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Weekdays from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Steve Inskeep, Renée Montagne, 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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Politics
4:17 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Why A Handful Of Hard-Liners Has A Hold On Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner speaks to the media after a meeting with President Obama at the White House on Wednesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 11:53 am

To understand House Speaker John Boehner's role in the government shutdown, you have to understand the 30 or so House Republican hard-liners and his relationship with them.

It's an uneasy one at best.

"Listen, we've got a diverse caucus," was how Boehner put it in mid-September, shortly after the 30 forced him to ditch his original plan for a temporary government funding bill.

"Whenever we're trying to put together a plan, we've got 233 members — all of whom have their own plan," he said. "It's tough to get them on the same track. We got there."

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Politics
3:14 am
Thu October 3, 2013

National Parks Close As Other Public Lands Stay Open

The road to Lee's Ferry, Ariz., is blocked by barricades and national park rangers. Lee's Ferry is the launching point for river trips down the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park.
Scott Lee NPR

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 11:53 am

From Acadia in Maine to Zion in Utah to the North Cascades in Washington, America's 401 national park areas have gates blocking entrance roads.

The last remaining campers and hotel guests in the parks must leave Thursday, and park rangers will patrol to keep others out.

The national parks "belong to the American people, and the American people should have the right to come in," says National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. "But the only way I can protect these places during this period is to shut them down."

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Middle East
2:21 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Israel Eases Restriction On Building Materials To Gaza Strip

Palestinians inspect trucks loaded with iron arriving from Israel through the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on Sept. 22. The delivery of the materials to the private sector is a first since the Hamas takeover in 2007.
Hatem Moussa AP

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 8:05 am

Israel eased a major restriction on the Gaza Strip last week. For the first time in six years, limited commercial shipments of cement and iron were allowed through Israel into Gaza.

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Shots - Health News
2:07 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Back To Work After A Baby, But Without Health Insurance

People get information on California's health exchange at a table at Union Station in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the exchange's opening day.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 8:13 pm

Pardit Pri had health insurance until she decided to quit her job as a legal administrative assistant and stay home with her newborn son 20 months ago. She thought she'd have coverage by now. But it didn't work out that way.

"I knew that I wasn't going to be working for a while because I decided to stay home with my son, and I thought ... 'OK, fingers crossed. Nothing will happen during that time,' " she says, as she plays with her son in their Orange County, Calif., apartment.

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Around the Nation
2:05 am
Thu October 3, 2013

While Others Underfunded Pensions, Milwaukee Held Firm

Bill Averill, 62, has retired from the City of Milwaukee assessor's office and is collecting his pension. Milwaukee's fund is consistently rated as one of the best-performing in the country.
Erin Toner WUWM

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 11:53 am

After more than two decades in city government, Bill Averill has a pretty impressive mental inventory of Milwaukee real estate. He started in the city assessor's office when he was 34, after leaving a private sector job that paid better but had no retirement benefits.

"That was one of the main reasons I went to work for the City of Milwaukee," he says. "And so I knew the pension at some time, way out in the future, would be a benefit to me."

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Around the Nation
6:23 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Grandma's Gone, But She Lives On In Google

Dustin Moore of Portland, Oregon, was browsing around town on Google Street View when he spotted a familiar face. The image taken of his late grandma Alice's house captured her sitting on her front stoop, soaking up some sun and reading the paper. Moore says it's one of the last photos taken of her — she died last year.

Around the Nation
6:16 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Police Mistakenly Sent Text About Upcoming Drug Deal

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

This happens again and again. A man planning a drug deal mistakenly sends a text message to the police. It's happened so often, it could be some kind of case study for psychologists. The latest alleged seller was Nicholas Delear of New Jersey, who sent his message to the wrong guy and met up later with an undercover cop.

People, there is no point worrying about NSA electronic surveillance when you perform surveillance on yourself.

Around the Nation
3:52 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Day 2 Of Government Shutdown Affects Variety Of Workers

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 6:09 am

Some federal employees have to work despite the closure, while others have been told not to report to work. On Morning Edition, we hear some voices of folks who have already felt the impact of the shutdown. They say they feel "frustrated," and think the partial shutdown is "ridiculous."

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Education
3:52 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Dekle First Female President At An Iraqi University

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:06 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There is an old Arab saying that proclaims books are written in Cairo, published in Beirut and read in Baghdad. Those cradles of civilization were cradles of learning, and that education continues even as those places in modern times fell into unrest and violence, in part thanks to a string of English-language American universities dating back to Beirut in the 1800s.

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Africa
3:52 am
Wed October 2, 2013

After School Attack, Nigeria's President Calls For Unity

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The president of Nigeria is calling on his country to overcome its religious and ethnic divisions and to avoid becoming another Syria. President Goodluck Jonathan's warning came after an attack last weekend on a school there. At least 40 students died when gunmen stormed an agricultural school in Nigeria's mostly Muslim northeast.

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Music News
2:32 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Gospel's Blind Boys Meet Changing Times With Open Minds

I'll Find a Way is the latest album in The Blind Boys of Alabama's seven-decade run. Left to right: Ricky McKinnie, Paul Beasley, Jimmy Carter, Ben Moore, Joey Williams.
Cameron Wittig Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 10:56 am

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Sweetness And Light
2:28 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Love Of Victory In The Time Of Steroids

The Straight Dope: The use of steroids and blood doping traces back at least into the 1970s.
Robert Byron iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 11:18 am

There's a certain anniversary irony to the fact that Alex Rodriquez's illegal doping ban appeal hearing is taking place this week, for it was, essentially, a quarter-of-a-century ago that what we think of as the drug era in sports began.

And here A-Rod is now, 38 years old, his body in betrayal (perhaps from years of all the drugs), hitting .244, hearing boos, even at home at Yankee Stadium, yet pleading desperately for a lesser sentence at the price of suffering more embarrassing revelations — a figure of pity that no one does.

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Africa
2:27 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Did Kenyan Soldiers Loot Mall During Fight With Terrorists?

Bullet holes in the glass door of a shop in the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
Rukmini Callimachi AP

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 10:00 am

More than a week after Islamic militants stormed an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta has vowed to set up a commission to look into lapses in intelligence and security. At least 67 people died in the four-day siege, which ended with dozens still unaccounted for.

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Parallels
2:25 am
Wed October 2, 2013

World Immigration Called 'Win-Win' For Rich Nations, And Poor

Migrant workers from Nepal take part in a Labor Day rally in Hong Kong in May. This week, the United Nations holds a high-level meeting on issues related to worldwide migration.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:49 am

The number of people who leave their countries to work abroad is soaring, according to the United Nations. More than 200 million people now live outside their country of origin, up from 150 million a decade ago.

And migration isn't just from poor countries to rich countries anymore. There also is significant migration from rich country to rich country — and even from poor country to poor.

Beginning Thursday, the U.N. will hold a high-level meeting on the subject in New York.

Moving For Work

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Shots - Health News
2:24 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Obamacare Day One: A Tale Of Two States

Onita Sanders (right), a certified application counselor at the Southeastern Virginia Health System, helps Virginia resident Brenda Harrell with health coverage options at Enrollfest in Hampton, Va., on Tuesday.
Jenny Gold for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 10:39 am

In a call center in Rancho Cordova, Calif., on Tuesday, all the workers wore the same T-shirt: "Keep Calm And Go Live."

They were ready and waiting to take calls from consumers who could buy health insurance on California's new insurance marketplace for the first time. So the T-shirts urged calm, but the mood was ecstatic and emotional among the architects and key backers who gathered to flip the switch on the Golden State's exchange.

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The Salt
2:23 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Can Millet Take On Quinoa? First, It'll Need A Makeover

This millet field outside Nunn, Colo., is nearing harvest time, when the grain turns from green to a golden color.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 10:37 am

Walk through a health food store and you'll find amaranth, sorghum, quinoa — heritage grains that have been staples around the world for generations. Americans are just discovering them.

There's another age-old grain that grows right here on the Great Plains: millet.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:59 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Chronicle Of A Death Foretold: New York City Opera Shuts Its Doors

The New York City Opera let its final curtain fall Saturday night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in a production of Anna Nicole by Mark-Anthony Turnage.
Stephanie Berger

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:16 pm

This morning the New York City Opera announced that it was declaring bankruptcy and ceasing operations. Dubbed "The People's Opera" by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia when it was founded 70 years ago, the company was meant as an alternative to the richer Metropolitan Opera. It's the place where exciting young singers like Beverly Sills and Placido Domingo made their New York debuts and where innovative productions of new operas premiered.

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Around the Nation
6:04 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Nail Gun Victim Lives To Tell The Tale

Eugene Rakow is a carpenter who shot himself in the heart with a nail gun. Doctors removed the nail and gave it to him as a souvenir. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the surgeon said Rakow was amazingly lucky. "Nine out of 10 people won't make it," according to the surgeon.

Europe
5:54 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin Takes On Zombies

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

You know, Russian President Vladimir Putin is kind of a tough guy. You can find photos of the former KGB spy fishing shirtless and hunting everything from tigers to whales. Now something else is in his crosshairs: zombies. That's in a new videogame called "You Don't Mess with Putin." In it, the Russian leader battles some unlucky zombies at a news conference. But no superhero can do it alone. His sidekick: a hard-drinking American who goes by the name Comrade Mike.

Politics
5:36 am
Tue October 1, 2013

House GOP Didn't Blink, Focused On Defunding Obamacare

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And next, let's talk with Representative David Schweikert. He's in the studio with us. He's an Arizona Republican lawmaker, a member of the House majority that has insisted they will not approve a short-term government funding measure unless it also takes a bite from Obamacare.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Politics
5:35 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Partial Government Shutdown Will Compromise Some Services

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Afghanistan
5:02 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Marine Generals Forced To Retire A Year After Taliban Attack

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:35 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Marine Corps has forced two of its top officers to retire. It is rare for commanders to be punished for a failure in combat, but that's the case here. The two commanders - both two-star generals - are being forced out because of an attack that happened on their watch in Afghanistan. It took place a year ago at a sprawling base called Camp Bastion. Two Americans died.

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Sports
5:02 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Hockey's Ovechkin Helps Move Olympic Torch From Olympia

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:35 am

Hockey superstar Alex Ovechkin was among the first torch bearers for the 2014 Olympics that will be held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. David Greene talks to Ovechkin about the various challenges ahead for the Winter Games, as well as the upcoming hockey season.

The Two-Way
4:09 am
Tue October 1, 2013

After Shutdown, A Familiar Feeling At The White House

Steve Inskeep interviews President Obama in the Oval Office on Monday for NPR's Morning Edition.
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 10:17 am

President Obama spoke with NPR in the Oval Office on Monday, as a visiting group of young people in suits got a tour of the Rose Garden outside the windows. The most striking part of our encounter in this moment of crisis was how familiar the atmosphere seemed.

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Research News
3:52 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Examining The Psychology Of Sports Fans

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:35 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

After 162 regular season baseball games, the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates will meet tonight in a sudden death playoff. For my team, the Pirates, it's their first time in the post-season in 21 years. And after tonight, after just one game in a scheme surely invented by sadists, the Pirates might be out of the playoffs.

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Middle East
3:41 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Netanyahu Urges World To Keep Pressure On Iran

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 8:04 am

A day after a meeting with President Obama, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes center stage at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. He will likely dwell on Iran's suspect nuclear program and warn the world community against being taken in by Tehran's recent charm offensive.

Business
3:31 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Study: Fast Food Has Gotten A Bit Slower

McDonald's posted its slowest drive-through performance times in 15 years, according to a new industry study.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 12:36 pm

Fast food, it turns out, isn't quite as fast as it used to be.

A new study finds that McDonald's posted its slowest drive-through times since this survey was first conducted 15 years ago.

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Parallels
2:43 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Ethical Tradition Meets Economics In An Aging China

A woman surnamed Chu (left), 77, attends the hearing of a case against her daughter and husband in Wuxi, east China's Jiangsu province, on July 1. Chu's daughter has been ordered to visit her at least once every two months, in the first case under a new law to protect the elderly.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:44 am

The sound of Buddhist chants wafts through an annex of the Songtang Hospice, the first private facility of its kind in Beijing. A group of lay Buddhists is trying to ease the passage of a recently departed soul of a patient.

When I first visited this place nearly two decades ago, the average patient stayed just 18 days. Now, it caters to people who are not terminally ill, and the average stay is about five years.

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Shots - Health News
2:23 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Lessons For The Obamacare Rollout, Courtesy Of Massachusetts

Then-Gov. Mitt Romney signs the Massachusetts health care bill in Boston on April 12, 2006.
Brian Snyder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 8:23 am

Today marks a milestone on the nation's long march toward universal health coverage: the launch of online marketplaces, called exchanges, designed to help people find insurance they can afford.

It's an idea pioneered by Massachusetts seven years ago. People here call their program a success, and say the state's exchange was an indispensable factor.

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Don't Call This 12-Year-Old Concert Pianist A Prodigy

Emily Bear is a classical and jazz pianist. At 12, she is what many call a prodigy.
Nick Suttle Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:35 am

Musician Emily Bear has composed more than 350 pieces for the piano. She's recorded six albums, performed at the White House and Carnegie Hall, and worked closely with her mentor, music legend Quincy Jones. And get this: She's 12.

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