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NPR's Morning Edition prepares listeners for the day ahead with up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports with Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne. Local host Jay Moran provides the latest news, traffic and weather to start your day.  With nearly 14 million listeners, Morning Edition draws public radio's largest audience.

 

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NPR Story
4:46 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Romney: Obama's Health Mandate Is A Tax

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney walks with his wife, Ann, and other family members, along with Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, in the Wolfeboro, N.H., Independence Day parade Wednesday. Ayotte has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential contender.
Kayana Szymczak Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 10:25 pm

Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney spent his July Fourth holiday marching in a New Hampshire parade, and backtracking statements a top adviser made about the individual mandate in the Obama health care law.

There was something for almost everybody in Wolfeboro's Independence Day parade: a local brass band, bonnet-wearing Daughters of the American Revolution, a Zumba instructor shimmying across the bed of a pickup truck, and even a Jimmy Durante impersonator, complete with prosthetic nose.

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Southword
3:15 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Meet Al Black: Florida's Prison Painter

Al Black is one of Florida's 26 officially recognized "Highwaymen" — a loosely affiliated group of artists who began painting in the 1960s, some of whom are still at it today.
Courtesy of Gary Monroe

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 10:25 pm

In the 1960s, Al Black could be found cruising up and down Route 1 in his blue-and-white Ford Galaxy — with a trunk full of wet landscape paintings.

At the time, he was a salesman who could snatch your breath away and sell it back to you. As artist Mary Ann Carroll puts it, he could "sell a jacket to a mosquito in summer."

"A salesman is a con-man," Black readily admits himself today. He's a storyteller. And does he have stories to tell.

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Dead Stop
3:13 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Beyond The Music In St. Louis Cemetery No. 2

Ernie K-Doe poses outside his Mother-In-Law Lounge during Jazz Fest in New Orleans in 2001. He died a few months later and was buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2.
Pat Jolly AP

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 10:25 pm

There's so much water in, around and underneath New Orleans, that the dead spend eternity in tombs above ground.

Most of the tombs now have a similar design: On top, there's space for a wooden coffin or two, and at the bottom lies a potpourri of decanted family remains. Sooner or later, whoever is up high must vacate and settle lower, making room for the newly dead. That's how families stay together — in a desiccated jumble of grandpas, grandmas, siblings and cousins.

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Revolutionary Road Trip
3:13 am
Thu July 5, 2012

In Libya's Shifting Sands, Kids Try To Find Their Way

Three students outside the Science College of Benghazi University. They say they expect to have opportunities in Libya that would not have been possible when Moammar Gadhafi was in power.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 10:25 pm

In a stretch of sandy wasteland, Hisham Sadowi, 12, smacks a tee shot across a makeshift golf course in Benghazi, Libya.

On this course with no grass, local rules allowed him to place the ball on a little square of artificial turf he carries around.

Hisham dreams of becoming a professional golfer, and he stops briefly to speak to us. We asked him who his favorite golfer is.

"Tiger Woods," he exclaims.

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Around the Nation
7:23 am
Wed July 4, 2012

A Cheesy Twist On This Indpendence Day

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with a cheesy twist on Independence Day. A replica of Mount Rushmore is on display today in West Palm Beach, Florida. This version is carved out as a 640-pound block of cheddar cheese. It was sculpted by Troy Landwehr, an expert cheese carver from, of course, Wisconsin. He told the Sun Sentinel that Abraham Lincoln's bushy eyebrows were one of the hardest features to carve. His creation is titled "My Country 'Tis of Cheese." It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
7:17 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Woman Flees Accident Scene To Chill Her Ice Cream

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. An Arkansas woman high-tailed it home after she rear-ended another car in Van Buren. It didn't take long for police to find her. When they did, they slapped her with a citation for following too closely and leaving the scene of an accident. Her excuse? She didn't think there was enough damage to call the cops and she was afraid her ice cream was melting. A bit of a messy alibi. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
6:37 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Much-Needed Rain Helps Colorado Firefighters

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

A bit of good news for Colorado. Yesterday, firefighters battling wildfires there got a boost from some much-needed rain.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The fires and drought conditions in the state prompted a firework ban for this 4th of July holiday. But an exception was made last night in Denver, where a giant crowd gathered to watch fireworks and applaud the efforts of those fighting to contain the fires.

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Asia
6:26 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Pakistan Will Reopen NATO Supply Lines

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Pakistan and the United States have reached agreement to reopen the strategic land supply routes from Pakistan into Afghanistan. Pakistan closed those routes last November after a U.S. attack left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead. Pakistan had wanted a formal apology from the U.S. but the administration refused because it believed American troops had come under fire first from the Pakistani side. But yesterday, Secretary of State Clinton made comments that finally broke the logjam.

NPR's Mike Shuster has more from Islamabad.

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Business
5:52 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Ex-Barclays CEO To Appear Before British Panel

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a U.K. interest rate probe.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: The former chief executive of Barclays is testifying before a parliamentary committee in Britain. Bob Diamond, who resigned yesterday, is being asked about the rate-setting scandal at the bank. He told lawmakers in the hearing today that it was an unfortunate series of events. Yesterday, Barclays released documents suggesting a Bank of England official may have pressured Barclays to lower its rates. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Europe
5:08 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Rufus Watches Over Olympics Like A Hawk

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 11:57 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The Olympic Games are now just over three weeks away. NPR's Philip Reeves is tracking preparations. He brings us his latest letter from London.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: So it's true then. Surface-to-air missiles really will be stationed on London's rooftops during the Olympic Games.

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Business
5:08 am
Wed July 4, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 7:12 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Our last word in business today: body of work. That's the legacy left behind by Italian car designer Sergio Pininfarina. He died yesterday in Turin, Italy at age 85. His family's design firm was behind the sleek, elegant bodies that became a hallmark of Ferrari automobiles.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Research News
5:08 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Physicists Find Evidence Of New Subatomic Particle

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 9:29 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

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Around the Nation
5:08 am
Wed July 4, 2012

'Flipping' Sneakers Is Highly Profitable

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 7:00 am

Maybe you won't pay several hundred dollars for a pair of sneakers, but there are a lot of people who will — providing they are the right sneakers. The demand for certain models has spawned a robust market for re-sellers — people who buy up the available supply and re-sell them for a profit.

Afghanistan
3:33 am
Wed July 4, 2012

U.S. Troops Become American Citizens ... In Kandahar

U.S. soldiers and Marines pose after being sworn in as U.S. citizens in a service at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan on Friday.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 5:08 am

Forty-four soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan are celebrating this Fourth of July as American citizens for the first time after their naturalization ceremony at Kandahar Air Field.

As the morning sun beat down on the desert base last Friday, hundreds gathered inside the air-conditioned assembly hall for the ceremony. American flags lined the walls, patriotic music played, and smiles were everywhere.

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Religion
3:32 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Feeling Under Siege, Catholic Leadership Shifts Right

Protesters in Baltimore rally against the kick off to "Fortnight for Freedom," sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishops say the effort is a response to government attacks on religious liberty, but critics say the campaign is an attack on the Obama administration.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 2:05 pm

The Catholic Church is drawing a line in the sand.

Perceiving its core beliefs to be under threat from popular culture, the White House and even Catholics themselves, the Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are pushing back.

In recent months, the church leadership has been cracking down on liberal theologians, disciplining nuns and emphasizing a more orthodox theology.

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Business
3:31 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Office Stress Dogging You? Try Punching In With Fido

Ginger, an English bulldog, comes to work each day with Will Pisnieski. She's one of several dogs who are regular fixtures at dog-friendly Authentic Entertainment in Burbank, Calif.
Grant Hindsley AP

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 4:11 pm

Most dog lovers will insist a canine friend makes for a happier home. A number of studies back that up, too, touting the health benefits of four-legged companions.

But there's new evidence that dogs can make for a better workplace as well, making employees happier and more productive.

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Sweetness And Light
10:03 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Joe Paterno's Legacy: Protect Players At All Costs

Joe Paterno walks the sidelines during warm-ups before a game between his Penn State Nittany Lions and the Temple Owls in Philadelphia last September. Paterno, who died in January, was fired on Nov. 9, four days after Jerry Sandusky was initially arrested on charges of sexually abusing 10 boys.
Chris Szagola AP

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 8:39 am

It is not facetious to say that dying may not have been the worst thing to happen to Joe Paterno this past year.

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Around the Nation
7:48 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Columbus Zoo Visitors Witness Family Feud

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Visitors to the Columbus Zoo over the weekend were startled witnesses to a family feud. A fight broke out when mother elephant Phoebe was disciplining her son Beco. Another elephant, known as Aunt Connie, disapproved and the females started shoving each other. A zoo director told the Columbus Dispatch that elephants, like humans, sometimes disagree about child rearing. He also said the little elephant Beco is a punk. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Around the Nation
7:30 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Rapper Pitbull Helps Wal-Mart Add Facebook Fans

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Wal-Mart wanted more Facebook fans, so it asked rapper Pitbull for help. Pitbull agreed to a show at the Wal-Mart store with the most likes. The campaign went viral, then rural. As of this morning, more than 40,000 people have liked the Wal-Mart in Kodiak, Alaska. Kodiak is on an island, a town of less then 10,000, plus bears, of course. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

NPR Story
4:55 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Storm Leaves Illinois Residents Without Power

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 6:56 am

No power and high heat equal no fun in parts of Illinois. Some worry that July 4 celebrations will be affected.

NPR Story
4:55 am
Tue July 3, 2012

The History Of Pie

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 2:11 pm

It's Pie Week on Morning Edition, and we wanted to know more about where pie comes from. Linda Wertheimer talks to food anthropologist Deborah Duchon about the history of pie.

NPR Story
4:55 am
Tue July 3, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 8:02 am

In France, a law just took effect that requires all drivers, including tourists, to buy a breathalyzer test to keep in their cars. Drunk driving is huge problem in France — causing more accidents per year than speeding. It was recently discovered that the head of the group that lobbied for the law also works for a company that makes the kits.

NPR Story
4:55 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Examining Storm Damage In Virginia

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 6:51 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

People in states from the Midwest to the Atlantic are still dealing with the damage and power outages from Friday night's derecho. That's the name for the line of storms which swept through with shearing winds and intense lightening. Chicago was among the cities hit by a second severe storm on Sunday. We'll get an update from there in a moment.

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Business
4:49 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Airbus: 'The Time Is Right' To Open Alabama Plant

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 5:31 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Jobs and the economy are big issues in this election. And from Alabama, we have a story of jobs coming from overseas to the U.S. European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is making a bold move into North America to compete in the largest market in the world for passenger jets.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The firm will build its first U.S. assembly plant on the Gulf Coast in Mobile, Alabama. NPR's Debbie Elliott reports the region has been working for years to attract Airbus.

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NPR Story
4:49 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 7:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with another bye-bye at Barclays.

NPR Story
4:49 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Daycare Needs Stretch Around The Clock

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 5:29 am

As more people take shift work in the still struggling economy, the need for after hours child care has increased. Throughout the country, many daycare centers have begun offering evening hours or 24-hour care. Parents say their kids should be sleeping at home at night, but they have no choice but to work when jobs are available.

Middle East
3:31 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Can Sanctions Force Iran To Change Its Policies?

Iranian workers make repairs to a unit at Tehran's oil refinery in November 2007. It's estimated that a Western oil embargo is costing Iran about $4.5 billion each month in lost revenue.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 8:17 am

Whether economic sanctions can force a government to change course is far from clear, but Iran should be a good test case.

A European Union embargo on Iranian oil took full effect this week, complementing U.S. measures that have grown much more severe in recent weeks. Other Western sanctions now in place target Iranian banks, foreign companies that provide shipping insurance for Iranian oil tankers, and foreign firms that invest in the Iranian oil industry.

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Science
3:30 am
Tue July 3, 2012

When Ice Cream Attacks: The Mystery Of Brain Freeze

NPR interns (from left) Angela Wong and Kevin Uhrmacher participate in an experiment to induce brain freeze.
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 2:12 pm

If it hasn't happened to you, count yourself as lucky. For many people, eating ice cream or drinking an icy drink too fast can produce a really painful headache. It usually hits in the front of the brain, behind the forehead.

The technical name for this phenomenon is cold-stimulus headache, but people also refer to it as "ice cream headache" or "brain freeze."

The good news is that brain freeze is easy to prevent — just eat more slowly. The other bit of good news is these headaches don't last very long — a minute at the outside.

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Space
3:28 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Fledgling NASA Nonprofit Starts To Liftoff

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 10:24 am

A new nonprofit organization that's supposed to take charge of expanding scientific research on the International Space Station has had a rocky first year but now is starting to show what it can do.

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space just signed one agreement with a company not traditionally linked to research in space: the sporting goods company Cobra Puma Golf.

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Books
3:28 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Dog Memoirs Will Fetch, Sit And Stay On Your Shelf

Gromit is the purebred Pembroke Welsh corgi belonging to NPR's Julie Rovner — who says she's hoping to eventually adopt a companion pooch named Wallace.
Julie Rovner

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 2:13 pm

The Morning Edition mailboxes are always overflowing with books sent by publishers. And recently, a fair number have fallen into a category you might call "dog memoirs" — books about how dogs transform their owners' lives.

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