Weekend Edition Saturday

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.

It takes chutzpah to redo the kind of songs that get labeled as iconic, like The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," or "The Weight' by The Band, or Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart." But Rickie Lee Jones has made a career out of surprising p

Kid Koala: All Roads Lead To The Blues

Sep 22, 2012

Eric San, who goes by the name Kid Koala, plays the blues. But just as Kid Koala isn't a traditional blues name like Blind Lemon Jefferson or Doctor Ross the Harmonica Boss, he isn't a standard blues man.

Kid Koala is a DJ. Big turntables, fast hands, scratching old-fashioned vinyl records — the whole deal. Now, he's taken that DJ equipment and produced a "turntable blues" album titled 12 Bit Blues.

So how did a Canadian DJ discover the blues, exactly? San says it all happened in high school.

Libya Hit With Turbulent Week

Sep 15, 2012

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. There have been unexpectedly violent protests across much of the Arab world this week. The first was in Cairo. Then, of course, in Benghazi, Libya, protesters attacked and killed four U.S. embassy staff there.

Since then, protests have broken out across the region, again in Egypt, in Tunisia and in Yemen. NPR's correspondent in Benghazi is Leila Fadel. She joins us now. Leila, thanks for being with us.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Thanks for having me.

Egypt Explores Limits Of Tolerance For Free Speech

Sep 15, 2012

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We turn now to Egypt where, as we mentioned earlier, the protest started this week. More than 250 people have been reported injured in clashes there that began when protesters scaled the embassy wall in Cairo and tore down an American flag. Many of them are demonstrating against a film, which portrayed the prophet Muhammad as a womanizer and a religious fraud.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Chicago Teachers Union and city school officials have reportedly reached what they call a framework for an agreement that would end a five-day teacher strike. The walkout has shut down school for 350,000 students this week. They could be back in class as early as Monday.

We're joined now by NPR education correspondent Claudio Sanchez. Claudio, thanks for being with us.

CLAUDIO SANCHEZ, BYLINE: Good to be here.

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

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SIMON: Baseball's pennant races are in full swing. Will the words Baltimore, October, and baseball be heard in the same sentence for the first time since Cal Ripken Jr. was in short pants? But times are more trying for the Pittsburgh Pirates. And the battle in the American League Central between the surging Tigers and some nimble pale hose. For more, we're joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine.

Foreign Policy Pulls Political Focus

Sep 15, 2012

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Joined now by Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor in our studios. Ron, thanks very much for being with us.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Scott.

Would You Like A Calorie Count With That?

Sep 15, 2012

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Next week, McDonald's will become the largest fast-food chain in the country to display calorie counts on its menu boards. Won't that make you think twice when asked: You want fries with that?

NPR's Allison Aubrey has been reporting on McDonald's announcement this week. She joins us in our studios. Allison, thanks for being with us.

ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: Hi, Scott. Glad to be here.

Gen. Thomas-Alexandre Dumas was one of the heroes of the French Revolution — but you won't find a statue of him in Paris today.

He led armies of thousands in triumph through treacherous territory, from the snows of the Alps to the sands of Egypt, and his true life stories inspired his son, Alexandre Dumas, to write The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

Amy Adams has played a Disney princess, a puckish Amelia Earhart, an innocent young nun and a blogging Brooklynite who wants to follow the recipe for being Julia Child.

But she takes a more steely turn in her latest role in The Master, which has just opened in New York and Los Angeles. The film, written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, also stars Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

One night in 1947, an intensely curious 5-year-old boy named Michael McCleery asked his father for a story. So his father, William McCleery, produced a tale that revolved around a wolf named Waldo, a hen named Rainbow, and another little boy, the son of a farmer, named Jimmy Tractorwheel. Over weeks and weeks, William serialized the story, telling it in installments to Michael and his best friend during bedtimes and Sunday afternoon outings.

The boys are back — Mark Renton, Sick Boy, Spud, Begbie and other memorable characters from Irvine Welsh's 1994 novel, Trainspotting, come back to life in Welsh's new book, Skagboys.

At 11 a.m. on a weekday, Calexico rehearses for its upcoming tour in a cramped studio on the south side of Tucson, Ariz. The stereotypical musician would just be getting up, but lead singer and songwriter Joey Burns has been up since dawn with his twin baby girls.

Trumpet player Jacob Valenzuela arrives late to the rehearsal — and that's because his washing machine broke and he had to deal with a small flood. Valenzuela grabs his trumpet as the band launches into "Splitter," the first single from Calexico's new album.

Reviews of the new film The Master have ranged from acclaim to disdain. Almost all the critics, though, seem to admire the film's music, composed by Jonny Greenwood.

Greenwood's story begins in the early 1990s, when he was playing the viola at Oxford University and not making much of an impression — even on himself.

"I was headed for the back of the viola section in some orchestra," Greenwood says. "If I practiced hard enough."

For a metro area of only about 3.5 million people, the Twin Cities region is unusual in the way it supports not one, but two world-class orchestras. Now, with looming deficits on the horizon and musicians' contracts at both the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra expiring Sept. 30, the Twin Cities may have two orchestras on strike.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

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What To Do In Case Of A Zombie Apocalypse

Sep 8, 2012

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Now to an odd potential problem here.

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SIMON: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging all Americans to...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Prepare for the zombie apocalypse.

Inside Security Council Talks On Syria

Sep 8, 2012

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