Weekend Edition

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National news program from NPR and HPPR

Rollie Pemberton is a poet — in fact, he was poet laureate of his hometown, Edmonton, Alberta, for a couple of years. That meant he was expected to write three poems a year about events in a town sometimes nicknamed "Dirt City." But outside of Edmonton, Pemberton is better known under a different name: Cadence Weapon, the hip-hop artist.

In poetry and song, Pemberton finds inspiration, tough and otherwise, in his Edmonton roots. The latest Cadence Weapon album, his third, is called Hope in Dirt City.

Violence Haunts Zimbabwe Ahead Of Elections

May 19, 2012

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To Zimbabwe now, where elections are in 2008 elections were marred by extreme violence. Now, elections are once again on the horizon.

And as Anders Kelto reports, violence is escalating while many are still trying to heal.

Failure To Launch: SpaceX Delays Mission

May 19, 2012

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Katie Beckett has died in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at the age of 34. She was just 3 years old when her case changed health care law. NPR's Joseph Shapiro has more.

How To Watch The Solar Eclipse

May 19, 2012

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If you're in the Western United States tomorrow afternoon, you're in for a show.

DEE FRIESEN: The disc of the sun will be a ring. The moon will be inside the sun. There will be a ring of light around the moon, and they sometimes call it a ring of fire.

Sports: Proving Your Worth

May 19, 2012

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You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

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Journey Through Musical Time With This App

May 19, 2012

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Music has a way of transporting us in time.

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SIMON: So, indulge a little. Close your eyes, turn up the radio, you might just get transported to 1944.

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To be a parent is to be constantly reminded that almost everything you thought you were doing right for your children will one day turn out to be wrong.

The wisdom on whether your baby should be put to sleep on his back or stomach, whether fevers should be treated or left to run their course, seems to change every few years. Parents used to think nothing of letting their children bounce around like pingpong balls in the back of a car. Now, children are strapped in the back like astronauts waiting for blast off.

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The Facebook IPO hasn't just sent a jolt of excitement through Silicon Valley, there are many average individual investors who are also thrilled. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

What To Expect In Facebook's Future

May 19, 2012

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Chinese Activist Leaves Beijing For U.S.

May 19, 2012

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

In Group Of Eight, A Lack Of Leadership?

May 19, 2012

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The Barnes Foundation opens the doors of its new gallery in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday. Its collection of paintings by Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne and many more is now hanging in galleries designed to replicate those at the Barnes' old home in suburban Merion. The move follows a decade of bitter debate over the future of this multibillion-dollar collection.

Jack Hitt says if you drill down into the American spirit to find out what makes Americans so American, you'll find it's the fact that we're all amateurs at heart. In his new book, Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character, he pinpoints the first American to use the amateur label to his advantage: Benjamin Franklin.

Most Americans give politicians low marks for sincerity and see every decision they reach as a cold, poll-driven calculation. Often enough, it is. Politicians, after all, have asked pollsters where they should spend their summer vacations.

Yet when pundits and interest groups urge politicians to change their minds and they do, they're assailed for flip-flopping.

Your Letters: On Composition And Evidence

May 12, 2012

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Time now for your letters.

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A (Purchased) Haiku For You, Mom

May 12, 2012

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Tomorrow is Mother's Day and a professor at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia has a gift idea. She has set up a booth on campus to craft custom haiku.

From member station WVTF, Sandy Hausman reports.

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The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. is always a work in progress. Although it's more than a century old, and is being repaired from damage caused by last year's earthquake, it always makes room for new statues and carvings of people who inspire.

Europe, After The Vote Against Austerity

May 12, 2012

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'In One Person': A Tangled Gender-Bender

May 12, 2012

The star of John Irving's new novel, In One Person, is Billy Abbott. Billy is a character at the mercy of his own teenage crushes, which are visited upon by a whole repertory company of gender-bending characters.

It's a repertory company in the most literal sense, too. Billy spends many days backstage at the local theater — where gender can also fluctuate and where his family members are regulars.

[Roman Totenberg was a child prodigy who became a violin virtuoso, as well as a master teacher who passed along his command of craft and his love of music — and life — to thousands. He was also the man you wanted to sit next to at the table because he was so funny. Totenberg died this week at the age of 101, surrounded by loving family, friends and students. We asked his daughter, Nina Totenberg, for this remembrance. — Scott Simon]

Your Letters: A Tale Of Injustice

May 8, 2012

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Time now for your letters.

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When Hilary Mantel's new book opens, the spark has gone out of Henry VIII's second marriage. His roving eye leaves Anne Boleyn and begins to settle on Jane Seymour, another woman at court. The monarch doesn't go to a marriage counselor or divorce lawyer, not when Thomas Cromwell is his chief adviser.

Bring Up the Bodies is the sequel to Wolf Hall, which won the Man Booker Prize and worldwide acclaim. It is also the latest in a planned trilogy about Cromwell.

French Election Marks A Fork In The Road

May 6, 2012

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

The French presidential runoff is tomorrow. President Nicolas Sarkozy and his opponent Socialist candidate Francois Hollande represent two different visions for their country.

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A famous trio has lost a member. Whether you knew him as Adam Yauch, Nathanial Hornblower or MCA, he brought a distinct sound to a genre-bending band.

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I Shall 'Scream' At Such A Price Tag

May 6, 2012

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We don't want the week to end without noting one of the four versions Edvard Munch made of his masterpiece, The Scream, one of the most recognizable works of art in the world, was auctioned at Sotheby's this week for a record-setting price: $120 million - $120 million.

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