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Middle East
3:54 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Fight For Homs Fades From Headlines As War In Syria Rages

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 8:23 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. We're going to get a glimpse from the front lines of the civil war in Syria now. That war is expected to be the focus of peace negotiations, in the coming weeks. The U.S. is pressing for those talks after brutal fighting, fighting that's begun to spread to neighboring countries.

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Author Interviews
3:54 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Sushi Chef Was Confidant To North Korea's Kim Jong Il

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 11:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il died two years ago, his son Kim Jong Un rose to power. The world knew practically nothing about the young and untested leader. In fact, nobody knew exactly how young he was until his birth date was revealed by a man who goes by the pseudonym Kenji Fujimoto, Kim Jong Il's former sushi chef and longtime confidante.

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Code Switch
1:36 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Barrier-Breaking Surfer's Legacy A Reminder Of Work To Do

Surfers surround a celebrant who pours libations and says prayers to honor the spirit of surfers past and present and to give thanks to the sea for providing sustenance and recreation.
Karen Grigsby Bates NPR

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 1:31 pm

The Saturday morning fog was burning off above the part of Santa Monica's beach known as the Inkwell. It's the stretch of sand to which black Southern Californians were relegated by de facto segregation until the 1960s.

Men, women and children walked across the sand in wet suits, carrying surfboards. They're part of the Black Surfers Collective, which aims to get more people of color involved in surfing.

They had gathered to honor pioneer Nick Gabaldon, a legendary surfer who is remembered as the area's first documented board man of African-American and Mexican heritage.

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Law
1:35 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Intent To Harm At Center Of Bradley Manning's Trial

Protesters march during a rally in support of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning outside Fort Meade, Md., on Saturday. Manning, who is scheduled to face a court-martial beginning Monday, is accused of sending hundreds of thousands of classified records to WikiLeaks while working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 8:23 am

In the three years since his arrest, Bradley Manning, the slight Army private first class with close-cropped blond hair and thick military glasses, has become less of a character than a cause.

"Bradley Manning is a very polarizing figure. People either think that he is a hero or they think he's a traitor," says Elizabeth Goitein, who co-directs the liberty and national security program at the Brennan Center for Justice. "I actually think that he's somewhere in between."

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Shots - Health News
1:34 am
Mon June 3, 2013

A Boston Family's Struggle With TB Reveals A Stubborn Foe

Michelle Williams (center) and two daughters visit the grave of her mother, Judy Williams, at Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park, Mass., on May 11. Judy died in 2011.
Ellen Webber for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 7:10 am

Thanks to gold-standard tuberculosis treatment and prevention programs, cases of TB in the United States have declined every year for the past two decades — to the lowest level ever.

But TB's course through the Williams family in Boston shows that no nation can afford to relax its efforts to find, treat and prevent TB. It's just too sneaky and stubborn an adversary.

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U.S.
6:34 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Spelling Bee Winner Conquers 'German Curse'

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 3:37 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A 13-year-old from Queens won the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night. He correctly spelled a Yiddish word of German origin meaning dumpling.

(SOUNDBITE OF SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE)

ARVIND MAHANKALI: Knaidel. K-N-A-I-D-E-L. Knaidel.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You are correct.

Strange News
6:34 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Movie In The Works For 'Grumpy Cat'

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Last year, a snapshot of a frowning feline went viral, emblazoned with captions like, "Of all the 9 lives I've lived, this is the worst." Within months, "Grumpy Cat" - that's her nom de plume -had a book deal. Now, the feline face that launched a thousand memes has a movie in the works.

So how does a cat make it into the pictures? Turns out she has a great agent - the same one who represents another online star, "Keyboard Cat."

Environment
4:58 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Houston's Petrochemical Industry, Source Of Jobs And Smog

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Houston, Texas provides a dramatic example that it's possible to make great strides in reducing air pollution. Our story yesterday talked about how that came about, but Houston still does not quite meet the federal smog standard. So, the question for the nation's fourth largest city is what's next. NPR's Richard Harris explores that question as part of our series Poisoned Places.

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Europe
3:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Mired In Recession, EU Eases Some Austerity Measures

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 1:39 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

While there are many signs that the American economy is picking up steam, in much of the European Union, the opposite is true. Austerity programs aimed at reducing national debts have been blamed for crushing growth and sending unemployment in the eurozone nations to a record high of 12 percent.

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Planet Money
3:03 am
Fri May 31, 2013

How Recalculating GDP Can Help App Designers In Nigeria

AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 12:34 pm

If you're trying to grow a business in Nigeria and you want investors, you want Nigeria's economy to look as big as possible.

Bayo Puddicombe and Zubair Abubakar own a company called Pledge 51, which creates applications for Nigeria's low-tech cellphones. One of their most popular games lets players pretend to drive the notoriously wild buses crisscrossing the Nigerian city Lagos. It's called Danfo, after the buses.

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Animals
3:00 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Big-Mouthed Toucans Key To Forest Evolution

Channel-billed toucans are important seed dispersers in rain forests.
Courtesy of Lindolfo Souto AAAS/Science

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:34 am

Brazil is a paradise for birds; the country has more than 1,700 species. Among them is the colorful toucan, a bird with an almost comically giant bill that can be half as long as its body. There are lots of different types of toucan — red-breasted, channel-billed, keel-billed, saffron toucanet — each with its own color-scheme and distinctive call.

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It's All Politics
1:23 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Obama Presses Congress On Student Loan Rates

President Obama, with Education Secretary Arne Duncan at his side, calls on Congress on June 21, 2012, to stop interest rates on student loans from doubling. He is going to make that appeal again Friday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 9:25 am

President Obama surrounded himself with college students at the White House on Friday and warned that the cost of student loans is about to go up.

Interest rates on government-backed college loans are set to double July 1 — unless Congress agrees on a fix before then. Obama has threatened to veto a House-passed bill that would let the cost of student loans go up and down with the market.

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Shots - Health News
1:22 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Proton Beam Therapy Sparks Hospital Arms Race

A construction worker paints walls at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center in Baltimore. Each of the center's five rooms will contain a massive piece of equipment that will rotate around a cancer patient to deliver a special kind of radiation.
Jenny Gold Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 8:41 am

When it comes to reining in health care spending, it still seems like each hospital administrator thinks the guy at the other hospital should do it.

Hospitals are still racing to offer expensive new technology — even when it hasn't been proved to work better than cheaper approaches. Case in point: proton beam therapy, a high-tech radiation treatment for cancer.

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The Salt
1:20 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Michigan Tracks Cattle From Birth To Plate

Whenever a steer or cow leaves a farm in Michigan or goes to a slaughterhouse, it passes by a tag reader, and its ID number goes to a central computer that keeps track of every animal's location.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 8:54 am

When you pick up a cut of beef at the store, would you like to know that animal's life history? The technology to do this does exist — at least in Michigan, where the state requires all cattle to carry electronic ear tags. It's the only state that requires such tags.

Michigan's cattle-tracking system was forced on farmers because of a crisis. Fifteen years ago, cattle in part of the state started catching tuberculosis from wild deer.

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Parallels
1:19 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Battling Deforestation In Indonesia, One Firm At A Time

This photo shows a heavily logged concession affiliated with Asia Pulp and Paper, or APP, one of the world's largest papermakers, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, in 2010.
Romeo Gacad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:57 pm

On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a backhoe stacks freshly cut trees to be made into pulp and paper. Asia Pulp and Paper, or APP, is Indonesia's largest papermaker, and the company and its suppliers operate vast plantations of acacia trees here that have transformed the local landscape.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2013
12:22 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Field Trip! 10 Books That Will Send Kids Exploring

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:34 am

When I recommend books to kids or grown-ups, I can almost always get them interested if I add "Oh, and after you read this book, you could go on a field trip to the museum/zoo/baseball stadium/library ... or just take a little road trip!" Spring 2013 has been a very good year for children's books that spark the imagination and make kids (and grownups) want to do a little more exploring.

Books like these can be the start of amazing adventures. Enjoy!

Mara Alpert is a librarian in the Children's Literature Department at the Los Angeles Public Library.

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StoryCorps
12:20 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Cherishing The Gift Of Friendship Through A Cancer Bout

Peter Obetz (left) and Jeff Jarrett met in 1998 and are still close friends. Peter was diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer in 2004. He was declared cancer-free in 2009. They visited StoryCorps in Kansas City, Mo.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:34 am

In 2004, Peter Obetz was in the middle of a divorce when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

"Food would get stuck down my throat, and it got worse and worse, so I met with my doctor. I had a tumor on my esophagus wall," says Peter, 48, during a visit to StoryCorps in Kansas City, Mo.

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Around the Nation
5:31 am
Thu May 30, 2013

New Jersey Man Tries To Auction Off A Place In Heaven

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 12:51 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne, reporting there is no heaven on Earth, at least according to eBay. Seller Ari Mandel, formerly Orthodox Jewish, figured he'd done lot of good deeds and never worshipped false gods, so he would be a shoe-in for heaven. His offer on eBay reached $100,000 before the auction was shut down for violating eBay's policy against selling intangible things. This is MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:21 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Missing Senior Citizen Comes Home In Time For TV Deadline

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:19 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

A television news crew in Maine was reporting a story about a man who had gone missing. Seventy-three-year-old Robert McDonough suffers from dementia and had not been seen for more than 14 hours. As the TV reporter prepared to go live, standing outside McDonough's home, an elderly man wandered into the camera shot. The reporter said hello, then did a double take. Robert McDonough had returned home, safe and sound, just in time for the newscast.

Animals
4:46 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Scientists Say Species Is Earliest Known Bird

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:19 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

You know what they say about the early bird? Well, a new species is vying for that title. Scientists have long-regarded an ancient creature, known as the Archaeopteryx, as the earliest bird known to science. But a discovery made in China could change that, according to a study published in Nature magazine. Scientists have found evidence of a feathered, chicken-sized species that's 10 million years older. It's called Aurornis xui, and it lived about 160 million years ago.

NPR Story
3:58 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Blackhawks Beat Wings, Will Meet Kings In NHL Conference Final

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

As nail-biting hockey fans know well, there has been a lot of drama in this year's playoffs. Last night in the NHL, no different. The Chicago Blackhawks advanced to the semifinals with a thrilling Game 7 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings.

Chicago had the best regular season record in the NHL this year. But as NPR's Mike Pesca reports, that doesn't mean much when your back is against the wall in an elimination game.

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NPR Story
3:58 am
Thu May 30, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:19 am

Amazon asked subscribers of its video-streaming service to do the jobs usually left to focus groups and executives. The company released 14 pilot TV shows, then looked at customer reviews and view counts. Amazon announced five pilots have been approved for a full season.

NPR Story
3:58 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Rep. Michele Bachmann To Leave Congress

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:19 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Less than two years ago, Michele Bachmann's star seemed to be rising. The Republican congresswoman from Minnesota was full of energy and delighted her supporters - many in the Tea Party - when she announced she was running for president. Now, her presidential bid is being investigated. She won her congressional seat back - barely, and now she's announced she won't run again next year.

This has taken people by surprise, especially in her home district. Minnesota public radio's Conrad Wilson reports.

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The Salt
1:07 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Will Chinese Firm Bring Home The Bacon With Smithfield Deal?

Smithfield Foods, makers of ham products under a variety of brand names, is being purchased by Chinese food maker Shuanghui International for $4.72 billion.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 7:38 am

There were questions Wednesday about whether U.S. regulators will approve the takeover of Smithfield Foods Inc., the company that sells all-American hams, hot dogs and bacon, by China's Shuanghui International.

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The Salt
1:05 am
Thu May 30, 2013

GMO Wheat Found In Oregon Field. How Did It Get There?

Genetically modified wheat has been discovered growing in a field in Oregon. GMO wheat is not approved for sale in the U.S. Above, a wheat field in Arkansas.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 12:03 pm

A farmer in Oregon has found some genetically engineered wheat growing on his land. It's an unwelcome surprise, because this type of wheat has never been approved for commercial planting.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it's investigating, trying to find out how this wheat got there. The USDA says there's no risk to public health, but wheat exporters are worried about how their customers in Asia and Europe will react.

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Parallels
1:05 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Years Of Combat Experience, And Just Turning 20

Luis Bedoya is baby-faced and skinny.

And he looks ever the boy when he puts on an industrial-sized apron, thick gloves and a metal helmet - the tools of an apprentice welder at the Don Bosco center in this city in southern Colombia.

It's a big complex, complete with classrooms, basketball courts, a dormitory and work rooms. It's home to boys and girls, as well as very young adults, who defected from the FARC rebels or were captured by the Colombian army.

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Business
8:47 am
Wed May 29, 2013

China's Shuanghui Buys Pork Giant Smithfield For $4.7 Billion

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a meaty Chinese investment in the U.S.

A Chinese meat producer plans to buy the U.S. meat company Smithfield for $4.7 billion dollars. Smithfield is the world's largest pork producers, and by some estimates, if this deal is approved by regulators, it would be the biggest takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese company.

Europe
5:22 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Swedish High School Flubs Graduation Requirement

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:47 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

World
5:17 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Nepalese Climber Gives Up For Now On Regaining Everest Title

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:47 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne with a follow-up on the record for oldest person to scale Mount Everest. An 81-year-old Nepalese climber earned the title five years ago when he was 76. Last week, an 80-year-old Japanese climber took the crown. Now Min Bahadur Sherchan has given up his attempt to snatch it back but bad weather, due to the season, forced him to turn back. Disappointing. Still, it wasn't age that proved the ultimate barrier.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Asia
4:31 am
Wed May 29, 2013

U.S. Drone Strike Hits Taliban Stronghold In Pakistan

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:47 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On this Wednesday, we are following developments in Pakistan. A U.S. drone strike has killed four suspected militants, including - according to some reports - the Taliban's second-in-command in Pakistan. Now, we should say the militant group denies that he's dead. This is the first strike since President Obama's speech last Thursday, announcing that the use of drones would be scaled back to limit civilian casualties.

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