Weekend Edition

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It's All Politics
5:46 am
Sat July 7, 2012

'Social Welfare' Organizations Play Big Role In Presidential Politics

Karl Rove attends a ceremony to unveil the portrait of former President George W. Bush at the White House in May. A former Bush adviser, Rove also is a founder of Crossroads GPS.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 7:57 am

Some of the heaviest advertisers in the 2012 presidential campaign are groups financed by anonymous donors. They're not organized as political committees, but as "social welfare" organizations.

Peter Overby, NPR's money and politics correspondent, says one of those groups is rivaling the campaigns themselves for money spent on high-profile ads so far in the campaign.

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Around the Nation
5:46 am
Sat July 7, 2012

USS Iowa's Guns Are Now For Show

Pacific Battleship Center

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 12:53 pm

On Saturday, the USS Iowa battleship opens its decks to visitors in the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro. The battleship, commissioned by the Navy for World War II, will now serve as a museum.

On a gray morning, former USS Iowa crew member Mike McEnteggart shows off the ship's main deck. McEnteggart first arrived on the Iowa in 1985, fresh out of boot camp.

"I was 20 years old," he says. "Just barely 20 years old."

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Author Interviews
5:33 am
Sat July 7, 2012

'After Murder': Learning To Live After You've Killed

Jesse Reed was convicted of first-degree murder in 1985. He was sentenced to 27 years to life. Now on parole, Reed counsels incarcerated young men through a program run by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Elisabeth Fall Life After Murder

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 7:57 am

Can a murderer ever be redeemed? That's the question journalist Nancy Mullane takes on in her new book, Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption. Over the past few years, Mullane has made dozens of trips to California's San Quentin prison to interview men locked up for committing the most heinous crimes.

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Europe
5:27 am
Sat July 7, 2012

'Super Mario' Challenges The Idea Of Who's An Italian

Italian forward Mario Balotelli celebrates after scoring the second goal during Italy's Euro 2012 football championships semifinal match against Germany, June 28, at the National Stadium in Warsaw.
Francisco Leong AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 6:33 pm

The Euro 2012 soccer championship ended last weekend with Spain's defeat of Italy. But many sportswriters singled out the second-place team as the tournament's unexpected surprise.

The star of Team Italy is the Sicilian-born son of Ghanaian immigrants, raised by an Italian adoptive family — and now Mario Balotelli is changing the notion itself of what constitutes Italian-ness.

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U.S.
5:08 am
Sat July 7, 2012

How One Drought Changed Texas Agriculture Forever

Siblings Charles Hagood and Nancy Hagood Nunns grew up in Junction, Texas, in the 1950s. Charles says the drought drove ranchers to find other types of work.
Michael O'Brien Michael O'Brien

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:40 pm

In Texas, there is still the drought against which all other droughts are measured: the seven-year dry spell in the 1950s. It was so devastating that agriculture losses exceeded those of the Dust Bowl years, and so momentous that it kicked off the modern era of water planning in Texas.

From 1950 to 1957, the sky dried up and the rain refused to fall. Every day, Texans scanned the pale-blue heavens for rainclouds, but year after year they never came.

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Author Interviews
1:03 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Remembering George Szell, Powerhouse Conductor

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 4:42 pm

Michael Charry was the "sorcerer's apprentice" to celebrated 20th-century conductor George Szell. For the last decade of Szell's tenure at the Cleveland Orchestra, Charry was an assistant conductor.

Now, Charry has captured the power of Szell's artistry — as well as his tempestuous personality — in a new biography called George Szell: A Life of Music.

Charry vividly recalls Szell testing him on how many notes he could find in a chord when he first auditioned for the job.

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Music Interviews
4:12 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

16 Musical Odes To Very Strange Animals

Illustrator Jelmer Noordeman's rendering of a real-life creature: the venomous, nocturnal solenodon.
Jelmer Noordeman

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 12:21 pm

CD sleeves usually feature pictures of the musicians, the text of lyrics and copious thanks.

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From Our Listeners
6:32 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Your Letters: Out Of Home Ec, Into Moose Calling

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPING)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Politics
6:29 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Obama's Health Care-Infused, Fire-Stoked Week

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:32 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Obama told residents of Colorado yesterday that the country has their back. The president visited an evacuation center and met with some of the firefighters who have been battling the deadly Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs.

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Middle East
6:29 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Kofi Annan Appeals To Leaders For Solution In Syria

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 6:32 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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