Weekend Edition Saturday for Saturday, September 14, 2013

Syrian Militants Battle For Christian Village

NPR's Deborah Amos brings speaks with host Scott Simon about the war in Syria, including the recent fight for a small Christian town in the hills north of Damascus. The town is under attack by hard-line Islamist militants.
President Obama's approach to Syria has taken a number of surprising twists and turns in the weeks since a poison gas attack in August. A surprise agreement between Russia and the U.S. on a timetable for destroying Syria's weapons is the latest in what appears at times to be an unscripted drama.

D.C. Wants To Make Sure You Truly Want That Tattoo

The Washington, D.C., health department has proposed a 24-hour tattoo waiting period. A spokeswoman says it's designed to help customers avoid ink they'll later regret. But NPR's Scott Simon notes that for many, the whole appeal of tattoos is that they are painful — and permanent.

Rescue Operations Underway In Flooded Colorado

Heavy rain and flooding have destroyed scores of communities, with at least four people dead. While the rain had let up a little, more is expected Saturday.

Colorado Voters Recall Two Gun Control Backers

This week, voters in Colorado recalled two members of the state Legislature who had supported stricter gun control laws. Host Scott Simon talks to Colorado Senate President John Morse, one of those who lost his seat.

Hotline Responders Answer Veterans' Desperate Calls

Employees at the Veterans Crisis Line work to stop suicides by helping veterans in crisis. A mother of two service members struggles through calls with young veterans, while another responder knows first-hand what it feels like to have a flashback.

Predicting Touch Screens And Tablets, In 1984

From the TED Radio Hour, MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte shares prescient technology predictions he made in a 1984 TED talk.
The universe is shaped like a vuvuzela. Humans and elephants are the only animals with chins. These, and a trove of other factoids have been compiled in 1,227 Quite Interesting Facts to Blow Your Socks Off — a book by the creators of the hit British television show QI.

New Computer School Makes French Students Teach Themselves

The school, simply named 42, requires no high school diploma and no money to apply. It's turning French education on its head, but it may also solve some of the country's most pressing problems.
Terry McMillan, the best-selling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back, tells NPR's Scott Simon that she writes because she wishes she were a magician. She shows off her tricks in Who Asked You?, a novel with many narrators — including a woman named BJ and her husband, children and grandkids.

U.S., Russia Reach Agreement On Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday they have reached an agreement on a framework for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons. Michele Kelemen speaks with host Scott Simon.

The Ins And Outs Of Securing Chemical Weapons

What it would take to identify, inventory and destroy Syria's chemical weapons? How can the U.S. tell if Syria is lying, and whether this solution bestows an unintended legitimacy to the Assad regime? Host Scott Simon asks Former United Nations weapons inspector Charles Duelfer.

Striking Teachers Forced Off Mexico City Plaza

Federal police removed thousands of protesting teachers Friday from the main downtown plaza where they had camped out for weeks. The teachers are angry about a new education law that takes power away from their union.
The possibility of U.S. strikes in Syria brought Code Pink protesters to Capitol Hill, holding signs and disrupting the proceedings. Leading them is Medea Benjamin, an anti-war activist who, as it turns out, didn't even like the color pink when she started the group.

Nine American League Teams In Playoff Running

Which team looks poised for the best last-minute kick? NPR's Scott Simon talks to Howard Bryant of ESPN about the scramble for a spot in the baseball's American League playoffs.

For Wounded Vets, Climbing Half Dome Only Half The Mission

This week, a group of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, many with disabilities, marked Sept. 11 by climbing two peaks in Yosemite National Park. Climbing as a team, they say, gives them an opportunity to recapture what they miss about the military: a sense of camaraderie with a shared challenge.

Diplomats Sing For Peace

A group of five United Nations diplomats has gone beyond talking and taken up singing in their effort to achieve world peace. Host Scott Simon talks to several of the ambassadors, whose album, Ambassadors Sing for Peace, came out on Tuesday.

In Los Angeles, Showcasing A City That Might Have Been

A exhibit at L.A's Architecture and Design Museum focuses on eye-popping buildings and structures that were imagined for the City of Angels — but never actually built.

Art Spiegelman Reflects On 60 Years Of Pen And Ink

Art Spiegelman's new book, Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps, collects comics from a six-decade career, from his early, self-published works to his famous New Yorker covers. Spiegelman tells NPR's Scott Simon he knew in third grade that he wanted to be a cartoonist.

Barbez Mines Resistance And Tradition Of Italian Jews

Inspired by an ethnomusicologist, musician Dan Kaufman revives forgotten melodies on Bella Ciao.
Find an archived Episode: