Morning Edition

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Every weekday for over three decades, NPR's Morning Edition has taken listeners around the country and the world with two hours of multi-faceted stories and commentaries that inform, challenge and occasionally amuse. Morning Edition is the most listened-to news radio program in the country.

A bi-coastal, 24-hour news operation, Morning Edition is hosted by NPR's Steve Inskeep, David Greene, and Rachel Martin. These hosts often get out from behind the anchor desk and travel around the world to report on the news firsthand. Produced and distributed by NPR in Washington, D.C., Morning Edition draws on reporting from correspondents based around the world, and producers and reporters in locations in the United States. This reporting is supplemented by NPR Member Station reporters across the country as well as independent producers and reporters throughout the public radio system. Since its debut on November 5, 1979, Morning Edition has garnered broadcasting's highest honors, including the George Foster Peabody Award and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.

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OK. So in the words of that political scientist in Peter's piece, wealthy donors like Tom Steyer are putting a pistol to someone's head, forcing their pet issues on candidates. Steyer himself sees things very differently. He quit his hedge fund with $1.5 billion and now in his view he's fighting as hard as he can with money and passion to do something very noble - save the planet. When he sat down to speak with us he said his goal is to use his money to limit carbon emissions.

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

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And I'm Renee Montagne. Some of America's richest political activists are pouring money into new SuperPACs as they seek to influence the issues in upcoming Senate and House races. Billionaires including Sheldon Adelson, the Koch Brothers, and Fred Eychaner used SuperPACs to support their favored presidential candidates in 2012.

Analysis: Who Oscar-Winning Actors Thank

Feb 21, 2014

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Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. We finally have analysis of actors giving thanks at the Oscars. You know, I want to thank my director or some inspiring figure. Twice in recent years, winning actors thanked Oprah; twice, they thanked Sidney Poitier. Three actors name-checked God; four thanked Meryl Streep - and that was the headline: Meryl Streep gets thanked more often than God.

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Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Australian police think they know what happened to a rare pink diamond that's worth $180,000. The diamond was swiped from a jewelry store by a man who fled on a bicycle. Based on fingerprints and surveillance footage, police arrested the guy, who's a British tourist. They're pretty sure he swallowed the loot but they need firm evidence. And X-ray was inconclusive. Think there's a pretty clear solution here - what goes in must come out. How about a little bit of patience?

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Think for a moment about an artist who is really out there in some way. Maybe a musician comes to mind, somebody like Lady Gaga or a painter like Salvador Dali. New research now asks whether you like such artists because of their art or because they conform to a mental stereotype of how artists are supposed to behave. NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam joins us regularly on this program. Hi, Shankar.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

Thursday at fundraising dinner, President Obama told Democratic governors that their Republican counterparts are making it harder for people to get health insurance or exercise their right to vote.

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If you're not snacking on pretzels, try some Thin Mints, because it's the middle of Girl Scouts cookie season. And our last word in business today is: cookie outsourcing.

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Last year, Girl Scouts around the country sold 200,000 boxes of cookies and raised nearly $800 million. But maybe we should say not the Girl Scouts sold them all. Sometimes the work is outsourced to their parents. And a recent opinion article in the Washington Post, criticized that practice.

A Wisconsin court has released an enormous number of emails — 27,000 pages — from a former aide to Gov. Scott Walker.

Kelly Rindfleisch was convicted last year of using her government job to do illegal campaign work. At the time, Walker was the Milwaukee County executive.

The emails paint a picture of constant coordination between Walker's county office and his 2010 gubernatorial campaign. They were made public in the middle of Walker's gubernatorial re-election campaign, and at a time when the governor is considered a presidential hopeful for 2016.

Obama Apologizes To Art History Professor

Feb 20, 2014

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Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with a reenactment of Russia's hockey coach. After Russia lost in the Olympics, a reporter asked if the coach would lose his job since his predecessor was, quote, "eaten alive." The coach replied...

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And one of the bookstores on James Patterson's list is Bookshop Santa Cruz.

CASEY COONERTY: We're located in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz.

INSKEEP: That's Casey Coonerty, the owner of the bookstore.

James Patterson, the best-selling author of thrillers and romance and young adult novels, has pledged to give away $1 million of his personal fortune to independent booksellers around the country. Today, he announced the names of the dozens of booksellers who are receiving grants in the first round of his big giveaway.

The money is heading toward smaller bookstores, which are under pressure from competitors like Amazon and e-books. Patterson's own books are big sellers everywhere — he doesn't depend on small bookstores to succeed. But his giveaway is driven by a broader concern.

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George W. Bush made a rare public appearance yesterday in Texas. The one time commander-in-chief hosted veterans summit. It was intended to promote assistance to military vets and their families.

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Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Duck Derbies are very popular in Wisconsin. And because they involve placing bets on rubber duckies dropped into a fast-moving river, they are technically illegal, though not for long. Wisconsin lawmakers passed a bill yesterday exempting rubber duck high-rollers from a ban on gambling. Participants in the Ducktona 500 in Cheboygan Falls can now breathe easy as they put a few dollars on Lucky Duck number seven. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

This will just have to count as one of the wonders of nature. A Michigan power plant dumps a lot of warm water into Lake Erie. The warm water attracts fish. The fish attract bald eagles. Almost 200 of them have been nesting at the DTE Energy plant. It is not so easy for people to gain access to the massive plant. So the company holds an annual lottery for bird watchers who want to see our national bird in its 21st century habitat.

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On a Wednesday it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

And I'm Renee Montagne. President Obama arrives in Mexico today to meet with Mexico's president and Canada's prime minister. It's been dubbed the meeting of the Three Amigos. The one day summit of North America's leaders will focus on trade and commerce, but also on the agenda: security, energy, border issues and immigration. NPR's Carrie Kahn is in Toluca near Mexico City, where the summit begins later today. Good morning.

The Michael Dunn case is of a type that we see with harrowing regularity. An unarmed black man is shot and killed by a police officer or a white person. The shooter says he felt threatened.

Ole Miss Civil Rights Statue Vandalized

Feb 19, 2014

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The FBI is now part of the investigation at the University of Mississippi where someone draped a Confederate-style old Georgia flag and tied a noose around the statue of James Meredith. That statue commemorates the enrollment of the first black student at Ole Miss in 1962, which led to riots. Sandra Knispel, of Mississippi Public Broadcasting, reports.

King Digital Entertainment filed for an initial public offering aimed at bringing in a half-billion dollars. The company revealed it has 128 million active daily users, with 93 million playing Candy Crush Saga, the Apple App Store's No. 2 highest-grossing game. King also makes Pet Rescue Saga and Farm Heroes Saga.

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Good morning. I'm David Greene. Kayla Finley is finally paying for her crime. Back in 2005, the South Carolina woman rented a movie. It was "Monster-In-Law," starring Jane Fonda and JLo on VHS. She never returned it. The movie store is now closed but there was still a warrant out for her arrest and police nabbed her last week. She spent a night in jail. Given the reviews of the movie, she should've been given time served for the 101 minutes she spent watching that film. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Sad clown face, we're headed for a clown shortage. As the head of a clown organization told the New York Daily News: Clowns just aren't cool anymore. Rubber noses and rainbow wigs just can't compete for young talent with tech startups and Wall Street. That's a pie in the face for the World Clown Association and its aging clown population. Its membership numbers have dropped like a pair of oversized polka dot trousers.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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The children's author Roald Dahl died almost 25 years ago, and yet, today you can find more musical adaptations of his work than ever.

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"Matilda" is a hit on Broadway. A musical version of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is running in London's West End.

GREENE: Over the weekend, the London Philharmonic Orchestra debuted the newest adaptation of Dahl's work, a classical piece for children based on a collection of poems called "Dirty Beasts."

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There is one sport in the Winter Olympics you can do with your eyes closed. To be precise, you have to do a few seconds of work, after which you can close your eyes and hope for a gold. I am referring to the brakeman in bobsled. That's the athlete who pushes the sled. Tonight, the woman's two-person bobsled starts in Sochi.

NPR's Robert Smith introduces us to the team.

ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Let's get this out of the way. The women call themselves brakemen. Not brake women or brake person.

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

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And I'm David Greene. Good morning. For years we've been hearing horror stories from North Korea about mass starvation, torture, slavery, political killings. It's a long list that is hard for many of us to imagine. Well, now a new report from the United Nations Human Rights Commission presents almost 400 pages of eyewitness testimony from victims and also at least one perpetrator.

NBC's Olympic Coverage Powered By Starbucks

Feb 17, 2014

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Watch Out: Rolling Ball Gathers More Snow

Feb 17, 2014

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Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

It came in like a wrecking ball. Well, a wrecking snowball. Two math majors at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, created a wintery masterpiece - a giant snowball weighing about 800 pounds. The students built it on the quad but decide to roll it along a walk, on the theory that a rolling ball gathers more snow. Then it got away from them, taking off down the hill and smashing into a dorm wall and crushing it.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Lucy Skrine, 11, was walking through the bustling streets of Hong Kong a few months ago with fellow animal activists, holding signs in Chinese and English that read: "Say No to Ivory."

"There was one mainland Chinese that came around, and she said, 'Why can't we buy ivory?' " the sixth-grader recalled. Lucy explained that poachers had to kill the elephant to extract the tusks.

"When she learned this, she was like, 'What? I thought they fell out of the elephants,' " Lucy said.

Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White are favored to win gold in ice dancing. The pair took silver in the last Olympic Games in Vancouver, and expectations are high that they'll do even better in Sochi.

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Let's check in on the Winter Olympics now. It's been a rough time so far for team USA. They have only won four gold medals in ski and snowboard slope style and in women's snowboard half pipe. The U.S. has struggled in the more traditional sports of the Winter Olympics. That could, though, change today. The U.S. has the best bobsledder in the world, Steve Holcomb. And he races the two-man today.

NPR's Robert Smith joins us from the Sanki Sliding track in the mountains above Sochi. Robert, good morning.

Jos. A. Bank To Buy Eddie Bauer

Feb 14, 2014

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NPR's business news starts with a big clothing purchase.

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INSKEEP: Big purchase this morning. The giant clothing chain store Joseph A. Bank announced it has agreed to buy casual sportswear maker Eddie Bauer for $825 million in cash and stock. That's a lot of short sleeve shirts. This acquisition comes in the midst of ongoing hostile efforts by Joseph A. Bank and its main competitor Men's Warehouse to buy each other. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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