Weekend Edition Saturday for Saturday, October 26, 2013

Dealing With The Diplomatic Damage Of Leaks

This week The Guardian reported that the U.S. tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel's private cellphone. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon speaks with P.J. Crowley, former U.S. assistant secretary of state for public affairs, about the Obama administration's response to the new NSA leaks.

A Quiet U.S.-Saudi Spat Spills Into The Open

In an unusual display of anger at the U.S., Saudi Arabian officials have sharply criticized the Obama administration's policies in the Middle East, saying Washington has not done enough to support Syria's rebels or bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Host Scott Simon speaks to NPR's Deborah Amos.
The Pew Research Center released a report this week that found online dating has become commonplace — 59 percent of all Internet users say they believe online dating is a sensible way to meet people. NPR's Scott Simon thinks the trend may have us changing the tune of our love songs.

Bankruptcy Hearings Begin In Detroit

A judge is hearing the case about the city's eligibility to file for bankruptcy. Host Scott Simon talks with Rochelle Riley of The Detroit Free Press about the case and general mood in the city.

Is The SAT Creating A Generation Of Bad Writers?

Want to do well on the essay portion of the SAT? Just make it up! Or at least that's one professor's view. Host Scott Simon speaks to English professor Anne Ruggles Gere of the University of Michigan, who says that the college entrance exam is turning out a generation of bad writers who are fast and loose with the facts.
Author Simon Singh's new book teases out the mathematical references hidden in The Simpsons. Singh tells NPR's Scott Simon that the show's writing team includes several trained mathematicians — and that the logical bends and breaks of writing comedy can be very appealing to the mathematically minded.

Mother And Daughter Play A Remarkable Game Of Dress-Up

Photographer Jaime Moore celebrated her daughter Emma's birthday by shooting portraits of her 5-year-old posing as remarkable women, from Amelia Earhart to Jane Goodall.

Play It Sam: Moments That Made The Movies

Chances are that any movie that endures contains a moment or more — a line, a look — that people talk about, imitate and repeat. Host Scott Simon talks to film critic David Thomson about his new book, Moments that Made the Movies, which looks at the signature scenes from some of our greatest films.

Katy Perry On The 180 That Saved Her Career

Perry is among the world's biggest pop singers, but fans know her current career is actually a second take. She speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about failing to break out as a Christian artist, and how she rose again as the star we know today.
With the drama of the 17-day government shutdown over, the spotlight this week turned to the troubled rollout of the federal health insurance exchanges. Host Scott Simon talks to NPR's Ron Elving about the frustrations from both parties over the crippled HealthCare.gov website.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is rejecting calls for her resignation, saying, "I don't work for" those calling the loudest for her to step down. And the government official who has become the face of the disastrous rollout of the Obamacare website says she has promised the president she'll get things straightened out.

Pondering A Presidential Run? Cruz Dines In Iowa

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called for support during a keynote speech at the Iowa Republican Party's annual Reagan Dinner on Friday. That may be a tall order from the man whom many Republicans criticize for his starring role in this month's government shutdown.

Still Shoveling Out From Superstorm Sandy

A year after the storm, many New Jersey residents are still mired in red tape that has slowed recovery.

Tavern Survived Sandy, But Struggles In Its Wake

The Ducktown Tavern in Atlantic City stayed open during the hurricane, although owner John Exadaktilos' home was destroyed. Now his business is suffering, along with the rest of Atlantic City, from a lack of tourists. Host Scott Simon speaks with Exadaktilos about the recovery effort is going one year after the storm.

NBA Season Starts With Marquee Match-Up

The Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat meet Tuesday. Host Scott Simon covers the latest sports news with NPR's Tom Goldman, including the NBA, the World Series, and a visit to Jamaica by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Fusion Wants Young Latinos To Turn On Their TVs

The new English-language cable channel, which launches Monday, aims to reach younger viewers with a Daily Show-inspired mix of news, pop culture and satire.

Turning To Tribal Nations For Gay Marriage

Jason Pickel is about to marry his male partner in Oklahoma, a state that bans same-sex marriage. Pickel and his partner are getting married through the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribe. Host Scott Simon talks to Pickel about their decision.
Andy Ricker spent years eating in roadside restaurants, noodle stands and home kitchens across Thailand before opening his first restaurant, Pok Pok, in Portland, Ore. But he avoids using words like "traditional" and "authentic" when talking about this food. He'd rather call it "accurate."

Fish Sauce: An Ancient Roman Condiment Rises Again

We usually associate fish sauce with Southeast Asian cooking. But it turns out the briny condiment also has deep roots in Europe, dating back to the Roman Empire. What caused its decline? Historians say it boils down to taxes, and pirates.

Los Campesinos! Lighten Up With 'No Blues'

Lead singer Gareth David talks with NPR's Scott Simon about his band's upcoming album, which he calls a turning point for the group. Hear the surprisingly upbeat "What Death Leaves Behind," which seems destined to be heard as a film's end credits scroll by.

The Ghost Of Hatchet Mountain

Listener Rita Hosking tells a spooky story from her mountain childhood in California.
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