Weekend Edition Saturday for Saturday, March 29, 2014

President Obama is wrapping up a quick visit to Saudi Arabia, where he met with King Abdulla. NPR's Scott Simon talks to Wall Street Journal reporter Ellen Knickmeyer, who is based in Riyad.
President Obama met with Pope Francis this week at the Vatican. Among those watching most closely were young American Catholics.

A Bill To Distill Simmers In Tennessee

Does a legally mandated recipe ensure Tennessee whiskey's quality, or does it violate the spirit's moonshiner roots? NPR's Scott Simon says that further study, and a sampling, is in order.
This week an Egyptian court sentenced over 500 people to death. NPR's Leila Fadel tells NPR's Scott Simon that it was one of the harshest verdicts ever imposed in modern Egypt.
Even as the presidential public financing system has been all but abandoned, advocates are trying to bring such a system to New York state. What happens there could be a model for other states.

He Survived Captivity, One Minute At A Time

Jeremiah Denton Jr., who survived nearly eight years of captivity in North Vietnamese prisons, died this week in Virginia Beach. NPR's Scott Simon reflects on his remarkable life.
Fighting in Afghanistan was extremely difficult, but now that Army Capt. Drew Pham is back in the U.S., he says he doesn't even know how to talk to people. It's his wife, he says, who keeps him going.
In a case that has stunned California's political community, Sen. Leland Yee is charged with trafficking shoulder-fired missiles and plotting with a character known as "Shrimp Boy."
Archie Panjabi plays a crafty investigator on the TV show The Good Wife. She talks with NPR's Scott Simon about her character, and being a South Asian British woman in Hollywood.
A Wikipedia edit-a-thon is designed to encourage women to contribute to the online encyclopedia. Sara Snyder of the Smithsonian American Art Museum tells NPR's Scott Simon why.
Best-selling author Barbara Taylor Bradford's new novel follows two families living in a grand Edwardian manor. She tells NPR that Downton-style dramas are a way of encapsulating life in one house.
The families of passengers who were aboard the missing airline have many hard questions — including what kind of compensation they can expect. NPR's Scott Simon discusses this with lawyer Marc Moller.

Boeing's Iconic 747 May Be Flying Into The Sunset

Sales of the airliner are flagging, and airlines are retiring their 747 fleets. The end may be near for the original "jumbo jet," but in its glory days, it offered an experience like no other.

GM Expands Ignition Switch Recall To Newer Cars

General Motors announced Friday that it was recalling 824,000 more small cars due to faulty ignition switches. NPR's Sonari Glinton speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about GM's woes.

McCain: Sanctions Are Not Enough Against Putin

Some lawmakers are saying that the annexation of Crimea could fundamentally change how the U.S. relates to Russia. NPR's Scott Simon talks with Sen. John McCain.
This week the Supreme Court heard arguments that test an important part of the Affordable Care Act. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with NPR's legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg.

Latinos Wary Of All-Out Push To Sign Up For ACA

Latinos are the most uninsured group in the country, but they're newly leery of President Obama and the Affordable Care Act.
The latest expression of over-the-top stadium food is a $25 bat-shaped corn dog packed with cheddar cheese, bacon and jalapeños. Its creator says he's game for some competition between teams.
There were some big games Friday night, including Kentucky vs. Louisville. NPR's Tom Goldman talks March Madness with NPR's Scott Simon.

'Lovesongs' Examines What It Means To Come Home

A new novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, interlaces the stories of friends who keep returning to each other, to grasp hold of where they are in the world. NPR's Scott Simon talks with author Nickolas Butler.
Nashville-based songwriter Chuck Mead has stories for days about the home state he left behind. "Kansas can be scary sometimes," he says.
NPR's Scott Simon reads from a letter written by activist Helen Keller, who was deaf and blind. It was written in 1924, after she listened to a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
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