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Northwets Public Radio and NPR 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, we also bring 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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Business News

May 24, 2012

The world's leading PC manufacturer has announced it will lay off 27,000 workers over the next two years — a third of those job cuts will be in the U.S. The CEO of Hewlett-Packard says the layoffs are part of a restructuring that will include greater spending on research and development.

Historically, the veteran and military vote has gone Republican. In 2008, for example, while losing the presidency, John McCain — a war hero — won 55 percent of this vote.

This year, the Obama campaign thinks it can close the gap.

For one thing, neither candidate is a veteran. And the campaign is hoping to capitalize on a generational change in the military. Four years ago, although he lost the veteran vote overall, President Obama won among vets under age 60.

The Ramones were there at the birth of punk rock.

None of the Ramones were actually related, but they all changed their last names to Ramone. They wore matching skinny jeans and leather jackets, and their songs were short and to the point, with hooks that are still impossibly catchy. The band's first album stunned listeners and critics. Joey Ramone described its influence in a 1991 interview in Finland that's posted on YouTube.

The final round of the 2012 National Geographic Bee takes place Thursday, with students between the fourth and eighth grades testing their knowledge of countries, canals and lava lakes. Of the 54 contestants who came to the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., for the bee, only 10 remain.

Mongolia, the land of Genghis Khan and nomadic herders, is in the midst of a remarkable transition. Rich in coal, gold and copper, this country of fewer than 3 million people in Central Asia is riding a mineral boom that is expected to more than double its GDP within a decade. The rapid changes simultaneously excite and unnerve many Mongolians, who hope mining can help pull many out of poverty, but worry it will ravage the environment and further erode the nation's distinctive, nomadic identity.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Oregon officials are trying to ease the stress of road construction, at least for one resident. Two-point-two miles of the Sunset Highway are being repaved. This could disturb Rose-Tu, a pregnant elephant at the nearby Oregon zoo. The Oregonian reports highway crews will move gingerly, letting Rose-Tu grow accustomed to the noise. They hope to avoid stress from vibrations in her feet and sounds captured by those elephant ears. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The movie being talked about the most at this year's Cannes Film Festival in the south of France is Michael Haneke's Amour. It's the 65th anniversary of the festival.

Just as the public has lately been surprised to discover that football is really a very perilous game for your head, those Americans who do not pay that much attention to sports have been brought up short recently to learn better what an incredibly hypocritical and autocratic cartel is the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

U.S. beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh is honing her game for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where she and her playing partner, Misty May-Treanor, hope to continue a streak of dominance that goes back to the 2004 games in Athens and Beijing in 2008.

Speaking with Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne, Walsh says the duo's effort to represent the United States this summer is going well.

Don't Try THIS Ultimate Workout At Home

Apr 10, 2012

Since January, the Ultimate NPR Workout Mix has been highlighting music that makes listeners move.

Today, we hear from Luci "Steel" Romberg, a professional Hollywood stuntwoman and one of the top female freerunners in the world. Don't try her workout at home.

In 2010, David Plant was diagnosed with skin cancer. The cancer has since metastasized to other parts of his body, and David is now contemplating the end of his life. So, just before his 81st birthday, he sat down with his stepson to talk about their life together.

As Frank Lilley explains, "David is my stepfather, but I certainly consider him my father."

The two spoke in in New London, N.H. And Frank began with a question.

College basketball's Final Four men's teams will play in New Orleans Saturday, to decide which two squads will play in Monday night's NCAA championship game. The first match-up pits the University of Louisville against tournament favorite — and archrival — the University of Kentucky. In the second game, Ohio State University will face the University of Kansas.

This summer, U.S. archer Khatuna Lorig hopes to return to the Olympic Games. But she's already helped put archery into The Hunger Games this spring — by training the film's star, Jennifer Lawrence, to shoot.

In the kill-or-be-killed competition in the film drawn from Suzanne Collins' book, Lawrence's character, Katniss Everdeen, relies on her ability with a bow. And Lorig worked with the actress to ensure she had proper form.

Winslow Jackson was divorced when he met Dorothy Biebrich in 2006 at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

She was widowed.

They also both had multiple sclerosis.

"On my birthday, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis; three years later, my wife left, and we were divorced," Winslow, 62, said during a recent visit to StoryCorps in Atlanta. "And that was, undoubtedly, the saddest time of my life, because I felt so stranded."

Kitty Eisele is supervising senior editor at NPR's Morning Edition. In this essay she remembers Monkees band member Davy Jones, who died Wednesday at age 66.

This is embarrassing to write, but years ago when my first crush erupted, I asked my dad to write a love note on my behalf to Davy Jones.

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

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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.

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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.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: Hello.

INSKEEP: How did this fighting develop in the suburbs?

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.

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.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: Morning, Renee.

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

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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.

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