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NPR's Renée Montagne and Steve Inskeep, and KCUR's Michael Byars and Maria Carter bring the day's local and national news.

Morning Edition provides breaking news, news in context, airs thoughtful ideas and commentary and reviews important new music, books and events in the arts.  

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Law
4:29 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Court Rules Against Part Of Marriage Act

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

In a unanimous ruling, a federal appeals court has struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act. The First Circuit Court of Appeals, in Boston, ruled the 1996 law unconstitutional because it denies giving gay couples the same rights afforded to heterosexual couples. As NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports, the ruling sets the stage for a potential battle at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Politics
4:29 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Gubernatorial Recall Election Polarizes Wis. Voters

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's been more than a year since Wisconsin Democrats began talking about recalling the state's governor, Scott Walker. Next week they'll get their chance to do it. Last night, Walker and his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, traded barbs in their final debate before Tuesday's vote. Turnout is expected to be very high, as the recall is sharply dividing voters in Wisconsin, so much so, some have just stopped talking to each other. NPR's David Schaper has the latest from Milwaukee.

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Business
4:29 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Exxon Mobil Plans Huge Chemical Facility In Texas

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a new, multibillion-dollar chemical plant.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Exxon Mobil plans to build a huge chemical facility in Baytown, Texas. It reverses a company statement last year that said it has no plans for new chemical factories in the United States. According to Reuters, decades-low natural gas prices made the move too enticing to pass over. Natural gas is a key fuel in chemical production. By using its own natural gas, Exxon Mobil can run a chemical plant relatively cheaply.

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Law
4:24 am
Fri June 1, 2012

'Call Of Duty' Creators Settle Lawsuit Against Activision

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now to an even bigger battle that's been playing in the world of video games.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO GAME)

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Law
4:24 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Fla. Judge Blocks Parts Of Voter Registration Law

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 1:25 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's turn now to Florida, where a federal judge has blocked portions of a new election law that was causing a lot of debate. That law had put tough restrictions on groups conducting voter registration drives. Because of the restrictions, the League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote stopped registering votes(ph) in the state. Those groups challenged the new law in court. And yesterday, Judge Robert Hinkle sided with the groups. He called the rules onerous and unconstitutional.

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Economy
4:24 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Is Michigan Rebounding? Depends Who You Ask

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This election year we've seen a lot of cases where different people look at the same economic situation and come to different conclusions. And that seems to be happening in Michigan. It's America's comeback state - that according to its governor, Rick Snyder. Unemployment there is dropping, as the U.S. auto industry rebounds. And the state has a budget surplus for the first time in years.

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Iraq
2:00 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Ignoring Critics, Iraq's Leader Consolidates Power

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (center) arrives on May 8 at Kirkuk airport in northern Iraq, on his first visit to the multi-ethnic city since taking office.
Marwan Ibrahim AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 9:30 pm

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki recently held one of his traveling Cabinet meetings in the disputed city of Kirkuk in an effort to show Iraqi Arabs on the edge of the Kurdish-controlled north that he's working on their behalf, too.

But the fact that he felt obliged to bring in large numbers of heavily armed troops for the event illustrated the tension plaguing Iraqi politics.

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Planet Money
1:59 am
Fri June 1, 2012

A Front-Row Seat At A Bank Run

Petros Giannakouris ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:04 am

A decade ago, investors thought Greece would flourish on the euro. Money poured in, and banks started lending it out. Thefilos Papacostakis, a bank teller at Alpha Bank in Thessaloniki, got to hand out a lot of that money.

Last month, Thefilos says, his bosses called him in for a meeting. They told him things were about to get worse. When countries are in this kind of trouble, the bosses said, people panic and pull their money out of banks.

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StoryCorps
1:57 am
Fri June 1, 2012

When Mom Is Right, And Tells Police They're Wrong

Robert Holmes, 67, is a professor at Rutgers University.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 12:28 pm

When Robert Holmes' parents moved to Edison, N.J., in 1956, they were one of the first African-American families to integrate the neighborhood.

"After we'd moved to Edison, there was a resentment that we had broken into the community," Holmes says.

Even at the age of 13, Holmes felt the animosity. The neighborhood had a private swim club that opened up to anyone who participated in the Memorial Day parade. Holmes was in the band.

"I arrived at the pool on Memorial Day having marched in the parade with my uniform still on, and they called the police," he says.

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Movie Interviews
11:03 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Andrew Garfield, Disappearing Into Spidey's Suit

Andrew Garfield plays Peter Parker and his superheroic alter ego in The Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Comics' reboot of the popular superhero film franchise, in theaters July 3.
Sony Pictures

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:04 am

Andrew Garfield is an actor on the verge of superstardom — and he's only 28 years old.

Although Garfield may be best known to American audiences for playing Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network, Garfield started acting in England, where he grew up. There, Garfield made notable turns in the critically acclaimed Red Riding Trilogy as well as in Never Let Me Go, based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro.

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Economy
10:06 am
Thu May 31, 2012

U.S. Economic Growth Falls Short Of Expectations

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with starts with some discouraging numbers.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Around the Nation
6:29 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Youngest Speller Eliminated From Competition

Lori Anne Madison has been eliminated from this week's Scripps National Spelling Bee. At six years old, she's the youngest ever to compete.

Latin America
6:22 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Brazilian DJ Finds Being Green Isn't Easy

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Around the Nation
5:44 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Legislation Could Thwart Return Of Holocaust Art

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 3:20 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Many families who lost artwork during the Holocaust have spent decades trying to reclaim their treasures. Now they could face a new obstacle: proposed legislation that would protect American museums from these families' claims. David Maxon of member station WNYC has more.

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Business
4:21 am
Thu May 31, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 6:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Our last word in business today is: Big Gulp. Actually, make that moderately-sized gulp.

New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces, which means a large Slurpee or a Grande Frappuccino, would still be legal. Restaurants, movie theaters, and food trucks would all have to abide by the rule, which is aimed at rising obesity rates. Fruit juices and alcoholic drinks would be exempt.

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Sports
4:21 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Americans Don't Fare Well Early In French Open

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 5:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's only the first week of the French Open tennis tournament and already it has been horrendous for the Americans. When the fading Andy Roddick lost in the first round, that was greeted with shrugs. Much more shocking was when Serena Williams also lost in the first round - the first time she's ever gone out that early in a major. Then yesterday her sister Venus was defeated as well in the second round. Sport Illustrated's Jon Wertheim is one American who's still standing at Roland Garros in Paris.

Jon, good morning.

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Pop Culture
4:21 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Incredible Hulk

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 5:52 am

Fifty years ago this month, comic book artists Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the Incredible Hulk to the world. The Hulk is the volatile alter ego of Dr. Bruce Banner, a physicist who's inadvertently exposed to radiation. As a result, whenever Dr. Banner gets angry or upset, he transforms into a giant, raging monster, capable of stunning feats of strength.

Around the Nation
4:21 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Black Voters Feel Targeted By Election Restrictions

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 5:33 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And the disputes over voter eligibility extend well beyond Florida. New voter ID laws, and other voting restrictions, have been enacted in a number of states since the last major election. And that has raised special concern among African-Americans, who feel they are being targeted.

Black church leaders and the Congressional Black Caucus met yesterday here in Washington, D.C., to discuss how to make sure African-American voters aren't discouraged from turning out in November.

Here's NPR's Pam Fessler.

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Asia
4:21 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Chinese Security Forces Round Up Tibetan Protesters

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 5:42 am

In recent days, three Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule. In the past year, it's been reported that more than 30 people have set themselves on fire and most have died. Renee Montagne talks to Robert Barnett, an expert on Tibet, for more on why Tibetans have been protesting Chinese repression by setting themselves on fire.

It's All Politics
2:40 am
Thu May 31, 2012

World War II Vet Caught Up In Florida's Voter Purge Controversy

Bill Internicola, a 91-year-old veteran of World War II, was one of the voters targeted by Florida as a potential noncitizen. Internicola was ordered to prove his citizenship or lose the right to vote. He is flanked by U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, who called on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to stop the purge of voter rolls immediately.
Taimy Alvarez MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:56 pm

Bill Internicola, a 91-yar-old World War II veteran, was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and now lives in Florida's Broward County. He recently received a letter from county elections officials asking him to show proof he was a U.S. citizen or be removed from the voting rolls.

Internicola says he was "flabbergasted."

"To me, it's like an insult," he says. "They sent me a form to fill out. And I filled out the form and I sent it back to them with a copy of my discharge paper and a copy of my tour of duty in the ETO, which is the European Theater of Operations."

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The Picture Show
2:38 am
Thu May 31, 2012

On The Way Back To Base: 'We're Gonna Get Shot At'

Sgt. Kyle Gonzales, a sniper with the 82nd Airborne, smokes a cigarette after a battle near the village of Babaker, Ghazni province. The soldiers have been engaged in gun battles every time they push into the hamlets north of their forward operating base.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:01 pm

U.S. and Afghan forces are fighting to gain control of a major crossroads in a part of Afghanistan that has seen so few NATO troops that one village elder mistook the Americans for Russians — from the long-ago Soviet war.

"It's an absolutely crucial area," says NPR photographer David Gilkey, who has been embedded with U.S. troops involved in the offensive in eastern Afghanistan's Ghazni province.

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Election 2012
2:36 am
Thu May 31, 2012

The Fine Political Art Of Jobs Forecasting

A sign outside a McDonald's restaurant in Chesterland, Ohio, advertises job openings earlier this month.
Amy Sancetta AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 7:17 am

Friday is jobs day, when the federal government releases its monthly unemployment report. It's also just about five months before the presidential election.

When the two presidential contenders talk about unemployment, they're trying to balance their rhetoric between optimism, pessimism and reality.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:54 am
Thu May 31, 2012

As Psychiatric Wards Close, Patients Languish In Emergency Rooms

HealthOne is a Colorado hospital chain that is opening a psychiatric ward to take pressure off its hospitals' emergency rooms, including the one on the billboard.
Eric Whitney/CPR

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 6:45 am

Last fall, Kathy Partridge got a phone call from a local emergency room, telling her that her daughter, Jessie Glasscock, was there — and was OK.

Glasscock had gone missing overnight. She was away at college, and had a history of manic episodes. Police had found her in a Dumpster and brought her to the ER for her own safety. It was a huge relief for her mother. But she was completely surprised by what happened next.

"I went down to this emergency room and just found her by herself, basically locked in a closet," says Partridge.

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Youth Radio
1:52 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Find Me A Part-Time Job

An image from the TaskRabbit website shows one of the company's workers assembling a piece of furniture — a task the site says will pay $45.
NPR

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 4:21 am

The unemployment rate is 8.1 percent, but the underemployment rate — that's people who work part time but want full-time work — is much higher. For many people, making ends meet means cobbling together various part-time jobs. And there are some apps for that.

Shannon Mills has blanketed the floor in a spacious home in Corte Madera, Calif., with protective plastic. Now she's taping off the trim, getting ready to paint over the peach-colored living room walls with the more neutral "bisque" shade waiting in cans at her feet.

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Europe
1:51 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Stumbling Upon Miniature Memorials To Nazi Victims

Brass bricks known as Stolperstein, or "stumbling stones," in front of a home in Raesfeld, Germany, where five members of a single family were forcibly removed by the Nazis. Across Germany, the stones commemorate the millions of victims of the Nazi regime.
Jeffrey Katz NPR

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 7:59 am

Brick by brick, Guenther Demnig is working to change how the Holocaust is publicly remembered in Germany.

On a recent afternoon, the 62-year-old Berlin-born artist is on his knees on a sidewalk in a prosperous section of Berlin's Charlottenburg district, working a hammer and small trowel. He is installing dozens of small, square brass bricks, each one inscribed with the name — and details about the death of — people who once lived in apartment houses on Pestalozzi Strasse.

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Around the Nation
6:53 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Ahead Of Foie Gras Ban, Duck Liver Prices Double

In anticipation of California's ban on foie gras that begins July 1, foodies have been stockpiling duck liver. Animal-rights activists are protesting outside restaurants still serving it.

Around the Nation
6:47 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Suspected Bomb Forces Courthouse Evacuation

In Pocatello, Idaho, mail screeners at the federal courthouse were suspicious of a device they found in a magazine. The building was evacuated and the bomb squad came in. It wasn't a bomb. It was a magazine insert that played music.

World
4:17 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Computer Security Companies Debate Flame's Origins

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:34 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Yesterday, on this program we told you about a new cyber-spying program that goes by the name Flame. Kaspersky Lab, a Russian computer security company, says it found the program lurking on computers in the Middle East. The company says Flame is a very sophisticated piece of spyware, so sophisticated, it must have been created by a country's government. But as NPR's Martin Kaste reports, it didn't take long for other security experts to cast doubt on those claims.

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Asia
4:17 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Suu Kyi Travels To Thailand

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:41 am

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has left Myanmar for the first time in more than two decades. Her first trip out of the country formerly known as Burma is on a short hop to Thailand to meet with refugees and attend the World Economic Forum on East Asia.

Election 2012
4:17 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Trump Comments Overshadow Romney's Texas Win

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:51 am

Mitt Romney won the GOP presidential primary in Texas Tuesday night. By some counts, that gives him the last delegates he needed to formally secure the Republican nomination. He celebrated in Las Vegas with a campaign event and a fundraiser. But his victory was overshadowed by campaign surrogate Donald Trump who has a gift for finding the spotlight.

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