Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturdays from 8-10 a.m.

Saturday mornings are made for 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. The two-hour program is hosted by NPR's Peabody Award-winning Scott Simon.

Drawing on his experience in covering 10 wars and stories in all 50 states and seven continents, Simon brings a humorous, sophisticated and often moving perspective to each show. He is as comfortable having a conversation with a major world leader as he is talking with a Hollywood celebrity or the guy next door.

Weekend Edition Saturday has a unique and entertaining roster of other regular contributors. Marin Alsop, conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, talks about music. Daniel Pinkwater, one of the biggest names in children's literature, talks about and reads stories with Simon. Financial journalist Joe Nocera follows the economy. Howard Bryant of EPSN.com and NPR's Tom Goldman chime in on sports. Keith Devlin, of Stanford University, unravels the mystery of math, and Will Grozier, a London cabbie, talks about good books that have just been released, and what well-read people leave in the back of his taxi. Simon contributes his own award-winning essays, which are sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant.

Weekend Edition Saturday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States, and around the globe on NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

Scientists are in a sprint to find a vaccine that could stamp out the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, said on Friday he's "cautiously optimistic" that a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine will be ready for distribution in early 2021.

Sunday was supposed to be the first day in a wild week of contests, culminating in a stirring awards ceremony at the 2020 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship.

But the pandemic has put this year's competition on hold.

Every year, people aged 13 to 22 show off their wizardry with Excel, PowerPoint, Word and the rest of the Microsoft Office suite. Last year, Ashlyn Dumaw, a rising senior at Green Hope High School in North Carolina, took bronze in the PowerPoint contest.

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And it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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After years of open mic nights and posting music on myspace.com that anyone could hear, Ellie Goulding finally got her big break in the early 2010s with hit after hit, like this one.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIGHTS")

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I've had lunch with politicians, clergy, reporters and people who've just been indicted at Manny's Cafeteria and Delicatessen in Chicago, and there's a code of silence over the clatter: it doesn't count. The schmear of cream cheese thick enough to be a ski jump? No calories! Potato pancakes hefty as manhole covers?

No calories!

Rep. Terri Sewell Remembers John Lewis

Jul 18, 2020

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A moment now to hear about how these financial hardships affect one family.

DANIEL GARCIA: Honestly, I never thought that we would lose our home because of a virus going around.

Ants do it. Lobsters do it. Even equatorial mandrills do it. Why don't many Americans do it: Wear masks and keep a wise social distance from each other?

Scientific American reports this week how several animals seem to know how to take precautions and keep their distance so they're less likely to be infected by a peer.

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Thomas Salts spent two weeks in a hotel in Arizona sleeping, watching TV and, most importantly, fighting COVID-19.

"I mean it was truly one of the worst bouts I'd ever had dealing with any kind of thing, with the flu or anything," Salts told NPR's Weekend Edition. "It was 10 times worse."

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Willie Nelson has some new songs on a new album. Do I really need to say anything more than that? It's called "First Rose Of Spring."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FIRST ROSE OF SPRING")

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Independence Day celebrates freedom. And how do you celebrate America's day of independence when it comes during nationwide protests against police brutality, especially if you're a Black American?

Baseball's Negro Leagues were formally founded a hundred years ago this week. They should never have had to exist — but they sure had some glorious players and times.

Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and many more stars who couldn't play in the major leagues because of the cruelty of segregation engineered a sports enterprise of their own with superb teams that included the Kansas City Monarchs, Chicago American Giants and the Homestead Grays.

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(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.

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Michael Hawley told me he had cancer a few months ago but didn't have a bucket list of things to do. "Just friends I want to see," he said.

I was blessed — a word Michael used generously, even as a scientist — to be among them.

Michael Hawley died this week at the age of 58, after a life packed with feats and friendships.

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There is a lot of music in the recent Black Lives Matter protests. Let's hear some of it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BLACK LIVES MATTER")

RICHARD ALEXANDER: (Singing) Just know you ain't gonna break my soul - break me down today.

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Eric Andre joins us now. His first comedy special, "Legalize Everything," is now on Netflix. And, Mr. Andre, I don't think you have to worry about us giving away some of your best lines because I don't think I can repeat them.

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Cue the music.

(SOUNDBITE OF BACH'S "TOCCATA AND FUGUE IN D MINOR")

A man I called Uncle Jim showed me how to tie a tie. The day I was going to graduate from 8th grade, he saw me in a white shirt with a yellow clip-on bow tie, shook his head, and went to his apartment to bring back one of his own dark blue neckties. Jim showed me how to pull together a Windsor knot, which I tie to this day.

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BJ Leiderman still writes our theme music, but pocket change is the new toilet paper. How's that for a transition?

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And now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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