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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NPR Story
1:37 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Southwest Airlines Rectifies Ticket Billing Error

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 10:02 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an airline refund.

Refunds are starting to arrive in the bank accounts of Southwest Airlines' customers who were billed multiple times for promotional fares booked on Friday. Some customers paid for their discounted air travel as many as 20 times, according to the Associated Press. The company blamed the problem on a computer glitch.

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First And Main
1:33 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Even In Florida Swing County, Minds Seem Made Up

Michael Bailey, 2, was the last baby baptized in St. Paul's AME church in downtown Tampa. Rev. Jesse Jackson preached here and Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall and President Clinton all spoke here, but the dwindling congregation forced the church to close.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 7:04 pm

Let's take a picture of America in the latter months of an election year. We want to sense what's on this country's mind. So Morning Edition begins a series of reports from First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county we find a starting point for our visit — an iconic American corner — First and Main streets.

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NPR Story
1:33 am
Mon August 6, 2012

NASA's Curiosity Lands On Red Planet

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 10:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

They were pretty cheerful at NASA this morning after an unmanned vehicle set down on the surface of Mars.

JOHN HOLDREN: If anybody has been harboring doubts about the status of U.S. leadership in space, well, there's a one ton automobile-size piece of American ingenuity...

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING AND APPALUSE)

HOLDREN: ...and it's sitting on the surface of Mars right now, and it should certainly put any such doubts to rest.

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NPR Story
1:33 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Jamaica's Bolt Retains Title As 'World's Fastest Man'

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 10:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Usain Bolt remains the world's fastest man. Last night at the London Summer Games, the Jamaican superstar successfully defended his Olympic 100-meter title. Bolt ran his second-fastest time ever, an Olympic record - 9.63 seconds. He joins American Carl Lewis as the only other man to win consecutive Olympic 100s. NPR's Tom Goldman is in London.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:29 am
Mon August 6, 2012

An Anthropologist Walks Into A Bar And Asks, 'Why Is This Joke Funny?'

Amateur comedian Robert Lynch takes the mic at the Metropolitan Room in New York City on July 21. Lynch is also an evolutionary anthropologist who is studying what laughter reveals about us.
Melanie Burford for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 1:26 pm

It's Saturday night at the Metropolitan Room, a comedy club in New York City. Host Jimmy Failla is warming up the crowd.

"Where you guys from?" he asks one group in the audience. "Boston? Home of the Red Sox. Personally, we'd prefer you rooted for the Taliban!"

There are 50 or 60 people in the audience, sipping cocktails. Failla has a system. He asks people where they're from. Most are locals. He then hits them with something they can relate to.

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Author Interviews
12:01 am
Mon August 6, 2012

'American Dream,' Betrayed By Bad Economic Policy

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 4:33 am

A lot is at stake in the current election, but no matter who wins, the victor will stay committed to policies that cripple the middle class. That's according to Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Donald Barlett and James Steele, who've been covering the middle class for decades.

In their new book, The Betrayal of the American Dream, Barlett and Steele criticize a government obsessed with free trade and indifferent toward companies that outsource jobs.

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Crime In The City
12:00 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Author Peter James And Sidekick Track Seaside Crime

After turning over a book to his publisher, Peter James wakes up the next day and starts on the next one.
Gareth Ransome

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 7:39 am

Any tour of Brighton, England, has to begin at the Royal Pavilion, according to crime writer Peter James. Built by a king for his mistress 200 years ago, its Taj Mahal-like spires are the city's best-known landmark.

James' latest novel, Not Dead Yet, features — spoiler alert! — a pivotal scene in the pavilion's dining room, with its one-and-a-half ton crystal chandelier. Without giving too much away — the book won't be released in the U.S. until November – let's just say it might have something to do with the aforementioned chandelier.

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Dead Stop
11:59 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

In Warhol's Memory, Soup Cans And Coke Bottles

Fans leave all manner of mementos at Andy Warhol's grave site, near Pittsburgh. This spring, a local Warhol impersonator wrapped the grave stone in colorful paper for an entire month.
Madelyn Roehrig

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 10:02 am

Andy Warhol is often remembered as larger than life, but it's all too easy to miss where he's buried.

The pop artist's grave is in the modest St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, on a hill overlooking a highway about 20 minutes outside of downtown Pittsburgh.

Eric Shiner, director of the Andy Warhol Museum, says it's a pretty typical cemetery for Pennsylvanians with Eastern European roots.

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The Record
7:12 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Chavela Vargas, Legendary Ranchera Singer, Dies

Chavela Vargas performing in Buenos Aires in 2004.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:23 pm

A legend of Latin American song has died. Chavela Vargas was a cultural icon across the Spanish-speaking world, with a voice that redefined notions of beauty and an attitude that brashly bent gender roles. Vargas died Sunday; she was 93.

She was born Isabel Vargas Lizano in Costa Rica, but audiences knew her as Chavela, a hard-partying, rabble-rousing, fiery singer who adopted Mexico as her homeland and began singing on the streets in her early teens.

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Middle East
2:30 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Iran's Supreme Leader Has Photos To Share

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Strange News
2:30 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Weightlifter Keeps Calm, Sleeps In And Carries On

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne, with a lesson on how to keep calm, sleep in and carry on.

Twenty-one-year-old Jack Oliver went to bed ready to represent Great Britain at the Olympics. That was until the weightlifter overslept by an hour on his big day. He was roused by his coach and got dressed in 30 seconds, he says, and still managed two personal bests, grabbing a fourth place finish. The sleep did me good, he said. I had less time to think about the competition.

The Torch
2:14 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Would You Rather Win Silver Or Bronze? (Be Careful What You Wish For)

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Who's The Happiest? Researchers studied photos of Olympic medalists to learn who is the happiest. Here, bronze medalist Aliya Mustafina of Russia, gold medalist Gabby Douglas of the U.S., and silver medalist Victoria Komova of Russia pose after the all-around gymnastics final.
Julian Finney Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:32 am

Both athletes were U.S. swimmers, both were dripping wet after finishing an Olympics final, and both had just won medals.

The first said, "It's not my normal specialty. ... We went out there and raced tough – and just came up a little short."

The second had a beaming face. He said, "[I] swam my own race. And knew I had a lane, and had an opportunity, and I went for it. It worked out, you know, it's just awesome that I get to go on the podium tonight. Honestly, I'm really proud of myself!"

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Movies
2:14 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Back To The Future With 'Total Recall' Remake

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 2:30 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Look for a review of the new science fiction epic "Total Recall" and you'll see headlines ready Total Makeover. You might recall the 1990 original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. With our review of the remake, here's Kenneth Turan.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:45 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Nursing Schools Face Faculty Shortage

Nursing students in a simulation lab at the University of Virginia School of Nursing.
Elizabeth Lee Cantrell UVA School of Nursing

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 12:43 pm

There have been lots of goodbye parties this year at the University of Virginia School of Nursing. So far, 11 professors have retired. That's one-fourth of the faculty, and Dean Dorrie Fontaine is in no mood to celebrate.

Over the next few years, the Affordable Care Act will probably boost demand for nurses to take care of the newly insured, she says, "and I need faculty to teach the practitioners that are going to take care of these uninsured."

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Planet Money
12:30 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Keeping The Biggest Secret In The U.S. Economy

In one part of the BLS offices, a supervisor rings this bell to let employees know that it is officially 8:30 AM.
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 7:04 am

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Opinion
9:10 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Grandfathers Go To The Mat For Gymnast Grandson

Gymnast C.J. Maestas has been tumbling since he was 18 months old. His grandfathers Frank Barela (left) and Frank Maestas have been a lifelong source of support.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 7:39 am

As fans around the world are riveted to the 2012 Summer Games in London, one young gymnast already has his sights on 2016.

Albuquerque, N.M., native C.J. Maestas, 20, has been tumbling his entire life. A self-described "hyper" kid who loved to climb on things, C.J. joined his first gymnastics class when he was 18 months old.

"As a little baby, you were always jumping," C.J.'s grandfather Frank Maestas recalls.

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Poetry Games
6:37 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Against All Odds, You 'Swim Your Own Race'

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 7:19 am

South African poet Mbali Vilakazi is also a performer and radio producer based in Cape Town. Vilakazi's poem pays tribute to South African swimmer Natalie du Toit, the first female amputee ever to qualify for the Olympic Games.

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House & Senate Races
3:27 am
Thu August 2, 2012

GOP Has Big Hopes For Missouri Senate Race

Former Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman has earned the endorsement of Sarah Palin in her bid for a Republican Senate nomination.
Brian Naylor NPR

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:07 am

Republicans hope to win control of the U.S. Senate from Democrats in November, and one seat they have high hopes for is in Missouri.

Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill is facing a tough re-election fight. Outside conservative groups have already been running ads against her. On Tuesday, Republicans will select their candidate for the fall.

Meet The Candidates

In Neosho, Mo., on the edge of the Ozarks, summertime in an election year can only mean one thing: the Newton County Republican Party's watermelon fest.

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Strange News
2:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Will You Marry Me? Wait, Where Are You?

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Destination Art
2:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Marfa, Texas: An Unlikely Art Oasis In A Desert Town

In the 1970s, minimalist artist Donald Judd moved to Marfa, Texas, where he created giant works of art that bask beneath vast desert skies. In the years since, Marfa has emerged as a hot spot for art tourism.
Art (c) Judd Foundation Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 3:36 pm

This tiny town perched on the high plains of the Chihuahua desert is nothing less than an arts world station of the cross, like Art Basel in Miami, or Documenta in Germany. It's a blue-chip arts destination for the sort of glamorous scenesters who visit Amsterdam for the Rijksmuseum and the drugs.

"They speak about Marfa with the same kind of reverent tones generally reserved for the pilgrimage of the Virgin of Lourdes," notes Carolina Miranda, a writer who covers the art world.

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