "base," you would say "home" (home-brew, homebody, home base).

Last week's challenge: Name a familiar form of exercise in two words. Switch the order of the two words, then say them out loud. The result, phonetically, will name something to wear. What is it?

Answer: Tae Bo, bow tie

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NPR Story
8:15 am
Sun January 19, 2014

The NFC West, Football's Former Worst Division

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 11:59 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: And on a Sunday in January, you know what's on everyone's minds: NFL playoffs. San Francisco and Seattle face off today for the NFC title. My West Coast loyalties are divided. I am in a conundrum. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us now. Hey, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello. How are you?

MARTIN: I'm flummoxed. But enough about me.

PESCA: Vexed, irked, peeved?

(LAUGHTER)

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NPR Story
8:15 am
Sun January 19, 2014

Piracy Dips To A New Low On The High Seas

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 11:59 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to turn our attention now to piracy. There have been a string of pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia over the past few years. One was the basis of an Oscar-nominated film starring Tom Hanks.

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Race
2:25 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

The Globes Will Be Golden, But Hollywood Remains Mostly White

Sunday's Golden Globes celebrate a diverse group of actors. Even so, very few shows feature minorities in leading roles on screen or off.
Valerie Macon Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 1:57 pm

Sunday night is one of the biggest nights in Hollywood, as stars from film and television gather for the Golden Globe Awards.

This year's awards, which celebrate the best writing, acting and production of the year, are being hailed as the most diverse yet, with a significant number of minority actors up for awards.

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