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Renee Montagne

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The biggest players in the video gaming are gathered here in Los Angeles this week for E3, the industry's annual trade show. Gamers have been anticipating the unveiling of new products from Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and other companies.

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The last remaining villages of the embattled Syrian region, Qusair fell to government forces and fighters from the Lebanese-Shiite militia, Hezbollah, over the weekend. The main concern now is what's happening to the civilians there. The Syrian government has severely limited humanitarian groups, like the Red Cross, from getting in and aiding the people of Qusair.

NPR's Kelly McEvers is monitoring the story from nearby Beirut. She joins us. And, Kelly, what is the situation for civilians in Qusair?

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There are no big surprises in this morning's job report from the government. The unemployment rate increased slightly on moderate job growth. It met or slightly exceeded expectations. This is one of the most significant economic indicators we look at every month, and joining us to discuss the Labor Department's report is NPR's Yuki Noguchi. Good morning.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: What can you tell us about these numbers?

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With the Olympics set to begin in Russia this coming winter, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling the preparations, quote, "a monstrous scam." That language comes from a report just released that alleges massive theft and corruption. It estimates that contractors and government officials may have already stolen as much $30 billion dollars as they build Olympic venues in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

NPR's Corey Flintoff joined us on the line with us from Moscow. Good morning.

President Obama is expected to name former Justice Department official James Comey as the next director of the FBI, sources tell NPR. Comey is a Republican who has a reputation for bipartisanship and even-handedness.

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London is no stranger to terrorist attacks. But yesterday's events had a peculiar horror. A British soldier was hacked to death on a London street. in broad daylight. His two attackers did not try to escape. They stuck around and made speeches to bypassers, trying to justify the brutal killing. Here's one attacker, addressing a passerby filming on a cellphone.

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All right, through much of this week, we've been hearing from young Afghans on the future of their country after NATO troops withdraw in 2014. Yesterday, our colleague Renee Montagne met with the American general who commands coalition forces in Afghanistan. They traveled to a special forces base where young Afghan men - and a few women - are being trained.

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Fahim Hashemi, 33, built a conglomerate from scratch. He owns a TV channel, an airline and supplies the Afghan National Army with boots and fuel. He got his start early in the war as a translator to U.S. and British forces.

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This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

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And I'm Steve Inskeep, in Washington, with David Greene.

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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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We're hearing this morning that Pope Benedict has left the Vatican. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli is covering the first papal retirement in 600 years, and she joins us now from Rome. And Sylvia, describe the scene for us there.

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This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

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Alright, to talk more about the politics behind the across-the-board cuts, here is NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Good morning.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning.

In Southern California, the week-long manhunt for Christopher Dorner appears to be over. He is the former LAPD officer who is believed to be responsible for four murders.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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And I'm Renee Montagne. More signs today of a slow, slow economic recovery. The Labor Department reports the economy added 157,000 new jobs last month. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly, to 7.9 percent. To tell us what's behind these numbers, we're joined by NPR business correspondent Yuki Noguchi, and also our White House correspondent, Scott Horsley. Good morning to both of you.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Good morning.

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That sharp drop in government spending that put the squeeze on the economy last quarter, as we just heard, is likely to be repeated. This spring, the government is set to make additional cuts to spending, including defense, unless lawmakers agree on a different plan. So far there's little agreement in Washington about the optimum size or shape of government spending.

NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now to talk about this in our Business Bottom Line. Good morning, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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Steve, thanks very much. Now let's go just beyond the capital building, into the National Mall. That's where NPR's Ailsa Chang is. And she's between the Capitol, as I understand it, Ailsa, and the Washington Monument, right there in the thick of things.

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It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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And I'm Renee Montagne. One of the liveliest parts of today's events dates back to the very first Inauguration, and that would be the inaugural parade. After George Washington took his oath of office, he was joined by a procession made up of local militias as he made his way from Mount Vernon to New York City. Today, the parade is a colorful blend of marching bands, floats and different organizations led by ceremonial military regiments.

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