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Sueann Ramella, Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne help you wake up informed and up-to-date, on our flagship news show, Morning Edition. NPR's weekday morning newsmagazine includes coverage of breaking national and international stories, as well as thoughtful ideas and commentary, arts and culture reviews, and notes on human interest. Throughout the morning, Sueann also brings you regional news and weather to help you plan your day.

Below, you will find articles, transcripts, and clips of many of the stories heard on today's Morning Edition.

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Around the Nation
3:42 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Proud Dad Ordered To Take Down Huge Sign

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 7:25 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR Story
1:46 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 7:25 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the back story on VIP loans.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: A former mortgage company, Countrywide, used a VIP loan program to buy influence with members of Congress, staffers and other officials, including a number at Fannie Mae, the government backed mortgage giant central to Countrywide's business. That the bottom line of a new report out today from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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NPR Story
1:46 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Power Outages Darken Many July 4 Celebrations

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 7:25 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On the day after the Fourth, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

It was especially easy for some Americans to see the fireworks last night. They had no competing source of light.

INSKEEP: Brilliant displays lit up cities like New York and Washington, but across Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey, about a quarter of a million homes still have no electricity.

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NPR Story
1:46 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Romney: Obama's Health Mandate Is A Tax

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney walks with his wife, Ann, and other family members, along with Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, in the Wolfeboro, N.H., Independence Day parade Wednesday. Ayotte has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential contender.
Kayana Szymczak Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 7:25 pm

Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney spent his July Fourth holiday marching in a New Hampshire parade, and backtracking statements a top adviser made about the individual mandate in the Obama health care law.

There was something for almost everybody in Wolfeboro's Independence Day parade: a local brass band, bonnet-wearing Daughters of the American Revolution, a Zumba instructor shimmying across the bed of a pickup truck, and even a Jimmy Durante impersonator, complete with prosthetic nose.

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Business
1:46 am
Thu July 5, 2012

EX-Barclays CEO Apologizes To British Panel

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 7:25 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In Britain today, parliament continues its hearing on the interest rate scandal at Barclays Bank. This week, several of the bank's top executives resigned, including the chief executive, Bob Diamond. Yesterday, parliamentarians quizzed Diamond for three hours.

NPR's Philip Reeves is in London, where he says outrage is growing.

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Southword
12:15 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Meet Al Black: Florida's Prison Painter

Al Black is one of Florida's 26 officially recognized "Highwaymen" — a loosely affiliated group of artists who began painting in the 1960s, some of whom are still at it today.
Courtesy of Gary Monroe

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 7:25 pm

In the 1960s, Al Black could be found cruising up and down Route 1 in his blue-and-white Ford Galaxy — with a trunk full of wet landscape paintings.

At the time, he was a salesman who could snatch your breath away and sell it back to you. As artist Mary Ann Carroll puts it, he could "sell a jacket to a mosquito in summer."

"A salesman is a con-man," Black readily admits himself today. He's a storyteller. And does he have stories to tell.

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Revolutionary Road Trip
12:13 am
Thu July 5, 2012

In Libya's Shifting Sands, Kids Try To Find Their Way

Three students outside the Science College of Benghazi University. They say they expect to have opportunities in Libya that would not have been possible when Moammar Gadhafi was in power.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 7:25 pm

In a stretch of sandy wasteland, Hisham Sadowi, 12, smacks a tee shot across a makeshift golf course in Benghazi, Libya.

On this course with no grass, local rules allowed him to place the ball on a little square of artificial turf he carries around.

Hisham dreams of becoming a professional golfer, and he stops briefly to speak to us. We asked him who his favorite golfer is.

"Tiger Woods," he exclaims.

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Dead Stop
12:13 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Beyond The Music In St. Louis Cemetery No. 2

Ernie K-Doe poses outside his Mother-In-Law Lounge during Jazz Fest in New Orleans in 2001. He died a few months later and was buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2.
Pat Jolly AP

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 7:25 pm

There's so much water in, around and underneath New Orleans, that the dead spend eternity in tombs above ground.

Most of the tombs now have a similar design: On top, there's space for a wooden coffin or two, and at the bottom lies a potpourri of decanted family remains. Sooner or later, whoever is up high must vacate and settle lower, making room for the newly dead. That's how families stay together — in a desiccated jumble of grandpas, grandmas, siblings and cousins.

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Around the Nation
4:23 am
Wed July 4, 2012

A Cheesy Twist On This Indpendence Day

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with a cheesy twist on Independence Day. A replica of Mount Rushmore is on display today in West Palm Beach, Florida. This version is carved out as a 640-pound block of cheddar cheese. It was sculpted by Troy Landwehr, an expert cheese carver from, of course, Wisconsin. He told the Sun Sentinel that Abraham Lincoln's bushy eyebrows were one of the hardest features to carve. His creation is titled "My Country 'Tis of Cheese." It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
4:17 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Woman Flees Accident Scene To Chill Her Ice Cream

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. An Arkansas woman high-tailed it home after she rear-ended another car in Van Buren. It didn't take long for police to find her. When they did, they slapped her with a citation for following too closely and leaving the scene of an accident. Her excuse? She didn't think there was enough damage to call the cops and she was afraid her ice cream was melting. A bit of a messy alibi. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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