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Weekday mornings 3:00 a.m. till 9:00 a.m.
Renée Montagne and Steve Inskeep

For nearly three 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.

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Economy
11:28 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Alabama County Files Plan To Exit Bankruptcy

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 7:57 am

Alabama's bankrupt Jefferson County has filed a 101-page plan that would force creditors to lose up to 70 cents on the dollar.

In 2011, the county underwent what's been called the largest government bankruptcy in U.S. history. It's in debt by about $4.2 billion.

Because of combination of corruption and poor management, the municipality was unable to repay money it borrowed to upgrade its sewage system.

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It's All Politics
3:58 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Big Growth Could Shake Up Texas' Old Political Equation

A bilingual sign stands outside a polling center at a public library ahead of local elections on April 28 in Austin, Texas.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 6:36 am

It's no secret: Texas is big. And it's getting bigger.

The Lone Star State has added about 5 million people since the turn of the century, and its population is expected to swell by another 5 million by 2020.

This week, NPR examines the dramatic demographic shifts underway in the Lone Star State in our series Texas 2020. We'll look ahead to how the second-biggest state could change in the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of America.

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Animals
4:13 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Seattle Moves Fireworks Display Out Of Respect For Eaglets

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Here are two great American symbols that don't always go well together: bald eagles and Fourth of July fireworks. A couple of eaglets are in a nest in a Seattle suburb, right near the spot where the city launches its Independence Day display. The local Audubon Society worried the pyrotechnics would startle the baby birds, still too young to fly. So organizers moved the launch site, plus say this year's display will use quieter fireworks. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
4:13 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Designers To Put Homer Simpson's Car To The Test

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene.

"Simpsons" fans might remember an episode where Homer designs a car. It's a puke-green monstrosity with tail fins, extra-large drink holders and a bubble dome to keep kids separated. Well, they couldn't resist. Some automotive designers built a real car based on Homer's epic design.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

DAN CASTELLANETA: (as Homer Simpson) D'oh.

National Security
2:37 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Defense Officials Indicate NSA Leaks Have Had Consequences

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 4:13 am

Washington is still trying to determine how much damage has been done as a result of Edward Snowden's revelations about NSA surveillance. Snowden allegedly encrypted the files he took with him, but some officials fear Chinese or Russian intelligence services gained access to Snowden's computers.

Africa
2:37 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Obama: Time For A Mutually Beneficial Alliance With Africa

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 4:13 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

President Obama's trip through Africa is turning out to be political and also personal. The Obama family is visiting three countries in vastly different regions of the continent.

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Politics
2:37 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Agencies Continue To Identify Fallout From Sequestration

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 4:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Well, now that summer is officially here, we thought this might be a good time to check in with some of our colleagues to find out how the federal budget cuts known as sequestration are playing out. These cuts went into effect in the spring, and it is becoming clear that some federal agencies and programs are feeling the brunt, while others have largely escaped.

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Alt.Latino
1:03 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Bosnian Rainbows: Carving Out A New Place In Latin Rock

Bosnian Rainbows, left to right: Deantoni Parks, Teri Gender Bender, Nicci Kasper, Omar Rodriguez Lopez. The band's self-titled debut comes out Tuesday.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 4:13 am

To understand why Bosnian Rainbows' music stands out, you have to go back to 2007 in Guadalajara, Mexico. A singer named Teresa Suarez has taken the stage name Teri Gender Bender — adopted as a feminist statement while at the head of a band called Le Butcherettes.

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Environment
12:51 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Put Down Oil Drill, Pick Up The Test Tube: Making Fuel From Yeast

Jay Keasling (left), speaking with Rajit Sapar at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, is pioneering a technique to develop diesel fuel from yeast.
Courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 7:41 pm

What if we could get our gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel from yeast instead of from oil wells? That's not as crazy as it sounds. In fact, it's already happening on a small scale. And there's a vigorous research effort to ramp this up on a massive scale.

One of the more innovative approaches uses a new technology called "synthetic biology." Jay Keasling is one of the leaders in this hot field.

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Science
12:47 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Tips For Surviving A Mega-Disaster

Patong beach in Phuket, Thailand, was destroyed by the tsunami on Dec. 25, 2004. More than 230,000 people died.
Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 7:39 am

The U.S. is ready for tornadoes, but not tsunamis.

That's the conclusion of a panel of scientists who spoke this week on "mega-disasters" at the American Geophysical Union's science policy meeting in Washington, D.C.

The nation has done a good job preparing for natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes, which occur frequently but usually produce limited damage and relatively few casualties, the panelists said. But government officials are just beginning to develop plans for events like a major tsunami or a large asteroid hurtling toward a populated area.

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Music Interviews
11:00 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Omar Grows Up To Become 'The Man'

Omar's new album, The Man, is his first project in seven years.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 7:42 am

British singer Omar was a child musician back in the '70s and '80s, but he's done a lot of growing up since then. Now married with two daughters, Omar has a new album, The Man, which marks a turning point in his life.

"It's about changing," he says. "Since I've had [my girls], there's a purpose to my life now. It's about growth, development and evolution."

The Man is the singer's first project in seven years. Stripped down to a natural level, the album is assembled in a way that hearkens back to the musician's early days.

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Code Switch
9:52 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Can 'Devious Maids' Really Break Stereotypes About Latinas?

Judy Reyes (from left), Roselyn Sanchez, Ana Ortiz and Dania Ramirez all star in Lifetime's new series about Latina housemaids, Devious Maids.
Lifetime

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 5:36 am

On Sunday nights this summer, Lifetime is hoping to draw audiences with a campy, soapy drama from Marc Cherry, the creative mind behind Desperate Housewives. It's called Devious Maids, and it looks nothing like anything else on television because it has five Latina stars. It's an unprecedented lineup for a prime-time drama.

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StoryCorps
7:00 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

For A Mom, Learning To Accept A Gay Son Was 'Nonnegotiable'

After Samuel Taylor came out to his mother, Connie Casey, the pair had several very difficult years. But in time, Connie realized she had to re-examine her feelings about homosexuality.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 4:13 am

Samuel Taylor was raised in a religious family. When he came out to his mother, Connie Casey, she sent him to a series of conversion therapy ministries affiliated with Exodus International, the Christian organization that folded this month and apologized to the gay community for trying to "correct" same-sex attraction.

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Africa
7:38 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Nelson Mandela Said To Be Gravely Ill

South Africa is on watch for the fate of the 94-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate. The ailing Mandela, an international icon known for his fight to end apartheid, has been in the hospital for several days. For the latest on his condition, Renee Montagne speaks with NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton.

Around the Nation
2:46 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Expecting Parents Ask For Help Naming Their Son

A Connecticut couple couldn't decide whether to name their soon-to-be-born son Jackson or Logan. So according to the New Haven Register, they decided to take a poll of customers at Starbucks. In the end, they went with their own suggestion: Logan Jackson.

World
2:41 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Racing Pigeon Has Poor Sense Of Direction

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

A pigeon that set out on what was to be a 600-mile race in Japan lost his way, and ended up landing 5,000 miles across the Pacific in Canada. When it was found on Vancouver Island, the bird was exhausted and very skinny. Now he's been adopted by a pigeon racing club there. They're considering breeding the bird, figuring his offspring will be just as resilient, though hopefully the young ones will get their sense of direction from the mother.

Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
2:01 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Gay Military Spouses To Benefit From Supreme Court Ruling

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. The Supreme Court ruling yesterday on the Defense of Marriage Act will change the lives of many people, including some in the U.S. military. Gay spouses of service members have long been denied the substantial benefits available to heterosexual couples. Yesterday's ruling that struck down DOMA means gay married couples can look forward to more equal treatment from the Pentagon, as NPR's Larry Abramson reports.

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Business
1:04 am
Thu June 27, 2013

$99 Game Console Ouya Aims To Take Down Barriers To Fans

The Ouya game console and controller. Games are sold through something like an app store, allowing customers to sample them before buying.
Courtesy of Ouya

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 9:37 am

Sony and Microsoft are preparing to launch their latest gaming consoles this fall with price tags from $400 for the PlayStation 4 and $500 for the Xbox One. But this week, a $99 game console went on sale and sold out at Target and Amazon.

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Law
1:04 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Ruling Clears The Way For More Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 2:11 am

For some couples, the Supreme Court's ruling to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act will have significant financial impact. The amount of federal income tax they pay could go down, and their health insurance and other benefits could be affected too.

Business
12:00 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Walgreens Cashes In On Department Stores' Pain

Customers check out at the new flagship Walgreens in Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown.
Brenda Salinas NPR

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 10:21 am

At the turn of the 20th century, drugstores were little more than a pharmacist and a soda fountain. If you wanted to go shopping, you went to a department store.

Now, that trend is reversing. Department stores are suffering and drugstores are booming.

So much so that Walgreens — one of the industry's leaders — is experimenting with expanding its goods and services.

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