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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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To help U.S. troops ease back into civilian life, veteran Anthony Bravo Esparza offers them a haircut, and a safe and friendly place to hang out. Esparza — known to his friends as "Dreamer" — sees it as a way to help former soldiers find their way.

Dreamer's barbershop is easy to find; it's set up inside a trailer in the parking lot of the West Los Angeles Medical Center campus of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.

White House Hosts Blues Night

Feb 22, 2012



Now, to a less controversial collaboration. Last night, the president and first lady hosted a blues night at the White House. They were marking Black History Month, and guests included legends B.B. King, and also newcomers like Trombone Shorty.


Not to mention, Mick Jagger and Buddy Guy, who nudged the president to join the band for an impromptu guest vocal.

BUDDY GUY: I heard you singing Al Green. So you done started something. You gotta keep it up now.


When last we left the NCAA, it was February madness, colleges were jumping conferences, suing each other, coaches were claiming rivals had cheated in recruiting — the usual nobility of college sports.

And then, in the midst of all this, the men's basketball team at Washington College of Chestertown, Md., journeyed to Pennsylvania to play Gettysburg College in a Division III Centennial Conference game.



It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Activists and human rights groups in Syria contend the government has now killed hundreds of civilians this week alone. It's hard to verify that number, but it is clear that mortars, rockets and tanks continue firing into the city of Homs. That gunfire has served as a week-long punctuation mark on the United Nation's failure to approve a resolution against Syria. NPR's Kelly McEvers is following the situation from Beirut. She joins us once again.

Hi, Kelly.

Last July, people protested the Tennessee Valley Authority's plan to finish a nuclear plant. They came to a board meeting dressed as zombies. The TVA then banned costumes. The Knoxville News Sentinel says this explains how the TVA is now being sued by Santa Claus and a pirate.



Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Where else would it start but San Francisco? Yoga has joined the food courts and massage stations as a pre-flight experience. San Francisco International Airport is now offering a yoga room. Travelers can stretch and de-stress before squeezing into those painfully crowded planes. It's equipped with mats, warm lights kept low and walls painted a serene blue. But if that's not what relaxes you, there is always the bar. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Americans drank more than 100 million liters of tequila in 2010. It's no wonder then, that a little-known spirit from Mexico is trying to make its name in the United States. Introducing Sotol — a smoky smooth liquor distilled in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

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EU Struggles To Solve Greek Debt Crisis

Jan 30, 2012

Greek officials have been working with private lenders to try to reduce their debt-load. Meanwhile European Union officials are in Brussels today to deal with the debt crisis. Steve Inskeep talks to Zanny Minton Beddoes, an editor at "The Economist" magazine, for an update on how solving the problem is going.



Fighting in Syria has intensified within a few miles of the capital city. Damascus has remained under firm government control, but in the suburbs, the army has sent in tanks to retake areas that had been under the affective control of rebels. Activists inside Syria say more than 60 people have been killed in the past day. NPR's Kelly McEvers is monitoring the situation from Beirut. She's on the line. Hi Kelly.


INSKEEP: How did this fighting develop in the suburbs?

Egyptian authorities are preventing six Americans, including the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, from leaving the country. They work for non-governmental agencies that were raided by Egyptian security forces last month.

Renee Montagne talks to Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, about key issues dominating this year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. With Europe on the brink of recession, the mood at the meeting is not as upbeat as it was last year.



The Sundance Film Festival wraps up this weekend in Park City, Utah. Movies and more movies have been on offer at the gathering, famously backed by Robert Redford. Our own Kenneth Turan is taking it all in and joined us from member station KPCW in Park City.

Good morning.


MONTAGNE: Well, let us begin with the dramatic films. What stands out for you this year?



NPR's business news starts with a turning point for Japan.


MONTAGNE: Tokyo today reported Japan's first trade deficit since 1980. For the last three decades, Japan has exported so many goods to the world, it's run trade surpluses. But last year, Japan imported more than it exported - $32 billion more. The shift in fortunes comes after last year's earthquake and tsunami and nuclear power plant shutdowns.

From Tokyo, Lucy Craft has more.

Business News

Jan 25, 2012

The company earned $13.1 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31, a record. Sales of iPads were also up — soaring 111 percent from the same quarter a year earlier.



And today, the Federal Reserve is taking another step in its stated intention to become more transparent. The committee that sets interest rates ends a two-day meeting, and its usual post-meeting announcement will have some unusual information.

For a hint of what we're to learn, we called David Wessel; he's economics editor of the Wall Street Journal. Good morning.

DAVID WESSEL: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So what is the Fed going to announce today that's so remarkable?

StoryCorps Northwest

Today is the 70th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Kenneth Merrill Sr., or Mudhole as his fellow marines call him, was a junior in high school then. In today's StoryCorps Northwest he talks with his nephew, Vernon Lott, about that day, and how he got his nickname.