Weekend Edition Saturday

C&N: Sat • 5am-8am | R&N: Sat • 5am-9am
Scott Simon

A wrap-up of the week's news combined with a mix of analysis and features on a wide range of topics, including arts, sports, entertainment, and human interest stories.

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Europe
8:02 am
Sat August 16, 2014

Aid Is On The Way For Eastern Ukraine, If Only It Can Pass The Checkpoints

An aid worker takes a break on a big pile of food, which was brought to the small eastern Ukrainian city of Starobilsk by a humanitarian convoy.
Anatolii Stepanov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 10:14 am

A simple car ride across eastern Ukraine reveals just how much of the vast agricultural and industrial region Ukrainian authorities have wrested back from pro-Russian separatists.

The evidence lies right outside the car window. Towns and villages that as recently as a few weeks ago displayed Russian and rebel flags on every conceivable surface now bear only the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag. Scattered cinder blocks are about all that's left of most rebel-held checkpoints, where the occasionally drunk separatist guards hassled, beat and detained Western journalists.

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Race
5:05 am
Sat August 16, 2014

Tensions Reignite In Ferguson Between Police, Protesters

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sports
5:05 am
Sat August 16, 2014

A Little League Star, A New Commissioner: The Week In Sports

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Author Interviews
5:05 am
Sat August 16, 2014

An Unlikely Psychologist-Patient Friendship Unfolds In 'The Story Hour'

Thrity Umrigar has authored six novels and is a professor of English at Case Western Reserve University.
Robert Muller Thrity Umrigar

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 5:28 am

The Story Hour explores an unlikely — and medically unethical — friendship between a psychologist and a patient. "It's a bit of a mystical connection," novelist Thrity Umrigar tells NPR's Scott Simon.

Lakshmi is stuck in a loveless marriage. She works for her husband, whom she loathes, in a small restaurant. Dr. Maggie Bose takes Lakshmi on as a patient, but soon decides her patient doesn't need a shrink — she needs an escape.

Umrigar is the author of five previous novels, including Bombay Time and The Space Between Us.

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Simon Says
5:05 am
Sat August 16, 2014

Remembering The Highs And Lows Of Robin Williams

Actor Robin Williams, when he was Mork, in April 1978.
AP

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 11:37 am

Why can't some of the people who seem to bring the most joy into this world find it for themselves?

The death of Robin Williams, by his own hand, in his own home, possibly after he learned he was in the early stages of Parkinson's, caused a lot of people to ask that question this week.

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Europe
7:08 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Exasperating Detour Drives One Brit To Build His Own Road

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 8:40 am

Most people have been frustrated at least once in their driving lives by construction delays and detours.

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It's All Politics
6:36 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Perry And Cruz Do The Presidential Candidacy Dance

Texas Gov. Rick Perry highlighted his executive leadership at the annual RedState Gathering on Friday.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 8:40 am

It's the presidential race no one is talking about. Two Texas political stars are testing the waters for a run in 2016 — without mentioning it, of course.

Potential Republican candidates Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry spoke Friday at the annual meeting sponsored by the conservative website RedState, and both danced around the candidacy question.

Three years ago, at RedState's South Carolina get-together, Perry announced his 2012 presidential bid. This time, he made no announcement, but Perry sounded like he was giving a campaign speech.

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Religion
5:49 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Effort To Preserve Yiddish Works Not 'Bupkes'

Visitors look at an exhibit at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass.
Courtesy of the Yiiddish Book Center

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 8:40 am

The preservation of Yiddish as a spoken language gets more attention, but Yiddish once had a vibrant written tradition as well.

Plays, poetry, novels, political tracts — all were published in Yiddish until the Holocaust. A great deal of these works can now be found at the National Yiddish Book Center in Western Massachusetts.

The center was founded by Aaron Lansky, who began his efforts to save Yiddish books in 1980, while enrolled in a Jewish Studies program at McGill University in Montreal.

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Parallels
5:00 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Letter From Beyond The Grave: A Tale Of Love, Murder And Brazilian Law

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 6:23 am

The story of Lenira de Oliveira and her dead lover's letter is a tale of Brazil. It's a story of love, jealousy, forgiveness, life after death and the criminal court system. And it's true — though it sounds like fiction.

It sounds, in particular, like the work of the late Gabriel Garcia-Marquez.

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Europe
4:51 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Hate Crimes Against Jews On The Rise In Europe

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 8:40 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sports
4:51 am
Sat August 9, 2014

With First Female Assistant Coach, Spurs Lead A Cultural Shift

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 8:40 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lourdes Garcia-Navarro. Time now for sports. Scott Simon is away this week so no talk of the Cubs. But B.J. Liederman still wrote our theme song.

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World
8:19 am
Sat August 2, 2014

Sanctions Target Russian Oil, But Will That Persuade Putin?

An oil refining factory owned by the Russian company Rosneft, outside the town of Achinsk, Russia, in 2013. The company says that hundreds of sites are being explored throughout the country as potential sources of oil and gas — but to tap those sites, Russia depends on Western companies.
Ilya Naymushin Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat August 2, 2014 8:23 am

Both the United States and Europe announced new economic sanctions this week against Russia for its role in the conflict in Ukraine. Among other things, Western companies will no longer be able to sell Russia new technologies to develop its oil fields.

The move comes at a time when oil exports have become more important than ever for the Russian economy.

President Obama says the sanctions are meant to send a strong message:

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Music Interviews
7:15 am
Sat August 2, 2014

No Lie: Shakira's 'Hips' Gets An Oxford Makeover

The Oxford a cappella group Out of the Blue.
Courtesy of Out of the Blue

Originally published on Sat August 2, 2014 8:01 am

A group of undergraduate students in Oxford, England, must be pretty chuffed right now (that's how Brits say "pleased," by the way).

Why? They've managed to get the attention of Shakira, one of the biggest pop stars in the world:

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Middle East
5:34 am
Sat August 2, 2014

Egypt's Shifting Role As Mideast Mediator

Originally published on Sat August 2, 2014 8:01 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movies
5:34 am
Sat August 2, 2014

What If 'Gone With The Wind' Had This Ending, Instead?

Originally published on Sat August 2, 2014 8:21 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
5:34 am
Sat August 2, 2014

Comedian Irwin Corey Turns 100

Originally published on Sat August 2, 2014 8:01 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Author Interviews
5:34 am
Sat August 2, 2014

In 1879, Explorers Set Sail To Solve Arctic Mystery, Once And For All

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 6:59 am

It's hard for us to imagine now, but there was a time when people simply didn't know what was in the Arctic circle.

"Whether it was ice, whether it was sea, whether it was land, whether there was a civilization up there — there were a lot of weird theories about holes in the Earth," author Hampton Sides tells NPR's Scott Simon.

So in July 1879, more than 30 explorers set sail from San Francisco to find out. They were hoping to discover an unspoiled, verdant paradise at the top of the world which they could claim in the name of American exploration.

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Parallels
10:14 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Barrel Bomb Attacks Devastate Iraqi Families

Smoke rises from buildings in May after shelling on the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which is currently held by anti-government fighters. Rights workers say civilians are being killed by government attacks with so-called barrel bombs.
Sadam el-Mehmedy AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 10:44 am

Human rights groups are accusing the Iraqi government of indiscriminate bombing. Baghdad officials deny that and note they're fighting a Sunni insurgency that commits mass executions and suicide bombings.

Yet rights workers say civilians are being killed by government attacks with so-called barrel bombs — the crude weapons made famous in Syria's current conflict. Barrel bombs are illegal and indiscriminate explosives, packed in things like oil drums or gas cylinders.

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Sports
7:33 am
Sat July 26, 2014

NFL Faces Criticism Over Ray Rice Suspension From Ravens

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 10:32 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Remembrances
7:33 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Bel Kaufman Took Us 'Up The Down Staircase'

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 10:32 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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