Weekend Edition Saturday for Saturday, August 24, 2013

Marchers Flock To The Washington Mall

A march and rally kicks off at the Lincoln Memorial this morning to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Organizers say the event is also meant to continue their fight for economic parity, voting rights and equality.

Obama Campaigns For College Affordability Plan

The president returned from vacation to take to the road, touring college towns in New York and Pennsylvania to talk about higher education. He's proposing a system that would rank colleges' affordability, which could then be tied to federal aid — but in Washington, a budget battle is waiting.
NPR's Scott Simon remembers Elmore Leonard as a writer who found "putting pretty clothes on hard, direct words" contemptible, and loathed what's typically known as literature. Leonard wrote more than 40 novels over his long career.

Military Rides Wave Of Public Support In Egypt

The Muslim Brotherhood called for mass marches Friday, but with thousands of its members under arrest and the military deployed in anticipation, few showed up. Some fear Egypt is returning to a military state.
A jury sentenced Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales on Friday to life in prison without parole. That brings to a close his court martial for the killing of 16 Afghan civilians in a nighttime massacre. Relatives and witnesses of that rampage who were on hand for the sentencing believe the sentence is not nearly harsh enough.

Carving Up Hippos In 'The Sound Of Things Falling'

A new book by Juan Gabriel Vasquez is set in 1960s Bogota, when Colombians lived with drug-related violence daily. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks with Vasquez about his book.

A Tiny Island Finally Connects To The World Wide Web

Sandwiched between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, the island of Idjwi had no Internet access until last month. Host Scott Simon speaks with Jacques Sebisaho, a doctor and native of Idjwi Island, about how the community has responded to the Internet.
The windswept island about 6 miles off the coast was a haven for a hugely diverse bird population until fishermen decimated the birds' ranks. Puffins have been successfully reintroduced to Eastern Egg Rock, but warming ocean waters may be threatening their ability to survive. (This piece initially aired August 21, 2013 on All Things Considered.)
Humorist and late-night radio voice Jean Shepherd spent time in the U.S. Army during World War II. He never made it overseas, but the stories he mined from that experience have now been collected in a new volume, Shep's Army.
Bread and Puppet Theater has been a familiar presence at political demonstrations since the anti-war protests of the 1960s. Its giant puppets and raucous brass band also marched against wars in Central America, Afghanistan and Iraq. The troupe marks its 50th anniversary this year.

Corruption Trial Begins For China's Bo Xilai

The former high-level Communist Party official is accused of bribery and stealing millions of dollars. Host Scott Simon speaks with Cheng Li, director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations at the Brookings Institution, about the trial.

Some Judges Prefer Public Shaming To Prison

U.S. prisons are costly and overcrowded. Are punishments like shoveling manure, being made to sleep in a dog kennel or standing on a busy street corner wearing a sign advertising your crime reasonable alternatives? Professor Jonathan Turley from Georgetown University and professor Peter Moskos from The City University of New York join NPR's Scott Simon to discuss the pros and cons of public shaming.

March On Washington, Remembered

Host Scott Simon brings you moments from today's 50th anniversary March on Washington.

Can The World Engineer A Cooler Climate?

A draft of the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report leaked this week, sparking a renewed interest in climate change. One of the debates is over geoengineering, large-scale manipulation of the climate by humans to reduce warming. Host Scott Simon talks with author Jeff Goodell about the future of and controversy surrounding geoengineering.
With the sequester, the Public Defender's Office in Tucson, Ariz., has lost a quarter of its staff. But everyone is entitled to legal representation, so judges are appointing expensive private attorneys in the public defenders' place.

Wine Has Sommeliers. Now, Beer Has Cicerones

A new program is working to bring the same level of knowledge that sommeliers have about wine to the world of malt and hops, by turning out batches of certified beer experts known as cicerones.

Trading Domain Names For A Day With The Candidates

Michael Deutsch loves politics so much so that he systematically purchases Internet domain names that political campaigns might want. But it's not a get-rich-quick scheme. When the campaigns come knocking, asking to take over the domains, he bargains for face time with the candidates.

ESPN Backs Out Of Concussion Documentary

Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman about ESPN pulling out of a documentary about concussions in professional football, the Little League World Series and Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully.

1972 Dolphins Finally Get To Meet The President

Host Scott Simon talks with coach Don Shula, who led the 1972 Miami Dolphins to an undefeated season. Shula and 31 members of that team visited the White House Tuesday.
Thomas Keneally's new novel, The Daughters of Mars, follows two Australian sisters who become nurses during World War I. Naomi and Sally Durance share a guilty secret, but they don't share any sisterly closeness — until the horrors of war begin to bind them together.
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