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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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First And Main
1:26 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Weary Wis. Union Workers Face Another Campaign

Joan Kaeding is a reference assistant at the Oshkosh Public Library. NPR talked to her at New Moon Cafe in downtown Oshkosh. She says she's fielding lots of questions at the library about the new health care law.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:37 pm

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition is visiting swing counties in swing states for our series First and Main. We're listening to voters where they live β€” to understand what's shaping their thinking this election year.

This week, we're visiting Winnebago County, Wis. β€” a county that went Republican in the 2004 presidential election and flipped to the Democrats in 2008.

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Crime In The City
1:26 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Robert Crais: LA Is A 'Natural Canvas' For Nightmare

The canals in LA's Venice neighborhood serve as the scene of a murder in Robert Crais' 2011 novel, The Sentry.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 11:50 am

It's been a few decades, and many published books, but Robert Crais can tell you exactly when mystery writing first caught his attention: He was a bright 15-year-old living in Baton Rouge, La., when he read Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister, which depicted the shady side of sunny Los Angeles through the eyes of private investigator Philip Marlowe.

Since then, Crais has found huge success with his own crime novels, also set in LA. The city is the perfect canvas for a modern mystery, and Crais' eyes still grow wide when he talks about what Chandler painted on it.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:25 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Search For Parkinson's Genes Turns To Online Social Networking

Submitting a DNA sample to networking company 23andMe entails spitting a saliva sample into a plastic vial.
23andMe

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 11:50 am

There's a growing interest in what our genes say about our health. And in recent years, quite a few companies have sprung up to help us listen with the help of personalized DNA tests.

For a few hundred dollars and a vial of spit, these companies will search your DNA for sequences that predict your physical traits, your response to certain drugs and your risk for any number of diseases.

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Art & Design
1:25 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Hopper's Pensive Lady In Pink Travels The World

Edward Hopper's wife, Josephine N. Hopper, served as his model for 1952's Morning Sun.
Columbus Museum of Art/Howald Fund

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 11:50 am

It's one of the ultimate images of summer: a woman in a short, pink slip sits on a bed, her knees pulled up to her chest, gazing out a window. Her hair is tucked back into a bun. Her bare arms rest lightly on her bare legs.

Edward Hopper painted her in 1952 for a work called Morning Sun. The picture has been widely reproduced for decades. But on a recent visit to its home at the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio, it was nowhere to be found.

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Around the Nation
10:46 pm
Sun August 19, 2012

Study Reveals The Geography of Charitable Giving

Attorneys Cheryl Curtis and her husband, Dana Foster, live in Washington, D.C., and donate generously to a nearby nonprofit that helps low-income residents. "Now that I have more, I want to give to organizations that provide just basic food for people," Curtis says.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 11:50 am

Ever wonder how charitable the people are who live in your state or community? It turns out that lower-income people tend to donate a much bigger share of their discretionary incomes than wealthier people do. And rich people are more generous when they live among those who aren't so rich.

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Asia
4:53 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Pakistani Televangelist Is Back On Air, Raising Fears

Aamir Liaquat, 41, is one of Pakistan's most famous and controversial TV hosts. During the holy month of Ramadan, he broadcasts live for 11 hours a day while fasting and drawing record audiences. Back in 2008, remarks he made about a religious minority in Pakistan were followed by a wave of deadly violence. He was fired and recently rehired.
Courtesy of Geo TV

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:32 pm

As Pakistan's media has expanded in recent years, there's been a rise in Islamic preachers with popular TV call-in talk shows. And they've had their share of scandal. One famous TV host fled the country after embezzlement allegations. Others are accused of spewing hate speech.

That's the case for Pakistan's most popular televangelist, Aamir Liaquat, who's just been rehired by the country's top TV channel despite accusations that he provoked deadly attacks in 2008.

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Africa
9:06 am
Fri August 17, 2012

South African Police Accused Of Massacring Miners

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Animals
5:05 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Dalmation Cares For Look-Alike Lamb

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. She's no sheep dog, but Zoe the dog has adopted a little lamb. The lamb was born on a farm in Australia and abandoned by his mother. That's when farmers brought him to their Dalmatian, how immediately began doting on Dotty. Actually, not that surprising, since Dotty - as his name suggests - is a white lamb covered in unusual black spots, looking exactly like a Dalmatian. What you might call a sheep in dog's clothing. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Europe
4:53 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Gold Mail Boxes Honor Britain's Gold Medalists

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Business
2:42 am
Fri August 17, 2012

The Last Word In Business

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

As in much of the country, it's been a hot summer in the state of Oklahoma, and the heat has forced those without air conditioning to get creative.

Today's last word in business is a Scottish solution.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Mechanics at O'Brien Auto Performance are keeping cool in kilts. From May to October, some employees there don kilts to enjoy a breezier workday.

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Europe
2:42 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Russian Judge To Rule In Punk Band's Anti-Putin Case

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 2:48 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. In Russia today, a judge has delivered a guilty verdict for three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot. The band members were given a two-year sentence. They were found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, after staging a protest in Moscow's main cathedral last February.

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Middle East
2:42 am
Fri August 17, 2012

U.N. To Appoint New Envoy To Syria

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The United Nations role in Syria is changing and so too is its personnel. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is expected to tap a veteran U.N. troubleshooter to take over from International Envoy Kofi Annan. At the same time, U.N. military observers are wrapping up their mission. NPR's Michele Kelemen has the latest.

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Around the Nation
2:42 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Participation Nation: People Pitching In To Help Communities

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Sometimes it can feel like a lot of what we hear is bad news. Well, we're going to hear next about some stories that inspire. All month, we've been collecting stories on NPR.org about good things Americans are doing, how they're working together to improve their communities.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We call it Participation Nation. You've told us about a California doctor who turned a two-room free clinic into a community health center.

GREENE: A writing program to help young people in Maine become storytellers.

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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 β€” 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 β€” 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" β€” those lucky enough to borrow at lower rates β€” 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 β€” 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 β€” 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 β€” 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

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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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)

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

The new release from Juanes marks a departure for the Colombian pop star. The all-acoustic album was recorded in front of a live Miami audience for MTV Unplugged.

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