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Clay Masters

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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Asia
2:24 am
Thu December 13, 2012

A Rare Visit Inside A Chinese Courtroom

An NPR reporter recently was allowed to watch legal proceedings at Hongkou District Court — a rare opportunity for a foreign correspondent in Shanghai.
Courtesy of Hongkou District Court

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:03 am

After years of covering China, I finally set foot in a Chinese courtroom last week. Foreign reporters need government permission to enter Chinese courts and past attempts had gone nowhere.

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Religion
2:23 am
Thu December 13, 2012

From Gang Member To Hip-Hop Church Leader

Pastor Troy Evans of Edge Urban Fellowship in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Edge Urban Fellowship

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:03 am

Troy Evans preaches at Edge Urban Fellowship in a rundown Grand Rapids, Mich., neighborhood known for prostitution. Inside what looks like an abandoned office building are walls covered by graffiti. There are tattooed people wearing baseball caps and jeans. Three 20-year-old men holding mics get ready to bust out some elaborate dance moves.

It may seem like a hip-hop show, but it's actually church.

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Around the Nation
6:57 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Magnet Turns Pet Into A Cat Burglar

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with a tale of a cat burglar. A young Londoner opted for a newfangled way to thwart neighborhood kitties from stealing her cat's food. She hung a magnet to Milo's collar that unlocked a fancy cat door, which transformed Milo into a cat burglar. Turns out, Milo herself had been slipping into neighbor's homes and the magnet started picking up small metal objects, allowing Milo to carry off 20 sets of spare keys. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
6:51 am
Wed December 12, 2012

For Alabama Boy 12-12-12 Is Special

Kiam Moriya was born in 2000 at 12 minutes past noon. So Wednesday afternoon, the young man can say: I turned 12 at 12:12 on 12-12-12. He told Yahoo News he's marking the occasion with donuts arranged in the shape of the number 12.

Around the Nation
5:05 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Is California Up Next For An Oil And Gas Boom?

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Middle East
4:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Protests Against Egypt's Constitution Dwindle

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Egypt's protest movement against the controversial draft constitution appears to be losing steam. The opposition had hoped to fill the streets last night with protestors, but calls to demonstrate only generated a lackluster turnout. Voting on the new constitution begins today for Egyptians living abroad. Voters in Egypt are expected to begin casting ballots on Saturday as President Mohammed Morsi plans. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson has this report from Cairo.

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Business
4:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Do Unions Still Have Clout In Michigan?

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The contentious fight over labor rights has been unfolding throughout the Midwest in the last couple of years. Michigan is only the latest example.

NPR's national political correspondent Don Gonyea joins us now to explore the broader impact of all this. Good morning, Don.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So how is what has happened in Michigan different from what we've seen over the past couple of years in Wisconsin and Ohio, where Republican governors also took on labor unions?

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
2:33 am
Wed December 12, 2012

N.J. Spars Over Free Beach Access Post-Sandy

Superstorm Sandy caused massive beach erosion and damage to the Jersey shore. Some people say the beach restoration work, which will largely be paid for with federal tax dollars, will mostly help to protect expensive homes for the wealthy — people who have free access to the beach — while most communities would still be charging fees for public access.
Doug Mills AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:58 am

At an oceanfront park in Long Branch, N.J., Tim Dillingham looks out over the beach in awe of how much the pounding waves and high waters of Hurricane Sandy have changed the Jersey shore.

Dillingham is the executive director of the American Littoral Society, a coastal conservation group. Before the storm, he says, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent years building up the beaches by pumping sand onto them.

But that shouldn't be a solution to restoring the shore, he says.

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It's All Politics
2:32 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Farm Bill Becomes Fodder In 'Fiscal Cliff' Wrangling

A customer shops for nectarines at a farmers market in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:58 am

Among the loose ends that lawmakers would like to tie up before the end of this lame-duck session is the farm bill, which is made up mostly of crop subsidies and food stamps.

The last farm bill expired in September. The Senate has passed a new one; the House has not. Farm-state lawmakers are urging leaders to include a farm bill as part of any budget deal to avert year-end tax increases and spending cuts.

But not everyone thinks that's a good idea.

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Shots - Health News
2:31 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Democrats Draw Line On Medicaid Cuts

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, speaks Tuesday as Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., listen during a news conference on Capitol Hill calling for no reduction in the Medicare and Medicaid budgets as part of the year-end budget talks.
Joshua Roberts Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 7:15 am

At least in public, Republicans have been clear that they see the current budget negotiations as a chance to address what they see as the source of Washington's deficit problem: major entitlement programs.

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The Salt
2:05 am
Wed December 12, 2012

A Sign From Above? Needing New Roof, Monks Sell Rare Beer In U.S.

Beers made by Trappist monks at St. Sixtus Abbey's Westvleteren Brewery in Belgium are sought by connoisseurs. For the first time, the monks are exporting the beer overseas, including to the U.S.
Courtesy of Mark Lampert

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:39 am

The 12th day of the 12th month of 2012 is not a day of deliverance but of delivery for devout American fans of Westvleteren 12, brewed by the reclusive Belgian monks at St. Sixtus Abbey.

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Books
2:04 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Oprah's Book Club Turns Over A New Page

Oprah Winfrey's revamped book club uses her magazine and OWN cable network as platforms.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:58 am

Oprah Winfrey became a publishing powerhouse when she started her book club in 1996. Her picks went to the top of best-seller lists — and stayed there for weeks. But when Winfrey's daily talkfest went off the air, the book club ended as well.

Now she is reviving it: Winfrey has just announced her second pick for the Book Club 2.0: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, a novel by first-time author Ayana Mathis about the Great Migration of African-Americans out of the rural South.

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The Record
12:00 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Ravi Shankar, Who Brought Eastern Music To Western Legends, Dies

Ravi Shankar circa 1960 in the U.K.
David Redfern Redferns

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 7:40 am

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Sweetness And Light
9:03 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

NHL Lockout Leaves Fans Out In The Cold

Mike Bolt, keeper of the Stanley Cup, takes it off the ice on Dec. 7, 2012, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The NHL lockout enters its 88th day on Wednesday.
Darryl Dyck AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:44 am

The entertainment industry seems to give us only three things: sex, Justin Bieber and boxing.

Justin Bieber aside, don't producers know almost nobody cares anymore about boxing? But here we have Clifford Odets' period piece, Golden Boy, back on Broadway, and — achtung! — a musical of Rocky mounted in Germany.

Plus the usual same-old, same-old treatments are floating around. Eminem wants to make a boxing movie. Really. Worse, there are actual plans to have Sylvester Stallone fight Robert DeNiro in a boxing film. OMG — I am perfectly serious.

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Europe
6:39 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Noah's Ark Replica Docks In Netherlands

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene, with news that Noah's Ark has docked in the Netherlands. Well, sort of. Johan Huibers built a full-scale replica of the ark on a river, staying as true as he could to God's instructions to Noah. The giant floating hulk opened to the public with some real animals: rabbits and parakeets. The bison and tigers are life-sized sculptures. There are modern creature comforts, like two cinemas and a restaurant. And on opening day, by God, it rained. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
6:34 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Phoenix Man Lights Cactus To Celebrate Hanukkah

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The spirit of Hanukah is aglow in the desert. For the seventh straight year, a man in Phoenix is lighting up the tips of a giant cactus to celebrate the holiday. Mel Kline's cactus is called a saguaro. It has a middle trunk and eight arms, perfect for a menorah. And at 30 feet tall, it attracts hundreds of visitors. The Arizona Republic reports that Kline bought the cactus 35 years ago. His wife wanted a maple tree. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

National Security
5:36 am
Tue December 11, 2012

U.S. Adds Syrian Rebel Group To Terror List

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Digital Life
5:36 am
Tue December 11, 2012

FTC: Apps For Children Raise Privacy Concerns

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:55 am

The Federal Trade Commission has released a report taking to task the makers of mobile apps for children. It says apps are not transparent enough about the personal information they collect. It's the latest sign the Obama administration is concerned about children's privacy online.

Economy
4:23 am
Tue December 11, 2012

What Happens If We Fall Off The 'Fiscal Cliff?'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:55 am

Lines of communication remain open in an effort to avert the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff," according to the White House and House Speaker John Boehner.

If no deal is reached between now and the end of the year, would the consequences be that drastic?

To answer that question, let's imagine it's January and the nation has gone off the "fiscal cliff." You don't really feel any different and things don't look different, either. That's because, according to former congressional budget staffer Stan Collender, the cliff isn't really a cliff.

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Author Interviews
2:18 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Oprah's Second Pick: A First-Time Novelist

Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable channel and her magazine have revived her book club, now known as Book Club 2.0.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:55 am

Earlier this year, Oprah Winfrey announced an updated version of her popular book club, this time called Book Club 2.0. Her first pick, Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild, experienced best-seller list success thanks to what some people are calling the "Oprah bump." And last week Winfrey announced her second pick, a novel called The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, a first-time author.

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Shots - Health News
2:18 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Feds Say 'No' To Partial Medicaid Expansion

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe speaks about expanding Medicaid during a speech to the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce in Little Rock, Ark., on Nov. 14. The federal government hasn't set a deadline for states to decide on their Medicaid expansion plans.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:55 am

The Affordable Care Act, as passed by Congress in 2010, assumed that every low-income person would have access to health insurance starting in 2014.

That's when about 17 million Americans — mostly unmarried healthy adults with incomes up to 133 percent of poverty, or about $15,000 a year — would gain access to Medicaid.

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Around the Nation
2:17 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Detroit Tries To Stave Off State Takeover Of Finances

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing delivers his State of the City address on March 7. If Bing and the City Council can't agree on a plan to reduce the city's budget deficit, state officials are poised to take away their power over Detroit's finances.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:55 am

Detroit officials face a tough vote Tuesday as they try to keep their city from going over its own "fiscal cliff." If the mayor and City Council cannot agree on a plan to reduce the city's budget deficit, state officials are poised to take away their power and assume total control over Detroit's finances.

It's been a continuing vicious cycle: Detroit's population exodus, lost tax revenue and chronic mismanagement have left the city burning through cash to the point where the state of Michigan has to provide funding to help the city meet payroll for the next few months.

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Around the Nation
6:57 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Florida Senior Citizen Kicks It With The Rockettes

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Dreams do come true. For 87-year-old Pauline Clark it was the dream of dancing with the high-kicking Rockettes. Clark taught ballroom dancing for years and still jitterbugs at her senior center in Florida. So when the Wish of a Lifetime Foundation arranged a trip to New York with Radio City Music Hall's Christmas spectacular and a backstage dance workshop with the Rockettes, Clark was ready. She grabbed her walker and started kicking. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
6:39 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Queen Elizabeth To Make Holiday Message In 3D

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:59 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Sports
5:07 am
Mon December 10, 2012

NFL Copes With Another Tragedy

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 5:47 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Business
5:07 am
Mon December 10, 2012

12 Days Of Tax Deductions

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 6:08 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS")

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Ah, 'tis the season for gift giving. And some feel Congress could give us no greater gift than a budget deal that would keep our economy from going off the fiscal cliff.

One idea to raise revenue: reduce the deductions, credits, and other benefits that taxpayers now enjoy.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

So, in the spirit of this deficit deadline season, we are going to consider them too. It's our 12 Days of Deductions.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS")

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Technology
5:07 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Will U.S.-Made Mac Computers Start A Trend?

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 5:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's been years since Apple computers were made in this country, but last week, the company's CEO, Tim Cook, announced that was about to change. He said Apple is spending about $100 million to begin manufacturing a line of Macs in the U.S. NPR's Steven Henn reports it's a tiny investment for Apple, but it could be the beginning of a trend by makers of other products.

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Politics
2:44 am
Mon December 10, 2012

How Obama's 2nd Inauguration Will Differ From 1st

Construction is under way on the viewing stand in front of the U.S. Capitol for President Obama's Inauguration Day ceremonies on Jan. 21.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 6:37 am

Details are starting to come out about President Obama's second inauguration next month. The co-chairmen include some leaders of the Democratic Party and the business world as well as actress Eva Longoria. A record crowd came to the nation's capital in 2009 to witness the country's first black president take the oath of office, but this event is expected to be less flashy.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
2:25 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Everyone Chip In, Please: Crowdfunding Sandy

Jenny Adams in the Wayland Bar in Alphabet City, where she stored piles of relief supplies to distribute. Adams raised $10,000 through a crowdfunding website to help her neighbors affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Alex Goldmark NPR

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 6:40 pm

Big-hearted Americans always rush to give money after a disaster. Just how much and how fast is often determined by technology. After the earthquake in Haiti, texting small donations, for example, became a new standard practice.

This time around, Hurricane Sandy has shown crowdfunding websites are a simple tool for quick-response giving. Anyone can go on these sites and ask for money to rebuild or to help their neighbors rebuild. Friends, family and strangers chip in.

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Shots - Health News
2:23 am
Mon December 10, 2012

As Childhood Strokes Increase, Surgeons Aim To Reduce Risks

Maribel Ramos, 13, has both sickle cell disease and an abnormality of blood vessels called moyamoya. Both put her at risk of stroke, and, together, they add up to a 95 percent chance of a major stroke.
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 2:08 pm

Boston brain surgeon Ed Smith points to a tangle of delicate gray shadows on his computer screen. It's an X-ray of the blood vessels on the left side of 13-year-old Maribel Ramos' brain.

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