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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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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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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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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Music News
3:28 am
Sun December 23, 2012

In Toronto, An Ad-Hoc Choir Becomes A Community

Choir! Choir! Choir! performs at the Toronto venue Lee's Palace, led by Daveed Goldman (left, with guitar) and Nobu Adilman.
Joseph Fuda

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 11:45 am

Let's say you live in Canada — say, Toronto — and you like to sing. You're not in a band, you don't get asked to sing at weddings, but singing just kind of makes you happy. Well, every Tuesday night at a local bar, you'll find a crowd of people just like you, singing their hearts out.

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Music News
3:25 am
Sun December 23, 2012

Ernie K-Doe: A One-Hit Weirdo's Rise, Fall And Redemption

Ernie K-Doe and his fans at the Warehouse in New Orleans in 1974.
Michael P. Smith The Historic New Orleans Collection

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 11:33 am

Even in a city known for its eccentrics, Ernie K-Doe was in another dimension. The New Orleans musician always knew — and said, loudly — that he was special. And for one week in a life of wild ups and downs, he managed to pierce the national consciousness with a chart-topping hit: 1961's "Mother in Law."

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U.S.
3:11 am
Sun December 23, 2012

New Lives Emerge From Colo. Wildfire Ashes, Still Scarred

Janet Wilson describes the charred hillsides above her old home as "a vast area of toothpicks." She found the scene too sad to return to.
Megan Verlee for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 11:44 am

West of the city of Colorado Springs, trees charred by the summer's wildfire scar the steep foothills. The Waldo Canyon fire destroyed more than 300 homes in June.

Now, that devastated neighborhood is coming back to life, with construction workers swarming over half-completed houses. While many of its former residents are preparing to move back, some just want to move on.

In the days after the fire devoured their homes, shell-shocked residents tried to wrap their minds around what had just happened to them.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
3:08 am
Sun December 23, 2012

Tragedy Spotlights Connecticut's Previous Efforts At Gun Control

Police Lt. Ray Mesek registers a rifle at a gun buyback event on Saturday in Bridgeport, Conn.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 11:46 am

At about 8 a.m. on March 6, 1998, Matthew Beck arrived to work at the headquarters of the Connecticut State Lottery. He hung up his coat, walked into an office and shot the first of four victims.

Beck ended up killing a number of his co-workers and then took his own life in the parking lot when the police arrived.

Mike Lawlor, the Connecticut governor's criminal justice adviser, was a state representative at the time, and wanted to understand what led to the rampage. He learned that Beck had previously attempted suicide and owned a number of guns.

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Around the Nation
3:07 am
Sun December 23, 2012

With Growth Of 'Hacker Scouting,' More Kids Learn To Tinker

Kids build robots with Popsicle sticks at an Oakland meeting of Hacker Scouts, a group that encourages young people to create do-it-yourself crafts and electronics.
Jon Kalish for NPR

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

Countless kids have grown up with the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts or Campfire Girls, but for some families, the uniforms and outdoor focus of traditional Scouting groups don't appeal.

In recent months, Scoutlike groups that concentrate on technology and do-it-yourself projects have been sprouting up around the country. They're coed and, like traditional Scouting organizations, award patches to kids who master skills.

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Sunday Puzzle
2:55 am
Sun December 23, 2012

Unwrap 'Christmas' For Your Gift

NPR Graphic

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

On-air challenge: Every answer is a word that can be formed from the letters of "Christmas." You'll be given two words as clues. The first one can precede the answer word, and the second one can follow it — in each case to complete a compound word or familiar two-word phrase. For example, given "forward" and "madness," the answer would be "march" (as in "forward march" and "March Madness").

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Best Books Of 2012
9:30 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Romantic Reads From Shakespeare To Steampunk (Heavy On The Steam)

Nishant Choksi

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

My favorite "best of the year" list is the Bad Sex in Fiction award, even — or perhaps because — it eschews the romance genre. This year's winner was just announced: Nancy Huston's Infrared, whose heroine celebrates the "countless treasures between [her] legs." But I'm not writing a Best Romance of the Year list, because I don't think the idea even works for my genre.

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Sports
5:56 am
Sun December 16, 2012

College Football's 'Coaching Carousel' In Full Effect

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 7:11 am

Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Mike Pesca about college football coaches and the wisdom of the Washington Redskins' backup quarterback.

Around the Nation
4:42 am
Sun December 16, 2012

In Shooting Aftermath, Community Continues Seeking Answers

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 7:11 am

Sunday doesn't begin easily for people in Newtown, Conn. People are still grappling and trying to understand why someone would shoot and kill 20 children and five employees at an elementary school. Authorities are still piecing together what happened as community members begin to grieve.

Remembrances
4:42 am
Sun December 16, 2012

A Father Humbled By The Too-Short Life Of His Daughter

Emilie Parker, 6, was killed Dec. 14 in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Courtesy of the family

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 2:07 pm

Her name was Emilie Parker. Six years old. Long, flowing blond hair, piercing blue eyes and a sweet smile. Emilie was one of the 20 children killed on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As we learn the names of the victims, we're also learning their stories.

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Food
4:42 am
Sun December 16, 2012

Chestnuts: Paying Homage To A Winter Classic

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 7:11 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

'Tis the season for chestnuts - you know, the ones roasting on an open fire. Well, it turns out that a lot of them are from Europe or China. WEEKEND EDITION food commentator Bonny Wolf recalls a time when they would have been from American trees.

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NPR Story
9:55 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Chinese Officials Scale Back The Pomp

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:36 pm

In an effort to cut down on excesses the Chinese Politburo has banned self-aggrandizing ceremonies.

NPR Story
4:13 am
Sun December 9, 2012

NHL Players Aren't The Only Ones Locked Out

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:36 pm

Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin speaks with Bob McDonald, who sings the national anthem at Washington Capitals games in D.C. His 20th year with the team was spoiled this season by the NHL lockout.

NPR Story
4:13 am
Sun December 9, 2012

A Senator's Last Challenge

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:36 pm

Sen. Kent Conrad has chaired the Senate Budget Committee since 2006. The Democratic senator from North Dakota is retiring in January 2013, but before leaving the Senate, he is a key player in the negotiations to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff." Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin speaks with Sen. Conrad about the challenges to achieving a budget compromise.

NPR Story
4:13 am
Sun December 9, 2012

In Istanbul, A Byzantine-Era Fleet Surfaces Again

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:36 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In Istanbul, Turkey, construction on major public transit projects is underway after years of delay. The problem there wasn't lack of financing but the layer upon layer of ancient artifacts that tend to turn up every time the earthmovers get started. NPR's Peter Kenyon has the story of one dig along the city's southern shore. It's uncovered what experts say is a staggering array of artifacts from pre-Ottoman Constantinople.

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Music Interviews
3:24 am
Sun December 9, 2012

A Few Questions For One Direction

Formed in 2010, One Direction are one of the biggest pop acts in the world. Left to right: Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 1:33 pm

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Afghanistan
3:10 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Afghan Contractors Feel Pinch Of Drawdown

Laborers work on a building in Kabul, Afghanistan. Following the drawdown of U.S. troops and NGOs, many construction companies are without projects and being forced to close offices and downsize.
Musadeq Sadeq AP

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 1:27 pm

The Afghan construction industry has been one of the big winners since the fall of the Taliban. NATO and the international community have pumped billions of dollars into building roads, schools and bases.

With the drawdown of troops and NGOs, however, comes a drawdown in construction spending, and that has Afghan contractors scrambling to find new business.

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World
3:06 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Spain's Economic Woes Take A Toll On The Media

El Pais journalists demonstrate outside the newspaper's headquarters in Madrid last month.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 8:53 am

Three years of euro-zone recession have badly hurt Spain's media sector, where some 8,500 journalists have lost their jobs. Dozens of newspapers have closed and the remaining publications are sharply cutting back as ads plummet.

That's led to warnings from journalists, who see a threat to press freedom at a time when Spaniards want to understand why their financial stability is unraveling.

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Games & Humor
2:56 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Quick! Sneak In That 'QU'

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:36 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a six-letter word containing "QU" somewhere inside it. You'll be given anagrams of the remaining four letters. You name the words (No answer is a plural or a word formed by adding "s.").

Last week's challenge from listener Adam Cohen of Brooklyn, N.Y.: Name two articles of apparel — things you wear — which, when the words are used as verbs, are synonyms of each other. What are they?

Answer: Belt, sock

Winner: Jeanne Kelsey of Lamberton, Minn.

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Europe
1:33 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Greek Hospitals Suffer In Ailing Economy

A hand-painted banner decrying drastic cuts to the health care budget is draped on the main entrance of the Regional Hospital of Serres in northern Greece.
Joanna Kakissis for NPR

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:36 pm

The economic crisis in Greece is strangling the country's hospitals, where budgets have been slashed by more than half. As a result, nearly all doctors in both public and private hospitals have seen their pay cut, delayed or even frozen.

"On top of that, we lack basic supplies to do our jobs," says Vangelis Papamichalis, a neurologist at the Regional Hospital of Serres in northern Greece and a member of the doctors union here. "We run out of surgical gloves, syringes, vials for blood samples and needles to sew stitches, among other things."

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Politics
3:59 am
Sun December 2, 2012

Obama Not The First To Take Fiscal Fight On The Road

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Before the official start of his second term, the president himself has to deal with a major legislative challenge, the across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases that will take effect next year unless the White House and Congress can reach a compromise. But in lieu of banging out a deal with congressional leaders face to face, the president is taking his case for how to solve the crisis on the road.

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Sports
3:59 am
Sun December 2, 2012

Shooting Mars Game Day In Kansas City

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 6:58 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, we turn to sports. This past week, there was a controversial fine levied in the NBA, that has a lot of people talking. But first, to that tragedy in Kansas City, Missouri. According to police, yesterday, a player on that city's NFL team shot and killed his girlfriend. Shortly after that, he drove to the Chiefs' practice facility, where he took his own life. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us now. Mike, those are just the basics, a sketch of what happened. But what else do we know about this?

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Around the Nation
3:59 am
Sun December 2, 2012

Pioneer Of Community TV Celebrates 40 Years

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Afghanistan
3:59 am
Sun December 2, 2012

Rights For Afghan Women Improving, But Fragile

Weekend Edition host Rachel Martin speaks with Sakena Yacoobi about her work with women in Afghanistan, and the latest in the story of Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai, recently shot by the Taliban. Yacoobi is the executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning in Herat, Afghanistan.

It's All Politics
1:20 am
Sun December 2, 2012

The 3 Unofficial GOP Rules That Are Making A Deficit Deal Even Harder

House Speaker John Boehner takes questions during a news conference Friday on Capitol Hill.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 5:40 pm

Making an already head-splittingly difficult deal on the fiscal cliff even harder to resolve is a set of three rules by which the Republicans who run the House play.

These are not official regulations; they're more shibboleths that House GOP leaders have adopted in recent years. And those rules are leaving House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, little room to maneuver as lawmakers try to avoid a set of tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at the end of the year.

1. "The majority of the majority"

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