NPR's Weekend Edition on KUER 1

Weekends from 6:00am to 10:00am
Scott Simon and Liane Hansen

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.

Weekend Edition Sunday features interviews with newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians.

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Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

What's In A Name?

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 9:25 am

On-air challenge: You will be given the first names of two famous people, past or present. The first person's last name, when you drop the initial letter, becomes the second person's last name. For example, given "Harold" and "Kingsley," the answer would be "Harold Ramis" and "Kingsley Amis."

Last week's challenge: Think of two familiar, unhyphenated, eight-letter words that contain the letters A, B, C, D, E and F, plus two others, in any order. What words are these?

Answer: feedback; boldface

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NPR Story
5:56 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Baseball Writers Navigate Muddled Ethics

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 8:30 am

Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Mike Pesca about baseball's Hall of Fame shutout. This year, the Baseball Writers' Association of America did not select a player for the game's highest honor.

NPR Story
5:56 am
Sun January 13, 2013

In Kabul, Opinions On Drawdown As Numerous As People

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 8:30 am

President Hamid Karzai concluded a visit to the U.S. last week with a meeting and news conference with President Obama, where they announced an accelerated troop withdrawal. In Kabul, the reaction varies. Even though most people in the city seem more focused on shoveling out from the latest snowstorm, some are watching the news.

Author Interviews
5:56 am
Sun January 13, 2013

'I Accepted Responsibility': McChrystal On His 'Share Of The Task'

Stanley McChrystal's new memoir, My Share of the Task, recounts lessons from his years in the military.
Penguin Books

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 11:25 am

Gen. Stanley McChrystal says he's moved on with his life. The four-star general was forced to resign from the military after his aides were quoted in a Rolling Stone article making disparaging remarks about members of the Obama administration.

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NPR Story
5:56 am
Sun January 13, 2013

At A Young Age, Aaron Swartz Did A Lifetime Of Work

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 6:51 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There was sadness and shock among many in the tech community yesterday after news spread of the suicide of a computer protegee. Twenty-six-year-old Aaron Swartz became a tech celebrity at the age of 14. Friends and family say he battled depression and was recently anxious because he was about to go on trial in federal court. NPR's Laura Sydell reports.

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Music News
4:10 am
Sun January 13, 2013

A Married Duo Chases The Dream, Toddlers In Tow

Stefanie Drootin-Senseny and Chris Senseny are the core of Big Harp, a band the married couple formed shortly after the birth of their second child.
Ryan Fox Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 12:37 pm

Big Harp guitarist and lead singer Chris Senseney pulls his minivan into a gas station off Interstate 80 near the small town of Walnut, Iowa. His wife, and the band's bassist, Stefanie Drootin-Senseney jostles through children's books and toys scattered on the floor. Their kids do what kids do on long car trips: sing.

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It's All Politics
4:09 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Cabinet Picks Come As Democrats Push To Change Filibuster

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., left, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have talked about a deal to change the Senate's filibuster rules.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 12:25 pm

In recent weeks, President Obama has chosen Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., as his next secretary of state; former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to head the Pentagon; counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be CIA director; and his chief of staff, Jack Lew, to be the next Treasury secretary.

Each nomination will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and they all could be stopped by a Senate filibuster — that is, the refusal by any one of 100 senators to let a matter come to a final vote.

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Books
3:58 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Life Is Difficult But Rewarding Under This 'Umbrella'

Will Self is a British author and journalist. His latest book, Umbrella, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Polly Borland

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 8:30 am

What is the best way for a writer to reflect life? For most of us, it's probably the traditional novel that has sat on our nightstands the most: the sprawling, linear tale, told from birth to death. For Will Self, the most lifelike story is told inside out, from the minds of the characters, without a narrator, a filter or any explanations along the way.

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Author Interviews
3:55 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Deserts, Coal Walking And Wildfires: Can You Take The 'Heat'?

To understand heat, biologist Bill Streever simmered in some of the hottest places on Earth, including California's Death Valley.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 8:30 am

Scientist and writer Bill Streever is fascinated by the extremes at both ends of the thermometer. In his 2009 book, Cold, he visited some of the chilliest places on Earth. And in his latest book, he treks through Death Valley, investigates fire-based weaponry and walks on coals — all to gain insight into what it means to be hot. Really hot.

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U.S.
3:54 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Army Corps' Options Dwindle Along With Mississippi River

An excavator perched on a barge removes rocks from the Mississippi River in Thebes Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 4:16 pm

Every day this month, the Army Corps of Engineers is working hard to deepen the Mississippi River's shipping channel in an effort to keep navigation open between St. Louis and Cairo, Ill.

Water levels are forecast to remain high enough through January to float loaded barges, but some say the only way to keep the river open next month will be to release water from the Missouri River.

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Music News
12:03 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Naxos: The Little Record Label That Could (And Did)

Over a quarter century, Naxos Records has evolved from an industry joke to a leading force in classical music.
Naxos

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 10:22 am

This past year was a good one for Naxos Records. In fact, it's been a great quarter century for the company, which has grown from a budget-label punch line to a leading force in classical music recording.

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Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Two Is Company, Three Is A Crowd

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 12:22 pm

On-air challenge: Given three three-letter words, give a three-letter word that can follow each to complete a familiar six-letter word. None of the words in a set will be related in meaning. For example, given "dam," "man" and "sew," the answer would be "age," which results in "damage," "manage" and "sewage."

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NPR Story
4:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Seeing The House Through Freshmen Eyes

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

The 113th Congress convened last week, and introduced a batch of fresh faces to Washington. Host Rachel Martin speaks with two freshmen members of the House of Representatives, Democrat Ami Bera of California and Republican Rodney Davis of Illinois, about the incoming Congress and what they hope to accomplish.

NPR Story
4:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

What If Chavez Doesn't Show?

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

Venezuela is facing a political crisis. Longtime President Hugo Chavez is being treated in Cuba for a recurrence of cancer and resulting complications. He is supposed to be sworn in to a third term as president this week, but he might not be well enough to attend the inauguration. What then?

NPR Story
4:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

After Assad's Speech, What's The Roadmap For Syria?

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For more on the crisis in Syria, I'm joined by Andrew Tabler. He's the author of "In the Lion's Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington's Battle with Syria." He's here with me in the studio.

Good morning. Thanks for coming in.

ANDREW TABLER: My pleasure.

MARTIN: So, as we just heard Kelly McEvers say the war in Syria appears to be in a stalemate. Assad appears to have has dug his heels in with this address. Where are we right now in this crisis?

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Music Interviews
4:12 am
Sun January 6, 2013

The Voice Of 'Schoolhouse Rock' On The Series At 40

Schoolhouse Rock!, the series of educational shorts that ran on Saturday mornings in the 1970s and '80s, is 40 this year.
ABC

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

Believe it or not, Schoolhouse Rock is 40 years old. If you're a child of the 1970s or '80s, you probably sat in front of a television on Saturday morning watching those little animated lessons that told us why that scrap of paper was loitering on the Capitol steps or the finer points of grammar.

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U.S.
4:12 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Without Broader Action, Conn. Town Writes Its Own Gun Laws

The three selectmen for the town of Weston, Conn., David Muller (left), Gayle Weinstein and Dennis Tracey, hold a town meeting in which they discuss a proposed gun-control ordinance.
Jeff Cohen for NPR

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 11:35 am

After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the state's governor and President Obama called for stricter gun laws.

In the meantime, at least one small town in Connecticut is drafting new ordinances of its own.

The town meeting in Weston begins with the Pledge of Allegiance. Moving through the agenda, the attendees discuss appointments to the Commission on Aging, there's some talk of the budget and two fourth-graders make their case for eliminating plastic bags.

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Antibalas: Cooking Up Afrobeat In A Sweltering Kitchen

Antibalas was founded in 1998 by baritone sax player Martin Perna (far right, in hat) and is fronted by singer-percussionist Amayo (center, in head wrap). The group has seen many lineup changes in its decade and a half together.
Marina Abadjieff Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

Years ago, without setting out to do so, the Afrobeat ensemble Antibalas jumped out ahead of the pop-culture curve in two ways. First, geography: The band was formed in Brooklyn in the 1990s, before the New York borough became the mecca of independent music that it is today. Second, the music itself: Afrobeat makes its way into lots of popular music today, but Antibalas was doing it before it had a mainstream foothold.

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Middle East
10:45 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Israel's Arabic Citizens Plan Election Boycott

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 6:50 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In Israel today, the highest court ruled a controversial Arab lawmaker can run in next month's parliamentary elections. Supporters of Hanin Zoabi say she is a popular representative of the more than one million Arab citizens of Israel. Her Israeli detractors say her political views undermine the State and its institutions and that she and her party should be banned.

Reporter Sheera Frenkel has the story from Tel Aviv.

(SOUNDBITE OF A MOB)

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Strange News
4:45 am
Sun December 30, 2012

For Those Who Fear The Number 13, The New Year Could Be Frightening

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 10:45 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

With New Year's on the way, we're about to turn the calendar over to 2013. In just a few days, the 113th Congress begins. There's just something about that number, unlucky 13.

Take, for example, the movies.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROMO FOR MOVIE, "FRIDAY THE 13TH")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: "Friday the 13th."

(SOUNDBITE OF CLASHING KNIVES)

WERTHEIMER: Have you ever noticed that some buildings don't have a 13th floor? The number does seem to have an aura of bad luck.

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NPR Story
4:42 am
Sun December 30, 2012

The 'Queen Of Tarts' On What's For Dinner This Season

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 10:45 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Tamasin Day-Lewis is one of Britain's most famous celebrity chefs, so she might disagree with the title.

TAMASIN DAY-LEWIS: I'm not a chef. I'm a writer who happens to cook and who is passionate about cooking food.

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NPR Story
4:42 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Controversial 'Stand Your Ground' Laws Took Center Stage In 2012

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 10:45 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Even before the horrific shooting in Newtown, this was a year in which guns were in the news. There was the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. And another story we've followed began in February with a 911 call in Sanford, Florida.

(SOUNDBITE OF 911 CALL)

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around looking about.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: OK. And this guy, is he white, black or Hispanic?

ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.

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NPR Story
4:42 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Counting Down The Final Hours Of Fiscal Cliff Talks

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 10:45 am

Weekend Edition Sunday guest host Linda Wertheimer speaks with Joshua Green, senior national correspondent for Bloomberg Businessweek, about the latest in the last-minute push to resolve the debt crisis.

Commentary
3:12 am
Sun December 30, 2012

On Your Plate In 2013, Expect Kimchi And Good-For-You Greens

Commentator Bonny Wolf expects Asian cuisine such as kimchi fried rice to become even more popular in 2013.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 3:14 pm

Weekend Edition food commentator Bonny Wolf offers her predictions of what we'll eat in the new year.

Asia is the new Europe. It's been gradual: from pan-Asian, Asian fusion and Asian-inspired to just deciding among Vietnamese, Korean, Tibetan and Burmese for dinner.

Should we have the simple food of the Thai plateau or the hot, salty, sour foods of southern Thailand?

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It's All Politics
3:11 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Massachusetts Freshman Brings Kennedys Back To Capitol Hill

Joseph Kennedy III, son of former Rep. Joseph Kennedy II and grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy, delivers his victory speech on Nov. 6 in Newton, Mass.
Bizuayehu Tesfaye AP

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 2:39 pm

Last year marked the first time in more than six decades that there was no Kennedy in elected office in the nation's capital.

But that gap ends this week with the inauguration of Rep.-elect Joseph Kennedy III of Massachusetts. The son of former Rep. Joe Kennedy and the grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy was elected by a 2-1 margin in his first run for office.

There's little denying that Kennedy's election was about more than just him.

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Business
3:11 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Retail Workers Bear Brunt Of Sluggish Holiday Sales

Pedestrians pass the Dow Jones display ticker in Times Square on Wednesday in New York. U.S. shoppers spent cautiously this holiday season, a disappointment for retailers that slashed prices to lure people into stores and now must hope for a post-Christmas burst of spending.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 2:51 pm

Several large retailers took a leap of faith on what they thought would be a gangbuster holiday season, hiring more seasonal workers this year than last.

Sales during the two months before Christmas weren't all that stunning, however, and that's meant fewer opportunities for seasonal workers.

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Best Books Of 2012
5:10 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Courage And Curiosity: The Best Heroines Of 2012

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 10:45 am

The most dangerous trait a woman can possess is curiosity. That's what myths and religion would have us believe, anyway. Inquisitive Pandora unleashed sorrow upon the world. Eve got us kicked out of paradise. Blight on civilization it may be, but female curiosity is a gift to narrative and the quality my five favorite heroines of the year possess in spades.

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History
4:48 am
Sun December 23, 2012

Students Crack Code Of Rhode Island Founder

Originally published on Sun December 23, 2012 10:41 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Middle East
4:48 am
Sun December 23, 2012

Relations Make U.S. Aid To Pakistan, Afghanistan Difficult

Originally published on Sun December 23, 2012 10:41 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Alex Thier is the assistant to the administrator for Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs at the U.S. Agency for International Development or USAID. He just returned from Pakistan, where his organization helps manage several infrastructure projects. I asked him if the recent attacks against the health workers have undermined the work of American aid agencies in Pakistan.

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Politics
4:48 am
Sun December 23, 2012

Fiscal Cliff, Gun Debate Looms As Lawmakers Take Holiday Break

Originally published on Sun December 23, 2012 10:41 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Could eggnog be the antidote to the looming fiscal cliff? President Obama expressed this very hope as he left town for Christmas in Hawaii on Friday, saying maybe eggnog and Christmas cookies could put lawmakers in a more cooperative mood in time to prevent the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect with the new year. The president said lawmakers might also benefit from a short cooling-off period outside the partisan pressure cooker here in Washington.

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