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Middle East
8:03 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Syria Expected To Spar With Inspectors As Weapons Hunt Begins

A convoy of inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons moves into Syria at the Lebanese border crossing point of Masnaa on Tuesday.
Bilal Hussein AP

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 12:37 pm

An international team of weapons experts is at work in Syria on the job of finding and destroying the nation's chemical stockpile. Inspectors crossed in Syria from Lebanon on Tuesday.

But the job will be difficult and possibly dangerous, says Amy Smithson, a senior fellow at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

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Arts & Life
8:03 am
Sat October 5, 2013

At 300, Encyclopedia Pioneer May Yet Get A Hero's Burial

Denis Diderot's work on the Encyclopédie faced stiff resistance in its time, but some scholars credit it with laying the foundations of the French Revolution.
Louis-Michel con Loo Diderot Collection/Gift of M. de Vandeul to the French State in 1911

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 11:11 am

Before there was Wikipedia, there were encyclopedias — and Saturday marks the 300th birthday of the father of one of the world's most important.

Eighteenth-century French philosopher Denis Diderot was the driving force behind the Encyclopédie, one of the first compendiums of human knowledge of its time. The anniversary of his birth has prompted calls for Diderot to receive France's highest honor: have his remains reinterred in Paris' Pantheon, a mausoleum of sorts for France's national heroes.

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Research News
8:03 am
Sat October 5, 2013

NYC Cockroaches Stick To Their Neighborhoods

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 11:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is "West Side Story" - on six legs. Dr. Mark Stoeckle, who's a researcher at Rockefeller University, says that New York cockroaches can be just about as territorial as the sharks and the jets. He joins us from the studios of the Radio Foundation on the Upper West Side. Thanks so much for being with us.

MARK STOECKLE: It's good to be here. Thank you.

SIMON: So are cockroaches as native to New York as poppy seed bagels?

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Humans
8:03 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Knocking Wood Could Help Avoid Trouble

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 11:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Author Interviews
8:03 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Spies And Novelists Both 'Accomplished Liars,' Says New Bond Author

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 11:11 am

William Boyd is one of the great living British novelists — and now he's tackling one of the great British heroes.

"I am now a James Bond pedant," Boyd tells NPR's Scott Simon. "I can bore for England on the subject of James Bond. But I knew I couldn't do it frivolously, I had to take it very seriously, however much fun I was having. And I had to make myself, you know, absolutely steeped in Bond and in Fleming and that world."

Steeped in Bond, not shaken, of course.

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Sports
8:03 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Baseball Swings Into Playoffs

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 11:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. I wait all week to say time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Playoff time in Major League Baseball. So many games, but the Cubs aren't in any of them. However, we are joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine to talk about those good clubs playing now. Thanks for being with us, Howard.

HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Scott. If the Cubs are what you're looking for in playoff baseball, I suggest a new team, a new century.

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Politics
8:03 am
Sat October 5, 2013

The Tea Party Makes Sense Of The Shutdown

Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin says Republicans are acting within their power to withhold funding from Obamacare.
Molly Riley AP

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 11:46 am

The Affordable Care Act has been at the center of the budget debate that has shut down the government.

Tea Party Republicans in the House have led the charge to try to repeal or delay Obamacare in exchange for funding the government.

They were cheered for taking on the health law by Tea Party activists across the country, including Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and national coordinator for the group, Tea Party Patriots. Martin told Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon recently that Congress ignored the will of the people when Obamacare was enacted.

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Governing
8:03 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Morale Plummets For Federal Workers Facing Unending Furlough

John Zangas, a furloughed federal worker, protests the government shutdown outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 3:13 pm

The work that Shaun O'Connell does is required by law, yet now he's sidelined by the government shutdown.

O'Connell reviews disability claims for the Social Security Administration in New York, checking that no one's gaming the system, while ensuring people with legitimate medical problems are compensated properly.

Billions of dollars are at stake with this kind of work, yet O'Connell is considered a nonessential employee for purposes of the partial government shutdown.

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Around the Nation
8:03 am
Sat October 5, 2013

A Cold, Wet Trip With Spearfishers In Alaska

Alaskan Cory Kuryla (right) goes spearfishing every year along the Chatanika River, north of Fairbanks, with best friend Dave Ensley.
Emily Schwing KUAC

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 11:11 am

For one month each fall, residents of interior Alaska don chest waders and splash through the clear, frigid water of the Chatanika River. With large homemade lanterns hanging from their necks and spears in their hands, the fishermen keep their eyes peeled for whitefish.

Lifelong Alaskan Cory Kuryla leads his best friend Dave Ensley and me down a dark forest trail.

"We make rookies take a bite out of the first fish they catch!" he says.

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Author Interviews
8:03 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Children's Author Takes On The Dreaded Itchy Head

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 11:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

David Shannon has written books about an adorable West Highland terrier, a duck on a bike and a fairy named Alice. Maybe he's tired of drawing cute. So, now the author and illustrator has done a book called "Bugs in My Hair," and it isn't about pets, forests or fantasy creatures. No, it's about head lice. David Shannon joins us from the studios of KQED in San Francisco. Thanks so much for being with us.

DAVID SHANNON: Oh, my pleasure. Thank you.

SIMON: Yuck.

SHANNON: Yeah.

SIMON: Why a book about head lice?

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