Morning Edition

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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NPR Story
3:58 am
Thu May 30, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:19 am

Amazon asked subscribers of its video-streaming service to do the jobs usually left to focus groups and executives. The company released 14 pilot TV shows, then looked at customer reviews and view counts. Amazon announced five pilots have been approved for a full season.

NPR Story
3:58 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Rep. Michele Bachmann To Leave Congress

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:19 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Less than two years ago, Michele Bachmann's star seemed to be rising. The Republican congresswoman from Minnesota was full of energy and delighted her supporters - many in the Tea Party - when she announced she was running for president. Now, her presidential bid is being investigated. She won her congressional seat back - barely, and now she's announced she won't run again next year.

This has taken people by surprise, especially in her home district. Minnesota public radio's Conrad Wilson reports.

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The Salt
1:07 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Will Chinese Firm Bring Home The Bacon With Smithfield Deal?

Smithfield Foods, makers of ham products under a variety of brand names, is being purchased by Chinese food maker Shuanghui International for $4.72 billion.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 7:38 am

There were questions Wednesday about whether U.S. regulators will approve the takeover of Smithfield Foods Inc., the company that sells all-American hams, hot dogs and bacon, by China's Shuanghui International.

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The Salt
1:05 am
Thu May 30, 2013

GMO Wheat Found In Oregon Field. How Did It Get There?

Genetically modified wheat has been discovered growing in a field in Oregon. GMO wheat is not approved for sale in the U.S. Above, a wheat field in Arkansas.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 12:03 pm

A farmer in Oregon has found some genetically engineered wheat growing on his land. It's an unwelcome surprise, because this type of wheat has never been approved for commercial planting.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it's investigating, trying to find out how this wheat got there. The USDA says there's no risk to public health, but wheat exporters are worried about how their customers in Asia and Europe will react.

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Parallels
1:05 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Years Of Combat Experience, And Just Turning 20

Luis Bedoya is baby-faced and skinny.

And he looks ever the boy when he puts on an industrial-sized apron, thick gloves and a metal helmet - the tools of an apprentice welder at the Don Bosco center in this city in southern Colombia.

It's a big complex, complete with classrooms, basketball courts, a dormitory and work rooms. It's home to boys and girls, as well as very young adults, who defected from the FARC rebels or were captured by the Colombian army.

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Business
8:47 am
Wed May 29, 2013

China's Shuanghui Buys Pork Giant Smithfield For $4.7 Billion

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a meaty Chinese investment in the U.S.

A Chinese meat producer plans to buy the U.S. meat company Smithfield for $4.7 billion dollars. Smithfield is the world's largest pork producers, and by some estimates, if this deal is approved by regulators, it would be the biggest takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese company.

Europe
5:22 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Swedish High School Flubs Graduation Requirement

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:47 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

World
5:17 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Nepalese Climber Gives Up For Now On Regaining Everest Title

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:47 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne with a follow-up on the record for oldest person to scale Mount Everest. An 81-year-old Nepalese climber earned the title five years ago when he was 76. Last week, an 80-year-old Japanese climber took the crown. Now Min Bahadur Sherchan has given up his attempt to snatch it back but bad weather, due to the season, forced him to turn back. Disappointing. Still, it wasn't age that proved the ultimate barrier.

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

Asia
4:31 am
Wed May 29, 2013

U.S. Drone Strike Hits Taliban Stronghold In Pakistan

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:47 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On this Wednesday, we are following developments in Pakistan. A U.S. drone strike has killed four suspected militants, including - according to some reports - the Taliban's second-in-command in Pakistan. Now, we should say the militant group denies that he's dead. This is the first strike since President Obama's speech last Thursday, announcing that the use of drones would be scaled back to limit civilian casualties.

Africa
3:30 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Al-Qaida Letter Reprimands Difficult Employee

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 10:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. You could call it a failing performance review. Recently uncovered correspondence from the North African branch of al-Qaida lays out - in bullet points - the shortcomings of one of its local leaders. In the letter, he is chastised by his bosses for sloppy expense reports, ignoring emails and failing to pull off, quote, "any single spectacular operation."

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Asia
3:30 am
Wed May 29, 2013

China's Leaders Promise To Speed Up Economic Growth

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 11:31 am

The Communist Party's new leadership has pledged to change China's slowing economy by putting a greater emphasis on private enterprise and reining in huge but far less profitable state-owned businesses. Economists say the party has no choice but to update if it wants to stay in power, but they doubt that a genuine overhaul is in the works.

Business
3:29 am
Wed May 29, 2013

White House Economic Advisers To Leave

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 8:19 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

One of President Obama's top economic advisers is leaving the White House later this year, to return to his teaching job at Princeton. Since 2011, Alan Krueger has chaired the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

NPR's Scott Horsley takes this look back at his time in the White House.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: One of Alan Krueger's tasks at the White House is deciphering the many different signals the economy sends, including the closely watched jobs report that typically comes out on the first Friday of the month.

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Parallels
12:58 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Syria's Civil War: The View From A Damascus Shrine

Zeinab
Nishant Dahiya NPR

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:47 am

Traveling to Damascus gives you a view of Syria's war turned inside out.

The international community talks of arming Syria's rebels against President Bashar Assad, but in the capital many people still hope the rebels will lose.

That's the thinking we found around a Muslim shrine in Damascus, a tribute to the granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad. She lived centuries ago, but a Damascus doctor we met spoke of her in the present tense.

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It's All Politics
12:56 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Immigration Measure Faces Test In Senate, Rival Bill In House

A bill proposed by the Senate's Gang of Eight (from left, Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Bob Menendez, D-N.J.; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; and Michael Bennet, D-Colo.) has passed out of committee and is headed for the full Senate. But the fate of the issue in the House is less clear.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:47 am

Members of Congress are back in their home states this week for a Memorial Day recess. It's a chance to talk with constituents about what could become the year's biggest legislative story: the push on Capitol Hill to fix what Democrats and Republicans alike agree is a broken immigration system.

A bill proposed by the Gang of Eight, a bipartisan group of senators, to revamp the nation's immigration rules passed out of committee last week and will soon be brought before the Democratic-led Senate. Less clear, though, is where the issue is headed in the GOP-controlled House.

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It's All Politics
12:56 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Senators Tussle Over Proposal To 'Unpack' Key D.C. Court

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has proposed cutting three seats from a key D.C. appeals court.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:47 am

More than 75 years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt caused an uproar with his plan to "pack" the Supreme Court with friendly justices. It was an audacious effort to protect his New Deal initiatives.

Now, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has floated the reverse — legislation that would cut three seats from the important D.C. Circuit appeals court, just as President Obama prepares to announce his nominees for those jobs.

The Court-Packing Plan

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

One More Swing: 'Casey At The Bat'

Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 9:03 am

Frank Deford puts aside his gripes this week to pay tribute to the poem by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, first published in the San Francisco Examiner 125 years ago June 3.

The Outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

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Around the Nation
5:26 am
Tue May 28, 2013

New York's Bike Share Program Off To A Bumpy Start

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 5:59 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. After much anticipation, New York City has kicked off its bike share program. Riders can pick up a bike, take a ride and return it to a different spot. So far it's been a bumpy ride. About a hundred keys that members use to unlock bikes were lost in the mail. And, as workers were loading the $825 bikes in for the first day of service this week, someone snagged one and rode off.

Business
5:14 am
Tue May 28, 2013

What's That Smell? Pancakes Or Canadian $100 Bills

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 5:59 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

We all know pancakes are best when slathered with maple syrup. But cash? The Bank of Canada is denying it's given its new plastic $100 bills a syrup scent. The rumor is that the new bills contain a scratch-and-sniff section. The Canadian press obtained a bunch of emails to the bank about the fabled edition of the maple syrup. One complained the notes stick together. Another lamented that some had lost their smell.

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

Around the Nation
4:12 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Tragic Result: Sniper Tries To Help Troubled Veteran

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 5:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now, the story of a fallen hero. Chris Kyle was known as one of the best snipers in the history of the American military. In February, the former Navy SEAL was shot and killed, but his death did not come on the battlefield. It happened at home in Texas, at the hands of another veteran, a former Marine named Eddie Ray Routh. In the latest issue of the New Yorker magazine, Nicholas Schmidle traces the intersecting paths of these two men.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
3:01 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Okla. Real Estate: Priced To Sell Includes Storm Shelter

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 5:58 am

After last week's deadly tornado in Moore, Okla,, hundreds of homes were damaged. Maurice Smith is optimistic about the future in Moore. So much so, he is planning to build a new home and sell the old one without an agent. And he expects it will be snapped up quickly. The reason? Displaced residents are looking for homes, and his has a storm shelter.

Politics
2:57 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Sen. Reid Threatens Nuclear Option To Confirm Nominees

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 5:59 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Let's look at one area where Congress can exert its authority over the White House. We're talking about confirmation votes. A batch of President Obama's nominees are heading out of committee and onto a vote by the full Senate. Among them are President Obama's choices to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Environmental Protection Agency and also his nominee as Labor Secretary.

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Business
2:53 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 5:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with corporate sell-offs.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Bausch + Lomb has been sold. The drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals is buying the 160-year-old eye care company for $8.7 billion.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Valeant - which is a Canadian company - has been on a buying spree recently, as it moves to become a bigger player in the global pharmaceutical market.

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Business
2:53 am
Tue May 28, 2013

How Apps Help Kansas City Work Better

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 5:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now for people who enjoy using technology, it might feel like there's an app for everything. Some are mindless. I mean I'm a little embarrassed to tell you how much time I spend baking fake pizza on my mobile device. Then there are apps that are meant to actually be productive. And let's hear about one of those now.

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Business
2:53 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Girl Scout Troops Look To Sell Real Estate

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 1:05 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's move now to another group of young tech savvy folks - the Girl Scouts. The organization now offers merit badges for things like website design and digital movie making.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Still, they do place value on the great outdoors - like always - offering camping and hiking badges. And that brings us to today's last word in business: unhappy campers.

MONTAGNE: As we head into summer, many young Brownie and Junior Scouts are signing up for the Girl Scout camp.

(SOUNDBITE OF GIRL SCOUT AD)

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Research News
2:53 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Why Do Whistle-Blowers Become Whistle-Blowers?

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 5:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene, good morning

Let's say you're at work and you find a document that shows your company has been giving out misleading information. Or, let's say you see a co-worker act in an abusive or unethical manner. Would you speak up? Well, social scientists have been asking why whistle-blowers become whistle-blowers.

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Politics
1:51 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Obama's Next Big Campaign: Selling Health Care To The Public

President Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act at the White House on May 10.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 5:58 am

President Obama often tells audiences that he has waged his last campaign. But that's not exactly true.

The White House is gearing up for a massive campaign this summer that will cover all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. And the president's legacy may hinge on whether it succeeds or fails.

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The Salt
1:49 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Why Healthful Vending Machines Might Hurt The Blind

Vending machines at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, Ark., were stocked with more healthful snacks in 2006.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 8:52 am

Look in any vending machine, and you can find plenty of snacks with dubious nutritional profiles. Take the ones in the state Capitol in Salem, Ore.

"We've got a lot of Cheetos and Pop-Tarts and candy bars and cookies and things like that," says state Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer.

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Law
1:46 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Alimony Till Death Do Us Part? Nay, Say Some Ex-Spouses

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 6:30 am

Alimony dates back centuries. The original idea was that once married, a man is responsible for a woman till death. But that notion has shifted in recent decades, as more women have jobs and their own money. Now, a number of states are considering laws to end lifetime alimony.

During his two-decade marriage, Tom Leustek's wife earned a Ph.D. and landed a job that paid as much as his. He's a college professor in New Jersey.

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Parallels
10:46 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

In Damascus, A View Of Syria's War Turned Inside Out

The Ummayyid Mosque in Damascus has been a mosque for around 1,400 years. It sits in the center of a city where many people are struggling to live normal lives amid war.
Steve Inskeep NPR

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 7:41 am

Many years ago, the president of Syria, Hafez al-Assad, approved the construction of a new presidential residence on a mountainside above Damascus.

Assad never occupied the building, saying his successor should take it. When his son Bashar Assad became that successor, he didn't move into the house, either. He preferred a residence down the slope.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:35 am
Mon May 27, 2013

107-Year-Old Veteran Attributes Yard Work To Long Life

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:02 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Richard Overton is staying at home on this Memorial Day, and he deserves it. At 107 years of age, he's thought to be the nation's oldest living veteran. Overton served in the South Pacific in World War II. He says he's lived this long thanks to aspirin, a stress-free life and by keeping busy in his yard. He also says a little whiskey in his coffee helps to, as he put it, keep his muscles tender.

On this Memorial Day, I'm raising my mug to you, Mr. Overton.

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