Morning Edition

Hosted by 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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NPR Story
3:37 am
Fri January 4, 2013

'Downton Abbey': Not Much 'Hurly Burly' Upstairs

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 7:46 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Yesterday, we brought you into the aristocratic world of "Downton Abbey." OK, cue the music.

(SOUNDBITE OF "DOWNTON ABBEY" THEME MUSIC)

GREENE: The show returns to "Masterpiece Classic" on PBS for its third season this Sunday. The British period drama follows the family of Lord and Lady Grantham, along with their faithful servants.

JIM CARTER: Our lives are dictated by gongs and bells, and the rhythm of the day. It is dictated to us by the people upstairs. We live to serve them, and to make their world perfect.

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Author Interviews
3:04 am
Fri January 4, 2013

The 'Life And Liberation' Of A Black Female Metal Fan

The singer Skin of Skunk Anansie performs at Brixton Academy in London last month. She wrote the foreword to Laina Dawes' What Are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman's Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal.
Simone Joyner Redferns via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 9:15 am

Music writer Laina Dawes is a die-hard Judas Priest fan. She's all about the band's loud and fast guitars, the piercing vocals — and she loves to see the group perform live.

Now, a fact that shouldn't matter: Dawes is a black woman. This, she says, can make things uncomfortable on the metal scene. She says she's been verbally harassed and told she's not welcome.

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Europe
2:32 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Old Greek Blasphemy Laws Stir Up Modern Drama

A Greek Orthodox priest is blocked by riot police as he takes part in a protest outside an Athens theater in October. The play, Corpus Christi, portrays Jesus and his apostles as gay men living in modern-day Texas. The director and the cast have been charged under Greece's blasphemy laws.
Alexandros Vlachos EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 9:16 pm

Before he died in 1994, a Greek monk named Elder Paisios told his compatriots to turn to faith in hard times.

The monk is said to have predicted the economic crisis — as well as a triumphant return of a Greek empire.

With unemployment now at Great Depression levels, many Greeks see him as a prophet.

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Shots - Health News
2:30 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Bargain Over Fiscal Cliff Brings Changes To Health Care

A compromise bill that passed the Congress at the last minute included provisions that will reverberate through the nation's health care system.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 7:46 am

The bill that prevented the nation from plunging over the fiscal cliff did more than just stop income tax increases and delay across-the-board spending cuts. It also included several provisions that tweaked Medicare and brought bigger changes to other health care programs.

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It's All Politics
2:29 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Outspoken Alan Grayson Gets Another Chance In Congress

After losing his bid for re-election in 2010, Democrat Alan Grayson of Florida is back in Congress after winning a safer district.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:24 am

Among the more than 80 House freshmen who were sworn in this week, there were several who had been there before — including Florida Democrat Alan Grayson.

After starting his first term four years ago, Grayson quickly made a name for himself with biting comments targeting Republicans — like when he said during the health care debate: "If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly."

His national stature didn't prevent him from being defeated in 2010. But now Grayson is back.

'The People United'

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Around the Nation
6:44 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Kid Convinced He Bought $50,000 Car On eBay

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Don't play with the iPad if Mom tells you not to, especially if Mom's a prankster. Eight-year-old Kenyon was looking at a car on eBay. Mom told him he accidentally bought it for $50,000.

KENYON: Is that true? Did I?

MOM: I'm afraid so.

GREENE: She posted his reaction on YouTube.

KENYON: It was a Mustang. I didn't mean to buy it.

Asia
6:38 am
Thu January 3, 2013

In China, Yellow Is The New Red

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

You've seen this happen, maybe done it yourself. You approach an intersection, the light turns yellow, but instead of slowing to a stop, you accelerate and blow through. Chinese authorities have now outlawed this practice. New rules say yellow is the new red. It means stop. The change has prompted vocal protest, even at the official Chinese news agency. One Chinese critic says the new rules are contrary to Newton's First Law about momentum.

Around the Nation
5:47 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Mackinac Island Worries About Preserving Its Past

Michigan's Mackinac Island was fought over by France, England and the United States. The 200-year-old city in northern Lake Huron is a popular tourist destination. But the demolition of old buildings has raised a fierce debate about how to hold onto the past while profiting from it.

Business
4:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And that brings us to today's last word in business: melty money.

The Bank of Canada released new hundred dollar bills in 2011. The high-tech bank notes are made of polymers. They're sort of like plastic bills. The goal was to make them indestructible. They were put through a lot of tests. They were put through the wash, frozen, boiled. But some Canadians who have their hands on the money say the plastic bills melt when subjected to extreme heat.

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NPR Story
4:25 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Farmers Frustrated By Farm Bill Extension

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Farmers and ranchers across this country expected to start the year with a new farm bill in place. This is an important piece of legislation to many people. It sets agricultural policy for the next five years.

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Economy
3:59 am
Thu January 3, 2013

What Is A Good Unemployment Number, Really?

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:50 am

On Friday, new unemployment numbers will be released for December. In last month's report, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent, a four-year low. For a preview of the labor market prospects for the new year, Steve Inskeep talks to Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, an international consulting firm.

It's All Politics
2:27 am
Thu January 3, 2013

After Upset Win, House Freshman Looks To Make A Name For Himself

Then-candidate Eric Swalwell speaks as Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., walks offstage during an endorsement meeting at the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club in Oakland, Calif., in September.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:27 am

A 32-year-old Bay Area prosecutor will be sworn in to Congress on Thursday after ousting a 40-year incumbent.

California Democrat Eric Swalwell — who will be the second-youngest member of Congress — capitalized on his opponent's gaffes and used old-fashioned door-knocking and high-tech mobile phone outreach to win votes.

His first challenge in Washington might be getting people to pronounce his name correctly. Even senior members of California's congressional delegation have gotten it wrong, saying "Stallwell" instead of "Swalwell."

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Around the Nation
2:26 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Brings One Family Closer

The day after their neighborhood was flooded, the Hardys returned to their house to start bagging up the garbage. The contents of the fridge were spread all over the kitchen floor and even outside. There were sausages in the street. The kitchen floor was a mess of muddy puddles.
Courtesy of Heather Hardy

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 7:26 am

The Hardy family goes back generations in a tiny neighborhood called Gerritsen Beach at the southern end of Brooklyn. For them, Superstorm Sandy has created something like an extended family reunion.

Their 2 1/2 bedroom house is currently just barely livable. They removed a fallen tree, replaced drywall, fixed the electricity and heat, and threw down rugs to keep the dust and mold from overwhelming them until they do the work the house really needs.

The Hardy family is more closely knit than a lot of people could stand.

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Television
2:24 am
Thu January 3, 2013

'Downton Abbey' Cast: It's More Fun Downstairs

Hugh Bonneville (left) stars as Lord Grantham and Jim Carter as Mr. Carson, the formidable butler of Downton Abbey.
Joss Barratt Carnival Films

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 3:41 pm

With the third season of the sumptuously upholstered period drama Downton Abbey coming to PBS Masterpiece Classic on Jan. 6, Morning Edition's David Greene sat down with a half-dozen members of the cast to talk about what's in store.

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The Record
11:55 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Patti Page, Who Dominated The '50s Pop Charts, Dies

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:27 am

Patti Page, whose comforting voice made hits of heartbreaking ballads ("Tennessee Waltz") and novelty songs ("How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?"), died Tuesday in Encinitas, Calif. She was 85 years old.

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It's All Politics
5:23 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Democratic Leader Pelosi to GOP Colleagues: 'Take Back Your Party'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks at a Dec. 19 news conference on Capitol Hill.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 8:00 am

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says she has urged Republican colleagues in Congress to "take back your party" from "anti-government ideologues" in their ranks.

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Television
9:35 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Who's Gay On TV? Dads, Journalists, Investigators And Footmen

Partners Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha) decide to use a surrogate to expand their family in The New Normal.
Trae Patton AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 7:24 pm

The pop culture gay flavor of the minute? White gay dads.

"We're having a baby, Bri!" croons one of the leads on NBC's The New Normal. "This is our family. You, me and that kid forever."

It's a mini-boomlet, says real-life white gay dad and sociology professor Joshua Gamson. Not too long ago, he says, pop culture mainly defined gay men as promiscuous and deviant, rather than monogamous and devoted to their families.

"It does seem like a strong counter-stereotype of how gay men have been portrayed over the past, whatever, 50 years," he says.

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Around the Nation
6:30 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Staten Island To Get Largest Ferris Wheel

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:16 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Animals
6:27 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Bird Sighting Record Broken In Canada

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:16 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR Story
5:09 am
Wed January 2, 2013

What Was Left Out Of 'Fiscal Cliff' Compromise?

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Let's talk about everything that was left out of the fiscal cliff compromise approved by Congress yesterday. The measure does raise taxes for the wealthy and preserve tax cuts for others, and extend unemployment insurance again, among other things. But it left a huge amount of fighting for the New Year.

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NPR Story
5:09 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Bowl Guys Aim To Attend Every Bowl Game

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, as Frank pointed out, a lot of illegal sports betting is spurred by college basketball. But college football also keeps plenty of bookies in business, especially these past few weeks with all these bowl games.

(SOUNDBITE OF ESPN BROADCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Ohio, Louisiana-Monroe Advocare V-100 Independence Bowl, Rutgers-Virginia Technology, Russell Athletics Bowl, Minnesota-Texas Tech, Mineke Car Bowl of Texas...

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:35 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Research: A Little Extra Fat May Help You Live Longer

An analysis of many studies finds a small spare tire may be associated with longer life. But skeptics say that conclusion is rubbish.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:09 am

Being a little overweight may tip the odds in favor of living a long life, according to a new analysis. Researchers say there may be some benefit to having a little extra body fat.

This isn't the first time researchers have raised questions about the link between body weight and how long someone will live. While there's no debate that being severely obese will raise the risk of all kinds of illnesses and even cut some lives short, it's less clear what happens to people who are less overweight.

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Shots - Health News
2:49 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Pete Stark, Health Policy Warrior, Leaves A Long Legacy

Rep. Pete Stark, a California Democrat, was defeated in November. Stark leaves a long-lasting mark on the nation's health care system.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:25 am

The 113th Congress will be the first one in 40 years to convene without California Rep. Pete Stark as a member.

Stark was defeated in November by a fellow Democrat under new California voting rules. Stark may not be a household name, but he leaves a long-lasting mark on the nation's health care system.

Read more
World
2:49 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Pakistan's 'Patriot Act' Could Target Politicians

A policeman stands guard at the Parliament building in Islamabad, Pakistan, in June. The Lower House recently passed a bill similar to the United States' Patriot Act, touching off a debate about privacy in the country.
Ahmad Kamal Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:16 am

Earlier this month, Pakistan's powerful Lower House of Parliament passed what analysts have dubbed Pakistan's Patriot Act. Its name here is "Investigation for Fair Trial Bill."

It has been presented to the Pakistani people as a way to update existing law and usher the rules for investigation in Pakistan into the 21st century. Among other things, it makes electronic eavesdropping admissible as evidence in court.

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Shots - Health News
2:48 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Mosquito Maven Takes Bites For Malaria Research

Chiara Andolina, a malaria researcher in Thailand, feeds her mosquito colony by letting the insects bite her right arm. These mosquitoes are picky and will dine only on live human blood.
Ben de la Cruz NPR

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:47 am

Most of us do everything possible to avoid mosquitoes. But one Italian researcher literally sacrifices her right arm to keep the lowly insects alive.

Chiara Adolina is studying a new malaria drug, and she needs the little suckers for her experiments. So she feeds them each day with her own blood.

She extends her arm into a mosquito cage to give the insects "breakfast." Several dozen mosquitoes spread across her forearm and jam their proboscises into her skin. "Can you see how fat they become?" she says. "Look at that tummy."

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Sweetness And Light
12:48 am
Wed January 2, 2013

New Jersey Tries To Horn In On Nevada's Gambling Turf

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:16 am

For those dearly devoted of you who paid attention to me in September, I noted that the best bet in the NFL had proven to be whenever a West Coast team played an East Coast team at night, because the Pacific players had their body clocks better set.

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Politics
8:45 am
Tue January 1, 2013

'Fiscal Cliff' Measure Heads To The House

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 11:39 am

A compromise deal to stop broad spending cuts and tax increases is headed to the House of Representatives, after receiving strong support in the Senate. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., talks with Steve Inskeep about a possible House vote on the "fiscal cliff" deal.

Cole, the House deputy majority whip who also serves on the Appropriations Committee, says he expects the House to approve the Senate bill, calling it "a pretty big win."

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Health Care
5:50 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Hobby Lobby Plans To Defy Health Care Mandate

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 8:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This New Year could mean a new cost for the craft store chain Hobby Lobby. The federal health care law requires employee insurance plans to cover emergency contraceptives. Hobby Lobby's owners did not want to do that. They say drugs commonly known by names like the morning-after pill are tantamount to abortion.

Now, the Supreme Court has turned aside Hobby Lobby's request to block the mandate. So, starting today, the company could be fined as much as $1.3 million per day for defying the law.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Around the Nation
5:50 am
Tue January 1, 2013

School Wants 'Bucket List' To Kick The Bucket

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 8:44 am

Michigan's Lake Superior State University issued its annual list of annoying expressions to banish. The list includes: trending, bucket list, kick the can down the road and spoiler alert. The top one to ban: fiscal cliff.

Around the Nation
5:33 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Mayor Settles Council Election Tie With Coin Toss

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 8:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Democracy sure works in mysterious ways. In Seguin, Texas, a December city council election ended in a dead tie. Both candidates received 141 votes. So it was up to the mayor to settle things. The law gave him some options: drawing straws or tossing dice. He chose an old coin toss. The silver dollar landed, it was tails, and immediately Jeannette Crabb was sworn into a four-year term. She's coming to office with quite a mandate.

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