Weekend Edition Sunday

5-5:40 PM

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.

Musharraf Returns To Pakistan Amid Threats

Mar 24, 2013

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has returned home after four years of self-imposed exile in Dubai and London. Security was unusually tight as he arrived at Karachi Airport today. The Pakistani Taliban has issued threats to kill the former president. And a Pakistani court has named Musharraf for possible involvement in the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Joining us now from Islamabad is NPR's Julie McCarthy. Hi, Julie.

JULIE MCCARTHY, BYLINE: Hi.

An auction house in Britain announced this week it has authenticated a violin they believe belonged to Wallace Hartley, the band leader aboard the Titanic, who famously continued playing, even as the ship went down. Host Rachel Martin talks about the find and the seven-year process it took to authenticate it.

Is there such a thing as a lock than cannot be picked? Host Rachel Martin talks with Tom Vanderbilt of Slate about the quest.

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Palestinian scholar Rashid Khalidi has closely watched the role of the United States as mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In his new book "Brokers of Deceit," he argues that U.S. involvement has made the goal of a lasting peace less attainable than ever. Rashid Khalidi is with us now from our studios in New York.

Welcome to the program.

RASHID KHALIDI: Thank you, Rachel.

Planning Trips Worthy Of A President

Mar 17, 2013

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

President Obama's trip to Israel presents all sorts of diplomatic difficulties, as we've heard. And there are plenty of logistical challenges too. That's a job for the White House advance team, responsible for planning and executing every scheduling and security detail of the president's trips at home and abroad, down to the minute.

Spencer Geissinger served eight years as President George W. Bush's advance man. His travels took him to over 98 foreign countries. He gave us a sense of what the work entails.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: It was early 2003: Doctors reported the first known case of the SARS virus; the musical "Chicago" won the Oscar for Best Picture; and Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and President George W. Bush made their case for war.

DICK CHENEY: There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.

Take Your Pics

Mar 17, 2013

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with the letters P-I and the second word starts with C. For example, given "One of 27 compositions by Mozart" you would say "(Pi)ano (C)oncerto."

Last week's challenge: Think of two familiar three-word sayings in which all three words are the same length. The middle word in both sayings is the same. In each saying, the first and last words rhyme with each other. What two sayings are these?

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. It takes a special kind of person to blaze a trail. A bit later this hour, we'll hear from actress Rita Moreno about her amazing life from her childhood in Puerto Rico to the harrowing boat trip that brought her to New York City to becoming an acclaimed actress, singer and dancer and a mainstay of American stage and screen. But now...

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Despite the controversy we just heard about, John Brennan was confirmed by the Senate, making him the next director of the CIA. Scott Shane covers national security and intelligence issues for the New York Times. We asked him what kind of CIA John Brennan will inherit.

Host Rachel Martin talks with Sen. Mark Begich, an Alaska Democrat, about his newly proposed gun violence legislation. He introduced it at a press conference with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham this past week.

From A To Z

Mar 10, 2013

On-air challenge: Every answer is a word containing an A and a Z. Given anagrams of the remaining letters, name the word. For example, given "leg," the answer would be "glaze".

Last week's challenge: Eight people are seated at a circular table. Each person gets up and sits down again — either in the same chair or in the chair immediately to the left or right of the one they were in. How many different ways can the eight people be re-seated?

Answer: 49

Thirty Years Later, Still 'A Good-Old-Boy Thing'

Mar 10, 2013

They were good old boys, never meaning no harm, making their way the only way they knew how — Bo and Luke Duke, the central characters on The Dukes of Hazzard, one of the biggest TV hits of the 1980s.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We just heard Sylvia outline some of the issues facing the Catholic Church during this leadership transition, including the role and status of women within the church. This past week, I spoke with Sister Pat Farrell, the former president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. It's the most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States. Last spring, the Vatican publically reprimanded the group for promoting, quote, "radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic Church."

Host Rachel Martin speaks with congressional scholar Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution about the economic and political impact of sequestration. He is the co-author of a book about political gridlock, called It's Even Worse Than It Looks.

Last week was a big week if you love online gambling and you live in the Garden State. New Jersey legalized online gambling. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Mike Pesca.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Coming up, a story of survival at sea. Steven Callahan was sailing across the Atlantic alone when nature intervened.

STEVEN CALLAHAN: Suddenly, there was a big crash on the side of the boat and a lot of water came flooding in. So, part of me was frightened and saying you're going to die, you're going to die, you're going right down with the boat, and part of me was saying shut up, do your job.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Yet another federal budget crisis is on the horizon. This Friday, March 1st, is the day that massive, across-the-board federal spending cuts will take effect unless Congress agrees on a new budget deal. Some analysts say the cuts, also known as the sequester, could drag the economy back into recession.

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It's been 40 years since Joel Grey won an Academy Award for his role as master of ceremonies in Bob Fosse's movie musical "Cabaret." Grey visited us at NPR this past week. He was in town to deliver his famous top hat, the one he wore in the movie, to the Smithsonian museum. The award-winning actor is surprisingly down to earth. Well, Mr. Grey, thank you so much.

JOEL GREY: Joel.

MARTIN: Joel. Thank you very much. Even so, he brought along a small entourage to our studio, which included a long-haired Chihuahua.

After 16 Years, Buffalo Sabres Drop Coach

Feb 24, 2013

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The wide world of sports moves fast and if you don't keep up, sometimes you get left behind. That is what happened this past week in Buffalo, New York. Lindy Ruff, the coach of the Sabres - that is Buffalo's hockey team - he was fired during his 17th season leading the team.

And that got NPR's Mike Pesca thinking. He joins us now.

Hey, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello, Rachel.

MARTIN: So you're thinking about coaches?

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In Florida and Arizona, it is a rite of spring for Major League Baseball teams and their fans. Spring training kicked off this weekend. Now, each club has its loyal followers, but arguably among the most diehard root for the team from the North Side of Chicago. The Chicago Cubs continually sell out games, even though the team hasn't won a World Series since 1908. Nick Blumberg from member station KJZZ in Phoenix talked to some fans at the team's first spring training game of the year.

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To get the newest military medal, you don't have to have been on the front lines. In fact, you could work very, very far from any combat.

The Distinguished Warfare Medal, announced by outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday, would recognize drone operators and those engaged in cyberattacks who haven't put themselves in harm's way.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

It was an announcement that made history.

SECRETARY LEON PANETTA: If they can do the job, if they can meet the standards...

MARTIN: Something that will change the U.S. military in a fundamental way.

PANETTA: If they can meet, you know, the qualifications that are involved here, there is no reason why they shouldn't have a chance.

MARTIN: Women can now officially serve in combat. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta made the announcement last week.

Latest Battle In Mali Has Deep Roots

Jan 27, 2013

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For some historical context on the fighting in Mali, we spoke with Gregory Mann. He's an associate professor of history at Columbia University and he's an expert on North Africa, including the area in northern Mali now controlled by insurgents.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Fisher Stevens is a name you may not know but you've probably seen his face. He was in the 1986 film "Short Circuit" with Steve Guttenberg. Fisher also had a role in the 1995 movie "Hackers."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "HACKERS")

FISHER STEVENS: (as the Plague) Last chance to get out of this developed prison sentence. You're not good enough to beat me.

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