Weekend Edition

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Whether revealing events in small-town America or overseas, or profiling notable personalities, Weekend Edition from NPR News appreciates the extraordinary details that make up every story. This two-hour morning newsmagazine covers hard news, a wide variety of newsmakers, and cultural stories with care, accuracy, and a wink of humor.

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Around the Nation
7:29 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Corn Dries Up, Even As Farmers Try To Combat Heat

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:32 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The heat and drought that brought much of Colorado Springs into danger has also hit the Midwest. Temperatures broke 100 degrees in the Great Plains, and the heat and the lack of rain is endangering what was expected to be a bumper crop of corn. Tim Lenz is a farmer near the town of Strasburg in south central Illinois, where he grows corn and soybeans. Mr. Lenz, thanks for being with us.

TIM LENZ: Thank you.

SIMON: What's it been like there for the past couple of weeks?

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Education
5:55 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Student Loan Deal Pales Against Other Education Cuts

College students surrounded President Obama earlier this month when he called on Congress to stop student loan interest rates from doubling. Congress agreed on a deal to prevent the hike on Friday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 3:26 pm

It came down to the wire, but finally, Republicans and Democrats agreed on a deal that keeps the interest rate on government-backed student loans from doubling. It will save the average borrower about $1,000 a year, but the compromise is likely to cost students a lot more than that over the long term.

The agreement that lawmakers passed Friday will keep interest rates at 3.4 percent for another year. Anthony DeLaRosa, a 23-year-old University of Colorado graduate, says it's a big victory.

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Author Interviews
5:54 am
Sat June 30, 2012

In 'Gold,' Olympic Rivalry Is Personal, Professional

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:32 am

More than 10,000 athletes are headed to London this summer to run, swim, cycle, shoot, fence and compete in the events of the Olympic Games. Each of them has a story — what they've won, what they've lost and what they've sacrificed just to get their chance to get there.

Chris Cleave's latest novel, Gold, tells the stories of three world-ranked cyclists — Zoe, Jack and Kate — who are training for their last chance at Olympic gold. Zoe and Kate are friends as well as rivals; Jack and Kate are raising an 8-year-old who suffers from leukemia.

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Latin America
5:53 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Youthful Candiate Favored To Be Mexico's President

A man walks past a campaign sign for Enrique Pena Nieto, of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party. Mexicans vote for their next president on Sunday.
Esteban Felix AP

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:26 pm

As Mexicans prepare to elect a new president Sunday, the clear front-runner is Enrique Pena Nieto, who is seeking to return his PRI party to power after 12 years.

The PRI, or Institutional Revolutionary Party, ruled Mexico for more than 70 years before being ousted in 2000. Most polls show Pena Nieto with a comfortable double-digit lead in the race.

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Sports
5:52 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Silent And Unsung, Ball Boys Keep Wimbledon Rolling

Wimbledon's ball boys and girls must remain completely still and silent during game play.
Jon Super AP

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:32 am

If you watch the action at Wimbledon this weekend, you'll see the camera closely tracking Serena Williams and David Ferrer.

But you'll also notice smaller, less celebrated figures darting on and off the court. Their training may not be as rigorous as the tennis pros', but it's plenty demanding.

Fair and accurate calls from the chair umpire are critical to the smooth running of Wimbledon. So, too, are the six young girls and boys flying around each court.

'A Sport In Itself'

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