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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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.

Free Rent, Courtesy Of Unsuspecting AOL

May 28, 2012

Many young people expect to spend some time couch-surfing when they're just starting out. For Eric Simmons, the couch came courtesy of an unsuspecting AOL. Simmons had been enrolled in an incubator program at the tech firm's Palo Alto campus. And when the program ended, the card that gave him access to the building kept working. That key card unlocked the solution to his housing problem.

Vatican authorities have charged Pope Benedict XVI's butler with illegally possessing secret documents. His arrest is the latest embarrassment for the Vatican. David Greene talks to NPR's Sylvia Poggioli for the latest on the investigation.

Summer Science: An Introduction

May 28, 2012

David Greene speaks with NPR's Joe Palca about Morning Edition's upcoming series, "Summer Science."

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.

The Graveyard Of Shelved Ice Cream Flavors

May 28, 2012

The first installment in Dead Stop, Morning Edition's summer road trip series about interesting gravesites in America.

When the Ben and Jerry's ice cream company kills a flavor, it's treated with respect — including a burial in the company's "Flavor Graveyard."

"I think we've got the best, and the not-best, up here," Sean Greenwood, Ben and Jerry's Grand Poobah of Publicity, says from the cemetery in Waterbury, Vt.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Today is Memorial Day, the day we remember the men and women who've died while serving in the Armed Forces. In Kabul, Afghanistan, the top U.S. commander, General John Allen, laid a wreath at a garden across from his headquarters. And he read a letter written by Marine Sergeant William Stacey to his parents in Seattle.

In Stitches: Kanye Tweets

May 28, 2012

Kanye West has made a name for himself with his music, his award-show antics, and recently his tweets. Including: "Fur pillows are hard to actually sleep on" and "Sometimes I get emotional over fonts." Embroidery entrepreneur Amy Sheridan has decided that Twitter doesn't give these pearls of wisdom their due. For $45, she'll hand-stitch the Kanye tweet of your choice in a simple frame. Just picture, "Working on being a doper person" above the mantel.

Spanish Lender Gets $24 billion Lifeline

May 28, 2012

Spain's third largest lender, Bankia, is getting a $24 billion lifeline from the Spanish government. The move is a part of Madrid's effort to return some stability to the country's struggling financial sector.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A Memorial Day weekend combines honoring those who served with backyard barbecues. And some are getting an early start. Police in Boxford, Massachusetts responded to a call about six party crashers - cows. The Tri-Town Transcript reports the cows crashed a backyard gathering, chased away partiers, and drank their beer. Said a police sergeant, the thirsty cows, quote, "just went in and helped themselves." It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Legendary Rats Return To German Town

May 25, 2012

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A town in Germany once had a legendary rat problem. Hamelin was the setting for the tale of the Pied Piper, who lured its rats into a river, and then led away its children when he wasn't paid. Some 700 years later, the rats have returned and chewed through the electric cable powering the town's fountain. Could be a job for another Pied Piper, or tourists could just stop scattering bread crumbs for birds near the fountain. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

One of the big movie blockbusters this year isn't a film, but a business deal.

The Chinese company Wanda, one of that country's leading cinema owners, is buying AMC Entertainment, North America's second-largest movie theater company, for $2.6 billion.

When the agreement was announced in China this week, it did not make a lot of sense at first glance. At least for the buyer.

AMC is loaded with some $2 billion in debt, and movie theater attendance in North America was down 4 percent last year.

When small-business owners start looking for money to expand, they often begin at a big bank. The banks are highly visible, well-known and often nearby.

But many small-business owners report that they have struggled to get loans in the wake of the economic downturn.

Ami Kassar, CEO of the small-business-loan broker multifunding.com, advises business owners that large banks are "not the best place to start" when looking for a small-business loan.

Four years ago, Zimbabwe experienced one of the worst cases of hyperinflation in history. The country abandoned its own currency and switched to the U.S. dollar — a move experts say prevented a complete economic collapse.

But using American dollars has created a host of bizarre issues. The bills are filthy, crumbling and often in short supply. There are no U.S. coins to make change, so chocolate is handed out instead. There is, oddly, an abundance of $2 bills.

Your chances of surviving a sudden heart attack may depend on where you live; some American cities have survival rates five times higher than others. One difference can be 911 dispatchers.

If they coach someone over the phone to give CPR, the chance of surviving goes up. There's now a push to make it universal, but some cities are slow to implement the necessary training.

Becky Cole was eight months pregnant with her fourth child when she collapsed against the bathroom door. It was January 2011 in the Seattle suburb of Woodinville.

On May 27, 1937, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge opened, connecting bustling San Francisco to sleepy Marin County to the north. The Oakland-Bay Bridge had opened six months earlier — but the Golden Gate was an engineering triumph. It straddles the Golden Gate Strait, the passage from the Pacific Ocean into the San Francisco Bay, where rough currents prevail and winds can reach 70 mph.

Nurses are the backbone of the hospital — just ask pretty much any doctor or patient. But a new poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health finds 34 percent of patients hospitalized for at least one night in the past year said "nurses weren't available when needed or didn't respond quickly to requests for help."

Since nurses provide most of the patient care in hospitals, we were surprised at the findings. We wanted to find out more. We wanted to know what was going on from nurses themselves. So we put a call-out on Facebook.

The Day Taps Echoed Through Belgium's Hills

May 25, 2012

During World War II, Harrison Wright served with the Army in Europe. And as he recalls during a visit to StoryCorps with his grandson Sean Guess, he was sent on a very special assignment to mark the end of the war.

Wright was drafted in March 1943.

"I was an 18-year-old boy," he says. "I blew the bugle in our outfit," he adds, largely because he had played the trumpet in high school.

Safeway Meat Clerk Reinstated After Fight

May 24, 2012

Ryan Young saw a pregnant woman being kicked by her boyfriend. He leaped out from behind the meat counter and intervened. Safeway suspended him, citing a zero-tolerance policy for workplace violence. But after the union took up his cause and people boycotted the store, Safeway reinstated Young, calling his action "commendable."

Chuck Shriner was about to receive his diploma from Fort Myers Catholic School in Florida when he dropped to one knee, and struck the praying pose made famous by quarterback Tim Tebow. Shriner won a $5 bet but lost the chance to get his diploma onstage.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. So as we've heard, one big question is whether Egyptian voters will give the presidency to an Islamist candidate. The leaders in pre-election polls include a candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood, as we've heard, and there's another leading candidate who used to be in the Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood already has the biggest share of seats in Egypt's parliament. And now leaders of this 84-year-old party face the challenge and the possibility of winning the presidency.

Merrit Kennedy reports from Alexandria.

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