Weekend Edition Saturday

  • Hosted by Scott Simon
  • Local Host Karlie Huckels

A weekend morning news magazine covering hard news, a wide variety of news makers, and cultural stories. On Saturdays, Simon's award-winning commentaries sum up an idea or event related to the week's news. There are clever, informative exchanges, and fresh reports from a cross-section of NPR correspondents on topics from religion to health to food to politics. Simon's interviews with key artists, authors, performers and personalities are always memorable.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


The chants, chaos and cries from the streets of Cairo and other cities in Egypt this week revive questions for historians and political scientists that politicians have to answer with practical policies.

As one of the finest classical actors of his generation, Brian Bedford has donned all manner of period costumes. These days he's wearing ladies' stockings — along with Victorian dresses and some outrageous hats — as the imperious Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde's comedy of manners The Importance of Being Earnest. The show is back on Broadway through July 3, in a production that Bedford directed as well.

In Hannah Pittard's first novel, The Fates Will Find Their Way, a 16-year-old girl named Nora Lindell inexplicably disappears one day. Left in her wake are the neighborhood kids, who become entranced by the possibilities of what happened to her. A group of teenage boys become the most fascinated with Nora, and their years spent wondering eventually crafts them into remarkable characters.

Only about 30 percent of all U.S. citizens have passports. Sixty percent of Canadians, and 75 percent of Britons, do.

The U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism said this week that U.S. citizens made 61.5 million trips outside the country in 2009. Bruce Bommarito, chief operating officer of the U.S. Travel Association, says that's low for a country where so many people have the means to travel, and concludes, "Americans are comfortable in their own environment."

Cold Days are a Good Time to Plan your Garden

Feb 3, 2011
Creative Commons

These cold winter days are great for planning a vegetable garden. 

Ernest Borgnine, whose career spans more than 60 years on stage, television and the silver screen, played tough guys in many a Hollywood classic, including From Here to Eternity and The Wild Bunch. He won an Oscar for playing nice, though, and he had a hit TV series, McHale's Navy, in the '60s. He turned 94 on Jan. 24, and he's still a working actor — all of which explains the Life Achievement Award he'll get from the Screen Actors Guild on Jan. 30.

When Camel Zekri was a kid hanging onto the back seat of his parents' Peugeot sedan, the drive home from Paris to southern Algeria was like being in a movie tracing his musical roots. Now, as one of the foremost Afro-jazz fusion artists in Europe, Zekri rejects the cultural definitions many American jazz performers use to describe their music. Instead, by crafting his own style, he has been able to form his own Franco-African identity.

Saxophonist Charlie Parker was an original. His improvisations and harmonies still beguile and inspire, almost 60 years after he died at the age of 34. His influence on jazz has lasted for generations and still affects musicians today. Musicians still pay tribute to "Bird," as Parker was known, on street corners, in clubs and on recordings.

It's tricky to pay your respects without sounding like an imitation. But saxophonist Joe Lovano took a different path: He's broken down and rebuilt something new from the art of an icon.

In the dead of winter, it's nice to be taken on a journey, if only in our minds. A new album called Cape Dory does just that. The retro-pop record was written and recorded by the band Tennis, the husband-and-wife team of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, while they journeyed on the Atlantic. After saving up together, the couple bought a 30-foot sailboat and embarked on a yearlong tour of the Eastern Seaboard.

Although the stories of the journey have now materialized as songs, music did not play a significant role during the couple's time spent sailing.