Weekend Edition

Saturday - 7 AM, Sunday - 7 AM

Weekend Edition features interviews with news makers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians. The program has covered news events from Nelson Mandela's 1990 release from a South African prison to the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Every week listeners tune in to hear a unique blend of news, features and Sunday's regularly scheduled puzzle segment with Puzzlemaster Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times.

Weekend Edition is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States and around the globe via NPR Worldwide.

Now and then, two news stories rub up against each other and strike sparks.

This week David Blaine, the magician and illusionist, strapped himself to 52 helium-filled balloons, lifted off into the big, blue skies above Arizona's Great Basin Desert and floated. It was something out of a childhood dream.

"I want to go up and become a tiny dot in the sky," he had told the New York Post.

A Salute To Ken Krall And Polka

Aug 29, 2020

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The greatest athletes know: Children are watching. They see them in the stands and on the streets, wearing small versions of their jerseys. They hear them shouting their names. They know from their own lives how children can see sports figures as heroes — and imitate how they play, walk and talk — and what they do.

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Chadwick Boseman has died. The actor who played the Black Panther, Jackie Robinson and other heroes was 43 and died four years after being diagnosed with colon cancer.

NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

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Adam Petrazelli is 17 and hears voices. He sees people who aren't there and calls them his inescapable roommates. One day, they overtake his life in a high school science lab.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "WORDS ON BATHROOM WALLS")

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How can a person feel hopeful in these times? For Evangeline Gentle, the answer is their self-titled album.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ORDINARY PEOPLE")

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It's finally time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Posthumous pardons don't do much for the people who receive them. They're usually given to try to make a statement for history.

But President Trump's pardon this week of Susan B. Anthony, on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which secured the right for women to vote in America, has dismayed some of those who know the most about Susan B. Anthony, and her story.

"A pardon says you've done something wrong," Rutgers Professor Ann Gordon, a leading scholar of the women's suffrage movement, told us. "Susan didn't think a woman voting was wrong."

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Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Mike Rudulph was 20 years old when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He served during the era of "don't ask, don't tell," deploying to Iraq in 2003. Soon after he returned home from his first deployment, he logged onto the Internet and met Neil Rafferty.

"By the end of the week, we were saying 'I love you' over the phone," Rudulph, 40, said to his now-husband, Rafferty, 35, at StoryCorps in Birmingham, Ala.

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New York City is hitting bridges, tunnels, Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal to intercept travelers — and returning residents — from states designated high-risk by Governor Andrew Cuomo and warn them: isolate yourself for 14 days or risk paying fines up to $10,000.

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And now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SIMON: Sports in the age of coronavirus, bubbles, testing, quarantines and just enough time for a little game now and then. Howard Bryant of ESPN joins us.

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Tomorrow is the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. It was the second time nuclear weapons were used in war and also the last. NPR's Geoff Brumfiel has the story of the bombing and why decisions made afterwards are still a problem today.

TAB RAG SCRIBE MAKES LAST DEADLINE!

Pete Hamill was a tabloid man: a columnist and top name on the masthead, mostly for the New York Post and Daily News, who wrote punchy, passionate, lyrical chronicles of city life, often for people who had to read them while they held onto a strap, standing on the Number 7 train from Queens.

Scientists are in a sprint to find a vaccine that could stamp out the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, said on Friday he's "cautiously optimistic" that a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine will be ready for distribution in early 2021.

Sunday was supposed to be the first day in a wild week of contests, culminating in a stirring awards ceremony at the 2020 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship.

But the pandemic has put this year's competition on hold.

Every year, people aged 13 to 22 show off their wizardry with Excel, PowerPoint, Word and the rest of the Microsoft Office suite. Last year, Ashlyn Dumaw, a rising senior at Green Hope High School in North Carolina, took bronze in the PowerPoint contest.

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The symbols of America's racist past have been under intense scrutiny since the protests against police brutality erupted nationwide. The confederate flag and other monuments from that era have been disappearing from public spaces — both by force and legislation.

Like the elements that she discovered — polonium and radium — Marie Curie was "unruly," says actor Rosamund Pike. Pike plays the famous scientist in the new biopic Radioactive.

The film, streaming on Amazon Prime, is about the power of science and how it can be harnessed in both positive and destructive ways. Curie's discoveries led to medical breakthroughs, but they were also weaponized — into bombs and poison.

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And it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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I've had lunch with politicians, clergy, reporters and people who've just been indicted at Manny's Cafeteria and Delicatessen in Chicago, and there's a code of silence over the clatter: it doesn't count. The schmear of cream cheese thick enough to be a ski jump? No calories! Potato pancakes hefty as manhole covers?

No calories!

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A moment now to hear about how these financial hardships affect one family.

DANIEL GARCIA: Honestly, I never thought that we would lose our home because of a virus going around.

Rep. Terri Sewell Remembers John Lewis

Jul 18, 2020

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