Weekend Edition Saturday for Saturday, August 17, 2013

Despite Bloodshed, Many Egyptians Support Military

Egypt witnessed the bloodiest day in its modern history this week. Most of the dead are Muslim Brotherhood supporters, but there's little sympathy as the military and media ramp up a campaign to brand them as terrorists.

What's Wrong Mandatory Sentencing?

Mandatory sentences for nonviolent crimes have had a devastating impact on communities. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks with Marc Levin, director of the conservative Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation about the Justice Department's push toward reforming sentencing standards.

Might Bad Handwriting Lead To 'Lend Me Your Beers'?

Computer analysis suggests that 325 lines from a Thomas Kyd play are actually William Shakespeare's and that bad handwriting is to blame for the mix-up. NPR's Scott Simon muses on some of Shakespeare's most famous lines and how they might read differently if they were transcribed incorrectly.

Eurozone Rebound: Blip Or Trend?

The eurozone emerged from an 18-month-long recession. Host Scott Simon talks with Simon Johnson, MIT professor and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, about positive news from the eurozone, and what impact that might have on the U.S. economy.

Happy International Geocaching Day!

If you're scratching your head wondering what the heck geocaching is, Dave Prebeck fills us in. The president of the Northern Virginia Geocaching Organization tells host Scott Simon that geocaching is essentially "a high-tech scavenger hunt."
Tens of thousands of Filipinas work as nannies in U.S. households. Many leave their own children in the care of relatives back home, a wrenching but often unavoidable decision in the impoverished Southeast Asian nation.

Dolphin Deaths Alarm Scientists

The animals are washing ashore at a higher rate than the last 26 years. Host Scott Simon speaks with Charley Potter, collection manager for marine mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, about the response along the Mid-Atlantic.

The Words Vivien Leigh Left Behind

An upcoming exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London celebrates the life of the actress, including diary entries, film scripts and personal letters to Leigh from Winston Churchill, Graham Green and the Queen Mother. Host Scott Simon speaks with exhibit curator Keith Lodwick.

Sufi Mystics Get A Modern Soundtrack

The ancient spiritual practice of Sufism incorporates all kinds of activities, including music, to achieve a state in which the practitioner loses the ego. Riad Abdel-Gawad creates new Sufi music by translating sacred chants to the violin.
In 1857, John Brown liberates 12-year-old Henry from his master. There's only one problem: Brown is so wrapped up in his freedom mission, he thinks Henry is a girl. James McBride delivers a portrait of Brown and his friend Frederick Douglass as Henry sees them.

A Chill Settles On Arab Spring

Beyond Egypt, Libya is afflicted by armed militias. Syria is suffering a bloody civil war. Protests were quashed in Bahrain. Host Scott Simon talks with Edward Walker, former ambassador to Egypt and Israel, for a long view on the promise and payoff of the Arab Spring.

A Syrian Village Surrounded By Civil War

The village of Taldo was a typical Syrian farming community before the country's civil war. Now it is a flashpoint, controlled by the rebels, surrounded by government forces, with civilians trapped in the middle.

The RNC's Summer Challenge: Find New Voters

The Republican National Committee held its summer meeting in Boston this week. The party is in a period of self-examination as it comes to terms with demographic changes that potentially threaten its very existence. NPR's S.V. Date attended the meeting and speaks with host Scott Simon.
Bakersfield is conservative, with a large immigrant and farm labor population. Protesters are pushing the city's Republican congressman to adopt the Senate-passed immigration reform bill — and they've got the support of local Republican leaders.

Government Reveals The Secret Of Area 51

The CIA has officially acknowledged that Area 51 exists. Host Scott Simon investigates.

Children's Hospital DJs Spin A Dose Of Joy

In Miami, there are dozens of radio stations. But one is not like the others. Radio Lollipop is housed inside Miami's Children's Hospital. The disc jockeys spin songs, but the message is just as much on hope as it is entertainment.

The Multimillion-Dollar Snafu Over $100 Bills

The Federal Reserve has sent 30 million newly designed $100 bills back to the printing presses this week. The new notes are already more than two years past their original circulation date. Host Scott Simon speaks with author and journalist David Wolman to find out why.

The Dodgers' Unexpected Rise

Los Angeles has the best 48-game performance since the 1942 St. Louis Cardinals. Host Scott Simon talks with ESPN's Howard Bryant about the Dodgers, the NFL preseason and Major League Baseball's usage of instant replay.
Dylan Dethier took a year off between high school and college for an unusual quest: He wanted to play a round of golf in each of the 48 contiguous states. His new book, 18 in America, chronicles that year, and he joins NPR's Scott Simon on the putt-putt course to talk about it.

William Tyler Speaks 'Truth' Through His Guitar

After years spent working as a Nashville sideman, the 33-year-old guitarist is making his name as an instrumental soloist. While his songs lack lyrics, they're not short on backstory.
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