Weekend Edition Saturday on WUTC

Saturdays, 8am - 10am
Hosted By: Scott Simon

From civil wars in Bosnia and El Salvador, to hospital rooms, police stations, and America's backyards, National Public Radio's Peabody Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon brings a well-traveled perspective to his role as host of Weekend Edition/Saturday.

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12:32pm

Sat April 5, 2014
Health Care

With Enrollee Goal Met, Obamacare Still Faces Political Trial

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 1:03 pm

President Obama arrives in the Rose Garden on Tuesday to trumpet 7.1 million signups under the Affordable Care Act.
Carolyn Kaster AP

President Obama and his supporters had a rare opportunity to celebrate this week.

A last-minute surge in people signing up for health insurance sent the total government enrollment figures over the seven-million mark.

That number seemed out of reach just a few months ago, when a crash-prone website threatened to undermine the president's signature health care law.

Republicans are still bent on repealing the law, but now millions more Americans have a stake in Obamacare's survival.

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7:52am

Sat April 5, 2014
Sports

Final Four Fans Bedeck Themselves In Team Colors

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:18 am

The men's Final Four in college basketball is Saturday in North Texas. With the teams come fans, some rabid in their love for for all things Huskies, Gators, Badgers and Wildcats.

7:42am

Sat April 5, 2014
Book Reviews

'In Paradise,' Matthiessen Considers Our Capacity For Cruelty

Originally published on

In his six-decade career, Peter Matthiessen has written 33 books, including The Snow Leopard and Shadow Country.
Linda Girvin Courtesy of Riverhead Books

At age 86, Peter Matthiessen has written what he says "may be his last word" — a novel due out Tuesday about a visit to a Nazi extermination camp. It's called In Paradise, and it caps a career spanning six decades and 33 books.

Matthiessen is the only writer to ever win a National Book Award in both fiction — for his last book, Shadow Country, and adult nonfiction for his 1978 travel journal, The Snow Leopard.

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7:42am

Sat April 5, 2014
Middle East

For Syrian Refugees, 'Life Has Stopped'

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:18 am

Syrian refugees have flooded into Lebanon since the war began. The UN said this week that 1 million refugees are now in the country. NPR's Scott Simon and Alice Fordham discuss the impact.

7:42am

Sat April 5, 2014
Music Interviews

Puerto Rico's Most-Loved And Most-Hated Band

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:11 am

The bad boys of Puerto Rico have grown up. Step brothers Rene Perez Joglar and Eduardo Cabra of Calle 13 have a new album that takes a more thoughtful route to deliver their message.

1:12pm

Sat March 29, 2014
Politics

The Story Of Calif. Senator's Arrest Reads Like Pulp Fiction

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 4:04 pm

San Francisco state Sen. Leland Yee leaves the San Francisco Federal Building after he was arrested and released on bond Wednesday.
Ben Margot AP

It's a case that has stunned California's political community: A prominent Democratic lawmaker has been accused in a federal complaint of participating in an elaborate conspiracy involving guns, gangs, drugs and bribery.

State Sen. Leland Yee was known as a champion of open government and gun control, but not any more. A 137-page federal affidavit accuses the lawmaker of soliciting and taking bribes from an undercover FBI agent in exchange for political favors.

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12:51pm

Sat March 29, 2014
Health Care

Latinos Wary Of All-Out Push To Sign Up For ACA

Planned Parenthood worker Alicia Gonzales promotes the Affordable Care Act during an outreach event for the Latino community in Los Angeles in September.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters /Landov

All throughout the country, supporters of the Affordable Care Act have worked to reach the uninsured, holding health fairs and putting ads on TV and radio.

The push continues to get as many enrolled as possible, especially Latinos — the most uninsured group in the country.

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11:11am

Sat March 29, 2014
Business

Boeing's Iconic 747 May Be Flying Into The Sunset

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 11:36 am

Sales of the airliner are flagging, and airlines are retiring their 747 fleets. The end may be near for the original "jumbo jet," but in its day, it offered an experience like no other.
Elaine Thompson AP

While global attention has been focused on Malaysia Airlines' missing 777 this week, Boeing's best-known aircraft, the 747, was also in the news. The Federal Aviation Administration ordered Boeing to immediately fix a software glitch that could cause problems during landing.

The software flaw is not the only problem for the enormous 747. Over four decades ago, it was the original "jumbo jet," but the newest version of Boeing's iconic plane has not sold well. On Monday, Japan's All Nippon Airways announced it will officially retire its aging 747 passenger fleet.

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8:09am

Sat March 29, 2014
Simon Says

A Bill To Distill Simmers In Tennessee

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 11:27 am

What legally makes whiskey taste like Tennessee?
Piotr Wawryniuk iStockphoto.com

Would Tennessee whiskey by any other name taste as sweet?

A debate in Tennessee simmers over a legal definition of what makes Tennessee whiskey "Tennessee."

The state legislature passed a bill last year saying whiskey can be labeled "Tennessee" only if it's made in the state from a mash that's 51-percent corn, trickles through maple charcoal, and is aged in new, charred oak barrels.

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7:55am

Sat March 29, 2014
History

Helen Keller's Glimpse Of Beethoven's 'Heavenly Vibration'

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 11:27 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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7:55am

Sat March 29, 2014
Author Interviews

'Lovesongs' Examines What It Means To Come Home

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 11:27 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

How long do good friends keep growing up with each other? Leland, or Lee, is a rock star. He tours the world but keeps coming back, if not back home, to the place where he grew up - Little Wing, Wisconsin, a fictitious Midwestern town that feels as real as Eau Claire, which is where the author, Nickolas Butler grew up. His new novel, "Shotgun Lovesongs" interlaces the stories of friends who keep coming back to each other and try to get hold of where they are in the world.

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7:55am

Sat March 29, 2014
Sports

March Madness And Labor Relations: The Week In Sports

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 11:27 am

There were some big games Friday night, including Kentucky vs. Louisville. NPR's Tom Goldman talks March Madness with NPR's Scott Simon.

12:22pm

Sat March 22, 2014
Parallels

Always Watching: A Fragile Trust Lines The U.S.-Mexico Border

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 2:21 pm

Dob Cunningham (left) and his friend Larry Johnson look over the edge of Cunningham's 800-acre ranch in Quemado, Texas.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

We drove 2,428 miles on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and it's safe to say that for much of the road trip, we were being watched.

Border Patrol agents, customs officers, cameras, sensors, radar and aircraft track movement in the Borderland. None of that has stopped the struggle to control the border, or the debate over how best to do it.

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10:28am

Sat March 22, 2014
Parallels

Russia-U.S. Tensions Could Stall Syrian Chemical Weapons Removal

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 11:18 am

The Russian ship Pyotr Velikiy (Peter the Great), seen here docked in the Cypriot port of Limassol in February, is part of the team involved in escorting shipments of Syria's chemical weapons material for destruction.
AFP/Getty Images

As U.S.-Russian relations sour, some observers fear the plan to eliminate Syria's chemical arsenal might stall.

This past week, the removal of chemicals from Syria reached the halfway mark. Without pressure from both superpowers, however, some believe Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will begin to drag his feet.

"I think what you're likely to see is that the Assad regime will comply just enough, at a slower pace, as it consolidates its hold over the country militarily," says Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert, at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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9:37am

Sat March 22, 2014
Around the Nation

Commuters Ditch Cars For Public Transit In Record Numbers

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 1:38 pm

On a typical weekday, riders make a total of about 300,000 trips on the Chicago Metra commuter line.
M. Spencer Green AP

During the morning rush at Chicago's Union Station, commuter trains pull in, the doors open and a crush of people, newspapers and coffee cups in hand, pour off like a flood.

Financial analyst Nader Kouklan says he makes the trip from the suburbs to Chicago's downtown every day.

"It's easier and just a faster way to get to work, rather than having to deal with the traffic of the morning commute," Kouklan says.

Law student Amalia Romano rides Chicago's Metra line, too.

"I take it because I don't want to pay $16 to park every day," Romano explains.

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