Weekend Edition Sunday for Sunday, September 8, 2013

Not all the victims of the chemical attack in Syria on Aug. 21 were Syrian. The al-Hurani family in the West Bank city of Jenin counts 11 members of its extended clan among the dead.

Nuremberg Prosecutor Makes The Case For Trying Assad

Former Nuremberg war crimes prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz about a letter he wrote to the New York Times on Syria arguing that believes the International Criminal Court, not the U.S. government, should decide how to deal with Syrian President Bashar Assad. Ferencz explains with Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin.
In his third, much anticipated novel, Subtle Bodies, Rush takes the reader inside the most intimate parts of friendship. The author says his goal for this book, which took him nearly a decade to finish, was to produce his first concentrated piece of writing.

'Memory Pinball' And Other Reasons You Need A Nap

Researchers have found that sleep helps you learn and that when you don't have it, you get cranky. But fundamental questions about this complex function go unanswered. For starters, why do we sleep to begin with?

Climate Change Leaves Hares Wearing The Wrong Colors

Snowshoe hares rely on camouflage, turning white in the winter to match the snow, and then turning brown for the summer. But a changing climate could mean fewer days with snow on the ground, and more days when they're visible to prey.

Close, But No Cigar

Each of the following answers is a made-up, two-word phrase in which the two words are homophones, and both words start with the letter C.

How Sounds Undermine Sleep

Why can some people sleep through a jackhammer at the window, while others waken with the lightest whisper? Host Rachel Martin speaks to Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center researcher Jeffrey Ellenbogen about his new study on how noises interrupt sleep.

New Latin Music That's Rocking The Americas

The Alt.Latino gang stops by Weekend Edition Sunday once again to share some favorite new songs from Mexico, Colombia and more.

Congress Votes This Week On Military Action In Syria

President Obama will argue his case to the nation Tuesday evening that the U.S. should make a retaliatory strike in Syria, and the Senate is set to vote on his resolution Wednesday. Host Rachel Martin talks with Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who has not decided which way he will vote.

Pope Leads Prayer Vigil For Peace In Syria

Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino has openly opposed a U.S. punitive strike against Syria and has joined other government ministers and leading personalities adhering to Pope Francis's call for a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria. On Saturday, the pope lead a long mass and peace vigil in St. Peter's Square.

Critics Say Egypt's Constitution Process Is Flawed

Egypt's the military-backed interim president last week appointed a 50-member committee to help draft a new constitution. That committee — which includes only one of ousted President Mohammed Morsi's allies — meets for the first time Sunday in Cairo. Critics in Egypt say the new constitution is likely to be just as controversial as the previous one.

Arsenio Hall Returns To Late Night

The Arsenio Hall Show ran from 1989-1994 and featured Muhammad Ali to Madonna to President Clinton blowing his sax. It was the younger, hipper version of late night talk shows. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Arsenio Hall, whose new show debuts Sept. 9.

Billy Crystal, Up Since 1948

Comedian Billy Crystal has long suffered from insomnia. He tells NPR's Scott Simon his mind is constantly racing, and jokes that he sleeps like a baby — he's up every two hours.

Dreams: The Telling Tells More Than The Contents

How we describe our dreams can be more important than what they contain. Host Rachel Martin talks with Stephen Grosz, a practicing psychoanalyst and the author of The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves. Grosz uses dreams to better understand his patients' motivations and feelings.

Olympic Committee Picks A New Olympic Sport

NPR's Mike Pesca is in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the International Olympic Committee's announcement of Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympics. He speaks to host Rachel Martin about the IOC's next decision: wrestling, squash or baseball-softball.
Strayed's half-sister checked Wild out of the public library because she thought it looked like an interesting travel book. She was about halfway through the first chapter when she realized that she and the author shared the same father.

The Mysteries Of Sleep Were Just Too Mysterious

Before he was a journalist, NPR science correspondent Joe Palca studied psychology, and focused on sleep research. He found it frustrating to study sleep: Though there are many questions about why and how we sleep, scientists have very few answers.
Gloria Estefan is about to release her new album, simply called "The Standards." It's a collection of classic Latin and American romantic songs. Cuban-born Estefan speaks with host Rachel Martin about her latest album and her long career.
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