Morning Edition

Monday - Tuesday 5:00a - 8:30a, Wednesday - Friday 5:00a - 8:00a
Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne
Floyd E. Vasquez Jr. and Elaine Baumgartel

Waking up is hard to do, but it's easier with NPR's Morning Edition, bringing the day's stories and news to radio listeners on the go.

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Music Interviews
5:22 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Elton John: Old Songs, Old Friends, New Perspectives

Elton John performs in Ibiza earlier this month. The British singer's new memoir is titled Love Is the Cure.
Jaime Reina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 8:52 am

Elton John has been writing music since the 1960s, and between then and now, he has had enough life experience to reach some remarkable conclusions.

"I certainly, if I'm being honest with you, don't think you write as good a song on cocaine as you do when you're normal," he tells Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep.

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Strange News
8:24 am
Tue July 17, 2012

'Cluster Balloon' Daredevils Attempt Record Flight

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Around the Nation
6:07 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Alaska Mayor Is Purrfect For The Job

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renée Montagne. The mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska is celebrating his 15th year on the job. No worries about term limits for this mayor. Stubbs, so named because he's missing half a tail, is as popular as the day he was elected. Townspeople voted for him as a write-in candidate even though he's a cat out of disappointment with the human candidates and Stubbs has been mayor ever since - honorary mayor.

Around the Nation
5:34 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Don't Try This At Home: Gun As A TV Remote

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Salem, Oregon police say a man turned off his TV using a different kind of remote - he was playing with a gun. He aimed the laser scope at the TV and pulled the trigger and discovered the gun was loaded. Nobody was hurt but neighbors called police about the bullet that came through their wall.

Research News
4:27 am
Tue July 17, 2012

How Rodents Stashing Seeds Helps Trees To Grow

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This next story takes on some new scientific research involving wily rodents, rodents that run around through the rainforest stealing mercilessly from one another. That doesn't sound very nice, but they're actually providing a service for the forest that may once have been provided by wooly mammoths.

NPR's Richard Harris could not resist telling a story with such an intriguing cast of characters.

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Remembrances
4:24 am
Tue July 17, 2012

'Encyclopedia Brown' Author Dies At 87

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's take a moment to remember mystery writer Donald Sobol who died last week in Miami. He was a man who wrote his mysteries short. In the 1950s, he succeeded with syndicated column, "Two-Minute Mysteries."

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

But Sobol is most remembered for his "Encyclopedia Brown" kids' books, books that Don Weisberg knew well as both a publisher and a reader. Weisberg is currently the president of the children' book division of Penguin Books.

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Europe
4:03 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Athletes, Visitors Flood London's Heathrow Airport

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Start with a city centuries old, mix in contests that trace their origins back millennia, then add in record numbers of arrivals at London's Heathrow Airport, including athletes who in some cases felt like they'd spent centuries on the bus stuck in traffic on the way into town.

The London Olympics are days away, along with some complications, as NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF AIRPLANE)

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Business
3:32 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Tech World Star Marissa Mayer To Head Google

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:11 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And in Silicon Valley, the buzz is the latest hire by Yahoo. Marissa Mayer is the new CEO. Yahoo lured the 37-year-old away from Google, were she was one of that company's most prominent executives. She studied computer science at Stanford, was hired on as employee number 20 at Google, and as NPR's Steve Henn reports, she is something of a rock star in the tech world.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: For years the rap on Yahoo has been: this company lacks focus.

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Politics
3:29 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Democrats' Efforts To Reveal GOP Donors Stymied

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Once again, a push by Democrats to force outside campaign spending groups to reveal their big hidden donors has been stymied. Last night for the second time, Senate Republicans closed ranks and blocked legislation on what's known as the Disclose Act. And as it happens, that legislation would've affected groups that are a key source of spending this year, favoring Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. NPR's David Welna explains.

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Election 2012
3:26 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Romney, Obama Keep Up Campaign Sniping Attacks

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Here's what's happening in the presidential race. Republican Mitt Romney is attacking President Obama for cronyism. Romney contends that Obama campaign donors got alternative energy grants.

MONTAGNE: Romney is trying to return to the offensive after being slammed over his own record. President Obama and his campaign have been questioning Romney's business background.

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Business
2:48 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Silicon Valley Firm To Help UVA Expand Online Courses

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And we're here next about a new educational partnership with Silicon Valley. It's what the University of Virginia. You may recall last month, UVA's board of governors fired and then rehired President Teresa Sullivan. One reason some board members say they called for her ouster in the first place was that she had not moved quickly enough to expand the university's online courses. That has prompted new initiative being announced today, as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports.

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Business
2:48 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Self-Help Guru Covey Dies At 79 After Bike Accident

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Today's last word in business could be several things: abundance mentality or win-win.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Or maybe sharpening the saw. Those are all aspects of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." The author of that business Bible died yesterday. Stephen Covey was 79.

MONTAGNE: He wrote "The 7 Habits" in 1989. Years later, Covey appeared on this program. He was asked what skills of leader should have.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED INTERVIEW)

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Television
2:48 am
Tue July 17, 2012

There's Plenty Of Room For Nice On Reality TV

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Businesspeople with a conscience like to recycle an old saying. They say they like to be doing well by doing good.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

They like to make money by helping people. It's a nice idea for a business, but not always a great formula for TV drama.

INSKEEP: The makers of "Breaking Bad" showcase another business formula - a man who's been diagnosed with cancer becomes a drug dealer to support his family. He's doing well by doing bad.

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Business
2:48 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Investigation: HSBC Laundered Drug Money

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

An apology from a giant bank is at the top of NPR's business news.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Shots - Health Blog
1:05 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Deciding On Truvada: Who Should Take New HIV Prevention Pill?

Kevin Kirk (left) and James Callahan have been together for more than five years. Recently they sat down and talked about whether Kevin, who is HIV-negative, might want to start taking Truvada.
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 9:05 am

There's something new to prevent HIV infections.

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a once-a-day pill that can drastically lower a person's risk of getting the virus that causes AIDS.

It's called Truvada — the first HIV prevention pill.

It's not cheap — around $13,000 a year — and it's not clear what insurers will pay for it. And there's worry that people taking the pill might relax safe-sex precautions.

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Law
1:03 am
Tue July 17, 2012

At An Air Force Base, Allegations Of Sexual Assault

In this June 22 image made from video, female airmen march during graduation at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. A widening sex scandal has rocked Lackland, one of the nation's busiest military training centers. A dozen instructors are being investigated for allegations ranging from abuse to rape.
John L. Mone AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 1:05 pm

Opening statements will be made Tuesday in the trial of a former Air Force instructor accused of rape and sexual assault of the young trainees in his care.

Staff Sgt. Luis Walker faces 28 charges and could be sentenced to life in prison. A total of 12 Air Force instructors are under investigation for allegedly abusing recruits at Lackland Air Force Base, the main Air Force training center.

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Economy
1:00 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Romney's Plan To Revive Jobs Has Mixed Results

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks about job numbers July 6 at Bradley's Hardware in Wolfeboro, N.H.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:10 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he can do better than President Obama at finding jobs for unemployed Americans. One way he would do that is by bringing back personal re-employment accounts.

When people lose their jobs, one of the first places they turn to is their state unemployment office, where they can sign up for unemployment benefits; they often can enroll in some kind of retraining class as well.

In 2004, the Bush administration conducted an experiment to begin privatizing a small part of the federal retraining program.

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Author Interviews
12:58 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Addict To Activist: How Elton John Found His 'Cure'

Sir Elton John speaks at an Elton John AIDS Foundation benefit in 2010. The organization, which John founded in 1992, provides grants to support HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment programs.
Evan Agostini AP

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:51 am

Sir Elton John is constantly remembering his life as a drug addict, whether he wants to or not.

"I still dream, twice a week at least, that I've taken cocaine and I have it up my nose," John tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "And it's very vivid and it's very upsetting, but at least it's a wake-up call."

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Author Interviews
12:57 am
Tue July 17, 2012

African Politics, And Afros, In 'My First Coup D'Etat'

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:17 am

John Dramani Mahama is the vice president of Ghana and the author of a new memoir with one of the most eye-catching titles you'll see all year — My First Coup d'Etat: And Other True Stories from the Lost Decades of Africa.

The title refers to the 1966 military coup that overthrew Ghana's first president. Mahama was 7 years old, and his father, a minister in the government, was imprisoned for more than a year. Mahama tells NPR's Renee Montagne that Africa's "lost decades" lasted from the late 1960s to the 1980s, after the initial euphoria of independence passed.

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Science
12:01 am
Tue July 17, 2012

With Funding Gone, Last Undersea Lab Could Surface

Researchers Sylvia Earle (left) and Mark Patterson are trying to raise funds to save the Aquarius Reef Base.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 10:25 am

While you're enjoying your coffee this morning, half a dozen scientists are already at work. They're not sitting at desks, however, but a few miles off the Florida Keys, 60 feet down on the ocean bottom.

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Around the Nation
5:33 am
Mon July 16, 2012

90 Year Old Celebrates Birthday On A Roller Coaster

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renée Montagne. Former President George H. W. Bush says when he turns 90 he'll celebrate by skydiving. Thrill seeking at 90 is becoming a trend. Thelma Gratch spent her 90th, presumably with arms raised, hurtling down a 230-foot high roller coaster at 80 miles an hour. She's had a season pass to an amusement park outside Cincinnati since 1979 so chances are she's spent other birthdays screaming her head off. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:15 am
Mon July 16, 2012

'Chain Reaction' Statue In Need Of Repair

The late Paul Conrad's 1991 work "Chain Reaction" is a mass of black chain link shaped into a mushroom cloud. It's in Santa Monica, Calif., where people either love or hate it. Now the end of the world has been delayed long enough for the statue to decay.

Around the Nation
2:58 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Montana Extends Wolf Hunting Season

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 8:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Montana is making it easier to hunt wolves. The wolf population has been growing even though wolf hunting is already legal. So wildlife officials are doing away with the statewide kill limit. They are nearly doubling the length of the season and the state will also allow trapping, which many conservationists call inhumane. Here's Dan Boyce with Montana Public Radio.

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NPR Story
2:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Syrian Violence Escalates Into Civil War

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 5:40 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Across the border in Syrian, reports of clashes between the army and rebels overnight in a neighborhood in Damascus. It was some of the heaviest fighting so far in the capital, according to residents and activists who say the army for the first time bombarded one neighborhood with mortars.

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NPR Story
2:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

After Damning Report, Will NCAA Sanction PSU Football?

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 3:45 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renée Montagne. The damning report on Penn State by former FBI director Louis Freeh confirmed, last week, what many said all along - the scandal is the biggest and most damaging in the history of college sports. Of course, child sexual abuse and a cover-up go way beyond the infractions commonly punished by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

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NPR Story
2:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Presidential Election: How Much Does Fundraising Matter?

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 8:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Mitt Romney and the Republican Party have lately been raising more money than President Obama and the Democrats. They won the money chase in May and in June. Normally, you would expect the incumbent to raise far more money.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And President Obama's campaign promptly warned supporters that he could lose without more cash. Though the Democrats have still raised more in the overall campaign, this led us to ask: How much does a fundraising advantage matter?

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Science
2:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

FDA Monitors Critical Scientists' Emails

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 5:00 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Middle East
2:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Clinton Visits Israel On Mideast Tour

Originally published on Sun July 22, 2012 7:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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Analysis
2:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Politics In The News

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 6:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama will be in the swing state of Ohio again today. He'll be holding his first big town hall meeting of the campaign in Cincinnati. And the president will likely continue his campaign attack against Mitt Romney's record of what Democrats characterize as sending jobs overseas while he was the head of Bain Capital. Over the weekend, the president said he would not apologize for those attacks.

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Election 2012
2:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Romney Responds To Obama's Bain Capital Charges

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 5:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Until this past weekend, Romney generally ignored invitations to be interviewed, except on Fox News. Then on Friday night, he did a series of TV talks defending his work at Bain Capital.

NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik was watching.

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