Morning Edition

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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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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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
11:55 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Six Words: 'Black Babies Cost Less To Adopt'

Caryn Lantz and her husband Chuck were surprised to learn that costs associated with adopting black children were much lower than for white or mixed race children. They ultimately went with an adoption in which the fee was based on their income, not skin color.
Courtesy of Caryn Lantz

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 6:46 am

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition. You can find hundreds of six-word submissions and submit your own at www.theracecardproject.com.

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Fine Art
11:54 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

A Paris Vacation For Nashville Millionaires' French Art

A table (Le Dejeuner), an 1892 oil painting by Edouard Vuillard, appears to show a quiet domestic scene. But Isabelle Cahn, the curator of a new show at the Musee d'Orsay, says this painting actually depicts a scandal-ridden household.
Courtesy Musee d'Orsay

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 9:05 am

To say that Nashvillean Spencer Hays is crazy for French art is an understatement. "French art just quickens our step, fires our spirit and touches our heart," he says.

Hays' passion began when he was in his 30s. By then he was already a millionaire; Forbes estimated his worth at $400 million in 1997, money earned from book-selling and clothing businesses. Hays had humble beginnings.

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Humans
2:12 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Pitch-Perfect: Why Our Shoulders Are Key To Throwing

Harry Kaplan practices pitching during Home Run Baseball Camp at Friendship Recreation Center in June. Kaplan's arm is stretched long and toward the ground as his hips are faced away from the catcher. A chimp, in contrast, could never throw a fastball.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 2:01 pm

The ability to throw a baseball or any object with speed and precision is unique to us humans. And that ability depends on certain features of our anatomy that arose in our ancestors over 2 million years ago, according to a study published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

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Law
8:13 am
Wed June 26, 2013

The Supreme Court's Landmark Decision On Same-Sex Marriage

David Greene speaks with NPR's Nina Totenberg about the Supreme Court's landmark decision granting federal benefits to married same-sex couples.

Law
8:13 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Supreme Court Strikes Down Defense Of Marriage Act

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
4:35 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Delta CEO Helps Worried Mom Make Her Flight

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 8:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And that brings us to today's last word in business - which is: Courtesy Seating.

Jessie Frank was a distraught mom who was going to be late picking up her daughter at camp.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

She was on stand-by in Washington, D.C. for an over-booked Delta Flight to New York, when a man offered up his seat. Turns out it was Delta CEO Richard Anderson. His kindness helped the mom and earned some good PR for the company.

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Europe
4:22 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Famous Hawk Is Back In The Spotlight

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 8:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Wimbledon is underway, which means the tennis world's most famous hawk is back in the spotlight. No, not the Hawk-Eye ball tracking technology linesmen use to help make calls, an actual hawk. His name is Rufus, and his job is to scare pesky pigeons away from the All England Club before the crowds of tennis fans arrive. Rufus also worked the 2012 Olympics. The hawk, of course, has his own Twitter account to squawk at his admirers. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

National Security
4:03 am
Wed June 26, 2013

NSA Leaker Case Causes Riff Between U.S. And Russia

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 10:40 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Edward Snowden may have intended to stir things up about secret American surveillance programs. It turns out, he's also shaking up diplomatic relations between the U.S. and three countries where those relations are already edgy. The former intelligence contractor who leaked classified documents is believed to be still at a Moscow airport.

He arrived there from Hong Kong on Sunday. NPR's State Department Correspondent Michele Kelemen joins us to talk about the countries drawn into Snowden's travels. Good morning.

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