Weekend Edition Saturday for Saturday, August 31, 2013

U.N. Inspectors Leave Damascus

The U.N. team carried evidence collected at the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack near the Syrian capital, and Syrians are anticipating a missile attack from the U.S. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's Peter Kenyon, who is following developments from neighboring Lebanon.

Pentagon Plans Syria Strike Options

Ten years ago, the CIA made the wrong call about Iraq's weapons program. How careful are U.S. intelligence agencies being this time, investigating charges that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its people? Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Larry Abramson, who has been traveling with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
A number of scientists say evidence is building for the theory that life started on Mars. With potentially infinite possibilities for life to bloom in this vast universe, NPR's Scott Simon wonders what it means to be human.
Analysts say the case for military intervention in Syria lacks a legal basis, yet the White House argues it might be the right thing to do. While there may not be legal precedent under international law, it wouldn't be the first time the U.S. has taken military action on humanitarian grounds.

Syrians Anticipate U.S. Strikes

Residents in Damascus are preparing for a possible attack from the United States. Syrian Nada Keuttnen, who works as a fixer for journalists in Damascus, tells host Scott Simon about the mood in the capital as the threat of U.S. missile strikes looms.

Conservatives Huddle At Strategy Meeting

Americans for Prosperity, a group founded by the Koch brothers, met in Florida to hear from presidential contenders Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, along with Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry and Rick Scott. One issue stands above all: halting Obamacare.

Help! I'm Taking My Kids To See One Direction!

The British boy band and international sensation releases its new movie this weekend, and there could be some screaming in the audience. Journalist Timothy Guy from the Press Enterprise speaks shares tips with host Scott Simon on how to cope if your kids take you to see This Is Us.
John Lewis is a congressman from Georgia, a pillar of the civil rights movement and an author. Add to that resume something slightly less expected — comic book writer. Lewis is getting ready to release March, the new graphic novel of his life.

Maine Toy Museum Is Really For Grownups

The small town of Waldoboro, Maine, boasts two attractions: Moody's Diner, reputed to be one of the oldest in the country, and the Toy Museum. But it's not really for kids. Founded in 1996 by John Fawcett, an artist and former University of Connecticut art teacher, it is a monument to Betty Boop, Donald, Mickey, the Lone Ranger and all of the artifacts of a kiddie culture only adults remember.

Typhoon: Songs For A Lost Childhood

Kyle Morton, leader of the Portland, Ore. musical collective Typhoon, can trace the start of his songwriting career back to one life-altering bug bite.

White House Says It's Not Out To Topple Assad Regime

President Obama says any military strike the U.S. makes against the Syrian government for suspected chemical attacks would be limited and unlike military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Host Scott Simon talks with Scott Horsley, NPR's White House correspondent, about the latest news on the Obama administration's efforts to build a coalition to strike Syria.

Does Obama Need Congressional Approval On Syria?

Nearly 200 members of Congress have signed letters insisting that the president submit plans for any military strike in Syria for authorization. Host Scott Simon talks with Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington, who has signed one of the letters.

How The Region Might React To An Attack On Syria

What would Iraq and Israel do if the U.S. launches military action against the Syrian government? Former analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency Joshua Foust speaks with host Scott Simon about the wider consequences for the Middle East.

Marines Have Turned Helmand Fight Over To Afghans

The Taliban conducted a series of deadly attacks across Afghanistan this week, killing civilians, Afghan forces and several NATO service members. But they are targeting far fewer NATO troops these days, because those troops are focused on training and advising the Afghan army. NPR's Sean Carberry spent five days with U.S. Marines in one of Afghanistan's chronic hot spots and speaks with host Scott Simon.

Colorado Event Honors Iraq War Hero

The Two-Mile High Veterans Weekend event in Leadville, Colo., will pay special tribute to Leadville native Lance Cpl. Nick Palmer, who was killed in Fallujah in 2004. Host Scott Simon speaks with former State Department adviser and event co-organizer Kael Weston, as well as Nick Palmer's father, Brad Palmer.
Will a limited military strike prevent Syrian President Bashar Assad from launching future chemical attacks? Host Scott Simon speaks with former leader of Canada's Liberal Party Michael Ignatieff about so-called "humanitarian intervention" in Syria.
Mark Malkoff has lived inside of an IKEA store, consumed beverages at 171 Starbucks in Manhattan in less than 24 hours and proved that his kid's Big Wheel bike could beat a New York City bus. Now, the comedian has video chatted with people in 162 different countries — including North Korea.

Contenders Battle In The U.S. Open

Without real a real American superstar in men's tennis, are U.S. fans losing interest in the game? Howard Bryant of ESPN talks with host Scott Simon about the week in sports.

NBC To Broadcast Britsh Soccer League

Big-time soccer finally has a major American television contract, but it's not the LA Galaxy or Chicago Fire. Barclays Premier League Football, perhaps the most popular sports league in the rest of the world, includes Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and West Ham. Host Scott Simon talks with Sports Business Journal's John Ourand about why NBC Sports Network is airing British football.

This Pork Loin Sandwich Starts With Happy Pigs

One Rhode Island chef collects all of the ingredients for his sandwich, including the meat, at the local farmer's market. It's piled high with herb-marinaded slaw and greens for a picnic lunch that requires plenty of napkins.

Spanish Singer Buika Awakens From Her Long Night

The singer's latest release marks the first time she's been able to produce an album herself. Blending interpretations of jazz classics and Latin American ballads with original compositions, the record mirrors her journey to this new stage in her career.
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