Weekend Edition Sunday

Sunday, 8 - 10 am
  • Hosted by Rachel Martin

Hosted by Rachel Martin, Weekend Edition Sunday features interviews with newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians. Every week listeners tune in to hear a unique blend of news, features and the regularly scheduled puzzle segment with Puzzlemaster Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times.

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The candidates running for Texas governor, Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and Democratic State Sen. Wendy Davis, held their first televised debate on Friday in heavily Hispanic South Texas, in the border county of Hidalgo in the Rio Grande Valley.

The county is 90 percent Hispanic. It was the first gubernatorial debate on the border since 1998.

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the fast-growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and many Republicans believe their survival lies in recruiting Hispanic supporters.

Sierra Leone is holding a country-wide experiment: For three days, no one is allowed to leave their home.

It's part of the country's strategy for controlling the deadly Ebola virus. While people across Sierra Leone stay at home, teams of workers go door-to-door, educating the public about the disease.

The effort got its shaky start on Friday.

The streets were empty in the heart of Freetown, the capitol. The only sound came from a few street sweepers and a police van blasting a song from an old speaker.

In sultry Barcelona, it was a unexpected gathering of bagpipes, tartan plaid, Scotch and even haggis — the traditional Scottish innards-and-oatmeal dish.

Spaniards turned out en masse to celebrate Scotland's referendum on independence from the United Kingdom.

"For one day, I would like to be Scottish," said Gabriel Herredero, 25, who wore a Scottish kilt out to a bar. "As Catalans, we would be proud also to be able to vote for something we really want."

A man known around here as "The Host Whisperer" has died.

David Candow was 74. He was a slightly tubby man from Newfoundland with a sly smile and a soft voice. I wanted nothing to do with him.

David was a consultant, brought in to work with NPR hosts and reporters on writing and delivery. People who make their living on the air often distrust consultants. We figure they've been brought in by executives who have usually never recorded more than a voicemail message, and want all hosts to sound the same.

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Transcript

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Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for the governor of Texas, came to the attention of most Americans outside Texas when, as state senator, she filibustered a highly restrictive abortion bill for 11 straight hours.

Now Davis is making headlines for her newly released memoir, Forgetting to Be Afraid. In the book, Davis revealed for the first time that she had two abortions herself. She also details her gritty and sometimes unhappy life growing up, first in Rhode Island and then Texas, Oklahoma and California.

President Obama arguably won the Democratic primary in 2008 because of his strong opposition to the Iraq war. Now he's arguing he doesn't need congressional approval to ramp up a bombing campaign in Iraq and expand air strikes into Syria.

This month brought two more exonerations based on new DNA evidence. Henry Lee McCollum was 19 years old and his half-brother, Leon Brown, was 15 when they were arrested. The two black, intellectually disabled half brothers were convicted of the rape and murder of an 11-year-old Sabrina Buie and spent 30 years on death row.

You know the nursery rhyme:

Hey diddle diddle
The cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed
To see such sport
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Wade Goodwyn and it's time for Sports.

Language warning: This story contains words some may find offensive.

The Highway Beautification Act will be 50 years old next year. As envisioned by Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, it was supposed to protect the natural landscape from billboards.

Ever since its passage, scenic activists and billboard companies have been at war over the views along American highways. The outdoor advertising industry says its signs are informational, and helpful to local businesses. Open-space advocates call them "sky trash" and "litter on a stick."

The air in the Baghdad morgue is thick with the smell of death. There are perhaps two dozen corpses in black plastic bags lying around in the sweltering heat. One of them is burned and has its face exposed, white teeth stark against charred skin.

"The crisis began in June," says Zaid al Yousif, the director of the Medical Legal Center, which houses the morgue. "The number of victims in June increased, double to triple." Many of those bodies have marks of trauma, including blunt injuries, he says.

There might be a recliner rebellion going on.

At least three flights have been grounded in little more than a week after passengers had disputes over reclining their seats, or not being able to. On most airlines these days, passengers are packed so close that — insert your favorite Joan Rivers joke here.

Stars Line Up To Reimagine Laura Nyro

Sep 6, 2014

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Laura Nyro's star shone bright, but briefly.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SAVE THE COUNTRY")

MUSICIAN LAURA NYRO: (Singing) Come on people, come on children.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Where BJ Leiderman writes our theme music and now, including this one - it's time for Sports.

The day he was booked, Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave a big smile for his mug shot — which was then printed up on t-shirts to demonstrate just what a farce he thought the indictment was. In a press conference, the scorn dripped from Perry's voice as he took up the sword — defender, not of himself, but of the state's constitution.

"We don't settle political differences with indictments in this country," he said. "It is outrageous that some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state's constitution."

In Shelbyville, Tenn., the Tennessee walking horse is an icon and a way of life. For 10 nights in August, thousands of fans cheer from their box seats as well-manicured horses prance around a dirt oval track.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon, and it's time for Sports.

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Bringing Ice Hockey To A Land With No Ice

Aug 30, 2014

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Until recently, no video games on the market have told the story of an indigenous people from their perspective. A group of Alaskan natives have partnered with a game developer to change that.

Their game is called Never Alone, and its creators hope it will set a new standard in video game development.

Iraq's ethnic Kurds are longtime U.S. allies and have put up the toughest resistance to the Sunni extremists in the so-called Islamic State that has captured swaths or Iraq's north and west.

They're getting help from U.S. air strikes, but also need heavier weapons of their own to match the firepower of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Weapons have been promised by the U.S. and other countries, but getting them through the central government in Baghdad has hampered the mission, according to Kurdish commanders.

Ferguson, Mo., found a degree of civic calm this week after days and nights of angry clashes between protestors and the police.

Now the city is working to restore trust with residents after a white police officer fatally shot black teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9. City leaders and residents say one way to do that might be to equip police with personal video cameras.

"All the cops have to have body cameras and dashboard cameras," says resident Alonzo Bond, "so everybody can be accountable."

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