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Waking up is hard to do, but it's easier with NPR's Morning Edition

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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Business
3:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 8:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: raise the Red Flag.

We mentioned China's trade deficit earlier. This may be a small stab at turning it around. Beijing is telling government departments they should stop buying Audis, and should instead drive the Red Flag, China's version of the luxury sedan. It was used to shuttle around Communist luminaries like Chairman Mao, but was phased out a couple of years ago as a gas guzzler.

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Afghanistan
3:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

U.S. Soldier Accused Of Killing 16 Afghan Villagers

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 8:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

This ranks among the more dismaying moments in a decade-long war. Americans have worked for years to position themselves as protectors of Afghans against murderous insurgents, and then yesterday a U.S. Army sergeant surrendered after a shooting rampage that left well over a dozen people dead. The list of those killed includes women and children, and the motive for the suspect remains unclear.

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Afghanistan
3:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Shooting Is Another Blow To U.S.-Afghan Relations

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 8:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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Asia
3:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Japan Faces 'Tremendous Challenges Ahead'

Japan is far from back to normal, after an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster devastated the northeastern part of the country a year ago. U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos talks to Steve Inskeep about his latest visit to the hard-hit region of Tohoku.

Around the Nation
3:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Indiana School Teaches Test Prep As Literary Genre

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In this country, many American kids are preparing for standardized tests. They're among the rites of spring and they cause a lot of stress. One Indiana school tries to manage that stress by obsessing over the test a little less. Rather than teaching every single thing on the test, they just teach how to take one. Here's Kyle Stokes of NPR member station WFIU.

KYLE STOKES, BYLINE: Quick - name the literary genres you learned about in school.

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Television
3:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Bravo's Latest Reality Show: 'Shahs Of Sunset'

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 11:48 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

For all the difficult relations the U.S. has with Iran, the two countries share many ties, including millions of Iranian-Americans. Ryan Seacrest and Bravo make them the focus of a new reality show, called the "Shahs of Sunset." It examines the lavish lifestyles of some in Southern California's Iranian-American community. NPR's Amy Walters reports.

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Around the Nation
6:20 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Oregon Man Stopped For Speeding 3 Times In 1 Hour

When Oregon police stopped Jose Romeo-Valenzuela the first time, he was driving 105 mph. The second time he was driving 98 mph. And the third time, 92 mph. He faces $2,000 in tickets. He was trying to get to court to face drug possession charges.

Around the Nation
6:10 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Florida City Cracks Down On Illegal Highway Signs

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 10:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Business
3:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's one more sales pitch for you. Today's last word in business is your chance to buy a legendary brand.

Fender made guitars held by everyone from Buddy Holly to Jimi Hendrix to Bruno Mars - and maybe even smashed by a few of them. And now Fender has filed paperwork for an initial public offering. The company is looking to raise some $200 million. This company, based in California, wants to pay down debt, and get into new markets like India and China.

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Election 2012
3:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Kansas Is Up Next With GOP Nominating Contest

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Kansas holds its Republican presidential caucuses tomorrow. Rick Santorum has been the most active candidate in that state. He's trying to stop Mitt Romney's momentum again. Kansas Public Radio's Stephen Koranda has more.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting) Rick, Rick, Rick, Rick, Rick...

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Election 2012
3:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Miss. Gov. Bryant Endorses Mitt Romney

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 10:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Mitt Romney is on the road again, this time in the deep South. He's campaigning today in Mississippi and Alabama, both states that hold primaries next Tuesday. NPR's Ari Shapiro was at a Romney rally at a port on the Gulf of Mexico.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Mitt Romney left his home in bright spring Boston weather and flew down to where the air is thick and the accents are thicker, a town known as Goula.

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Middle East
3:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Pace Of Iran's Nuclear Program I Overestimated

Iranians have agreed to meet with Western officials to discuss their nuclear program, amid increasing Western concern about its purpose. Steve Inskeep talks to Paul Pillar about his article in The Washington Monthly entitled "We Can Live with a Nuclear Iran." Pillar teaches in the security studies program at Georgetown University.

Africa
3:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

U.S. Command Fights Terrorists On African Soil

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 10:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Back in January, Navy Seals rescued an American aid worker who was held for months by Somali pirates. That moment shone a spotlight on the U.S. military's newest regional command - Africom, the U.S. Africa Command, which was created in 2007. One of its biggest concerns is dealing with terrorist groups such as al-Qaida and its regional affiliates. Renee spoke with the head of Africom, General Carter Ham.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning.

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Economy
3:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Labor Department To Release February Jobless Report

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 10:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inkseep. Let's follow up on today's unemployment report. The Labor Department says unemployment stayed where it was, 8.3 percent, but the economy created 227,000 new jobs net.

And we're going to talk about that with NPR's Yuki Noguchi. She's in our studies. Yuki, good morning.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: What stands out here for you?

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Movies
3:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Review: 'Salmon Fishing In The Yemen'

The new film Salmon Fishing in the Yemen stars Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor. It's a pleasant fantasy whose few attempts at seriousness are best forgotten.

Business
3:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Wal-Mart Ads Targets Regional Grocer Harris Teeter

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 2:31 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a surprising ad campaign from Wal-Mart.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: OK. Charlotte, North Carolina, is the scene of Wal-Mart's latest ad. The commercials here are unusual because they mention a competitor - a small, regional grocery chain - by name.

As Scott Graf of member station WFAE reports, Wal-Mart says it's the first time it's ever done this.

SCOTT GRAF, BYLINE: One of the commercials goes like this:

(SOUNDBITE OF WAL-MART COMMERCIAL)

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Business
3:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Gamer Double Fine Works Around Publishers

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This week, San Francisco is hosting the Game Developers Conference. It's the largest global event for the industry that makes video and online games. Twenty thousand people from one hundred countries are there right now. And a game that hasn't even been created yet is getting lots of attention.

From member station KQED in San Francisco, Aarti Shahani reports.

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Around the Nation
6:15 am
Thu March 8, 2012

California Teacher Moonlights As Porn Star

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Around the Nation
6:08 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Indiana Legislature Votes On Official State Gun

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR Story
3:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Business News

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with allegations of price fixing on e-books.

The Justice Department is threatening to sue Apple and five major U.S. publishers for allegedly colluding to raise the price of digital books. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple persuaded publishers, including Harper Collins, Penguin and Simon and Schuster, to change how they price their e-books before the launch of the first iPad in 2010.

NPR Story
3:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Creditors Face Deadline In Greek Bond Swap

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 3:00 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Private creditors holding Greek bonds have until the end of today to participate in the largest sovereign debt restructuring in history. This means creditors must exchange the Greek government bonds they now hold for new ones that are worth far less. Some creditors are balking, since it means up to a 70 percent loss on their returns.

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NPR Story
3:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And we turn now to a group of people worth almost as much as a small country. Today's last word in business goes to Forbes magazine, which has released its 25th annual billionaires list.

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Asia
3:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Japanese Businesses Post Tsunami

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 3:00 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's a stunning fact we came across as the anniversary of Japan's tsunami and nuclear disaster approaches. Of Japan's nuclear plants, only two of 54 reactors are currently active one year after the disaster. To talk about the implications of this, we've called Kenneth Cukier. He is Tokyo correspondent for The Economist magazine. He's on the line.

Welcome to the program.

KENNETH CUKIER: Hi, there.

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Middle East
3:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Syrian Rebels Regroup After Army Gains Upper Hand

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 3:00 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Western governments are still debating whether to help Syria's rebels. But as they debate, the rebels are finding ways to help themselves.

INSKEEP: Syrians continue arming themselves, even after they retreated from the battered city of Homs. This week, the United Nations' humanitarian chief finally toured that city, including a rebel neighborhood, now mostly abandoned.

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Author Interviews
11:01 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

'Fragile Beginnings': When Babies Are Born Too Soon

Dr. Adam Wolfberg had two daughters and another on the way when his wife, Kelly, went into labor. But this joyous occasion had come much too soon — Kelly was three months away from her due date. After just 26 weeks in the womb, their baby daughter Larissa entered the world by emergency cesarean section and was whisked into the neonatal intensive care unit of a Boston hospital. It was the same hospital where Wolfberg was doing his residency in obstetrics and gynecology, and his medical background turned out to be a mixed blessing.

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Books News & Features
11:01 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

'Lifespan': What Are The Limits Of Literary License?

iStockPhoto.com

When an author writes something that's supposed to be a true story and readers discover he's stretched the truth, things can get ugly fast. Recall Oprah Winfrey's famous rebuke of author James Frey for making up much of his memoir, A Million Little Pieces. "I feel duped, but more importantly, I feel that you betrayed millions of readers," she told him.

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Monkey See
11:01 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

On HBO, A Bestselling Book Becomes A Movie About A 'Dynamic Moment'

Ed Harris as John McCain and Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin in the HBO film Game Change.
Phillip V. Caruso HBO

There were a lot of good stories from the 2008 presidential election, including Hillary Clinton's serious run for the Democratic nomination, not to mention the election of the first African-American president. The whole story was covered in the bestselling — and controversial — book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, Game Change.

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Food
6:23 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Happy Birthday! Oreo Cookie Turns 100

The first batch of Oreo cookies was made at the original Nabisco bakery in New York in 1912. The company is releasing limited edition "Birthday Cake" Oreos.

Around the Nation
6:16 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Salt Lake City Opens Sealed 1959 Time Capsule

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Election 2012
3:00 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Romney Wins Ohio, A Pivotal Battleground State

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 5:37 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Perhaps it's fitting that the state that kept everyone up late last night, waiting for results, was Ohio. It's a swing state, and it seems every four years, in the fall, Ohio becomes the center of attention in a presidential election.

This year, as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, it just happened a little earlier.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Talk to Ohio voters - Republicans and Democrats alike - and there's one issue that rises above all the others.

MARVIN HAYWOOD: Number one: our economy.

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