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Weekdays from 5am to 9am

Waking up is hard to do, but it's easier with NPR's Morning Edition. Hosts Renée Montagne and Steve Inskeep bring the day's stories and news to radio listeners on the go. Steve and Renee interview newsmakers from politicians, to academics, to filmmakers, Morning Edition provides news in context, airs thoughtful ideas and commentary, and reviews important new music, books, and events in the arts. All with voices and sounds that invite you to experience the stories. Morning Edition is a world of ideas tailored to fit into your busy life.

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Law
2:30 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Jury Selection To Begin In Trayvon Martin Case

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 5:08 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In Sanford, Florida, jury selection begins today in the murder trial of George Zimmerman. The neighborhood watch volunteer is charged with the shooting death of a 17-year-old, Trayvon Martin, last year. Police, at first, declined to charge Zimmerman because of Florida's Stand-Your-Ground law. It gives immunity to people who use deadly force in self defense.

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Animals
2:30 am
Mon June 10, 2013

City Life Disrupts Daily Rhythm Of Birds

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 5:08 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

You've heard the expression Bright Lights, Big City. For many people, city living can mean long hours at work and play and never enough sleep. Now a new study suggests that cities can have a very similar effect on another group of residents: birds. NPR's Rhitu Chatterjee reports.

RHITU CHATTERJEE, BYLINE: Since the 1930s, scientists have noticed that birds in cities, like robins and starlings, can keep different hours than their relatives in forests. Barbara Helm is a biologist at the University of Glasgow.

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National Security
12:58 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Amid Data Controversy, NSA Builds Its Biggest Data Farm

A National Security Agency data center is under construction in Bluffdale, Utah. When this data center opens in the fall, it will be the largest spy data center for the NSA.
George Frey EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 8:01 am

As privacy advocates and security experts debate the validity of the National Security Agency's massive data gathering operations, the agency is putting the finishing touches on its biggest data farm yet.

The gargantuan $1.2 billion complex at a National Guard base 26 miles south of Salt Lake City features 1.5 million square feet of top secret space. High-performance NSA computers alone will fill up 100,000 square feet.

The Utah Data Center is a data farm that will begin harvesting emails, phone records, text messages and other electronic data in September.

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Around the Nation
12:57 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Rail Project At Los Angeles Port Draws Environmentalists' Ire

Shipping containers stack up at the Port of Los Angeles.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 10:21 am

In California, a high-profile lawsuit is seeking to halt construction of a new $500 million rail yard next to the Port of Los Angeles. Activists, including a national environmental group that's spearheading the opposition, say the massive project would mean even more pollution for nearby neighborhoods that already have some of the worst air in the country.

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Shots - Health News
12:56 am
Mon June 10, 2013

African-Americans Remain Hardest Hit By Medical Bills

Mike Jackson has diabetes and high blood pressure. His eye was damaged after he cut back on insulin because he couldn't afford it.
Bryan Terry for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:37 am

For many years, high medical bills have been a leading cause of financial distress and bankruptcy in America. That pressure may be easing ever so slightly, according to a survey released earlier this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But 1 in 5 Americans still face hardships due to medical costs — and African-Americans continue to be the hardest hit.

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Around the Nation
5:31 am
Fri June 7, 2013

City Workers Help Ducks Walk To Water

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. It was a classic make-way-for ducklings scenario. Syracuse city worker Gary Clifford saw a mother duck leading a dozen little ones down a busy city street. So he followed them in his truck, stopping traffic along the way. Until they walked across a storm drain and four ducklings fell in. Syracuse.com reports a city crew was called. It scooped them up, calmed the panicked mama duck, and took the entire feathered family to a creek. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Space
5:22 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Justin Bieber Aims For Outer Space

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer.

He has performed around the world for millions of screaming fans. Now, Justin Bieber is taking his talents off the planet. Bieber put a quarter-million dollar deposit on a seat on Virgin Galactic's spaceship. The singer wants to shoot a music video in space.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield already did that last month, singing David Bowie's "Space Oddity" on board the International Space Station.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
2:46 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Ill. Assembly Called Back To Work On Pension Fund Shortfall

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 3:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with pension problems for Illinois.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: The credit rating for the state of Illinois has taken another step closer to junk bond status. Illinois already had the lowest credit rating in the nation before it was downgraded again this week by Moody's and Fitch. The state legislature adjourned last week without addressing a $100 billion pension shortfall.

So as NPR's David Schaper reports, the governor is calling lawmakers back.

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Business
2:46 am
Fri June 7, 2013

California Hosts U.S.-China Summit

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 3:32 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Chinese President Xi Jinping begins a two-day meeting later today with President Obama near Palm Springs, California. There's a good deal of significance behind the choice of California as a venue for this summit. The state one of China's largest trading partners. And is also home to a recent boom in Chinese real estate investment.

NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.

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Business
2:46 am
Fri June 7, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business is: Hot chocolate.

Not the kind you drink on a wintery day, but the kind you eat in the sizzling tropics. The snack company Mondelez says it's perfecting a process to make chocolate unmeltable - even in temperatures above 100 degrees. The Deerfield, Illinois company says this new innovation will help it sell chocolate in emerging markets with hot climates and limited refrigeration, like sub Saharan Africa.

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Asia
2:46 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Cyberspying Expected To Be Discussed At U.S.-China Summit

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 12:34 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Today, President Obama will be turning his attention to China. He's meeting China's new President, Xi Jinping, here in Southern California. There's plenty on the agenda: trade, currency, North Korea. This year, though, a new topic may dominate: China's habit of breaking into U.S. computer networks to steal trade and military secrets.

NPR's Tom Gjelten reports.

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Law
2:46 am
Fri June 7, 2013

The History Behind America's Most Secretive Court

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court resides in this courthouse in Washington, D.C.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:52 am

This week The Guardian newspaper shared with its readers a document that few people ever get to see — an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court telling Verizon to share countless phone records with the National Security Agency. The White House would not confirm the existence of this surveillance effort, but it insisted Congress is fully briefed about such activities. Members of Congress confirmed that they knew.

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Politics
2:46 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Sen. McCain Urges U.S. To Do More For Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 12:32 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. Sen. John McCain is pushing the Obama administration to do more for rebels fighting the Syrian government. This follows his trip last week to opposition-held territory in Syria. McCain warns that a failure to act could send the Middle East deep into sectarian conflict.

His comments come as both the rebels, and the likelihood of planned peace talks, appear to be losing ground.NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

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National Security
2:46 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Intelligence Community Mines Phone Records, Internet Data

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 4:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. Just one day after we learned the National Security Agency has been secretly collecting telephone records from millions of Americans, it's been revealed that the agency is also running a massive Internet surveillance program.

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Economy
2:46 am
Fri June 7, 2013

U.S. Unemployment Rate Inched Up In May

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 7:37 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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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National Security
2:46 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Reports: NSA Mines Servers Of U.S. Internet Companies

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 4:01 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Since 2007, America's National Security Agency has been mining data from the servers of major American Internet companies, including Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google. That's according to new reports from the Guardian and the Washington Post. This comes hard on the heels of another Guardian report revealing the intelligence agency is collecting Verizon phone records of millions of Americans

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Planet Money
1:34 am
Fri June 7, 2013

How To Sell Coke To People Who Have Never Had A Sip

Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 1:05 pm

For years, there were only three countries in the world that didn't officially sell Coca-Cola: Cuba, North Korea and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

Now, after 60 years, Coke is back in Myanmar. Sanctions were lifted last year on the country. Just this week, Coca-Cola opened its new bottling plant outside of Yangon. Now all the company has to do is figure out a way to sell all that Coke to people who may not remember what it tastes like.

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The Salt
1:26 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Not Everyone Cheers Turkey's Move To Tighten Alcohol Rules

Diners drinking raki, a traditional Turkish alcoholic drink flavored with anise, at a restaurant in Istanbul.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 2:46 am

The ongoing anti-government protests in Turkey are about a lot of things — including a recent law to restrict the advertising and sale of alcohol. The limits aren't any more onerous than those in some other Western countries, but secular Turks see them as another step in a push by the ruling party to impose conservative social values on the population

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Law
1:25 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Former Mass. Chief Justice On Life, Liberty And Gay Marriage

Chief Justice Margaret Marshall asks petitioner to explain a point during arguments before the Supreme Judicial Court in Boston in 2005.
George Rizer AP

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 11:56 am

The U.S. Supreme Court, on the brink of issuing two same-sex-marriage decisions, is facing a question that Margaret Marshall had to resolve for her state a decade ago, as chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Her decision became the first to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States.

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Around the Nation
5:42 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Giant Powerball Jackpot Winner Claims Record Prize

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The mystery is over. Yesterday, Gloria MacKenzie of Florida showed up at the lottery office, revealing herself as the winner of last month's record Powerball jackpot. The 84-year-old opted to take her winnings in a lump sum, rather than over time: $371 million, the largest sole jackpot winner in U.S. lottery history. MacKenzie said she bought her ticket at a supermarket, where another lottery player let her cut in line. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Animals
5:38 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Ancient Reptile Named After 'Lizard King' Jim Morrison

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer.

The Doors' front man, Jim Morrison, was nicknamed The Lizard King. This week researchers from the University of Iowa identified a new species of reptilian royalty, the six-foot long Barbaturex morrisoni. Though the species is named after the 20th century rock star, it lived in the jungles of Southeast Asia 40 million years ago, a gentle creature who ate only plants.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Law
4:46 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Sgt. Bales Avoids Death Penalty By Pleading Guilty To Afghan Attack

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 5:43 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Yesterday, an Army judge accepted the guilty plea of Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. Bales is on trial at a military base in Washington State for the massacre last year of 16 people, mostly women and children, in a rural Afghan village. By pleading guilty, Bales will avoid the death penalty.

But as NPR's Martin Kaste reports, the work of his lawyers is not yet done.

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National Security
3:19 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Susan Rice To Take Over As National Security Adviser

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:50 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

When President Obama meets with the president of China tomorrow, he will have his National Security adviser at his side. Tom Donilon set the stage for this summit during a trip to Beijing last week. Now he's stepping down.

NPR's Scott Horsley has this look at his legacy and the woman Obama has tapped to replace him.

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Business
3:19 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Lenovo Holds Grand Opening For Its N.C. Assembly Plant

Johana Guardado assembles a laptop on Lenovo's new personal computer production line in Whitsett, N.C.
Leoneda Inge for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 6:14 am

Chinese computer maker Lenovo celebrated the opening of its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Whitsett, N.C., on Wednesday. The company is trying to boost its brand and U.S. market share. Other high-tech firms, including Motorola, have announced plans to manufacture in the U.S.

The Lenovo plant celebration was a patriotic affair. A large sign was on display featuring the American flag and the words "Assembled in the U.S."

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Business
3:19 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:57 am

When the Transportation Security Administration recently said it was changing the rules to allow small knives and sports equipment as carry-on items on planes, that sparked an outcry over safety. The TSA is backing down and will require travelers to check those items after all.

The Record
3:19 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Country Music's Year Of The Woman

Miranda Lambert performing in April at the Academy of Country Music Awards, where she won best song, best record and best female vocalist for the fourth year in a row. The Lambert Effect has opened doors for many of the new hopefuls blending hard country sounds with feminist-aware attitudes.
Kevin Winter/ACMA2013 Getty Images for ACM

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:41 am

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Movie Interviews
3:19 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Whedon Adapts 'Much Ado About Nothing' For Silver Screen

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Last year, Joss Whedon put the blockbuster in summer blockbuster. He's the writer-director of "The Avengers," that crew of Marvel Comics superheroes whose story led to a super box office: one and a half billion dollars worldwide. It offered action and also repartee, like this moment of confrontation between Robert Downey, Jr.'s Iron Man and Thor.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE AVENGERS")

CHRIS HEMSWORTH: (as Thor) You have no idea what you are dealing with.

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Law
12:54 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Holder On The Hot Seat Over Leak Investigations

Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on May 15 before the House Judiciary Committee.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 3:52 am

Attorney General Eric Holder has been a lightning rod for the president's fiercest critics during his four years in office. Lately, he's been back on the hot seat with a crisis of his own making: the Justice Department's aggressive stance toward reporters in national security leak cases.

Holder heads to the Senate on Thursday, where lawmakers are sure to demand an explanation.

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Parallels
12:50 am
Thu June 6, 2013

For Venezuelans, Kidnappings Are Simply Business As Usual

Kidnappings and other crime have infiltrated every aspect of daily life in Venezuela, especially the capital, Caracas, which was recently ranked the world's third most violent city.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 6:18 pm

German Garcia-Velutini got into his car and left work one day. It took him 11 months to get home.

Kidnappers had nabbed the Venezuelan banker. His abduction is part of a problem that's been getting worse every year for the past decade in Venezuela, which belongs to a region riddled with crime and the most violent cities in the world.

Gracia-Velutini tells his story at an outdoor table at a hotel in Caracas, the capital, with a view of a mountainside that climbs into the clouds.

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U.S.
7:20 am
Wed June 5, 2013

National Security Adviser Donilon Resigns; Rice To Take Over

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

The Whitehouse has announced that President Obama's National Security Advisor is resigning and he will be replaced by Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. NPR's Ron Elving is here to tell us more. Ron, some months ago, Ms. Rice was rumored to be nominated Secretary of State - that, of course, did not happen. So why don't you give us a quick fill on the back story.

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