Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturdays 7am-9am
  • Hosted by Scott Simon

Whether revealing events in small-town America or overseas, or profiling notable personalities, Weekend Edition from NPR News appreciates the extraordinary details that make up every story. This two-hour weekend morning newsmagazine covers hard news, a wide variety of newsmakers, and cultural stories with care, accuracy, and a wink of humor.

Weekend Edition Saturday wraps up the week's news and offers a mix of analysis and features on a wide range of topics, including arts, sports, entertainment, and human interest stories. The two-hour program is hosted by NPR's Peabody Award-winning Scott Simon.

The posts below are some of the highlights from Weekend Edition SaturdayVisit the program page on NPR to see a full list of stories.

  

Romney And Ryan Take The Stage In Va.

Aug 11, 2012

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

This morning in Norfolk, Virginia, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced his running mate, Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan.

MITT ROMNEY: Paul Ryan works in Washington, but his roots remain firmly rooted in Janesville, Wisconsin.

(APPLAUSE)

Grover Norquist On Paul Ryan's Candidacy

Aug 11, 2012

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

After leaving the USS Wisconsin, Romney and Ryan are probably hungry. They'll head to a little café and catering business called Homemades by Suzanne - where they'll meet, among others, this lady.

KIMBERLY MILLS: I'm Kimberly Mills(ph). I am co-owner of Homemades by Suzanne, in Ashland, Virginia.

WERTHEIMER: Mills is no novice, when it comes to meeting politicians. Homemades by Suzanne was the site of another candidate visit, back in 2008.

MILLS: We had Sarah Palin, you know, four years ago.

Paul Ryan's Congressional Record

Aug 11, 2012

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now, we also have with us, for more on this announcement, NPR's Washington editor, Ron Elving. Hi, Ron.

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

WERTHEIMER: Now, we - also here, NPR political correspondent Don Gonyea. Don.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Good morning.

WERTHEIMER: Now, Ron, let me begin with you. Who is Paul Ryan?

How Paul Ryan's Budget Affects Health Care

Aug 11, 2012

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. It is no coincidence that Mitt Romney makes his vice presidential announcement aboard the U.S.S. Wisconsin, since Congressman Paul Ryan is from the Badger State. The U.S.S. Wisconsin is one of the largest battleships ever built by the U.S. Navy.

London Olympics Wind Down

Aug 11, 2012

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now, we're going to take a break from politics and visit with Tom Goldman in London at the Olympics.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SPANDAU BALLET: (Singing) Gold, always believe in your soul. You got the...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate will energize conservatives and liberals for the same reason. Ryan is the architect of the Republican House budget, which makes him a champion for conservatives, but a lightning rod, as well.

Mitt Romney To Announce Running Mate

Aug 11, 2012

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is Mitt Romney's choice to be the next vice president. Mitt Romney's campaign made the announcement earlier this morning, calling the ticket America's Comeback Team. Romney and Ryan are expected to appear together, for the first time as a ticket, at an event in Virginia later this morning. And we will be broadcasting that event when it happens.

Romney Officially Announces Running Mate

Aug 11, 2012

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Today, and in fact we think in just a few minutes, Mitt Romney will make it official. Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan will be his choice for vice president. Romney is expected to make the announcement at an event in Norfolk, Virginia within sight of the Battleship Wisconsin.

Paul Ryan endorsed Mitt Romney during the Republican primaries and just before the Wisconsin primary, Ryan called Romney the right leader for the moment.

Romney Picks Rep. Paul Ryan

Aug 11, 2012

Weekend Edition Saturday guest host Linda Wertheimer has an update on this morning's announcement.

Looking Ahead At The Romney-Ryan Ticket

Aug 11, 2012

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now we're going back to the big, high-profile contest this morning in politics: this morning's announcement that Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is Mitt Romney's pick to be the next vice president. Romney would not speculate about his chances in an interview with MSNBC earlier this week, but he said that he was looking for a running mate with vision.

(SOUNDBITE OF MSNBC BROADCAST)

In the West, in Idaho's arid, high desert, the drought has a mixed effect. There's a big divide between farmers with deep wells and irrigation and those without.

Hans Hayden is a rare find: a talkative farmer. He likes to explain things. But when it comes to the wheat he planted this spring, there's not much to say. This field needed rain. It didn't get it.

"At this point in time, it kind of looks like a desert," he says.

Saplings — no more than 6 feet tall — dot the landscape in Joplin, Mo. They replace the large shade trees that were ripped out of the ground by a massive tornado that swept through town in May of 2011.

Nearly 7,000 new trees, donated by various organizations, have been planted. They include sturdy, mostly native, varieties, such as oak, sycamore and redbud — trees that can withstand strong winds when they're taller.

With temperatures above normal for the past few months and precipitation below normal, those trees have had a hard time taking root.

Busking In Lansing, To Rave Reviews

Aug 11, 2012

All summer long, Weekend Edition has been sampling the sounds of America's street musicians. The latest to catch our ear is Alexis Dawdy, a young violinist who returned to her hometown of Lansing, Mich., to study at Michigan State University — and do a little busking on the side.

"I'm actually not a music major. This is really a hobby that accidentally became a profession," Dawdy says. "I'm studying linguistics, and I'm 17 credits out from graduation. My goal is to do it debt-free, and this helps a lot. This pays for books and this pays for food."

More than half a century ago this week, on Aug. 12, 1958, some of the greatest jazz musicians of the day assembled in Harlem at what was, for them, the ungodly hour of 10 a.m. Fifty-seven players came to East 126th Street to have their picture taken for Esquire magazine.

Even the strongest among us get the blues: You can't get out of bed, you don't want to talk to a single other humanoid, and you just want to close the curtains and turn on the music. The songs you choose for those miseries have to be just right.

Adam Brent Houghtaling is something of a connoisseur of the melancholy moment. Perhaps to cheer himself up, he's put that expertise to use by producing a kind of encyclopedia of the best soundtracks for lonely days and nights. It's called This Will End in Tears: The Miserablist Guide to Music.

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

For more on what's happening on the ground in the Syrian city of Aleppo, we reached Abdul Rahman Abu Hothyfa. Throughout the conflict in Syria, he has been the spokesperson for an administrative organization called the Union of Coordinators of Aleppo. I asked him who makes up that group.

ABDUL RAHMAN ABU HOTHYFA: We represent a large sector of the people on the ground. We are like the - a group of young people and activists. So whatever new accident or something happens, we (unintelligible) each other.

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

One man who's been watching developments in Syria more closely than most, has a curiously familiar-sounding name. Ribal al-Assad is President Bashar al-Assad's first cousin. He also supports efforts to depose him. His view, from exile in London, is grim.

RIBAL AL-ASSAD: Everybody is arming. Everybody is following violence. Nobody wants to sit together and have dialogue. Everybody is really, in to win. Everybody is really after power. This could lead to the disintegration of Syria and its society, and everybody will lose out.

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Susan Stamberg. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SPANDAU BALLET: (Singing) Gold. Always believe in your soul, you've got the power...

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

You find out so much about a country, you know, when it's hosting the Olympics. It's almost as if the games lay bare a nation's soul. NPR's Philip Reeves says that is what's happening in Britain. He's finding the experience unnerving, as he explains, in this letter from the Olympics.

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Susan Stamberg in for Scott Simon. In an encouraging sign for the U.S. economy, the Labor Department told us yesterday that the country gained 163,000 jobs in July. That was better than expected but not all signs are pointing up. In a separate government survey, the unemployment rate increased slightly to 8.3 percent. NPR's Chris Arnold is at a gathering of economists in northern Maine. He sent this report.

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Susan Stamberg. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on a seven-country trip through Africa, talking about strengthening democracies, building economic growth. Yesterday, she dropped in South Sudan - that's the world's newest country - to encourage the infant nation. But she warned of so many challenges ahead. NPR's John Burnett was in South Sudan when the secretary was, and he joins us now on the line from Nairobi. Hi, John.

JOHN BURNETT, BYLINE: Hey, Susan.

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

A homeowner in the town of Varney, Ontario found herself in what you might call a sticky situation not long ago when she discovered honey dripping from her kitchen ceiling. Turns out, there were some 80,000 bees nesting between floors. Loretta Yates called a pest control company to help her out. They told her they couldn't really take care of it, so they called in an expert. Dave Schuit is the beekeeper and co-owner of Saugeen Country Honey. He's on the line with us. Now, Mr. Schuit, tell us about this distress call that you got.

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Susan Stamberg in for Scott Simon. Congress wrapped up its summer session this week and members headed back to their home district. But with public approval ratings of Congress wallowing in the teens and constant headlines about gridlock, a lot of people might be wondering what exactly did the Congress accomplish anyway? For some answers about congressional actions and what is still unfinished, we are joined by NPR's David Welna. Hiya, David.

DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Hi, Susan.

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

These are tense times for scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena. Late Sunday night Pacific Time, they'll learn if nearly a decade of hard work will result in a priceless scientific laboratory landing safely on Mars or if the rover known as Curiosity will turn into a useless pile of junk. Everything depends on what happens during the seven minutes of terror, the time it takes the probe to go from the top of the Martian atmosphere to the planet's surface.

Viola da gamba players are a special breed — a tiny subset in the already small world of early classical music. They rarely meet their own kind, but once a year they come together for a week in July at an annual jam session they call a conclave. Wendy Gillespie, who just finished her term as president of the Viola da Gamba Society of America, says attending the event is the highlight of her year.

Earlier this year, the Australian government added the koala to the country's list of endangered species. By some counts, only about 100,000 remain in the wild in a country that once boasted a population in the millions. But many conservationists say the listing doesn't go far enough.

Paul O'Donnell is one of the many volunteers at Friends of the Koala in the northern New South Wales town of Lismore.

"We go out every day for about an hour or so collecting leaf; usually we get about one bin per koala," O'Donnell says.

That New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte is even being considered as Mitt Romney's running mate is somewhat remarkable. After all, New Hampshire has just four electoral votes, and Ayotte has been a U.S. senator — her first elected office — for less than two years.

But if any senator could be said to possess a refreshing charm, it might be Ayotte, 44, a mother of two young children, who still lives in her hometown of Nashua and is married to a former combat pilot.

No one's entirely sure where the Southern treat called the Goo Goo Cluster got its name.

The iconic candy from Nashville, Tenn., celebrates its 100th birthday this year. The confection of marshmallow, peanuts and caramel wrapped in milk chocolate may owe its longevity in part to another Nashville icon: the Grand Ole Opry.

Goo Goo Cluster sponsored the venue's radio broadcasts from 1966 until 2006. In one popular advertisement, stage performers crooned, "Go get a Goo Goo ... it's gooooooood!"

This week, the world's largest democracy experienced the world's largest power outage. Nearly 700 million — that's more than half a billion — Indians were said to have been without power Tuesday. No air conditioning. No traffic lights. No metro system.

Most of the power is back now, but the outage had resonance for me from the long-ago years when I lived in New Delhi and experienced power failures almost as regularly as I did steaming cups of dark, sweet Indian tea.

The Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet has been serenading audiences in its native Washington, D.C., across the country and even as far as France for more than two decades. But its members are finding ways to bring something new to their performances. Bandleader and co-founder Ginny Carr says she wrote the words and music to all 10 songs on the quartet's new album, Hustlin' for a Gig — a relative rarity in a jazz world defined by time-tested standards.

Pages