Weekend Edition

GPB Statewide and GPB Atlanta Saturday 8am to 10am and Sunday 8am to 10am

Hosted by Scott Simon on Saturday and  Rachel Martin on Sunday, Weekend Edition  features interviews with newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians. Every week listeners tune in to hear a unique blend of news, features and the regularly scheduled puzzle segment with Puzzlemaster Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times.

Ways to Connect

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It's time for sports.

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Minnesota County Votes Yes To More Refugees

Dec 21, 2019

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There are scores of holiday stories on streaming services this season, and a lot of them seem rolled out of the same candy cane factory: snow, smiles and the real meaning of love.

As an aficionado of the form, I've tried to sketch out my own version:

Charlayne had an exciting life as managing editor of a Manhattan fashion magazine. But something was missing.

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Ronny Chieng has a Netflix comedy special, "Asian Comedian Destroys America!" It launches globally on Netflix next week in which he holds forth about coming to America, being amazed, agog and occasionally appalled, all at the same time.

A woman lived in her car in front of our apartment building for a couple of weeks. Our family brought down some food, clothing and a blanket, but the woman hesitated to open her door when we knocked and smiled.

After all, who were we? Why should she trust us?

We did not call police or a city agency to say, "There's a woman living in a car on our street." I've reported stories where I've spent the night in city homeless shelters. They can feel crowded and unsafe, and have little privacy. I can see why someone would choose to stay on the street or in their car.

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It's time for sports.

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A Taste Of The Holidays, Cowboy-Style

Dec 14, 2019

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Cowpokes coming in from the open range to party in town is as well-known as BJ Leiderman, who writes our theme music. Christmas was traditionally a time of great cowboy migration. Towns across the country held cowboy Christmas balls under various names, and they still are.

Scorpions Infest Brazilian Cities

Dec 7, 2019

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Life in Sao Paulo, Brazil, may feel a little like a science fiction film right now. Scorpions roam the realm. They're finger-sized, armed with two pincers and, of course, a poisonous stinger. And apparently, they're everywhere.

What makes a banana taped to a wall worth $120,000 to someone?

If it has been put there by the right artist.

This banana was duct-taped to a wall by Maurizio Cattelan, the Italian artist, and it's on display this week at Art Basel in Miami Beach.

The banana is real, by the way, not a sculpture. It will soon go brown, slimy, and may already be ... fragrant.

The Perrotin art gallery of Paris has already sold this piece of produce, and it turns out that $120,000 is practically a bargain. Another banana the artist taped to a wall is going for $150,000.

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And talk about methane release. Time to talk sports.

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William Ruckelshaus was a conservationist, an Indiana Republican conservative who believed in conserving balanced budgets, limited government powers, constitutional checks and balances, and clean air and water.

"Nature provides a free lunch," he said, "but only if we control our appetites."

He helped write Indiana's first air pollution laws as a state deputy attorney general in the 1960s, and was appointed the first head of the Environment Protection Agency by President Nixon in 1970.

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Now by seaplane, fishing boat and kayak to Southeast Alaska. There, NPR's Anya Kamenetz met a young woman who's trying to reinvent higher education. Her aim, to use the wilderness to prepare diverse students for lives of purpose in an ever more fragile world.

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Meg Schmidt's signature song is a Top 40 track that could have been written for her.

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My Signature Song: 'This Must Be The Place'

Nov 23, 2019

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Sometimes there's a song that you know will stick with you forever. For Jerrica Vowels of Louisville, Ky, it's "This Must Be The Place" by Talking Heads.

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Now a story to lift the spirits of an improbable reunion. Five years ago, Viktor Usov adored Sasha, his fluffy, little black kitten. They lived happily in Portland, Ore. Sasha really liked people, and he loved being outdoors. Cue menacing music in your mind.

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Pope Francis has arrived in Japan for a four-day visit, where he is expected to call attention to the issue of capital punishment, which he contends is inhumane. Japan and the U.S. are the only G7 countries that have the death penalty.

The forced imprisonment of more than a million Muslim Uighurs in detention camps in the Xinjiang region of western China may make Americans feel outrage and sadness. But many may just shrug and ask, "What does that have to do with me?"

Look down at your shoes.

About 99% of the shoes sold in America are made overseas, with China being the largest manufacturer by far. Nike, Naturalizer, Dr. Scholl's, Hush Puppies, Keds and many other American companies make shoes in China, where the costs of production are far less.

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It might be called "Revenge of the Pin-Stripes."

In this week's House Intelligence Committee hearings, career diplomats dressed in somber suits who have often been derided as "elites," "insiders," "the establishment," and even "the Deep State" got the chance to tell Americans how they have been nonpartisan representatives of America from administration to administration.

Those parts of their testimony weren't news "bombshells." But their words are worth noting.

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I look forward all week to saying it's time for sports.

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The Berlin Wall stood for 28 years. Today, Nov. 9, marks the 30th anniversary of when it began to come down.

It may be hard to imagine, a generation later, what a momentous event that was and why the sight of ordinary citizens, chipping away by hand and hammer at that edifice of cruelty, lifted so many hopes around the world.

'Blue's Clues' Returns With A New Host

Nov 9, 2019

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UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: (As characters) A clue.

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"Blue's Clues" is back.

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UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) Oh, a clue. Wait. Where's the clue?

Ever since he was a child, Michael Menta looked up to his uncle Sal Leone for becoming a Marine. Menta would eventually follow in Leone's footsteps to serve his country, enlisting in the Navy during his senior year of high school.

Their shared veteranship brought them closer.

"We spoke the same language," Menta said, when he and Leone visited StoryCorps last month.

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NPR has lost a friend and an old colleague. News reached us this week that David Rector died last month at the age of 69. He'd suffered an aortic dissection years ago that left him a quadriplegic.

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