Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturdays from 7 to 10 a.m.
  • Hosted by Scott Simon

The program 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.

Abraham Lincoln's black stovepipe hat is an icon. It seemed to enhance his height, emphasize his dignity and, I suppose, keep his head warm.

There is a stovepipe hat at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill., soiled and slightly brown with age. Lincoln is said to have given it to William Waller, a farmer and political supporter in Jackson County, Ill., and kept by his family for decades.

Just inside a room on the second floor of the Louisiana State Museum's Presbytere, there's a large baby doll dress, big enough for a woman to wear. And one did.

The costume and the baby bottle next to it belonged to 85-year-old Miriam Batiste Reed, who was known as a baby doll and one of the first women to parade in Mardi Gras. The bottle and the dress are part of a new exhibition, They Call Me Baby Doll: A Mardi Gras Tradition.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. You know what gets me through the week sometimes? The chance to say time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Halftime in the NBA just a week away. The Lakers look like they could use a snooze. Hear about A-Rod's anti-aging clinic in South Florida; doesn't just take care of fine lines and wrinkles, and NPR Sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us now. Morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hello, Scott.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And of course, members of Congress aren't alone in reconsidering their position on guns and public safety. Schools across the country have been increasing security since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. As one school official in suburban Washington, D.C. said, Newtown changed school security the way 9/11 changed air travel. A high school in Illinois recently staged a lockdown drill with administrators shooting blanks in the hallways while the kids huddled in the classrooms with the doors locked and lights off.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A winter storm in New England has dumped more than two feet of snow and left 650,000 homes and businesses without power. Right now, authorities are closely watching the shoreline as huge waves from the powerful storm cause flooding. High tide hit a bit earlier today. NPR's Jeff Brady has been monitoring developments from Boston and he joins us now. Jeff, thanks for being with us. What can you tell us?

One of the most prestigious music awards — the Grammys — take place this on Sunday. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon chats with NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, and NPR's culture critic, Linda Holmes, about whether the Grammys are still relevant, and what to expect at the ceremony.

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The continued downsizing of the U.S. Postal Service has especially hit African-Americans and armed forces veterans. These are two groups that have long relied on postal jobs for a good income, job security and a path to the middle class. For more, we're joined by Philip Rubio. He's a former letter carrier who's now an assistant professor of history at North Carolina A&T State University and author of the book, "There's Always Work at the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice and Equality."

Frank Ocean is set to take a victory lap at this year's Grammys. He's up for six awards for his album Channel Orange, including best new artist, and he'll be performing as well. But just a few months ago, Frank Ocean's music wasn't the story — his sexuality was.

To review: After a listening party for Channel Orange last July, a BBC journalist pointed out that a few of the love songs referenced a "him" where you might have expected to hear "her."

The Muhammad Mustafa mosque sits in a fairly well-off part of Kabul where government employees and some high-ranking officials live. Muhammad Ehsan Saiqal, a moderate, 54-year-old Muslim who welcomes girls into his Quran classes, is the imam. The slight, gray-bearded cleric preaches against suicide bombings.

"Islam doesn't permit suicide attacks," he says. "If someone kills any Muslim without any cause, under Shariah law [Islamic law] it means that he kills the whole Muslim world."

In rural Vermont, the U.S. Postal Service decision to discontinue Saturday letter delivery is yet another blow to an institution that's long been a fixture of village life.

Last year, the U.S. Postal Service abandoned plans to close thousands of small post offices, opting instead to cut hours. But there are fears the cuts will continue until the rural post office is no more.

The shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in December revived a national debate about gun violence. It's one that is emotional and often highly personal, and it's happening in places far from the halls of Congress. Earlier this week, President Obama was in Minneapolis advocating new limits on guns; no law or set of laws, he said, can keep children completely safe. NPR's David Welna was there for the visit and sent this reporter's notebook about the voices he encountered.

With the conclusion of Sunday night's ceremony, Linda Holmes and I have now live-blogged fully one-eleventh of the Grammy Awards' 55 annual incarnations. Below is our original post and an archived live blog of the telecast:

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ED KOCH: Hi, hi. How am I doing?

SIMON: Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York, died yesterday at the age of 88. He was as New York as a salt bagel with an extra schmear. I profiled him when he ran for re-election in 1981.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Kevin Spacey's got a memorable entrance in the new series "House of Cards." He looks into the camera and talks to the audience while he strangles an injured dog.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "HOUSE OF CARDS")

KEVIN SPACEY: (as Francis Underwood) There are two kinds of pain: the sort of pain that makes you strong; or useless pain, the sort of pain that's only suffering. I have no patience for useless things.

In Cairo you can get most anything — food, medicine, groceries — delivered right to your door, anytime. But civil unrest in the streets of the Egyptian capital has made it a riskier job for deliverymen.

Tabouleh restaurant, an upscale Lebanese joint, is tucked into a quiet neighborhood just south of Tahrir Square, the center of Egypt's revolution.

It's usually packed. But clashes between protesters and police have been ongoing for a week just two blocks away. On a recent night, there's only one table of diners.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Egyptian military's been deployed to the streets of Port Said today. Riots erupted in that city last night just northeast of Cairo after a controversial court verdict. At least 25 people have been reported dead. The violence comes amid mass street protests in Egypt against the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.

As Apple Flounders, Samsung Gains Strength

Jan 26, 2013

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Like many of the estimated 350,000 undocumented migrants living in Greece, Mohammad Afzaal is trapped in a devastated economy.

He slipped into Greece 11 years ago, when he was 24, and found good work in Athens as a house painter. He wired a chunk of his earnings to his family in the northeastern Pakistani city of Gujrat.

"Each month, I sent 200 or 300 euros back home to my wife, parents and brothers and sisters," says Afzaal, a slight man with a trim black beard. That's around $270 to $400. "I supported seven people."

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