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.
 

Ways to Connect

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My Signature Song: 'This Must Be The Place'

Nov 23, 2019

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Sometimes there's a song that you know will stick with you forever. For Jerrica Vowels of Louisville, Ky, it's "This Must Be The Place" by Talking Heads.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THIS MUST BE THE PLACE")

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Pope Francis has arrived in Japan for a four-day visit, where he is expected to call attention to the issue of capital punishment, which he contends is inhumane. Japan and the U.S. are the only G7 countries that have the death penalty.

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(SOUNDBITE OF NOISEMAKERS)

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Now a story to lift the spirits of an improbable reunion. Five years ago, Viktor Usov adored Sasha, his fluffy, little black kitten. They lived happily in Portland, Ore. Sasha really liked people, and he loved being outdoors. Cue menacing music in your mind.

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The forced imprisonment of more than a million Muslim Uighurs in detention camps in the Xinjiang region of western China may make Americans feel outrage and sadness. But many may just shrug and ask, "What does that have to do with me?"

Look down at your shoes.

About 99% of the shoes sold in America are made overseas, with China being the largest manufacturer by far. Nike, Naturalizer, Dr. Scholl's, Hush Puppies, Keds and many other American companies make shoes in China, where the costs of production are far less.

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I look forward all week to saying it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Alex Gibney On 'Citizen K'

Nov 16, 2019

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It might be called "Revenge of the Pin-Stripes."

In this week's House Intelligence Committee hearings, career diplomats dressed in somber suits who have often been derided as "elites," "insiders," "the establishment," and even "the Deep State" got the chance to tell Americans how they have been nonpartisan representatives of America from administration to administration.

Those parts of their testimony weren't news "bombshells." But their words are worth noting.

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Germany today celebrates the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. NPR's Berlin correspondent Rob Schmitz brings us this story on what's left of where the wall once stood.

The Berlin Wall stood for 28 years. Today, Nov. 9, marks the 30th anniversary of when it began to come down.

It may be hard to imagine, a generation later, what a momentous event that was and why the sight of ordinary citizens, chipping away by hand and hammer at that edifice of cruelty, lifted so many hopes around the world.

Ever since he was a child, Michael Menta looked up to his uncle Sal Leone for becoming a Marine. Menta would eventually follow in Leone's footsteps to serve his country, enlisting in the Navy during his senior year of high school.

Their shared veteranship brought them closer.

"We spoke the same language," Menta said, when he and Leone visited StoryCorps last month.

'Blue's Clues' Returns With A New Host

Nov 9, 2019

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(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BLUE'S CLUES AND YOU")

UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: (As characters) A clue.

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"Blue's Clues" is back.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BLUE'S CLUES AND YOU")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) Oh, a clue. Wait. Where's the clue?

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NPR has lost a friend and an old colleague. News reached us this week that David Rector died last month at the age of 69. He'd suffered an aortic dissection years ago that left him a quadriplegic.

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And it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

President Trump will attend the Ultimate Fighting Championship, MMA, mixed martial arts event at Madison Square Garden Saturday night. The event, of course, is a punching, kicking, pay-per-view brawl between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal that takes place inside a cage.

The winner gets a belt embellished with the initials BMF, which does not stand for Best Mocha Frappe.

Mr. Trump is not expected to be booed at Madison Square Garden, as he was at a World Series game earlier this week. The president is a fan and used to book MMA events at his casino in Atlantic City.

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Thirty-nine people were found dead in a trailer this week in Essex, in the United Kingdom. Thirty-one men, and eight women.

They were discovered in the morning, in a sealed, refrigerated container of the kind that ordinarily transports fruits, vegetables or frozen food.

Four people, so far, have been arrested in connection with the deaths. But identifying those who died could take a long time.

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You know, there is one institution in Washington, D.C. that works well. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Around Washington state, cannabis shops are being required to hang signs warning customers of "severe lung injuries" and "deaths" associated with vaping.

Kevin Heiderich, a co-owner of one such shop, House of Cannabis in Tacoma, Wash., believes the government response to vaping illnesses should focus on the black market.

"Something has just changed and no one really knows what it is," he says.

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Time now for 32-year-old Ashley Syruws to share her signature song. It's helped her through one of the hardest stretches of her life. The song - "She Used To Be Mine." by Sara Bareilles.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SHE USED TO BE MINE")

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Meet The Mysterious Blob At The Paris Zoo

Oct 19, 2019

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In the horror classic "The Blob," a small town is taken over by slime from outer space who, that, whatever, is intuitive, enterprising, unable to survive any weapon mere humans can muster.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM TRAILER, "THE BLOB")

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Priyanka Chopra Jonas On 'The Sky Is Pink'

Oct 12, 2019

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