Weekend Edition Sunday on 88.9 WFSU-FM

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Conceived as a cross between a Sunday newspaper and CBS' Sunday Morning with Charles KuraltWeekend Edition Sunday features interviews with newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians. The program has covered news events from Nelson Mandela's 1990 release from a South African prison to the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Weekend Edition Sunday debuted on January 18, 1987, with host Susan Stamberg. Two years later, Liane Hansen took over the host chair, a position she held for 22 years. In that time, Hansen interviewed movers and shakers in politics, science, business and the arts. Her reporting travels took her from the slums of Cairo to the iron mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsula; from the oyster beds on the bayou in Houma, La., to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park; and from the kitchens of Colonial Williamsburg, Va., to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. In the fall of 2011, NPR National Desk Reporter Audie Cornish began hosting the show.

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.

Weekend Edition Sunday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States and around the globe via NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Now time for your letters.

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MARTIN: Last Sunday, I spoke with author Gary Marcus about his book "Guitar Zero" and his own journey late in life to learn guitar.

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In France, an elderly man is fighting to make a formal break with the Catholic Church. He's taken the church to court over its refusal to let him nullify his baptism, in a case that could have far-reaching effects.

Seventy-one-year-old Rene LeBouvier's parents and his brother are buried in a churchyard in the tiny village of Fleury in northwest France. He himself was baptized in the Romanesque stone church and attended mass here as a boy.

In the U.S., wine drinking has held its own during these hard economic times, and even grown in some unlikely corners. Moscato, for example, the Italian dessert wine, has gone from relative obscurity to the toast of the town.

Hip-hop singer Drake, in his song "Do It Now," gives it a shout-out. It's also the wine Kanye West orders for special parties. And it's the wine Real Housewife of Atlanta NeNe Leakes has just started selling under the label Miss Moscato.

Part of a series with WNYC on female boxers

This summer in London, female boxers will compete in the Olympics for the first time. The women competing for a spot on the U.S. team will make history, but few know who they are — and why they box.

Women who box love it for the same reasons men do. Boxing requires intense physical and psychological discipline, the ability to overcome fear and anger.

This Puzzle Is The Pits

Jan 29, 2012

On-Air Challenge: Today's puzzle is the pits. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with "PI" and the second word starts with "T."

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Two candidates who never really caught fire in South Carolina were former Senator Rick Santorum, and congressman Ron Paul. Neither will acknowledge that it's now a two-man race between Gingrich and Romney. And each says the campaign goes on.

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We go now to Egypt, where a group of foreign ministers from the Arab League is meeting today. There are news reports that the group has decided to extend a month-long observer mission in Syria.

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Your Letters

Jan 22, 2012

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Time now for your comments. Last week, I spoke with Patricia Cohen about her new book, "In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age."

Checking In On The Sundance Film Festival

Jan 22, 2012

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On Jan. 12, for the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake, thousands of people flocked to the Shalom Church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The "church" is just a plywood stage under a patchwork of tattered tarps.

The crowd was so large that it spilled down a muddy hill toward a tent camp for earthquake victims. Most of the singing, swaying congregation were so far away they couldn't even see the podium.

The evangelical mission now claims to have more than 50,000 members and one of the most popular radio stations in Haiti.

From about 1966 to 1976, China's leader Mao Zedong enforced a brutal agenda. Everything was rationed during the Cultural Revolution. Millions of people were forced out of the cities and into the countryside, where food was even scarcer. The government controlled people's movements, their livelihoods, even their thoughts.

An Islamist party heads Morocco's newly elected government, part of a wave of Islamist election victories following uprisings across North Africa.

But Morocco's case is a bit different. King Mohammed VI responded quickly to a pro-democracy movement last year with a new constitution and snap elections. The Justice and Development Party, known as the PJD, won the most votes in November. Now, Moroccans ask: How will this popular Islamist party govern?

On-Air Challenge: You'll be given two things in the same category. You name the only other thing in the same category that fits between the given things alphabetically. For example, given "Mars" and "Saturn," the answer would be "Mercury."

This Week, A Puzzle Reunion: Will Shortz celebrates the 25th anniversary of Weekend Edition Sunday and the Sunday Puzzle with three mystery guests.

Last week we aired a segment about the U.S. Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program which aims to teach soldiers how to be emotionally and psychologically strong. Host Rachel Martin reads letters about that story and more.

Post-9/11 Life As A 'Non-Enemy Combatant'

Jan 15, 2012

Alex Gilvarry's dark first novel occupies a wacky continuum that begins at the center of haute couture, and ends in solitary confinement. The book is From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant and it looks at one man's trip into military detention. Host Rachel Martin talks with Gilvarry about his book.

In this election year, an emerging theme coming from voters around the country is frustration with the tone of politics today. NPR's Debbie Elliott set out to revisit Brownstown, Ind., where she first talked with voters during the 1998 congressional elections, another acrimonious time.

Fourteen years ago, Anne Clodfelter was directing the Jackson County Homemakers Extension Chorus as they prepared for an upcoming concert.

Second To Last

Jan 15, 2012

On-Air Challenge: Think of a word that can follow a given word to complete a familiar two-word phrase or name. The first two letters of your word must be the second and last letters, respectively, of the given word. For example, if given "fallen," the answer would be "angel."

Charlie Haden: A Moment Of Clarity

Jan 14, 2012

Charlie Haden is a legend in jazz music. He started as a singer on his family's country radio show when he was just 2 years old. After losing his voice to polio as a teenager, he found a new voice by picking up the bass. That decision launched a career that spans jazz, country and gospel music.

When North Korean President Kim Jong Il died last month, media outlets around the world tried to cover the story with very few facts. That's because there really are no clear facts about North Korea. It's arguably the most closed society in the world — run as a hereditary fiefdom by a family of dictators.

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