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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World
6:57 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Syrian Regime Hit By Deadly Blast In Damascus

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's follow up now on what appears to be a serious blow to the regime in Syria today. A blast repeatedly killed the country's defense chief, the brother-in-law of President Bashar al-Assad and wounded other top officials. This explosion, we're told, occurred inside the tightly guarded national security headquarters in Damascus. To sort out what we know, or don't know, about this incident so far, we've called Neil MacFarquar. He's a correspondent for the New York Times. He's in Beirut. Welcome back to the program.

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Around the Nation
4:56 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Following Up On Tuesday's Feline Mayor Story

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 6:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Media
4:48 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Gotcha Story Idea Backfires On Conservative Blogger

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 6:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

London 2012: The Summer Olympics
4:00 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Athletes In India Work Part-Time Government Jobs

India's Sandeep Sejwal swims his way to gold in the 100-meter men's breaststroke at the 2006 South Asian Games in Sri Lanka. Sejwal, who competed in the Beijing Olympics two years later, has a government job with India's railway that accommodates his heavy training schedule.
AP

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 5:18 pm

For athletes anywhere, just qualifying for the Olympics can be a full-time job. But in India, training full-time is a luxury few can afford. That means many athletes work part-time government jobs. And for some, it can result in a job for life.

In return for putting in an appearance at the office, athletes like shooter Suma Shirur get a monthly salary and time to train.

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Economy
1:33 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Economic Update

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 2:58 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

If Ben Bernanke is frustrated by the economy, as he seems to be, he might look at a recent issue of The Economist magazine. Editors there see enough strength that they saw fit to print an illustration of Uncle Sam as a bare-chested muscleman.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's talk about that and more with regular guests on this program, Zanny Minton Beddoes of The Economist. Welcome back to the program.

ZANNY MINTON BEDDOES: Nice to be here.

INSKEEP: And David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal. Hi, David.

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Around the Nation
1:33 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Politics Weighs Down San Bernardino's Economic Problems

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 10:41 am

The city of San Bernardino, Calif., is expected to declare a fiscal emergency, and officially file for bankruptcy on Wednesday. The declaration would be the third by a California city in recent weeks. Some analysts believe San Bernardino's problems may be more about its dysfunctional local politics.

Business
1:33 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 6:57 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some surprise earnings are at the top of NPR's business news.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR Story
1:30 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Would-Be Homebuyers Appear To Be More Confident

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 6:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the nation's homebuilders are feeling more optimistic than they have since March, 2007, just before the beginning of the Great Recession. What's more, the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index has posted its largest one-month gain in roughly a decade.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: David Crowe, the chief economist at the Home Builders Association says things are definitely looking up. It's a trend that began last September.

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NPR Story
1:30 am
Wed July 18, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 5:39 am

One big reason Canadians have pulled ahead, is the U.S. housing bust destroyed a lot of wealth. Home values in Canada have remained steady, and lately, they've even enjoyed a housing boom.

Human Tissue Donation
1:03 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Little Regulation Poses Problems Tracking Tissue

Unlike organs, tissue doesn't need to be transplanted immediately. Storage facilities like Tissue Banks International in San Rafael, Calif., process and store donated tissue for later use in medical products or as transplants.
Noah Berger AP

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 6:16 pm

Part 2 of a four-part series

Two winters ago, Lynnette Bellin tore her knee while skiing with her 5-year-old daughter.

"I felt the trademark pop ... and instantly knew I had injured my knee," she says.

But within a year, she was back to her athletic life.

"Recently in one week, I skied, ran, kayaked, standup paddle-boarded, swam and hiked. At the end of that week, I looked back in awe from where I have come from," she says.

Bellin healed quickly after receiving a tendon from a cadaver, which helped to repair her torn ACL.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:08 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Could The Health Law End Up Back In Court? Opponents Think So

Democratuic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, who was involved in writing the health law, rejects claims that federal health exchanges won't be able to provide tax credits.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:53 am

If you thought last month's Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act was the final word on the legality of the health law, think again. Some conservative scholars believe they may have discovered a flaw that could send the law back to court, or at least cause some big problems for its implementation.

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Around the Nation
12:05 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Keeping Kids Connected With Their Jailed Parents

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:53 am

Arizona has one of the highest incarceration rates in the country, and that means it also has one of the highest percentages of children with one or both parents in jail. One rural county there is trying to help families stay connected.

On a recent day, 45-year-old Liz Minor sits in the shade outside a coffeehouse in Flagstaff, enjoying icy drinks with her two sons. She relishes this ordinary moment, considering that just a few years ago, their time together was limited to a prison visiting room, separated by shatterproof glass.

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Tina Brown's Must-Reads
12:04 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Tina Brown's Must Reads: Modern Warfare

Veteran war correspondent Marie Colvin, shown here in Cairo, was killed in February while reporting in Homs, Syria.
Ivor Prickett AP

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 5:42 pm

Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth."

This month, Brown shares reading recommendations related to the changing nature of war, including a book on Obama's foreign policy and an article about the ongoing destruction of Timbuktu's ancient monuments.

A Reporter Who Wouldn't Quit

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Election 2012
9:03 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Study: Many Could Face Obstacles In Voter ID Laws

A voter casts a ballot during the Republican primary election April 24 in Philadelphia.
Jessica Kourkounis Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 6:57 am

A new report by the Brennan Center for Justice finds that more than 10 million potential voters in states that require photo ID at the polls live more than 10 miles from offices that issue such ID. Nearly 500,000 of these voters don't have access to a car or other vehicle.

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Sweetness And Light
7:03 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Doping In Baseball: The Needle And The Damage Done

Marathon medal winners listen to the anthem from the victory stand during the presentation ceremony at the XXI Summer Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976. From left, Frank Shorter, U.S.A., silver; Waldemar Cierpinski, East Germany, gold, Olympic record; and Karel Lismont, Belgium, bronze. Evidence of doping by the East Germans suggests that Shorter deserved the gold medal.
AP

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 6:57 am

The 2012 induction ceremony for the Baseball Hall of Fame takes place this weekend, so there's even more discussion about the 2013 election, because then both Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will be on the ballot, along with several other players who are also suspected of having used performance-enhancing drugs.

I've been surprised to learn that some baseball writers have declared that they'll vote for Bonds and Clemens because they were the best players in an era when drug use was widespread — ergo if there's a lot of guilt going around, then nobody should be assigned guilt.

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Music Interviews
4:22 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 7:52 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
7:24 am
Tue July 17, 2012

'Cluster Balloon' Daredevils Attempt Record Flight

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 9:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Around the Nation
5:07 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Alaska Mayor Is Purrfect For The Job

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 9:17 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
4:34 am
Tue July 17, 2012

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

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 9:17 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.

Business
1:48 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Investigation: HSBC Laundered Drug Money

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 9:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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