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Clay Masters

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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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Law
5:55 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Congolese Warlord Sentenced By Court In The Hague

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 6:52 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's been a decade since the first permanent International Criminal Court was created. Today, it delivered its first-ever sentence. The Hague-based court ordered a Congolese warlord to serve 14 years in prison. Thomas Lubango was convicted in March of recruiting and using children as soldiers in his militia. During a four-year conflict, Lubango forced children to fight for him, taking up arms and machetes which they used to slaughter Lubango's tribal enemies in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Business
5:20 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Patriot Coal Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 6:52 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Coal demand is at its lowest in more than two decades. That's, in part, because of milder winters and a shift to cheaper natural gas. Coal companies are also facing tough new rules proposals from the Environmental Protection Agency for building new coal-fired power plants. Shares for most coal producers have taken a big hit because of these factors and the slow global economy.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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World
5:00 am
Tue July 10, 2012

British Border Officials Gain New Powers

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 6:52 am

Renee Montagne reports on tougher interview rules for certain foreign migrants applying for visas to study in the UK.

Black Lung Returns To Coal Country
3:45 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Black-Lung Rule Loopholes Leave Miners Vulnerable

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Coal miners rally for black lung law reform on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in 1975. (See more from Earl Dotter's "Quiet Sickness" series here.)
Courtesy of Earl Dotter

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 9:41 pm

Part two of a two-part series.

Thousands of coal miners continued to suffer and die from black lung during the 40 years that tough new limits on exposure to coal dust were supposed to provide protection.

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It's All Politics
3:43 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Romney Outraises Obama By $35 Million In June

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 1:02 pm

The latest fundraising numbers are in for the two presidential campaigns, and the amounts are eye-popping. President Obama and the Democratic Party raised $71 million, which is an enormous haul. But it was dwarfed by Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee, which together raised $106 million in the month of June.

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Election 2012
2:57 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Bush Tax Cuts: The New Middle-Class Norm

Josh Walling and Randi Cartmill with their children, Jacqueline, Josh and Ryan. Josh Walling says his family, whose household income is below the national median, would lose a substantial amount of money if the Bush tax cuts expired.
Courtesy of Randi Cartmill

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 1:42 pm

The first in an occasional series, Fiscal Cliff Notes, which breaks down the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and deep automatic spending cuts set to hit around the first of year.

Much of the political focus when discussing the Bush-era tax cuts is on the wealthy, but they're not the only ones who would be affected if the tax cuts are allowed to expire at the end of this year.

The vast majority of American taxpayers would take a hit, including Randi Cartmill and Josh Walling, who live in Madison, Wis., with their three children.

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Dead Stop
2:52 am
Tue July 10, 2012

A City's History Writ Small, In One Cemetery

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 1:07 pm

On Florida's northeast coast, trams filled with families and school groups run constantly in St. Augustine, hitting nearly all of the old city's historic sites.

But down a side street lies an important piece of St. Augustine's history most visitors don't see, because it's only open one day a month.

"This is Tolomato Cemetery. It was formerly the parish cemetery for what is now the cathedral parish," says Elizabeth Gessner, who heads the cemetery's preservation association.

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Middle East
2:51 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Walls Of Palestinian Homes Come Tumbling Down

Palestinians collect their belongings after Israeli bulldozers raze their house in an Arab neighborhood in east Jerusalem on Feb. 9.
Ahmad Gharbali AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 14, 2012 7:46 am

Israel has dramatically increased its demolitions of unauthorized Palestinian homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, according to a recent United Nations report.

Last year, 1,100 Palestinians — more than half of them children — were displaced, an 80 percent increase from the previous year. And demolitions this year continue at a high rate.

For Sami Idriss, the Israeli bulldozers came while the 26-year-old Palestinian was at work.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
2:28 am
Tue July 10, 2012

'Globals' Generation Focuses On Experience

Jennifer Larr (center) is seen here in Rwanda at the Gashora Girls Academy, where she was a teacher in 2011. Larr is part of a new generation of young adults focusing on travel, studying abroad and global experiences.
Courtesy of Jennifer Larr

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 1:58 pm

Jennifer Larr has the itch to go abroad. She's 26 years old and has already spent a year studying in France and two years in Rwanda with the Peace Corps, and she is headed to Uganda this summer for an internship. She's also a graduate student, studying international relations at UCLA.

Larr is part of a growing number of 20- and early 30-somethings whose American dream has moved beyond suburban homes and traditional nuclear families, and it's one that now goes even beyond U.S. borders.

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The Record
2:28 am
Tue July 10, 2012

My American Dream Sounds Like Rubén Blades

Blades, shown in 1970.
Echoes Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 7:54 am

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Africa
2:25 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Mubarak's Dream Remains Just That In Egypt's Desert

A sign on undeveloped land welcomes visitors to "New Toshka City." Toshka was to be a new settlement along the Upper Nile Valley, complete with enough jobs and infrastructure to support the relocation of 20 million Egyptians from polluted and over-crowded cities.
Holly Pickett Redux

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 7:57 am

In the middle of southern Egypt's windy desert, wheat fields stretch as far as the eye can see on a 24,000-acre farm. It's part of a grandiose project called Toshka that was dreamed up 15 years ago by the government of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's authoritarian leader who ruled the country for three decades before being ousted last year.

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Business
1:03 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Judge: Samsung's Galaxy Tab Not As 'Cool' As iPad

Samsung won a victory Monday in its global patent war with Apple. The British judge said Samsung's Galaxy Tab (right) is "not as cool" as the iPad (left).
Gero Breloer AP

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 1:09 pm

Samsung won a victory in Britain on Monday in its global patent war with Apple over the designs for its tablet computers.

A British judge ruled Samsung's Galaxy Tablets do not infringe on any of Apple's designs for the iPad.

Samsung, however, may have mixed feelings about this decision.

According to Judge Colin Birss, Samsung's Galaxy tablets are not cool enough to be confused with the iPad or violate any of Apple's design patents.

The ruling was a legal victory for Samsung, but if this were a consumer review, it would have been a bloodbath.

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Around the Nation
6:34 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Cherry Festival Crowns New Pit-Spitting Champ

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Ronn Matt told the Chicago Tribune that his mother used to frown on his habit of spitting cherry pits. But now he's a champion. Over the weekend in Michigan, Matt managed to unseat two spitting dynasties, families who had won for the last 20 years the International Cherry Pit spitting contest. He won by spitting a pit 69 feet. Impressive but far short of the world record of 93 and a half feet. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Asia
6:22 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Disney Characters Frolick On North Korean Stage

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 8:31 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. A concert for North Korea's new leader Kim Jong Un was a little more animated than usual. It featured Disney characters - from the mouses Mickey and Minnie, to Winnie the Pooh - frolicking onstage, according to the AP. Disney says nobody asked permission. Now analysts ask what it means for decadent Western entertainment to appear before North Korea's new leader - seriously. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Economy
4:28 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Charity Collects Donations To Buy Greek Bonds

Many businesses in the town of Oia, on the northern tip of Santorini, are struggling to make ends meet following a drop in tourism.
Michael Virtanen AP

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 5:22 pm

A young shipping heir whose family helped turn the Greek island of Santorini into a tourist hot spot is trying to help Greece dig out of its massive debt by asking average Greeks to chip in.

Peter Nomikos hopes to build a social movement beginning with a charity he launched about two weeks ago called Greece Debt Free, which collects donations to buy Greek bonds. On Santorini, the Cycladic island of whitewashed homes, residents say they'd like help with their benefactor's charity — but they can't even pay their own bills.

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Africa
4:28 am
Mon July 9, 2012

South Sudan Struggles 1 Year After Independence

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 5:47 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

This was the scene one year ago today in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We hereby declare Southern Sudan to be an independent and sovereign state.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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Business
3:55 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Stafford Loans Interest Rate To Remain Steady

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 5:23 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And for one more year, college students can access a certain kind of loan for the low rate of 3.4 percent. It's known as a Stafford loan, and the interest rate was set to double, until lawmakers managed to reach an agreement to keep the rate low, which in turn will keep college more affordable for more people.

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Business
3:55 am
Mon July 9, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 6:11 am

In France, 26 million customers lost mobile phone service for more than nine hours on Friday. France Telecom had crashed. For subscribers, that meant no calls, no texts and no mobile Internet.

Politics
3:09 am
Mon July 9, 2012

GOP To Make 31st Attempt To Repeal Obamacare Act

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 12:00 pm

The House Rules Committee takes up a bill Monday called the "Repeal of Obamacare Act." And just like it says, the bill would wipe away the president's Affordable Care Act. A vote of the full House is planned for Wednesday.

It's the first legislative response from House Republicans after the Supreme Court upheld the law. But it is far from the first time the GOP has voted for repeal.

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Governing
2:05 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Justice's New Watchdog Meets Fast And Furious

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is reviewing secret emails about the department's Fast and Furious operation.

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:28 am

The legal battle between Republican lawmakers and Attorney General Eric Holder over access to documents in a gun scandal could take months, if not years, to resolve.

But one man has already been sifting through secret emails about the operation known as Fast and Furious. He's Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department's new watchdog.

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AIDS: A Turning Point
2:04 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Botswana's 'Stunning Achievement' Against AIDS

Johane Setlhare began taking anti-AIDS drugs, provided by the government, in 2007. Two years later, he regained enough strength to build the house that's behind him.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 7:50 am

The southern African nation of Botswana has one of the highest rates of HIV in the world. Nearly 25 percent of all adults in the country are infected with the virus. Only the nearby kingdom of Swaziland has a higher rate.

But Botswana is also remarkable for its response to the epidemic. It has one of the most comprehensive and effective HIV treatment programs in Africa. Transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their fetuses and newborn babies has been brought down to just 4 percent.

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Crime In The City
2:03 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Dark Doings Among The D.C. Monuments

The Iwo Jima Memorial, on the Virginia side of the Potomac River overlooking Washington, D.C., is one of many capital landmarks that do double duty as crime scenes in the novels of author Mike Lawson.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 9:47 am

In Washington, D.C., the glittering marble of public buildings and monuments can conceal the darkest of deeds. And in the crime novels of Mike Lawson, they do.

"When I started writing, the very first decision I made was, I wanted the book set in D.C.," says Lawson, who recently published his seventh Washington-based thriller, House Blood. "That was before I had a character, or anything else."

And he had a reason.

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The Salt
2:02 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Confusion At The Yogurt Aisle? Time for Probiotics 101

Packages of Activa yogurt, which contain probiotics, on a grocery shelf in Chicago.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 7:51 am

Researchers are studying the ability of beneficial micro-organisms - or probiotics - to treat a range of conditions from eczema to inflammatory bowel disease. And the idea that "good" bacteria are healthy for us is gaining traction.

But the science is tricky.

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Planet Money
11:10 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Rigging LIBOR: Banking Scandal Hits Home (Literally)

Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 8:20 pm

The biggest scandal in the world right now has nothing to do with sex or celebrities. It's about an interest rate called LIBOR, or the London Interbank Offered Rate.

Most Americans probably never heard of LIBOR. When I first moved to New York, I hadn't. Back then, I could barely afford my apartment and got an adjustable rate mortgage. And so I wondered: When my rate adjusts, how will I know how much I'll be paying?

I searched through all the documents and it was right there — LIBOR. I would be paying a few percentage points above whatever LIBOR was.

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Around the Nation
6:45 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Car Hits Cross-Country Runner But She Keeps Going

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 8:05 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

It is definitely wrong to hit and run, but it's a little impressive that a high school student was hit and kept running. Anaheim, California police say a high school cross country team was running when a turning car whacked one of the runners. The young woman was apparently determined, because she got backed up and ran away. The driver called after her to stop, stayed where he was and called police. The runner was eventually treated and suffered only minor injuries.

Animals
6:29 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Orangutan Becomes Addicted To Cigarettes

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 8:01 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. To kick her 10-year habit, Tori is leaving home for a small island - theoretically, a no-smoking island. Home is an Indonesian zoo. Tori is an orangutan. The Guardian reports she learned to smoke imitating visitors who tossed cigarette butts into her cage. Her non-smoking orangutan roommate does what he can, stamping out burning butts before she can get to them. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Books
6:06 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Mark Billingham Is A Fan Of The Dark Side Of London

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 11:10 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Three weeks from today, the 2012 London Summer Olympics begin. London will show off its cathedrals and castles, it's parliament and palaces, all that is splendid in one of the world's greatest cities. There is a seedy side of London, however, one that Olympic organizers presumably will not present. That is where we'll be going today with this encore presentation from our Crime in the City series.

Mystery writer Mark Billingham took reporter Vicki Barker to some of the places that inspired his dark twisted thrillers.

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Africa
6:06 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Election To Start New Chapter In Libya's History

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 11:10 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Libya, holds its first election this weekend. About nine months after that former ruler Moammar Gadhafi was captured and killed, voters are choosing an assembly and writing a new chapter in their country's history. During our recently revolutionary road trip across North Africa, we visited Libyan students who write very old chapters. They scratch verses of the Quran onto gray boards as an aid to memorization.

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NPR Story
5:10 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Pie Week Comes To A Close

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 11:10 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

On to some lighter fare, it's been fun, but this is it: the end of Pie Week here on MORNING EDITION.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Aw. Go on, go on, go on.

WERTHEIMER: Along with a lot of cravings, the series has evoked thoughtful memories from listeners around the country.

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NPR Story
5:10 am
Fri July 6, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 11:10 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business takes us to London, where Europe's new tallest building has been inaugurated. It's called the Shard. Maybe that's because it sort of looks like a giant shard of glass, 1,016 feet tall. It stands out in a city with a relatively low skyline. It towers over the Tower of London, and the Shard brings many metaphors to mind.

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