Weekend Edition Saturday for Saturday, September 28, 2013

Showdown Over The Shutdown

Congress needs to approve a budget by midnight Monday — at which point the U.S. government is set to shut down. Weekend Edition Sunday host Scott Simon talks with Ramesh Ponnuru of The National Review about the GOP and looming potential government shutdown.
The division in the Republican Party means there's no one leader on the other side that President Obama can cut a deal with — or even high-profile adversary to vilify. That's a stark contrast from other recent fiscal standoffs.

Dr. Seuss Suited For The Senate; Shakespeare, Not So Much

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas held the Senate floor for 21 hours, and during that time, he read from Green Eggs and Ham. NPR's Scott Simon reflects on the quotes and texts politicians turn to, and the ones they avoid.

Sense Of Foreboding Lingers After Mall Bombing

Kenyans are feeling helpless a week after gunmen stormed a Nairobi mall in a carefully orchestrated terrorist attack. NPR's Gregory Warner looks at what we now know about those terrorists, including claims that a British woman was among the attackers.

Al-Shabab Shifts Focus From Territory To Terrorism

The Somalia-based terrorist organization claimed responsibility for the Nairobi mall attack. Until recently, the group has been focused on local issues. After military setbacks and a leadership change, its priorities now seem aligned with the global jihadi agenda.
In Blowback, Plame channels her expertise in nuclear counterproliferation into a "realistic portrait" of a female covert agent. Plame confesses that there's a lot of downtime in the life of a spy, but still, the CIA is "the world's biggest dating agency."

The Fragile, Invisible Connections Of The Natural World

From the TED Radio Hour, writer and environmentalist George Monbiot tells the story of what happened when wolves were re-introduced to Yellowstone National Park after a 70-year absence.

A Minimalist 'Menagerie' That Packs Plenty Of Power

NPR's Scott Simon talks with Wall Street Journal columnist Barbara Chai about a new Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie starring Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto.
This year marks the 125th birthday of Nobel Prize-winning poet T.S. Eliot. To celebrate, a re-issue of the first edition of his seminal poem has just been published, with an introduction by New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Muldoon about the poem's lasting influence.
Saxophonist Gabe Baltazar is one of the last living links to an era when Asian-Americans began to make a name for themselves in jazz. Now, at the age of 83, he's sharing his story in an autobiography.

U.N. Security Council Approves Syria Chemical Arms Deal

The United Nations Security Council has broken its two-and-a-half-year deadlock over Syria, approving a resolution on the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal. The U.S. and Russia are now trying to move beyond that and will try to get the warring sides around the negotiating table in Geneva.

Obama-Rouhani Phone Conversation Is A 30-Year First

President Obama spoke via phone Friday with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, the first time leaders of the two countries have directly communicated since 1979. Host Scott Simon talks with Iran analyst Karim Sadjadpour about what it means for U.S.-Iran relations going forward.
The Senate passed a bill Friday to keep the government open without stripping any funding from the president's health care law. Now the action returns to the House, where Republicans are tying the measure to defunding the Affordable Care Act.

JPMorgan In Talks To Avoid Criminal Charges

The financial giant is also facing civil charges and fines that could cost it $11 billion. JPMorgan is negotiating with the Justice Department over the company's handling of mortgage-backed securities leading up to the housing crisis. Host Scott Simon talks with New York Times columnist Joe Nocera about the significance of the talks.

BP Oil Spill Trial To Begin Second Phase

The months-long federal trial is examining how much fault should be placed on BP and its contractors for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion. The accident killed 11 rig workers and released almost 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's Debbie Elliott to preview the civil trial.

Rangers, Reds, Indians Battle For AL Wild Card Spot

On the last weekend of regular-season baseball, Howard Bryant of ESPN joins host Scott Simon to talk about the playoff possibilities, plus big changes afoot in how college athletes get paid for their likenesses.

Pirate Treasure May Lie In Waters Off Cape Cod

Explorer Barry Clifford has spent decades exploring the wreck of the pirate ship Whydah off the coast of Cape Cod. This summer, he and his team learned there may be far more treasure waiting. Clifford joins host Scott Simon to describe what they found.
El Anatsui's shimmering art is assembled by assistants who crush, crumple, twist and flatten bottle tops, then thread them together into metal sheets. The artist then gives museum staff license to bend, twist, drape and shape the sheets for display as they see fit.
The host of A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer's Almanac has published his first poetry collection called O, What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic and Profound. "I love rhymes," Keillor says. "I love to write a poem about New York and rhyme 'oysters' with 'The Cloisters.' "

Chvrches Talks Technology (And 'Ghostbusters')

The synth-pop trio from Glasgow, Scotland, is one of this year's success stories. Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty share some insight on the making of their debut album, The Bones of What You Believe.
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