Morning Edition on IPR News and News/Studio One

Steve Inskeep, Renée Montagne, Clay Masters

Weekdays at 5 a.m. on IPR News and News/Studio One

 

For more than two decades, NPR's "Morning Edition" has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports. With nearly 13 million listeners, "Morning Edition" draws public radio's largest audience.

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World
4:07 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Panama Searches Impounded North Korean Cargo Ship

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

As of this morning, Panama still doesn't know quite what to do with that North Korean cargo ship its impounded. The ship was going through the Panama Canal on its way from Cuba to North Korea. And when Panamanian authorities looked inside under thousands of bags of Cuban sugar, they found parts for missiles, jets and radar systems.

Here to help sort out this discovery is NPR's Tom Gjelten. Good morning.

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Parallels
2:25 am
Thu July 18, 2013

As Nelson Mandela Turns 95, South Africa Celebrates

Supporters of Nelson Mandela rally outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, where he has been treated for more than a month. The anti-apartheid icon turned 95 on Thursday.
Jonathan Blakley NPR

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 9:39 am

While South Africa celebrates the 95th birthday of Nelson Mandela on Thursday, the former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate remains at a Pretoria hospital, where he's been hospitalized since June 8 with a recurring lung infection.

President Jacob Zuma's office has said that Mandela is in "critical but stable" condition, though Mandela's daughter Zindzi said Wednesday that her father was making "remarkable progress" and could be released soon.

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Code Switch
2:20 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Comedian Hari Kondabolu On Diversity, Race And Burger King

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:20 pm

Hari Kondabolu is a brainy comedian who cuts through the polite talk around race and gender. He's made a lot of key people laugh with his incisive anecdotes, including Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien and John Oliver.

A full-time writer on the FX show Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, he recently did a comedy bit on the National Spelling Bee, or "as I like to call it," he joked, "the Indian Super Bowl."

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Parallels
2:19 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Al-Jazeera Under Fire For Its Coverage Of Egypt

Posters in Cairo show Al-Jazeera's logo in red with a bloody hand scratching at it. A bullet can kill a man, the poster says, but a lying camera can kill a nation.
Kelly McEvers NPR

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 6:45 am

The past two weeks in Egypt have been a real test for the TV network Al-Jazeera. Accusations that the network is biased toward the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi have resulted in arrests, threats and resignations.

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Economy
9:28 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Market Mood Improves After Bernanke Remarks

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Ben Bernanke's latest comments are at the top of NPR's business news.

Stock and bond markets reacted positively to the Federal Reserve chairman's latest remarks on the economy this morning. Ben Bernanke is on Capitol Hill delivering the Fed's twice-yearly update on the economy and Fed policy before the House Financial Services Committee. NPR's John Ydstie joins us now to talk about it. And John, what was it that Bernanke said that impressed the market?

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Asia
6:11 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Chinese Museum Closes Because Of Fakes

A visiting writer noticed some of the fakes. Like an ancient artifact bearing Chinese characters that first appeared in the 20th century. And an ancient vase bearing modern looking cartoon animals.

World
6:05 am
Wed July 17, 2013

English Soccer Team Sees New Level Of Fan Dedication

As players for the team were sightseeing in Vietnam, they noticed a man in an Arsenal shirt running alongside the team bus. He kept pace for more than 3 miles. Players began chanting, "Sign him up!"

Around the Nation
3:31 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Paul, Cruz Back Bill Changing Military Sexual Assault System

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And support is growing in Congress for a bill that to allow military prosecutors to decide whether or not to try serious military crimes, including sexual assault. That would take the decision out of the hands of commanders, commanders who are in a position of overseeing the careers of both the victims and the accused. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports that two Republican senators and possible presidential hopefuls in 2016 are joining forces with Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

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Business
3:31 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Rising Interest Rates Worry Banking Industry

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:08 am

Five years after the start of the financial crisis, the U.S. banking industry continues to earn strong profits. On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs became the latest big bank to report better than expected earnings. But rising interest rates mean a riskier environment for banks.

Law
3:31 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Holder: It's Time To Examine 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Attorney General Eric Holder says it is time to take a hard look at so-called Stand Your Ground laws. These are laws that allow people to use deadly force to defend themselves, if they believe they're under attack. Holder delivered that call to action yesterday in a speech to the NAACP in Orlando, Fla., a short distance away from where unarmed, black teen Trayvon Martin was shot and killed last year. NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

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Shots - Health News
2:02 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Sickle Cell Anemia Is On The Rise Worldwide

Red blood cells are normally shaped like doughnuts, but sickle cells (purple) are flattened and clump together.
NIH

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 9:45 am

Sickle cell anemia may not be as well-known as, say, malaria, tuberculosis or AIDS. But every year, hundreds of thousands of babies around the world are born with this inherited blood disorder. And the numbers are expected to climb.

The number of sickle cell anemia cases is expected to increase about 30 percent globally by 2050, scientists said Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where the disease is most common, will be the hardest hit.

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Joe's Big Idea
2:01 am
Wed July 17, 2013

All Charged Up: Engineers Create A Battery Made Of Wood

Wood fibers are coated with carbon nanotubes and then packed into small disks of metal. The sodium ions moving around in the wood fibers create an electric current.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:08 am

The big idea behind Joe's Big Idea is to report on interesting inventions and inventors. When I saw the headline "An Environmentally Friendly Battery Made From Wood," on a press release recently, I figured it fit the bill, so went to investigate.

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The Salt
2:00 am
Wed July 17, 2013

In Oregon, The GMO Wheat Mystery Deepens

Wheat grows in a test field at Oregon State University in Corvallis. Some scientists believe that there's a chance that genetically modified wheat found in one farmer's field in May is still in the seed supply.
Natalie Behring Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:34 pm

The strange case of genetically engineered wheat on a farm in Oregon remains as mysterious as ever. If anything, it's grown more baffling.

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Sweetness And Light
9:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Clap If You Believe In Roger Maris

Davis says that in his opinion, Roger Maris (above) is the all-time home run record holder. Maris hit 61 homers in 1961.
AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:08 am

In 1961 the American League schedule was lengthened by eight games to 162, and it was about this time that summer that the commissioner –– of whom it was once written, "An empty cab drove up to the curb and Ford Frick got out" –– declared that even if some player broke Babe Ruth's record of 60 home runs, it would not count if he needed more games than Ruth had had.

So, when Roger Maris hit his 61st in the last game of the longer season, the distinction did not displace Ruth in the record books but was merely listed along with The Babe's lesser number.

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Business
11:15 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Weather Puts A Damper On Coca-Cola Sales

Coca-Cola sales have slowed, in part because of the weather. The company says global soda sales rose by only 1 percent in the second quarter — less than expected. Coke's CEO cited rain and cold temperatures in the U.S., which seems to have put a damper on consumers' desire for a refreshing soft drink.

Around the Nation
6:17 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Zack Hample Makes Baseball Catch Of A Lifetime

Since 1990, Zack Hample has been snagging baseballs from the stands — nearly 7,000 at 50 different Major League stadiums. This past weekend in Massachusetts, a ball dropped from a helicopter 1,200 feet in the air. From that height, a very fast ball, so Hample was decked out in catchers gear.

Around the Nation
6:10 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Fans Get Dave Matthews To Concert On Time

The singer was stuck on Saturday when his bike suffered a flat tire. But he made it to the show in Hershey, Pa., on time when a couple who were headed to the concert recognized the cellphone-less star. They were rewarded with great seats, dinner backstage and a good story.

Latin America
4:06 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Vicious Cartel Leader Arrested In Mexico

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 9:05 pm

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.

One of the most brutal and vicious cartel leaders in Mexico has been arrested. Early yesterday morning, Mexican marines, caught the leader of the notorious Zeta gang organization. The country has killed or captured dozens of kingpins in recent years without managing to bring an end to the high murder rates in many areas.

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Sports
4:06 am
Tue July 16, 2013

New York Hosts Major League All-Star Game

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 5:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The best players in major league baseball take the field tonight in New York. Fans voted for their favorites in the American and National Leagues. The All-Star game is an exhibition - or mostly an exhibition - and there is a real prize. The winner gets home-field advantage during the World Series. The game also offers a chance to check on how teams are doing midway through the season.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here to talk all things baseball is NPR's Mike Pesca. Good morning.

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Around the Nation
4:06 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Georgia Hospital System Partners With Royal Philips

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 5:22 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Companies that make medical equipment operate largely on a supply-and-demand model. Hospitals buy their multimillion- dollar machines, use them for a few years, and then go shopping again. In some cases, manufacturers have designed entire medical systems within a hospital.

Now, in what appears to be a first-of-its-kind partnership in the United States, a tech giant - Royal Philips - and a hospital system in Georgia are sharing financial risk and reward. Jim Burress reports from WABE in Atlanta.

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Books News & Features
2:17 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Use The Books, Fans: 'Star Wars' Franchise Thrives In Print

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 9:56 am

There's been a frenzy of excitement since last year when Disney bought Lucasfilm, creator of the Star Wars franchise, and announced it would make more Star Wars movies. Fans are eagerly awaiting hints of what might happen next in the story, and one way the franchise keeps fans interested is through a pantheon of Star Wars books, the latest of which is Troy Denning's Star Wars: Crucible.

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Animals
2:16 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Om Nom Nom: T. Rex Was, Indeed, A Voracious Hunter

Mind The Teeth: Fossils indicate that Tyrannosaurus rex was an active hunter, in addition to being a scavenger. And in Jurassic Park, it also had a sweet tooth for lawyers.
Universal Pictures Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 9:44 am

Tyrannosaurus rex is perhaps one of the most famous animals to have ever roamed the Earth. This huge, fierce meat-eater has graced Hollywood films as the perpetual villain, and it has played a notorious role in the science community that studies it, too.

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Shots - Health News
2:15 am
Tue July 16, 2013

South Africa Weighs Starting HIV Drug Treatment Sooner

A woman waits to get AIDS drugs on April 8 at a clinic in Ga-Rankuwa, South Africa, about 55 miles north of Johannesburg. New WHO guidelines say patients should start HIV treatment much earlier, before they become extremely sick.
Stephane de Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 5:22 am

The World Health Organization has issued revised guidelines saying that people with HIV should be put on antiviral drugs far earlier than was previously recommended. The hope is that most patients would get started on treatment before they begin to get extremely sick.

It's a move that could have huge implications for African nations where millions of people are infected with HIV. In South Africa roughly 5.5 million people are living with HIV — more than any other country in the world. South Africa also has more people in treatment than anywhere else.

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Robert Randolph Ushers In Steel-Guitar Soul With 'Lickety Split'

Robert Randolph & The Family Band's new album, Lickety Split, is out Tuesday.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 5:22 am

The 33-year-old frontman of Robert Randolph & The Family Band has strong roots in gospel music. As a kid, he grew up attending the House of God church in Orange, N.J. That's where he first played the "sacred steel" guitar, a driving force behind the band's soulful new album, Lickety Split.

In the 1920s, African-American Pentecostal churches began using the steel guitar in place of an organ. From there, it became an instrument that helped usher in a new gospel style.

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World
5:51 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Canadian Town Is Nuts For Taters

Florenceville-Bristol produces about a third of the world's frozen french fries. So, of course, this tater town celebrated National French Fry Day over the weekend. A huge portrait of the town's covered bridge was unveiled. It was made from 5,700 fries.

NPR Story
4:10 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Zimmerman Verdict Fuels Fight Over Racial Injustice

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 4:55 am

Over the weekend, a jury in Sanford, Fla., found George Zimmerman not guilty of charges that he committed murder or manslaughter in the death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. While it closed a criminal case the nation has followed for nearly a year and a half, it's adding to the conversation about race and equal justice.

Around the Nation
4:10 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Rail Industry Vows To Learn From Fiery Accident In Canada

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 4:59 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, a grim search continues this morning amid the ash and debris left after a train carrying oil crashed into the town. As investigators try to figure out what caused the fiery accident, the question has emerged across the border: Could the same thing happen here in the U.S.? NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

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NPR Story
4:10 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Norwalk, Conn., Debates Building Project In Floodplain

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 5:06 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's talk about another kind of tragedy: natural disasters. Severe storms seem to becoming more frequently, and this is raising questions once again about the wisdom of building in coastal flood-prone areas. It's an issue for private builders and public officials, like city leaders in Norwalk, Connecticut. They want to upgrade and old housing project in a flood plain using federal dollars. From WSHU, Kaomi Goetz has that story.

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NPR Story
4:10 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Obama 'Understated' When Reacting To Zimmerman Verdict

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 5:17 am

There has been a lot of political reaction to the George Zimmerman verdict, announced Saturday night in Sanford, Fla. Also in the news, it appears the Senate is headed toward a historic vote on changing filibuster rules.

It's All Politics
2:05 am
Mon July 15, 2013

In Second Term, Obama Takes Softer Tone Toward Bushes

President Obama applauds as former first lady Barbara Bush and former President George W. Bush help President George H.W. Bush stand at the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on April 25 in Dallas. Former first lady Laura Bush looks on.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 4:10 am

Former President George H.W. Bush will visit the White House on Monday, along with his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, to celebrate a milestone for Points of Light, a volunteer service organization that got its start during the first Bush administration.

During President Obama's first term, he didn't see much of the Bushes. He met with the former presidents — father, son or both — a total of just five times in four years.

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