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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.  

You can find out more about Morning Edition on NPR's website.

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Middle East
4:19 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Russia Refuses To Change Its Position On Syria

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 2:03 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, as we just heard, Russia has stood its ground refusing to join Western powers in their approach to Syria. But Moscow has indicated recently that it's not wedded to Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Mark Katz came by to talk more about this with us. He's a Russia expert and professor of government and politics at George Mason University's Department of Public and International Affairs.

Professor, welcome.

MARK KATZ: Thank you.

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Business
4:19 am
Fri June 8, 2012

New Products Unveiled At Electronic Entertainment Expo

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 2:03 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here in Los Angeles this week, the video game industry gathered for its annual convention, the Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3. Companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo unveiled new products and games.

For some highlights, we're joined by Harold Goldberg. He's a video game critic who was at the convention all week. Good morning.

HAROLD GOLDBERG: Good morning, Renee.

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The Record
2:50 am
Fri June 8, 2012

A Record Label With A Midas Touch

Adele performs in February.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:43 pm

In the past 15 years, Richard Russell, the owner of the British independent record company XL Recordings, has shepherded his label to more than its fair share of industry success.

Last year the label saw its greatest heights yet, though to be fair, no other label climbed anywhere near as high. That's because 2011 was the year of Adele, and XL is the singer's home. (In the United States, Adele's albums are promoted and distributed by Columbia Records, but she is signed to XL worldwide.)

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Business
2:18 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Despite Low Rates, Investors Rely On Treasurys

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 2:03 pm

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told a congressional committee Thursday that the U.S. economy faces some significant risks, and Fed officials are still deciding what to do about it.

His remarks disappointed a lot of investors who want the Fed to do something to revive growth. Bernanke spoke at a time when interest rates on government debt are hitting lows not seen since the Great Depression.

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Law
2:03 am
Fri June 8, 2012

After NAACP Marriage Stance, Discord And Discussion

The Rev. Ralph Abernathy (from left), the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bayard Rustin leave the Montgomery (Ala.) County Courthouse in 1956. Rustin, who was gay, was the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.
Gene Herrick AP

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 2:03 pm

The NAACP recently took what was for some in the organization a controversial step, when it endorsed same-sex marriage. That move has now led some local officers around the country to resign — including the group's most outspoken critic of gay marriage.

The NAACP board says it stands by its resolution calling for marriage equality. But as the nation's oldest civil rights group prepares for its national convention in July, some in the ranks say the resolution caught them by surprise, and that such an important decision deserved open debate.

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Election 2012
2:02 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Will Economy Push Washington To Make A Deal?

President Obama speaks with House Speaker John Boehner during a meeting at the White House in 2011. A slowdown in job growth and a looming tax deadline could force the president to try to revive his "grand bargain" with Republicans.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 2:03 pm

The Obama administration is searching for a "sweet spot" in economic policy: measures that could increase job growth right now without worsening the federal deficit. That task gained new urgency this month when the Labor Department reported a sharp slowdown in job growth in May.

The challenge could force the president to try to revive his "grand bargain" with Republicans.

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StoryCorps
9:03 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Finding 'A Very Kind Way' To Lead Special Olympians

Jose Rodriguez and Charles Zelinsky at StoryCorps in Trenton, N.J. Jose is now a Special Olympics coach — he'll be overseeing games this weekend.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 2:03 pm

States around the country are hosting their regional Special Olympics games this summer. In New Jersey, the games' opening ceremonies begin Friday.

Jose Rodriguez participated in the New Jersey Special Olympics back in 2003, when he was 13. Special Olympics offers a chance for people with intellectual disabilities to pursue a sport. Jose has trouble learning — mostly through reading and writing.

Speaking at StoryCorps, Jose, 23, told his former basketball coach, Charles Zelinsky, 57, what his life was like before he found the games.

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Around the Nation
6:26 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Ex-House Speakers Request To Be Cellmates

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 6:34 am

Two former House speakers in Pennsylvania are proving politics doesn't have to be partisan. Democrat Bill DeWeese was convicted on corruption charges and began serving time at a prison near Harrisburg. He was approached by his former legislative rival, Republican John Perzel to room together.

Latin America
6:20 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Bicyclist Rides Super Tall Bike Around Cuba

Perched on his homemade bike, Felix Guirola rides around Havana. The bike is so tall; he can peer over buses and second-story windows. Hanging traffic lights do pose a problem.

Business
5:48 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Nasdaq To Pay For Botched Facebook Trades

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with NASDAQ compensating clients.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: The NASDAQ stock exchange will pay $40 million in compensation for botched trades that occurred during Facebook's initial public offering. NASDAQ clients lost millions of dollars on Facebook's May IPO because of computer glitches. The opening trade was delayed by more than half an hour, and many investors were unsure if their trades had gone through.

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Business
5:28 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Google Shows Map Features, Apple Likely To Follow

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Google has fired the first shot in what might come to be known as the map wars. Yesterday, the company unveiled new features, such as maps in 3D. Google made its move just five days before Apple is expected to announce its own new and improved mapping software.

Google made its move just five days before Apple is expected to announce its own, new and improved mapping software. NPR's Laura Sydell reports.

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Africa
5:16 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Tunisians Say Economy Is Eclipsed By Other Issues

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne with David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep on the Revolutionary Road, traveling through nations of the Arab Spring, from Carthage to Cairo.

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Business
5:04 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Big Data May Create Thousands Of Industry Jobs

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:24 am

The need to store digital information is growing. Tens of thousands of new jobs are expected to be created over the next six years to take full advantage of that ocean of information known as big data.

Business
5:04 am
Thu June 7, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 6:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: no.

That's what HBO told fans who were hoping to watch shows like "Game of Thrones" on the web without having to go through a cable or satellite providers.

The premium channel was reacting to an Internet campaign, called Take My Money HBO.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
5:04 am
Thu June 7, 2012

What's Next For Organized Labor?

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 3:17 pm

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.

We'll begin this program with the aftermath of Tuesday's recall election in Wisconsin. Public sector unions took on Republican Governor Scott Walker, and the governor won. Walker became the first U.S. governor to beat back a recall attempt. The unions had spent a lot time, money and political capital in Wisconsin.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports on what's next for organized labor.

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Sports
4:30 am
Thu June 7, 2012

NHL: N.J. Devils Force Game 5 Against L.A. Kings

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:04 am

The New Jersey Devils avoided elimination in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals by beating the Los Angeles Kings 3-1. Game 5 is Saturday night in New Jersey. The Kings have never won the Stanley Cup.

Remembrances
4:18 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Bradbury Revered In Space Exploration Community

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 6:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When Ray Bradbury died this week, he was hailed as one of science fiction's great writers. Best known for works like "The Martian Chronicles," Bradbury himself didn't think science fiction was a good label for his work. He said science fiction was about what could happen, and believed most of his work was actually fantasy. And yet, in the real world of space exploration, Bradbury was revered. Science writer Andrew Chaikin, for one, considers Bradbury the poet laureate of space exploration.

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NPR Story
4:08 am
Thu June 7, 2012

How The Housing Industry Affects Students' Future

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:37 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We're going to hear now about some surprising consequences of the weak housing market in this country. It turns out that the value - even on a paper - of a home can affect the college choices that a family makes.

NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam regularly joins us to discuss social science research. He's here this morning to talk about those new findings. And good morning.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.

MONTAGNE: This new research, describe it for us.

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NPR Story
4:08 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Wis. Recall Result Doesn't Dampen Protesters Resolve

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 2:42 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

With Tuesday's recall election now over in Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker resumed a normal schedule yesterday. His unsuccessful challenger, Democrat Tom Barrett, was back at Milwaukee City Hall, where he serves as mayor, and TV programs were finally free of political ads.

But one fixture of the recall battle remained in place, outside the Capitol building in Madison. NPR's Don Gonyea reports.

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NPR Story
4:08 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Panetta Makes An Unannounced Trip To Afghanistan

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:33 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is in Kabul, Afghanistan. He arrived this morning for a quick, unannounced visit with troops and also to check in on the progress of the war. Panetta's trip comes a day after a Taliban attack in southern Afghanistan left over 20 dead and at least 50 people wounded. Also yesterday, NATO forces were being blamed for allegedly killing civilians in an early morning strike.

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Middle East
1:56 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Planned E.U. Oil Embargo Looks Set To Squeeze Iran

Iranians line up at a gas station to fuel their motorcycles in central Tehran in February. Oil is the lifeblood of Iran's economy, but the planned EU boycott is expected to deal a major blow to Iranian oil exports.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 1:07 pm

On July 1, the European Union says it will stop buying oil from Iran. Europe is one of the most important markets for Iran's oil, and in anticipation of the boycott, Iranian oil exports worldwide are already down by more than 25 percent.

Iran's leaders say they can weather this pressure, and so far they have refused to budge on their controversial nuclear activities, ones that prompted a series of economic sanctions.

As a result, it appears as if Iran will only face even greater difficulties when it comes to exporting oil, the lifeblood of its economy.

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Music Interviews
1:55 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Michelle Obama's Workout Jams: 'I Really Mix It Up'

More than 10,000 children from Iowa schools joined Michelle Obama during the "Let's Move" interactive celebration in Des Moines last February.
Conrad Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 2:49 pm

The year began with New Year's resolutions to get fit and ever since, Morning Edition has been talking to athletes, musicians, a mail carrier and the head of the IRS about the music that gets them moving. The Ultimate NPR Workout Mix series concludes with a contribution from Michelle Obama.

The first lady is the mover and shaker behind "Let's Move," a campaign designed to get young people, in particular, to eat better and exercise more.

During a recent tour of the White House vegetable garden, Obama shared the key to her workout routine.

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Education
1:54 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Computers Grade Essays Fast ... But Not Always Well

As schools look to cut costs, more are considering using computers to grade students' writing assignments and to provide writing help. The programs can assess large numbers of papers in seconds.
David L Ryan The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:04 am

Imagine a school where every child gets instant, personalized writing help for a fraction of the cost of hiring a human teacher — and where a computer, not a person, grades a student's essays.

It's not so far-fetched. Some schools around the country are already using computer programs to help teach students to write.

There are two big arguments for automated essay scoring: lower expenses and better test grading. Using computers instead of humans would certainly be cheaper, but not everyone agrees on argument No. 2.

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Dead Stop
11:12 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

How Dorothy Parker Came To Rest In Baltimore

Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke (center left) and NAACP Executive Director Benjamin Hooks lower the ashes of writer Dorothy Parker into her final resting place at the NAACP headquarters in 1988.
Carlos Rosario AP

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 7:17 pm

The writer, poet and critic Dorothy Parker was technically not a native New Yorker; she was born at her family's beach cottage in New Jersey. But she always considered New York City to be her beloved hometown. It's where she grew up, where she struggled during her early days as a writer, where she became famous, and where she died of a heart attack at the age of 73.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:57 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

CT Scans Boost Cancer Risks For Kids

Isabel Doran, 4, gets a CT scan at Children's National Medical Center with her mom, Veronica Doran. The X-ray radiation in CT scans raises the risks for cancer, including leukemia, a new study shows.
Dayna Smith The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:04 am

Children who get CT scans are at slightly increased risk for brain cancer and leukemia, according to a large international study released Tuesday.

CT scans create detailed images of the inside of the body. So they're great for diagnosing all sorts of medical problems — so great that their use has soared in recent years. More than 80 million are being done every year in the United States.

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Remembrances
11:46 am
Wed June 6, 2012

The Curious Life Of Futurist Author Ray Bradbury

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 11:07 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Some sad news this morning: The world has lost a literary giant. Author Ray Bradbury died last night after a long illness. He was 91 years old. He wrote such classics as "The Martian Chronicles" and "Fahrenheit 451" - futuristic tales from a man who never used a computer, or even drove a car. NPR's Arnie Seipel has more on Bradbury and his curious life.

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Pop Culture
6:44 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Muppet's Elmo Campaigns To Carry Olympic Torch

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 11:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Eight thousand people will carry the Olympic torch before it reaches London to open the summer games, though one would-be torch barer isn't even human. He's a small red fuzzy monster.

KEVIN CLASH: (As Elmo) Elmo's ready to start training to be a monster torch-bearer. Yay. Oh, oh, Cramp, cramp.

Around the Nation
6:33 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Clouds Block Florida Crowd's View Of Venus

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 11:07 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Europe
6:04 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Blood Red, Steel Tower Honors London Olympics

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 11:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

London is having a lot of fun this summer. This past few days, it brought parades, concerts and a 1,000-boat flotilla down the Thames, celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Next month, the Olympic Games begin.

From time to time, NPR's Philip Reeves sends us a letter about the preparations for the games. This is his latest.

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Business
5:41 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Spain's Industrial Output Falls In April

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 11:07 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with yet another setback for Spain.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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