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Renée Montagne and Steve Inskeep

Morning Edition

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 listeners 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
5:26 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Cows Get Their Drink On After Crashing Party

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A Memorial Day weekend combines honoring those who served with backyard barbecues. And some are getting an early start. Police in Boxford, Massachusetts responded to a call about six party crashers - cows. The Tri-Town Transcript reports the cows crashed a backyard gathering, chased away partiers, and drank their beer. Said a police sergeant, the thirsty cows, quote, "just went in and helped themselves." It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Europe
5:20 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Legendary Rats Return To German Town

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A town in Germany once had a legendary rat problem. Hamelin was the setting for the tale of the Pied Piper, who lured its rats into a river, and then led away its children when he wasn't paid. Some 700 years later, the rats have returned and chewed through the electric cable powering the town's fountain. Could be a job for another Pied Piper, or tourists could just stop scattering bread crumbs for birds near the fountain. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Asia
2:26 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Hollywood Dreams Led Chinese Firm To Buy Into U.S.

Moviegoers watch a 3-D IMAX movie at a Beijing theater run by the Chinese company Wanda, which recently announced it was buying AMC movie theaters for $2.6 billion. The move is seen as part of a larger effort by the Chinese conglomerate to move into the U.S. market.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:09 am

One of the big movie blockbusters this year isn't a film, but a business deal.

The Chinese company Wanda, one of that country's leading cinema owners, is buying AMC Entertainment, North America's second-largest movie theater company, for $2.6 billion.

When the agreement was announced in China this week, it did not make a lot of sense at first glance. At least for the buyer.

AMC is loaded with some $2 billion in debt, and movie theater attendance in North America was down 4 percent last year.

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Your Money
2:25 am
Fri May 25, 2012

In Tight Credit Market, A Tool For Small Businesses

Many small-business owners have had difficulty securing loans in recent years. One website grades the nation's banks by the ratio of small-business loans to deposits — and finds that community banks are often most friendly to small business.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:09 am

When small-business owners start looking for money to expand, they often begin at a big bank. The banks are highly visible, well-known and often nearby.

But many small-business owners report that they have struggled to get loans in the wake of the economic downturn.

Ami Kassar, CEO of the small-business-loan broker multifunding.com, advises business owners that large banks are "not the best place to start" when looking for a small-business loan.

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Africa
2:06 am
Fri May 25, 2012

How Crumbling U.S. Dollars Bailed Out Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe now uses the U.S. dollar as its main currency, though the bills are often extremely dirty and falling apart due to constant use. Here a cashier holds U.S. dollars in good condition at a supermarket in the capital Harare in 2009.
Kate Holt Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:17 pm

Four years ago, Zimbabwe experienced one of the worst cases of hyperinflation in history. The country abandoned its own currency and switched to the U.S. dollar — a move experts say prevented a complete economic collapse.

But using American dollars has created a host of bizarre issues. The bills are filthy, crumbling and often in short supply. There are no U.S. coins to make change, so chocolate is handed out instead. There is, oddly, an abundance of $2 bills.

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Around the Nation
1:50 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Walk This Way: Crossing The Golden Gate Bridge

More than 200,000 people crossed the bridge the day it opened in 1937. Many walked. Others ran, tap-danced, roller-skated, unicycled, or strode on stilts.
Courtesy of GoldenGateBridge.org

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 12:15 pm

On May 27, 1937, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge opened, connecting bustling San Francisco to sleepy Marin County to the north. The Oakland-Bay Bridge had opened six months earlier — but the Golden Gate was an engineering triumph. It straddles the Golden Gate Strait, the passage from the Pacific Ocean into the San Francisco Bay, where rough currents prevail and winds can reach 70 mph.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
1:48 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Need A Nurse? You May Have To Wait

Some fear that with rising medical costs and an aging population, the country's nursing staff will be stretched too thin.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:15 pm

Nurses are the backbone of the hospital — just ask pretty much any doctor or patient. But a new poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health finds 34 percent of patients hospitalized for at least one night in the past year said "nurses weren't available when needed or didn't respond quickly to requests for help."

Since nurses provide most of the patient care in hospitals, we were surprised at the findings. We wanted to find out more. We wanted to know what was going on from nurses themselves. So we put a call-out on Facebook.

Read more
Books
1:34 am
Fri May 25, 2012

15 Summer Reads Handpicked By Indie Booksellers

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:36 am

Booksellers know how important a good story is — one that reaches out, pulls you in and keeps you reading late into the warm summer night. As readers seek out recommendations for their summer travels, booksellers are scouring their shelves for the stories that shine.

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Europe
1:33 am
Fri May 25, 2012

To Tap Arctic Oil, Russia Partners With Exxon Mobil

A Rosneft flag flies over the Russian oil giant's refinery near the city of Samara. Growth of Russia's oil and gas output has stalled, but Exxon Mobil and other foreign firms have signed deals to help exploit the Arctic.
Nikolay Korchekov Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:09 am

Russia is still the world's largest producer of oil and gas, but growth has stalled and to get to new supplies requires going to a very difficult place — the Arctic.

"If you want to be in this business in 2020, 2025, you must think about the Arctic," says Konstantin Simonov, head of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow.

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StoryCorps
1:29 am
Fri May 25, 2012

The Day Taps Echoed Through Belgium's Hills

After Harrison Wright was drafted into the U.S. Army as a teenager in 1943, he became a bugler.
Courtesy of Harrison Wright

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:09 am

During World War II, Harrison Wright served with the Army in Europe. And as he recalls during a visit to StoryCorps with his grandson Sean Guess, he was sent on a very special assignment to mark the end of the war.

Wright was drafted in March 1943.

"I was an 18-year-old boy," he says. "I blew the bugle in our outfit," he adds, largely because he had played the trumpet in high school.

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Around the Nation
5:13 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Safeway Meat Clerk Reinstated After Fight

Ryan Young saw a pregnant woman being kicked by her boyfriend. He leaped out from behind the meat counter and intervened. Safeway suspended him, citing a zero-tolerance policy for workplace violence. But after the union took up his cause and people boycotted the store, Safeway reinstated Young, calling his action "commendable."

Around the Nation
5:06 am
Thu May 24, 2012

'Tebowing' Move Not Appreciated At Graduation

Chuck Shriner was about to receive his diploma from Fort Myers Catholic School in Florida when he dropped to one knee, and struck the praying pose made famous by quarterback Tim Tebow. Shriner won a $5 bet but lost the chance to get his diploma onstage.

Business
4:17 am
Thu May 24, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 12:26 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is Robocop car.

American customers have not been able to buy a new Chevrolet Caprice since 1996. Now the car is back, as a police car. The 2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV and Detective goes beyond the old black-and-white. Its computer system is voice activated, "Knight Rider"-style. It has eight cameras positioned to scan thousands of license plates per shift, which police computers can then check against a database to find if drivers have outstanding warrants or tickets.

Education
2:48 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Romney Declares National Education Emergency

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 5:48 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Mitt Romney laid out his education agenda on Wednesday. In a speech in Washington, he compared the American public education system to that of a third world country. But Romney's plan to deal with what he called a national education emergency does not appear to be a major departure from the policies that have been in place since 2001, under both Presidents Bush and Obama. NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports.

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Business
2:48 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Outlook For Housing Industry Appears Promising

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 4:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A lot of housing news is out this week and all of it is looking surprisingly good. Sales of new and older homes both saw gains. And two reports showed prices rising.

NPR's Chris Arnold has more.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: The question is: Can this last? And some people who've studied housing for decades think that maybe it can.

William Weaton is an economist at MIT.

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NPR Story
2:48 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Egyptians Vote In 2nd Day Of Presidential Election

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 4:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The first free presidential election in Egypt is in its second day. Thirteen candidates are vying to replace Hosni Mubarak in what many there say is a wide-open race. The last election in 2005 saw Mubarak winning 87 percent of the vote against another candidate, a candidate he later threw in jail. Voter turnout yesterday was so strong, election officials kept polling stations open across Egypt for an additional hour.

Read more
Business
2:48 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 5:30 am

The world's leading PC manufacturer has announced it will lay off 27,000 workers over the next two years — a third of those job cuts will be in the U.S. The CEO of Hewlett-Packard says the layoffs are part of a restructuring that will include greater spending on research and development.

Movies
2:48 am
Thu May 24, 2012

'Star Wars' Turns 35

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 4:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's talk about another icon, one with a light saber. Tomorrow marks the anniversary of "Star Wars." Thirty-five years ago, moviegoers first paid to see a tale from a long time ago in a galaxy far away.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It changed the life of John Booth, author of "Collect All 21: Memoirs of a Star Wars Geek."

JOHN BOOTH: There were no space movies to me before "Star Wars."

INSKEEP: And then came "Star Wars 1."

MONTAGNE: Actually, Steve, that's "Star Wars 4."

Read more
Middle East
2:48 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Iran Nuclear Talks Described As Long, Hard

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 4:40 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers resumed this morning in Baghdad. The United States and its allies are pressing Iran to freeze its production of highly enriched uranium, but are refusing to offer the kind of easing of economic sanctions that Iran is seeking as a concession. These talks are described as long and hard, and NPR's Peter Kenyon is covering them in Baghdad, Iraq. Hi, Peter.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: Morning, Steve.

Read more
Election 2012
1:19 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Obama Seeks To Gain Support Among Military Voters

President Obama returns a Marine's salute as he boards the Marine One helicopter Wednesday. Obama traveled to Colorado Springs for the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation ceremony.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 2:38 pm

Historically, the veteran and military vote has gone Republican. In 2008, for example, while losing the presidency, John McCain — a war hero — won 55 percent of this vote.

This year, the Obama campaign thinks it can close the gap.

For one thing, neither candidate is a veteran. And the campaign is hoping to capitalize on a generational change in the military. Four years ago, although he lost the veteran vote overall, President Obama won among vets under age 60.

Read more
Music News
1:18 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Glad To See You Again: Joey Ramone's Unearthed Demos

Joey Ramone: Weightlifter.
Laura Levine

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 12:25 pm

The Ramones were there at the birth of punk rock.

None of the Ramones were actually related, but they all changed their last names to Ramone. They wore matching skinny jeans and leather jackets, and their songs were short and to the point, with hooks that are still impossibly catchy. The band's first album stunned listeners and critics. Joey Ramone described its influence in a 1991 interview in Finland that's posted on YouTube.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
12:52 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Medical Marijuana 101: You Can't Smoke That On Campus

Even if students have a prescription for pot, marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Colleges that let students self-medicate on campus could jeopardize their federal funding.
Jeff Barnard AP

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 8:02 am

Medical marijuana is legal in 16 states, and that number is expected to grow. But these state laws put colleges in a bind. That's because under federal law, marijuana is still illegal. So colleges that let students make use of their pot prescription on campus risk losing their federal funding.

Read more
Around the Nation
12:50 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Teaching Teens To Build Hammers Home A Message

Domingo Williams, a participant in the Sasha Bruce Youthwork program, gathers wood to help rebuild a gutted house in the Southeast neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
Emily Bogle NPR

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 4:17 am

Teenagers in Washington, D.C., face tough odds getting a job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly half of those looking for work can't find it — the highest rate in the country.

Sasha Bruce Youthwork, an organization that works with troubled teens in the district, is trying to address that problem by training young people in the construction trades.

The group has enlisted an army of volunteers and a handful of trainees for what it calls a "blitz build" — an effort to rebuild a gutted house in a single day.

Read more
Planet Money
12:47 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Bankrupt In Paradise

A rainbow over the sea in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands.
Koichi Kamoshida Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 7:05 am

The Northern Mariana Islands are about 4,000 miles west of Hawaii. They look like the kind of tropical islands you see in the movies with bright blue water and white sand beaches.

The people who live on the islands are American. The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is a U.S. territory. And just like a lot of U.S. states, the commonwealth has a pension plan for its government employees.

Sixto Igisomar used to run it.

Read more
Mongolia Booms
8:47 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Old Ways Disappearing In The New Mongolia

A baby Bactrian camel is tied up at the edge of the Badam family's small farmstead. Bactrian camels — like all Mongolian mammals — have thick fur to withstand the winters.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 7:57 pm

Mongolia, the land of Genghis Khan and nomadic herders, is in the midst of a remarkable transition. Rich in coal, gold and copper, this country of fewer than 3 million people in Central Asia is riding a mineral boom that is expected to more than double its GDP within a decade. The rapid changes simultaneously excite and unnerve many Mongolians, who hope mining can help pull many out of poverty, but worry it will ravage the environment and further erode the nation's distinctive, nomadic identity.

Last of four parts

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Around the Nation
4:42 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Construction Crew Works Gingerly Around Elephant

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Oregon officials are trying to ease the stress of road construction, at least for one resident. Two-point-two miles of the Sunset Highway are being repaved. This could disturb Rose-Tu, a pregnant elephant at the nearby Oregon zoo. The Oregonian reports highway crews will move gingerly, letting Rose-Tu grow accustomed to the noise. They hope to avoid stress from vibrations in her feet and sounds captured by those elephant ears. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

World
4:29 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Even Presidents Struggle To Keep Their Dignity

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 4:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Afghanistan
2:41 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Afghan Public Protection Force Profile

A U.S. soldier watches members of the Afghan Public Protection Force arrive at the transition ceremony on the outskirts of the Afghan capital Kabul on March 15. The APPF replaces all private security contractors in the country.
Ahmad Jamshid AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 7:54 am

Nearly two years ago, Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered that gun-toting private security companies in his country be brought under state control. But the Afghan force to replace the foreign-funded contractors is off to a rocky start.

According to the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the new force will increase security costs for USAID projects and could even shut some of them down, at a loss of about $899 million. USAID in Kabul disagrees, and the dispute has gone public.

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Movies
2:32 am
Wed May 23, 2012

65th Annual Cannes Film Festival Opens In France

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 3:09 am

The movie being talked about the most at this year's Cannes Film Festival in the south of France is Michael Haneke's Amour. It's the 65th anniversary of the festival.

Business
2:32 am
Wed May 23, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 4:22 am

Gucci sued Guess over trademark infringement, citing multiple cases of designs it claimed were "studied imitations of Gucci trademarks

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