Weekend Edition

Saturday 8am to 11am, and Sunday 8am to 11am
  • 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

Weekend Edition Sunday combines the news with colorful arts and human-interest features, appealing to the curious and eclectic. Conceived as a cross between a Sunday newspaper and CBS' Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt, Weekend Edition Sunday features interviews with newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians. The highlight for many listeners is the regularly scheduled puzzle segment with Puzzlemaster Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times.

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This year's Thanksgiving holiday promises to be melancholy, separated from many loved ones because of the pandemic. Of course, we can't be in more than one place at a time, but a song can. Sharing music can help bring us together, help soothe, help uplift.

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And now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

To open a book by Jan Morris is like popping the cork on a bottle of champagne: pop, fizz, then bubbles of delight.

She climbed with Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on Mt. Everest, covered wars across deserts, and wrote dozens of books, including the Pax Britannica trilogy — her at once lyrical and irreverent history of the British Empire — fine novels, and scores of essays about the world's great cities. Listen to, or savor, her description of Hong Kong, just before the handover from British to Chinese control:

Trump supporters, including families with children, as well as fringe groups, such as white nationalists, are gathering in DC for the "Million MAGA March."

We don't know when this will all be over. Those may be the hardest words to hear.

We spend most of our lives planning around calendars and clocks, schedules, seasons, schooldays, holidays, ETAs, projections and informed predictions.

I try not to compare any other tests in life to war. But because I've covered wars and conflicts, I think I recognize what many people in places like Sarajevo, Asmara, or Afghanistan always told me: it is not just the danger, but the uncertainty of not knowing when a crisis, the hardship, loss, and peril, will be over.

Evidence of election rigging has roiled New Zealand's "Bird of the Year" competition after a case of ballot-box stuffing has threatened to derail avian democracy.

Suspicion began when organizers received more than 1,500 votes sent from the same email address early Monday — each vote was in favor of the little spotted kiwi (kiwi pukupuku), according to a statement from Forest & Bird, a conservation organization that runs the election.

Copyright 2020 Wyoming Public Radio. To see more, visit Wyoming Public Radio.

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The title track from "I Can Still Hear You" begins with a clear, pure solo.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I CAN STILL HERE YOU")

StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the U.S. military and their families.

As an Army chaplain, Maj. Ivan Arreguin has seen many overseas deployments during his military career. But earlier this year, his medical unit, along with others, were deployed to New York City during the height of the area's coronavirus pandemic.

Does it still pay to "follow the money" in politics? Some of the campaigns that raised the most money in the 2020 elections still lost.

Jaime Harrison's campaign for the Senate in South Carolina raised more than $107 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign money — $40 million more than his incumbent Republican opponent, Lindsey Graham.

Mr. Harrison lost.

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And now sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Sean Connery, the first actor to portray James Bond and later one of the biggest and wealthiest stars in the history of film, has died at age 90.

Eon Productions, the film studio behind the James Bond films, confirmed the death in a statement on its website.

StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the U.S. military and their families.

Former Army Spc. Garett Reppenhagen has always loved Halloween. Even during his year-long deployment to Iraq in 2004, he still found a way to celebrate.

You never know where an act of kindness ends.

Tara Berliski of Magnolia, Texas, offered to donate a kidney to her husband, John Berliski. His were removed in July because of polycystic kidney disease. Doctors at the Houston Methodist Hospital living donor program explained that because John Berliski has type AB blood, he could receive a kidney from almost any donor. But if John and Tara Berliski chose to enter a kidney swap program, they might be able to help someone else, too; someone else might help them.

Copyright 2020 New Hampshire Public Radio. To see more, visit New Hampshire Public Radio.

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HEY CLOCKFACE / HOW CAN YOU FACE ME?")

ELVIS COSTELLO: (Vocalizing).

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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And to the tune of BJ Leiderman, who writes our theme music, it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Sam Smith is known for their soulful voice and its satin falsetto. But the singer's lyrics, whether in a ballad or a bop, aren't just about loving or losing others: They're also about the love of the genuine, the true, the self. The artist joined NPR's Scott Simon to talk about their new album, Love Goes, out Oct. 30. Hear the radio version at the audio link, and read on for an edited transcript.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Back in the studio, time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: All right, I got a grip now. The Dodgers are a game up on the Rays, but sometimes the story is the game within the game. Meanwhile, Big Ten football takes the field.

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There's a controversy in Gloucester County, New Jersey, that began at a football game on October 4. The national anthem was about to be played when the running back for the Gibbstown Falcons told his coach, Rashad Thomas, "I want to kneel."

Coach Thomas told his running back, "I'll kneel with you." An assistant coach joined them. Coach Thomas told his players that no one had to kneel, but soon the whole team had joined them, and held hands. They were teammates.

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(Reading) Once there was a goat who lived in a pen on a farm.

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"The Perfect Weapon," now on HBO, is a documentary about a danger we've all heard a lot about but don't really know.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "THE PERFECT WEAPON")

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Joy can be so hard to come by these days. But Tommy Kahikina Ching has found some.

TOMMY KAHIKINA CHING: I love cooking. It's my chance to be an artist.

SIMON: He recently made a masterpiece.

In the torrent of news this week, one line especially pierced me: "Interactions may be less positive when they become artificial."

It comes from researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna and the Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria, who compared the vital signs of 28 cows as they were petted while listening to a live human voice, and those same cows being petted while they heard merely a recording. They published their findings in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the U.S. military and their families.

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