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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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Opinion
9:16 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Egypt's Citizens Still Wait 'To Breathe Deep The Air Of Freedom'

Anti-government demonstrators celebrated in Tahrir Square upon hearing the news of the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11, 2011.
John Moore Getty Images

Amid all the holiday celebrations, you may have missed this story from overseas.

An Egyptian court announced a retrial for three journalists from Al Jazeera who have been languishing in jail for more than a year for the crime of reporting the news. The scheduled retrial is a small step in the right direction for a nation that has seen its historic revolution of just four years ago almost totally reversed.

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Race
8:11 am
Sat January 3, 2015

The Goal: To Remember Each Jim Crow Killing, From The '30s On

Police watch a crowd of African-Americans as they wait for a car pool lift in 1956 during the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Don Cravens The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 11:00 am

The state of race relations in the United States has captivated the country for months. But a group of Northeastern University law students is looking to the past to a sometimes forgotten, violent part of American history.

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Starting Over
7:08 am
Sat January 3, 2015

From Pulpit To Politics: A Pastor Takes Her Work To The Wider World

After three decades as a pastor, Faith Whitmore fulfills her vocation outside the pulpit, as district director for U.S. Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif.
Courtesy Faith Whitmore

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 8:59 am

This is part of a series of stories about starting over, profiling people who, by choice or circumstance, reinvented or transformed themselves.

Faith Whitmore was ordained as a pastor 30 years ago, drawn by a deep sense of God and spirit within her. She worked at churches throughout the Sacramento, Calif., region, eventually becoming senior pastor at one of the largest United Methodist congregations.

It was like running a small business, she says.

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Health
6:48 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Needle Exchange Program Creates Black Market In Clean Syringes

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 12:54 pm

On Friday afternoons, several dozen people line up in the narrow hallway of Prevention Point Philadelphia. The men and women, all ages, hold paper and plastic bags full of used syringes.

"We obviously have a space challenge, but people come in, they drop off their used syringes and they ask for what they need," says Silvana Mazzella, the director of programs at the service center for injection drug users.

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Space
5:00 am
Sat January 3, 2015

NASA Hopes A Hack Will Overcome Mars Rover's Memory Gap

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 8:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Remembrances
5:00 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Remembering The Voice Of Babe The Pig

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 8:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

You probably won't realize that you recognize Christine Cavanaugh until you hear her. The actress gave voice to popular cartoon and film characters throughout the 1990s, and last month, she passed away. NPR's Jasmine Garsd has this remembrance.

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Author Interviews
5:00 am
Sat January 3, 2015

The Zig-Zagging History Of The Number Zero

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 7:17 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Law
8:10 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Finding A Jury Of Your Peers Actually Is Pretty Complicated

Demonstrators march in New York after grand juries failed to indict police officers in the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Many are calling for the officers to be tried before a jury of their peers.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 10:05 am

Over the past few weeks, thousands of people have protested after grand juries failed to indict police officers in the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. What they wanted was to have the officers tried in an open court before a jury of their peers. But the notion of a jury of your peers isn't so straightforward.

Take, for example, 21-year-old Roderick Giles' experience. When he got a jury summons in the mail, he reacted the way a lot of people do.

"I did not want to go to jury duty," he says. "That was the last thing on my mind to do."

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U.S.
6:21 am
Sat December 27, 2014

For Cubans In Key West, A Longing To Fill In 'Gaps Of Who We Are'

Cuba is 90 miles away from the southernmost point in the United States, in Key West, Fla. "There used to be a ferry that ran between the two islands every day," says 89-year-old Gregorio Garcia, who emigrated in 1958. "I hope they operate it again someday."
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 8:10 am

Like Cuban-American families throughout the diaspora, the Garcias of Key West, Fla., gather on Noche Buena, or Christmas Eve, to catch up on news and eat a traditional meal of lechón, or roast pig.

Wayne Garcia, a local building contractor and artist, prepared the pork for the family feast this year. He smokes it for seven hours in a hole dug in his backyard, in a style he says was passed down from his great-grandparents.

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Around the Nation
4:50 am
Sat December 27, 2014

High Electric Bills Gobble Up Savings From Cheap Oil In New England

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 8:10 am

Falling oil prices are perhaps nowhere more welcome than in northern New England, where most homes burn heating oil in their furnaces and high electricity prices are going up.

This story originally aired on Morning Edition on Dec. 22, 2014.

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U.S.
4:46 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Protests Reflect Real Harm From Police Policies, Organizer Says

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 8:10 am

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

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JPR Classics
4:46 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Steinway Bids Farewell To Its Historic Hall

The rotunda at the historic Steinway Hall in Manhattan. The building will be torn down to build luxury condominiums.
Steinway & Sons

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 8:10 am

New York is saying goodbye to another historic building. Steinway Hall, the main showroom for Steinway & Sons pianos, will be moving to a new location, leaving its home of almost 90 years on 57th Street near Carnegie Hall. The first floor has been designated a landmark and will be preserved, while the rest of the building will be torn down to build high-rise luxury condominiums.

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Movies
7:59 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Hollywood Pros Fear A Chilling Effect After Sony Bows To Hackers

A worker carries a poster for the movie The Interview away from its display case at a theater in Atlanta. "It feels like the margin's narrowed about what kind of movies Hollywood will be making," says veteran Hollywood producer Stephanie Striegel.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 9:05 am

President Obama is not the only one thinking about the precedent set when Sony decided not to release the comedy The Interview. Around Hollywood, the action drew immediate rebuke as celebrities took to Twitter — like director and producer Judd Apatow:

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel agreed, writing, "An un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent."

In writing rooms and comedy clubs in Los Angeles, however, the conversations are more nuanced.

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Simon Says
7:56 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Despite Its Beauty, Cuba Isn't Quite Ready For Tourists

In 1959, Fidel Castro imposed a law forbidding the import of foreign cars, so many Cubans drive and maintain older models.
Kate Skogen JetKat Photo

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 8:39 am

I've always had a good time in Cuba. The people are friendly and funny, the rum is smooth, the music intoxicating and the beaches wide, white and soft.

But you're accompanied everywhere by government minders. They call them responsables. Any Cuban you interview knows your microphone might as well run straight to their government.

If you want to talk to someone with a different view, you have to slip out of your hotel in the middle of the night without your minder — though dissidents say other security people follow you.

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Animals
6:13 am
Sat December 20, 2014

A Snail So Hardcore It's Named After A Punk Rocker

This spiky mollusk is called Alviniconcha strummeri, named after Joe Strummer, the late frontman for the Clash.
Taylor & Francis Online

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 8:39 am

Shannon Johnson, a researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, found that when she talked to youngsters about sea snails, she communicated a little more effectively if she skipped the technical description and called them "punk-rock snails."

"Their entire shells are covered in spikes," Johnson explains. "And then the spikes are actually all covered in fuzzy white bacteria."

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Remembrances
4:47 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Bridwell Created A Big Red Dog That Grew With Readers' Love

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 8:39 am

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

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Sports
4:47 am
Sat December 20, 2014

What A Thaw In Cuba Relations Means For Baseball

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 8:39 am

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

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How every week I look forward to saying, time for BJ Leiderman's Sports theme.

(MUSIC)

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NPR Story
4:42 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Cubans Blame Their Woes On The U.S. Embargo

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 1:08 pm

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

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Music Interviews
4:42 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Wexford Carols Brings Irish Holiday Relics To Life

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 8:39 am

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

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Fine Art
4:42 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Turner Was A Brute, But He Painted With Romantic Radiance

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 8:39 am

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

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