Weekend Edition Saturday

  • Hosted by Scott Simon

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.

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Number of U.S. hospitals are running short of human resources, staff, just as patient loads surged this summer because of the delta variant of the coronavirus.

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A 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Haiti

Aug 14, 2021

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Neal Conan and I were once briefly roommates in Neal's apartment in a fifth floor walkup on 101st Street in New York. There was a window about the size of a cereal box over a sink that opened onto a gray gravel roof upholstered with pigeon poop.

"That's the balcony," said Neal.

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And now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Pachyman Returns With New Album

Aug 14, 2021

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BIG ENERGY")

PACHY GARCIA: This is the return of Pachyman.

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President Biden said the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan would be, quote, "responsible, deliberate and safe." He did not seem to anticipate the speed with which Afghan forces would collapse. Here's the president on July 8.

When he first became eligible for the coronavirus vaccine in Illinois, Tom Arnold, 68, says he didn't need any convincing. He raises cattle, hogs and chickens in Elizabeth, a small rural town in the northwest corner of the state.

After all, who better to understand why herd immunity matters than a herdsman?

"Being a livestock producer, I'm well aware of vaccinations and vaccines," he says. "That's how we develop immunity in our animals. We're always vaccinating the breeding stock to pass on immunity to the little ones."

Climate change already is making wildfires, hurricanes, heat waves and droughts more frequent and intense. The devastating effects are in the headlines regularly.

A warming climate also changes lives in subtler ways. NPR asked how more extreme weather is affecting summer plans.

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Claire Cottrill, who performs as Clairo, started making music when she was a teen. Her song "Pretty Girl" has over 75 million views on YouTube. And Clairo is a true Gen Z indie pop phenomenon.

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How do you honor historical figures?

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced this week the state will rename nine Garden State Parkway service areas after noted New Jerseyites: Judy Blume, Celia Cruz, Connie Chung, Larry Doby, James Gandolfini, Whitney Houston, Jon Bon Jovi, Toni Morrison, and, ladies and gentlemen, the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra.

They join a few other Jerseyites already enshrined along the New Jersey Turnpike, including Alexander Hamilton, who was a rest stop in Secaucus before he was a Broadway musical.

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(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE WIZARD OF OZ")

JUDY GARLAND: (As Dorothy) But anyway, Toto, we're home - home. And this is my room. And you're all here. And I'm not going to leave here ever, ever again because I love you all.

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* Sydney Ward got her in start music when she was a teen busking on the boardwalk of Venice Beach, Calif. Now she's on stage as Sunny War, a successful musician in her 30s who's celebrated for her guitar skills.

(SOUNDBITE OF SUNNY WAR'S "LIKE NINA")

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Master Sgt. Alvy Powell Jr. didn't enlist in the Army to be a soldier in combat — he was there to sing.

With the U.S. Army Chorus, Alvy performed for nine American presidents and at some of the country's most-decorated institutions. Alvy, now 65, retired in 2017 with a special distinction: the Army's oldest enlisted soldier.

He first joined the Army Chorus in 1983. But if not for his sister, Yvonne Powell, 71, he may have never pursued his career in the first place.

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And now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANTHONY FAUCI: We are dealing with a formidable variant in the delta variant and the extreme vulnerability of people who are not vaccinated.

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When President Biden gave a much-anticipated voting rights speech in Philadelphia this week, he called the fight against restrictive voting laws "the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War" and decried what he called a "21st century Jim Crow assault" on voting rights.

But a lot of people who turned out voters to elect Biden think he's failing them in the battle for voting rights so far.

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