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  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 4:54am
    Police near London received a troubling call, and all the dispatcher could hear was heavy breathing. Cops found the caller running through a yard. It was a dog with a wireless phone in its mouth.
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    Si Jia got depressed after her only companion moved to another zoo. The staff at the Yunnan Safari Park in southwest China built her a swing and parallel bars. She may get a real friend soon.
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    Several Ukrainian tanks are on the move in some eastern cities, according to reports Wednesday morning. Some of the armored personnel carriers are flying Russian flags.
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    The National Hockey League playoffs start Wednesday night, and the National Basketball Association playoffs begin Saturday. We run down the post-season picture for both sports.
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    The Demographics Unit was trying to root out terrorist threats, but never produced a usable lead. Kelly McEvers talks to journalist Matt Apuzzo, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the unit.

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Your Money
12:59 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Student Loans Can Dent Retirees' Social Security

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 12:37 pm

Families often pull together to help finance a college education, with parents and grandparents chipping in or co-signing loans. And now, a SmartMoney report finds the U.S. government withholding money from Social Security recipients who've stopped paying on federal student loans.

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StoryCorps
12:58 am
Fri August 17, 2012

A Mother Tries To Atone For A Deadly Hate Crime

In 1988, Julie Sanders was present at a racist murder. A lot has happened since then, she says — but forgiveness isn't included. She visited StoryCorps with Randy Blazak in Portland, Ore.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 9:06 am

At 40, Julie Sanders is a mother of three from Portland, Ore. But when she was 16, Sanders belonged to a white supremacist group — and one night in 1988, she witnessed a murder. Since then, she's kept the event a secret from most of her friends and family.

Before she sat down to talk about the incident with her friend Randy Blazak at StoryCorps, Sanders says, she had rarely talked about her past at all. She started out by recalling what her life was like in her teen years.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:58 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Would Judge Give Psychopath With Genetic Defect Lighter Sentence?

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 9:06 am

In 1991, a man named Stephen Mobley robbed a Domino's pizza in Hall County, Ga., and shot the restaurant manager dead.

Crimes like this happen all the time, but this particular case became a national story, in part because Mobley seemed so proud of his crime. After the robbery, he bragged about the killing and had the Domino's logo tattooed on his back.

But there was another reason Mobley's case became famous.

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Economy
12:45 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Low Mortgage Rates Boost 'Serial Refinancers'

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 12:35 pm

Refinance activity continues to boom, fueling the home-loan market. Low interest rates have created a class of "serial refinancers" — those lucky enough to borrow at lower rates — and given them new opportunities to spend their freed up cash.

Settlement attorney Robert Gratz never used to be on a first-name basis with his clients.

"In the past, our practice was such that you'd see people, and that was the end of it," he says.

Gratz now sees the same faces all the time, of clients refinancing again and again — these days in the mid-3 percent range.

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Planet Money
12:44 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Competing Against The Nicest Guy In Town

Hondo (left) and Dizz.
Chana Joffe-Walt NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 12:36 pm

For more: Why does the government subsidize crop insurance in the first place? We try to answer that question in our latest podcast.

The federal government spends about $7 billion a year on crop insurance for U.S. farmers. Policies are sold by private companies, but the government sets the rates, so the companies can't compete on price.

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Europe
12:42 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Belgian Town May Sue Over Soggy Weather Forecasts

People enjoy a sunny day on the beach in Knokke, on Belgium's North Sea coast, in April 2011. This summer, the weather hasn't been as nice — and resort owners and officials are feeling litigious over a pessimistic weather forecast.
Nicolas Maeterlinck EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 9:06 am

Parts of Europe are experiencing extremely rainy weather this summer. But some tourist towns in Belgium and the Netherlands say their season has been blighted too — not by bad weather but by bad weather forecasting.

The mayor of the Belgian seaside resort of Knokke says it's a crime that tourism there is down this year. He means that literally.

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Space
5:30 am
Thu August 16, 2012

YouTube Satire: 'We're NASA And We Know It'

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. You may have heard about NASA's Curiosity mission to Mars. Well, I bet you didn't know it had a backbeat.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WE'RE NASA AND WE KNOW IT (MARS CURIOSITY)")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) Crane, lower that rover. Crane, lower that rover. Crane, lower, that rover.

GREENE: Yes, this popped up on a YouTube channel called Satire. It's to the tune of LMFAO's song (Singing) "Sexy and I Know It." The cast in this video dressed in NASA garb, kicking at the console.

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Sports
4:43 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Mariners' Felix Hernandez Throws Perfect Game

Pitcher Felix Hernandez retired all 27 batters in order Wednesday. It was the first perfect game in Mariners' history, and it was the third perfect game this year.

Around the Nation
4:32 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Cancer Claims The Life Of 120-Year-Old Woman

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Health Care
3:00 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Ryan As GOP's VP Pick Forces Medicare Discussion

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

When Mitt Romney put Paul Ryan on the ticket, it had the potential to reset the presidential race - that is, offer a choice between two radically different visions of government, in a campaign seemingly stuck in tit-for-tat attacks over the economy. So far, though, the campaigns have a somewhat different fight on their hands. NPR's Mara Liasson reports.

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Business
2:38 am
Thu August 16, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. So we just heard in Renee's conversation there that American Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas has hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, giving her clout with potential sponsors.

Our last word in business today is Klout spelled with a K. Klout, k-l-o-u-t, is a Web startup that's been around for a few years. The company says it can measure your online influence by using a special algorithm.

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Around the Nation
2:38 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Dallas Ramps Up Against West Nile Virus

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And health officials around the country are raising warnings about West Nile Virus. The U.S. is seeing the worst outbreak of the mosquito-borne illness since it was first detected in 1999. So far this year, 26 people have died, and about half of the country's 700 cases are in Texas - most of them in Dallas County. This week, for the first time in almost half a century, the county will begin aerial spraying to kill mosquitoes. B.J. Austin of member station KERA has the story.

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World
2:38 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Ecuador To Decide On Assange Asylum Request

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

In the latest twist to the WikiLeaks story, its founder Julian Assange has been granted political asylum by the South American nation of Ecuador. Ecuador's foreign minister made the announcement this morning, speaking through a translator.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Space
2:38 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Update On Mars Rover

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 12:53 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It has been just over a week now since Curiosity, the NASA Mars rover, made its successful landing on the Red Planet. Curiosity is by far the most technologically advanced rover to reach the surface of Mars so far, and it's already begun sending back some pretty compelling, high-resolution photographs of the planet's surface. To talk about space and the importance of this mission, we're joined, as we often are, by Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York.

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Business
2:38 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a subpoena.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Business
2:38 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Olympians Try To Turn Medals Into Endorsements

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And while the Olympic Games are over and the athletes have all headed home, the competition for athletes to turn their gold into gold by securing valuable endorsements is in full swing.

To talk to us about some of the big sponsorship deals that might be in the works, we're joined by Emily Steel, who covers media and marketing in New York for the Financial Times.

Good morning.

EMILY STEEL: Good morning.

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Music
1:29 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Juanes: A Superstar Slows Down, Shifts Gears

Juanes' latest album is all acoustic, and was recorded in front of a live audience as part of MTV's Unplugged series.
MTV

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 11:57 am

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American Dreams: Then And Now
1:28 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Persuading Banks To Give Homeowners A Break

Sara Millan (left) thanks Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America CEO Bruce Marks after NACA was able to reduce her family's mortgage during an event in Los Angeles in September 2010.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Over the past four years, Bruce Marks has been on a traveling road show to help people avoid foreclosure. His nonprofit, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, has held more than 80 events in cities around the country. So far, Marks says, NACA has helped 202,000 people get their payments lowered so they can afford to keep their homes.

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Africa
1:27 am
Thu August 16, 2012

In South Sudan, Cows Are Cash And Source Of Friction

A man from the Mundari nomad tribe stands among cattle on Jan. 18, in Juba, South Sudan. Cattle raids, a common occurrence in the region, have grown increasingly violent in recent years.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

For the rural people of South Sudan, cattle are at the center of their culture. They use them as currency, treat them as objects of beauty, and fight tribal battles over them.

In recent years, traditional cattle raids have turned deadly. Tribesmen aren't just stealing cattle; they are slaughtering rivals, burning villages and abducting women and children.

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Middle East
1:27 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Asked To Spy On Rebels, Syrian Soldier Becomes One

A Syrian soldier casts a shadow as he stands in the northwest city of Idlib in May. Growing numbers of Syrian soldiers are defecting and joining the rebels.
Khaled al-Hariri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has been stung by a string of prominent defections, from the prime minister to a leading general to a military aviator who was Syria's first man in space.

Ra'ed, a soldier from Syria's most prestigious military unit, the Republican Guard, is among the defectors.

The guard's chief duty is to protect the Syrian leadership. But Ra'ed says he never felt proud to serve after he was drafted in June 2010 at age 19.

Ra'ed, who is now living in Lebanon, asked that NPR use only his first name out of concern for his safety.

Read more
Business
5:39 am
Wed August 15, 2012

To Gain Weight, NFL Player Eats 7,000 Calories A Day

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Twitterverse is blowing up these days with a lot of talk of football, because its fans like me are very happy about the NFL season is getting close.

Here in Washington, D.C., fans are tweeting about Jordan Black. The Washington Redskins signed the offensive tackle during training camp and he has some work to do.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Which is why our last word in business is: chowing down.

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World
5:26 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Police Chief Urges Toronto Mayor To Get A Driver

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Around the Nation
5:18 am
Wed August 15, 2012

After 25 Years, Electric Squabble Is Settled

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A cold winter, a stifling summer, and your power bill will spike. But Grace Edwards' electric bill had seemed high for 25 years. Connecticut Light and Power first told her it must be an extra TV or her air conditioning. Turns out, Edwards was paying to power two street lights. The Hartford Courant reports she's been issued a refund of $10,491, what she overpaid plus interest, plus an apology. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Election 2012
5:00 am
Wed August 15, 2012

At Va. Stop, Biden Blasts GOP Ties To Wall Street

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.

Well, it is VP against VP-hopeful. Vice President Joe Biden is touring Virginia, a key presidential swing state. And yesterday, Biden seized on Mitt Romney's choice of Congressman Paul Ryan as a running mate, saying it shows what the Republican ticket really stands for. In a moment, Ryan's day on the campaign trail.

First to NPR's Larry Abramson, who's traveling with Vice President Biden.

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Election 2012
3:22 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Obama Backs Wind Energy, Romney Favors Coal

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

You could say that the presidential campaign got a jolt of energy this week. President Obama was in Iowa yesterday, touting the electric potential of wind power. Republican rival Mitt Romney was in Ohio, talking up that old standby, coal. Each man accused the other of standing in the way of a rival energy source.

NPR's Scott Horsley has more.

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Business
3:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Home Depot Reports Earnings Are Up 12 Percent

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:27 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Home Depot says, from its vantage point, there seems to be a turnaround in the housing market. The nation's largest home-improvement chain reported a 12 percent increase in second-quarter earnings.

Joshua Stewart from Georgia Public Broadcasting has the details.

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NPR Story
3:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Rep. Ryan's Hometown Seen Through Filmmaker's Lense

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

San Fernando's Financial Crisis Burdened By Scandal

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:07 am

The small Southern California city of San Fernando is facing a seven-figure fiscal crisis. But the town has been unable to address its money issues because the romantic entanglements of the city leaders are dominating the agenda.

NPR Story
3:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Standard Chartered Settles Money Laundering Charges

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 3:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A British bank has agreed to settle charges that it illegally laundered Iranian money. The settlement with Standard Chartered was announced by New York banking regulators, who'd brought the charges just a week ago. The bank still is under investigation by the federal government. NPR's Jim Zarroli has more.

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Movies
3:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

'Odd Life Of Timothy Green' Pushes Too Hard

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 7:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A new movie in theaters today is titled "The Odd Life of Timothy Green." And film critic, Kenneth Turan, found the movie, itself, odd.

KENNETH TURAN: "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" is a when you wish upon a star fable in the old school Disney style. It's just the kind of inspirational family-friendly comfort food it feels churlish to rebuff. But though the film's heart is pure, its execution is so cloying and contrived it brings on tears of frustration.

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