Morning Edition on NPR News

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Brett Charvat, 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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Mitt Romney won the GOP presidential primary in Texas Tuesday night. By some counts, that gives him the last delegates he needed to formally secure the Republican nomination. He celebrated in Las Vegas with a campaign event and a fundraiser. But his victory was overshadowed by campaign surrogate Donald Trump who has a gift for finding the spotlight.

The U.S. and several governments worldwide have expelled Syrian diplomats in a coordinated protest against last weekend's massacre of more than 100 civilians in the village of Houla. The diplomatic fallout has spread to California, where Syrian Consul General Hazem Chehabi announced his resignation from the post. For more on his decision, Renee Montagne talks to Chehabi.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Stanley Cup finals start tonight, between the New Jersey Devils and the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings have only made it to the finals once before in their 45-year history. And so here in a town that lives for the Lakers and Dodgers, hockey fans are relishing their moment. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

The Last Word In Business

May 30, 2012

The Japanese government has launched a campaign aimed at selling bonds to help fund reconstruction of areas hit by last year's earthquake and tsunami. It recruited the popular girl band AKB48, known for hits like "Baby Baby Bay," to help promote the bonds.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Suu Kyi Travels To Thailand

May 30, 2012

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has left Myanmar for the first time in more than two decades. Her first trip out of the country formerly known as Burma is on a short hop to Thailand to meet with refugees and attend the World Economic Forum on East Asia.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Several thousand soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division are taking part in what is being called the last major combat offensive of the Afghan War.

Their task is to clear Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan, a Taliban stronghold and a key prize because it straddles the major roads to Kabul and the insurgent supply routes into Pakistan.

But the American troops are challenged by a stubborn enemy and a short time to finish the job.

Swimmer Vies To Bring Olympic Joy Home To Greece

May 30, 2012

Swimmer Spyros Gianniotis was born in Liverpool, England, but he will represent Greece in the upcoming London Olympics. At 32, he is the 10-kilometer open-water world champion, and one of Greece's best hopes for a medal in London. He's on a team of Olympians whose training budget has been drastically reduced by austerity measures and the economic crisis.

On a recent morning, Gianniotis' training included three hours of laps in an outdoor Olympic-sized pool in central Athens. The lean, freckled marathon swimmer glides to the end of the pool.

A kibbutz in the mountains of northern Israel might seem an unlikely source for some of the world's most expensive gourmet food. But a small farming collective has built itself a lucrative business, supplying some of America's top chefs with caviar that customers pay hundreds of dollars to sample.

What snarky headline writer could resist a story about "hot tuna?" Or how about "tuna meltdown?"

Really, it seems just plain daffy to ignore a new study that says some Pacific bluefin tuna picked up traces of radioactive material from the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year and brought it across the Pacific Ocean.

It's a prime irony that while Europe is suffering a great financial crisis, in counterpoint, the Continent is starting to spend the summer awash in a veritable plethora of joyous sporting events, a rolling athletic circus to divert Europeans from Angela Merkel telling them to get serious and tighten their belts.

Now, as is the case every summer, there are two Grand Slam tennis championships — the French Open, which is already under way, and Wimbledon. Then the Tour de France and British Open golf.

Dog Follows Cyclists For 1,100 Miles

May 29, 2012

A team of long-distance cyclists was traveling across China, and they fed some chicken feed to a small stray dog. That little white canine followed them for 20 days, 1,100 miles and over 12 mountains. One cyclist started a blog about the dog and it's attracted 40,000 followers.

Air Force Master Sgt. David Sims made his family's weekend unforgettable. During an Atlanta Braves game, his wife and four children came onto the field to watch a video message from him in Afghanistan. He then ran onto the field — a surprise return after a six month deployment.

Digital books are the fastest growing area of publishing. Libraries are seeing a surge in demand for e-book titles as well, but there's a downside. Most major publishers won't allow libraries to lend their titles, while others impose restrictions or charge double or triple the print price.

Recent sectarian violence has claimed the lives of more than a dozen people in Lebanon. The fighting was sparked by the conflict in neighboring Syria. Analysts fear that without uniform leadership in Lebanon, and a workable solution to stop the violence in Syria, a regional sectarian war is in the offing.

Business News

May 29, 2012

Researchers have discovered what they're calling the largest and most sophisticated cyber weapon ever unleashed. It's called Flame, and it's been infecting computers throughout the Middle East — especially in Iran. Analysts describe it as an "attack toolkit" that conceals itself in massive amounts of code and gathers all kinds of information.

Spanish Police Accused Of Racially Profiling

May 29, 2012

Amnesty International has scolded Madrid police for allegedly instituting monthly quotas for detaining minorities. Some Africans and Latinos complain of being stopped for ID checks several times a day, solely based on the color of their skin. They say the practice is on the rise, as Spain's economy falters.

Drug Situation Worsens In Honduras

May 29, 2012

Damien Cave of The New York Times has been covering ramped-up activities in Honduras by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. A recent raid on a remote village resulted in the deaths of four people, including two pregnant women. Cave talks to David Greene about the issue.

One of the first things Michelle Obama did as first lady was to dig up part of the beautifully manicured South Lawn of the White House and plant a vegetable garden. The garden was just one of Obama's many efforts to encourage Americans to eat nutritious food and live healthier lives. Her latest project, a book called American Grown, is a diary of that garden through the seasons and a portrait of gardening in America, past and present.

There are growing warnings on Capitol Hill that the nation could be rolling toward an end-of-the-year fiscal train wreck.

"The looming tax hike will be absolutely devastating," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.

"You can call this a fiscal cliff. You can call it 'Taxmageddon' as others have done. Whatever you call it, it will be a disaster for the middle class," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, added.

And Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., said: "It's a tsunami; there's no question about it, and it's coming."

It's high noon in Texas at the Stephenville Community Center out on Highway 67, and the Cross Timbers Republican Women's Club Candidates Forum is about to begin.

Time has run out on this Republican Senate primary. This is a last chance for the candidates to make an impression before Tuesday's vote. They're vying to replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is retiring after serving for nearly 20 years.

The American Dream is a crucial thread in this country's tapestry, woven through politics, music and culture.

Though the phrase has different meanings to different people, it suggests an underlying belief that hard work pays off and that the next generation will have a better life than the previous generation.

But three years after the worst recession in almost a century, the American Dream now feels in jeopardy to many.

The town of Lorain, Ohio, used to embody this dream. It was a place where you could get a good job, raise a family and comfortably retire.

On a recent evening, the Martin family of Harrisburg, Pa., had too many places it needed to be.

AnnaBelle Bowers, the 87-year-old matriarch of the family who is also known as "Snootzie," was at home — watching television and getting ready for bed.

Someone needed to care for her. That fell to Chris Martin, her 14-year-old great-grandson.

His willingness to stay at home meant his sister, Lauren, could play in a softball game.

It also meant her parents, David and LaDonna Martin, could watch.

In Egypt, Ahmed Shafiq and the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Morsi, will face each other in a runoff election next month. David Greene talks with NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson about what these results might mean for Egypt's future.

Mel and Joey Schwanke have been married 64 years. The Fremont, Neb., couple appears to be the perfect match — perhaps their secret is matching outfits. The Schwankes told Omaha's KETV they've dressed alike for decades. They've got a closet full of 146 combinations. Mel's tie always matches the patterns on Joey's dresses.

At Vietnam Memorial, An Unlikely Bond Began

May 28, 2012

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

The soldier's motto is leave no man behind. And one very visible symbol of that promise is the bracelet worn by many Americans to honor a prisoner of war or a service member missing in action. One bracelet created a rare bond between two people. Both had lost a close family member in service overseas. On this Memorial Day, here's Curt Nickisch of member station WBUR.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Morning Edition's Renee Montagne talks with Dr. Elliott Fisher, director of Dartmouth's Center for Population Health, about the issues raised in our series "Sick in America." NPR, along with Harvard and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, recently surveyed 1,500 Americans on their views about the cost and quality of health care.

David Greene talks to Rick Knabb, the newly named head of the National Hurricane Center. Knabb is currently the Weather Channel's resident hurricane expert. When he previously worked at the National Hurricane Center as a meteorologist, he was one of the lead forecasters for Hurricane Katrina.

Each year, tens of thousands of Americans are implanted with tiny battery-controlled devices that regulate the beating of their hearts. Those devices transmit streams of medical data directly to doctors.

But some patients, like Hugo Campos of San Francisco, fear they're being kept out of the loop.

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