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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Around the Nation
5:13 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Designers To Put Homer Simpson's Car To The Test

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene.

"Simpsons" fans might remember an episode where Homer designs a car. It's a puke-green monstrosity with tail fins, extra-large drink holders and a bubble dome to keep kids separated. Well, they couldn't resist. Some automotive designers built a real car based on Homer's epic design.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

DAN CASTELLANETA: (as Homer Simpson) D'oh.

Africa
3:37 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Obama: Time For A Mutually Beneficial Alliance With Africa

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 5:13 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

President Obama's trip through Africa is turning out to be political and also personal. The Obama family is visiting three countries in vastly different regions of the continent.

Read more
Politics
3:37 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Agencies Continue To Identify Fallout From Sequestration

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 5:13 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. Well, now that summer is officially here, we thought this might be a good time to check in with some of our colleagues to find out how the federal budget cuts known as sequestration are playing out. These cuts went into effect in the spring, and it is becoming clear that some federal agencies and programs are feeling the brunt, while others have largely escaped.

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National Security
3:37 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Defense Officials Indicate NSA Leaks Have Had Consequences

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 5:13 am

Washington is still trying to determine how much damage has been done as a result of Edward Snowden's revelations about NSA surveillance. Snowden allegedly encrypted the files he took with him, but some officials fear Chinese or Russian intelligence services gained access to Snowden's computers.

Alt.Latino
2:03 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Bosnian Rainbows: Carving Out A New Place In Latin Rock

Bosnian Rainbows, left to right: Deantoni Parks, Teri Gender Bender, Nicci Kasper, Omar Rodriguez Lopez. The band's self-titled debut comes out Tuesday.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 5:13 am

To understand why Bosnian Rainbows' music stands out, you have to go back to 2007 in Guadalajara, Mexico. A singer named Teresa Suarez has taken the stage name Teri Gender Bender — adopted as a feminist statement while at the head of a band called Le Butcherettes.

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Environment
1:51 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Put Down Oil Drill, Pick Up The Test Tube: Making Fuel From Yeast

Jay Keasling (left), speaking with Rajit Sapar at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, is pioneering a technique to develop diesel fuel from yeast.
Courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 8:41 pm

What if we could get our gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel from yeast instead of from oil wells? That's not as crazy as it sounds. In fact, it's already happening on a small scale. And there's a vigorous research effort to ramp this up on a massive scale.

One of the more innovative approaches uses a new technology called "synthetic biology." Jay Keasling is one of the leaders in this hot field.

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Science
1:47 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Tips For Surviving A Mega-Disaster

Patong beach in Phuket, Thailand, was destroyed by the tsunami on Dec. 25, 2004. More than 230,000 people died.
Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 8:39 am

The U.S. is ready for tornadoes, but not tsunamis.

That's the conclusion of a panel of scientists who spoke this week on "mega-disasters" at the American Geophysical Union's science policy meeting in Washington, D.C.

The nation has done a good job preparing for natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes, which occur frequently but usually produce limited damage and relatively few casualties, the panelists said. But government officials are just beginning to develop plans for events like a major tsunami or a large asteroid hurtling toward a populated area.

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Music Interviews
12:00 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Omar Grows Up To Become 'The Man'

Omar's new album, The Man, is his first project in seven years.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 8:42 am

British singer Omar was a child musician back in the '70s and '80s, but he's done a lot of growing up since then. Now married with two daughters, Omar has a new album, The Man, which marks a turning point in his life.

"It's about changing," he says. "Since I've had [my girls], there's a purpose to my life now. It's about growth, development and evolution."

The Man is the singer's first project in seven years. Stripped down to a natural level, the album is assembled in a way that hearkens back to the musician's early days.

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StoryCorps
8:00 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

For A Mom, Learning To Accept A Gay Son Was 'Nonnegotiable'

After Samuel Taylor came out to his mother, Connie Casey, the pair had several very difficult years. But in time, Connie realized she had to re-examine her feelings about homosexuality.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 5:13 am

Samuel Taylor was raised in a religious family. When he came out to his mother, Connie Casey, she sent him to a series of conversion therapy ministries affiliated with Exodus International, the Christian organization that folded this month and apologized to the gay community for trying to "correct" same-sex attraction.

Read more
Africa
8:38 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Nelson Mandela Said To Be Gravely Ill

South Africa is on watch for the fate of the 94-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate. The ailing Mandela, an international icon known for his fight to end apartheid, has been in the hospital for several days. For the latest on his condition, Renee Montagne speaks with NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton.

Around the Nation
3:46 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Expecting Parents Ask For Help Naming Their Son

A Connecticut couple couldn't decide whether to name their soon-to-be-born son Jackson or Logan. So according to the New Haven Register, they decided to take a poll of customers at Starbucks. In the end, they went with their own suggestion: Logan Jackson.

World
3:41 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Racing Pigeon Has Poor Sense Of Direction

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

A pigeon that set out on what was to be a 600-mile race in Japan lost his way, and ended up landing 5,000 miles across the Pacific in Canada. When it was found on Vancouver Island, the bird was exhausted and very skinny. Now he's been adopted by a pigeon racing club there. They're considering breeding the bird, figuring his offspring will be just as resilient, though hopefully the young ones will get their sense of direction from the mother.

Law
2:21 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Gay Military Spouses To Benefit From Supreme Court Ruling

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. The Supreme Court ruling yesterday on the Defense of Marriage Act will change the lives of many people, including some in the U.S. military. Gay spouses of service members have long been denied the substantial benefits available to heterosexual couples. Yesterday's ruling that struck down DOMA means gay married couples can look forward to more equal treatment from the Pentagon, as NPR's Larry Abramson reports.

Read more
Business
2:04 am
Thu June 27, 2013

$99 Game Console Ouya Aims To Take Down Barriers To Fans

The Ouya game console and controller. Games are sold through something like an app store, allowing customers to sample them before buying.
Courtesy of Ouya

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 10:37 am

Sony and Microsoft are preparing to launch their latest gaming consoles this fall with price tags from $400 for the PlayStation 4 and $500 for the Xbox One. But this week, a $99 game console went on sale and sold out at Target and Amazon.

Read more
Business
2:04 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Racial Slur Puts Paula Deen's Empire At Risk

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:15 am

The world's largest retailer Wal-Mart is joining the list of companies severing ties with southern food star Paula Deen. The Savannah, Georgia-based cook and restaurateur has been on the front burner since an admission she used a racial slur in the past.

Humans
3:12 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Pitch-Perfect: Why Our Shoulders Are Key To Throwing

Harry Kaplan practices pitching during Home Run Baseball Camp at Friendship Recreation Center in June. Kaplan's arm is stretched long and toward the ground as his hips are faced away from the catcher. A chimp, in contrast, could never throw a fastball.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:01 pm

The ability to throw a baseball or any object with speed and precision is unique to us humans. And that ability depends on certain features of our anatomy that arose in our ancestors over 2 million years ago, according to a study published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

Read more
Law
9:13 am
Wed June 26, 2013

The Supreme Court's Landmark Decision On Same-Sex Marriage

David Greene speaks with NPR's Nina Totenberg about the Supreme Court's landmark decision granting federal benefits to married same-sex couples.

Law
9:13 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Supreme Court Strikes Down Defense Of Marriage Act

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Europe
5:22 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Famous Hawk Is Back In The Spotlight

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 9:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Wimbledon is underway, which means the tennis world's most famous hawk is back in the spotlight. No, not the Hawk-Eye ball tracking technology linesmen use to help make calls, an actual hawk. His name is Rufus, and his job is to scare pesky pigeons away from the All England Club before the crowds of tennis fans arrive. Rufus also worked the 2012 Olympics. The hawk, of course, has his own Twitter account to squawk at his admirers. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
4:06 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Russian Official Encourages 'Food Patriotism'

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 9:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene with health advice from Russia.

Gennady Onishchenko, the country's chief sanitary inspector, is encouraging food patriotism. Translation: More borscht - cut the meals at McDonald's. The fast food chain is popular in many Russian cities. But Mr. Onishchenko had more to say. To beat the summer heat, he said people should just get to work early, rather than wear, quote, "spotted little pants that stop above the knees." We think he's referring to shorts.

Law
3:27 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Voting Rights Ruling By Supreme Court Draws Mixed Reactions

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 9:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As we've been hearing, the reaction to the court's decision was strong and immediate.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

President Obama said he was deeply disappointed and he called on Congress to act. Civil rights groups say they have lost the most powerful weapon in their effort to ensure equal access at the polls.

MONTAGNE: But as NPR's Pam Fessler reports, some lawmakers in states where voting laws changed - voting law changes were subject to federal approval are saying they're finally free of an unfair burden.

Read more
National Security
3:00 am
Wed June 26, 2013

NSA Leaker Cases Causes Riff Between U.S. And Russia

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 11:40 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Edward Snowden may have intended to stir things up about secret American surveillance programs. It turns out, he's also shaking up diplomatic relations between the U.S. and three countries where those relations are already edgy. The former intelligence contractor who leaked classified documents is believed to be still at a Moscow airport.

He arrived there from Hong Kong on Sunday. NPR's State Department Correspondent Michele Kelemen joins us to talk about the countries drawn into Snowden's travels. Good morning.

Read more
Business
3:00 am
Wed June 26, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 9:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And that brings us to today's last word in business - which is: Courtesy Seating.

Jessie Frank was a distraught mom who was going to be late picking up her daughter at camp.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

She was on stand-by in Washington, D.C. for an over-booked Delta Flight to New York, when a man offered up his seat. Turns out it was Delta CEO Richard Anderson. His kindness helped the mom and earned some good PR for the company.

Read more
History
1:30 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Old Safe Reveals Historical Relics Of Women's Suffrage Group

Safe cracker Elaad Israeli works the dial on an old safe found by the National Council of Women of the United States.
Margot Adler NPR

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 9:13 am

Started in 1888 by suffragettes like Susan B. Anthony, the National Council of Women of the United States still exists today in a small office near the United Nations.

On the organization's 125th anniversary, it teamed up with the University of Rochester to open an old safe painted with the words "Woman Suffrage Party." No one knew what was in the safe or when it had last been opened.

Read more
Sweetness And Light
1:29 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Let's Separate The Schoolin' From The Sports

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 9:13 am

We usually think of college sports in terms of classic big-time schools, polls and bowls.

But, in fact, our athletics are intertwined with — and complicate — all higher education.

The University of North Carolina, Wilmington provides a typical recent case. The Seahawks field teams in 19 Division One sports, but unfortunately, like many colleges, UNCW athletics are in the red, so the chancellor, Gary L. Miller, assembled a committee, which recommended the elimination of five sports: men's and women's swimming, men's cross country and indoor track and softball.

Read more
Tina Brown's Must-Reads
1:28 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Tina Brown's Must-Reads: On Media, The People, And Strife

Inspired by "Standing Man" Erdem Gunduz, protesters stand silently during an action at Istanbul's Taksim Square on June 23. Among the latest recommended reads from Tina Brown is a Foreign Affairs article on how Turkey's manipulates media coverage of political unrest.
Burak Kara Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 9:13 am

Sometimes when there's a daily drumbeat of news — war, protest, unrest — it's good to find those moments to pause, dig deeper, and find layers of the story that are easy to miss.

Tina Brown, the editor of The Daily Beast, joins NPR's David Greene to help us do just that, as part of a recurring series Morning Edition calls Word of Mouth. This month, it's stories of global conflict and the media that — for good and for ill — cover those stories.

Read more
Law
9:10 am
Tue June 25, 2013

What Does The Court's Ruling On The Voting Rights Act Mean?

Renee Montagne speaks with NPR's Nina Totenberg about the implications of the Supreme Court's ruling, striking down a key provision of the law.

Law
9:10 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Section Of Voting Rights Act

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more
Around the Nation
4:41 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Daughter Bills Dad For IT Support Chores

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 9:10 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. If you're on the younger side, do you ever feel like your parents treat you like their own personal IT support? Well, one woman decided to send her dad an invoice. She posted it online. It comes from a company called Your Awesome Daughter.

Around the Nation
4:23 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Miami Heat Celebrate NBA Championship With Victory Parade

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 9:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

The Miami Heat, yesterday, held a victory parade that got people wondering was it planned by a Spurs' fan. The NBA champs piled onto the top of a double-decker bus that carried them through Miami streets overflowing with fans. But the route also passed under three low hanging overpasses. Amid shouts of, Get down, the six foot eight LeBron James barely managed to avoid what the Kansas City Star called a face full of concrete.

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