Weekend Edition Saturday on PRE News And Ideas

Saturdays, 8am - 10am
  • Hosted by 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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The toll of the Australian bush fires is staggering. 27 people have died, more than 2,000 homes destroyed and 18 million acres have burned. A billion animals may have been killed.

Try to hold that horrifying number in your mind a moment: a billion animals.

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The new film, Les Misérables, is not another adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel and it's definitely not a musical. It is set in the same Paris suburb that inspired part of the 19th-century classic, and it is about that neighborhood's impoverished residents. But this film is a modern-day cop thriller — and it's France's entry to the Oscars.

Author Meng Jin On 'Little Gods'

Jan 11, 2020

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Iraqi Protester On Iran-U.S. Tensions

Jan 4, 2020

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Iraq's Position Between The U.S. And Iran

Jan 4, 2020

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Global and regional powers are on edge as a conflict between Iran and the United States boils over. The U.S. assassination of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani took place on Iraqi soil, a nation where the U.S. and Iran's escalating battle is playing out.

Ofra Bloch On 'Afterward'

Jan 4, 2020

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In her new documentary, "Afterword," Ofra Bloch chose to examine what had always been a given in her home growing up. As the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors and an Israeli Jew, she was taught Germans were bad. So she decided to examine that belief.

T.S. Eliot's Love Letters Unsealed

Jan 4, 2020

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It's time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Don Imus Dies At 79

Dec 28, 2019

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Longtime radio show host Don Imus died yesterday. He was 79 years old. According to a statement from his family, he'd been in the hospital since Christmas Eve, though no cause of death was given. Imus was equal parts influential and controversial.

Lost In 2019: Cody The Black Lab

Dec 28, 2019

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This weekend, we're remembering loved ones who passed away in 2019 who lived exceptional lives out of the spotlight.

JODI FREEDMAN: He was kind of unbridled. He just wanted to go and run and play. And I was so happy to do that. I'm kind of a big, sloppy dog myself.

The 2010s: The Influence Of The Kardashians

Dec 28, 2019

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We're ending a celebrity decade. From "Real Housewives" to viral moments to electing a celebrity president, the 2010s have been propelled by reality-star power. And no one exemplifies that more than Kim, Kourtney, Kylie, Khloe, Kendall and Kris.

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It's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Minnesota County Votes Yes To More Refugees

Dec 21, 2019

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Former Google Engineer On Her Firing

Dec 21, 2019

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Kathryn Spiers worked as an internal security engineer at Google for two years. Part of her job was to write browser notifications that notify co-workers of employee guidelines and company policies, like not uploading proprietary documents while they surf the web.

There are scores of holiday stories on streaming services this season, and a lot of them seem rolled out of the same candy cane factory: snow, smiles and the real meaning of love.

As an aficionado of the form, I've tried to sketch out my own version:

Charlayne had an exciting life as managing editor of a Manhattan fashion magazine. But something was missing.

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Ronny Chieng has a Netflix comedy special, "Asian Comedian Destroys America!" It launches globally on Netflix next week in which he holds forth about coming to America, being amazed, agog and occasionally appalled, all at the same time.

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It's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

A Taste Of The Holidays, Cowboy-Style

Dec 14, 2019

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Cowpokes coming in from the open range to party in town is as well-known as BJ Leiderman, who writes our theme music. Christmas was traditionally a time of great cowboy migration. Towns across the country held cowboy Christmas balls under various names, and they still are.

A woman lived in her car in front of our apartment building for a couple of weeks. Our family brought down some food, clothing and a blanket, but the woman hesitated to open her door when we knocked and smiled.

After all, who were we? Why should she trust us?

We did not call police or a city agency to say, "There's a woman living in a car on our street." I've reported stories where I've spent the night in city homeless shelters. They can feel crowded and unsafe, and have little privacy. I can see why someone would choose to stay on the street or in their car.

Scorpions Infest Brazilian Cities

Dec 7, 2019

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Life in Sao Paulo, Brazil, may feel a little like a science fiction film right now. Scorpions roam the realm. They're finger-sized, armed with two pincers and, of course, a poisonous stinger. And apparently, they're everywhere.

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What makes a banana taped to a wall worth $120,000 to someone?

If it has been put there by the right artist.

This banana was duct-taped to a wall by Maurizio Cattelan, the Italian artist, and it's on display this week at Art Basel in Miami Beach.

The banana is real, by the way, not a sculpture. It will soon go brown, slimy, and may already be ... fragrant.

The Perrotin art gallery of Paris has already sold this piece of produce, and it turns out that $120,000 is practically a bargain. Another banana the artist taped to a wall is going for $150,000.

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Meg Schmidt's signature song is a Top 40 track that could have been written for her.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SHUT UP AND DANCE")

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Now by seaplane, fishing boat and kayak to Southeast Alaska. There, NPR's Anya Kamenetz met a young woman who's trying to reinvent higher education. Her aim, to use the wilderness to prepare diverse students for lives of purpose in an ever more fragile world.

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And talk about methane release. Time to talk sports.

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William Ruckelshaus was a conservationist, an Indiana Republican conservative who believed in conserving balanced budgets, limited government powers, constitutional checks and balances, and clean air and water.

"Nature provides a free lunch," he said, "but only if we control our appetites."

He helped write Indiana's first air pollution laws as a state deputy attorney general in the 1960s, and was appointed the first head of the Environment Protection Agency by President Nixon in 1970.

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