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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 in Washington, D.C., and Renee Montagne at NPR West in Culver City, CA. Even as hosts, Inskeep and Montagne often get out from behind the anchor desk and travel across the world to report on the news first hand.

Heard regularly on Morning Edition are some of the most familiar voices including news analyst Cokie Roberts and sport commentator Frank Deford as well as the special series StoryCorps, which travels the country recording America's oral history.

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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3:39am

Fri July 20, 2012
Middle East

Syrian Fighting Spreads Across Damascus

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 2:41 pm

A gunman opened fire early Friday at a movie theater in a Denver suburb, killing at least 12 people and leaving dozens more injured, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said. Steve Inskeep talks to Chayyiel Jackson about the shooting.

3:39am

Fri July 20, 2012
Middle East

An Update On the Syrian Free Army

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In other news this morning, the Free Syrian Army has claimed responsibility for the bombing attack in Damascus earlier this week. To learn more about the group, we reached Amr al Azm. He's a Syrian activist and professor of history at Shawnee State University.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Who is the Free Syrian Army exactly?

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3:39am

Fri July 20, 2012
Business

Business News

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a recall from Ford.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: A recall from Ford Motor Company comes with a strong and unusual message. If you own a certain 2013 model of the Ford Escape, the company says stop driving it. Ford issued this warning yesterday and said dealers will come pick up the SUVs from owners and drop off a loaner car.

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3:39am

Fri July 20, 2012
Business

GM Retirees Face Friday Pension Deadline

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You've got to escape from your Escape.

Now, today is an important day for more than 40,000 salaried retirees of General Motors. They're facing a major financial decision. This evening marks the deadline for accepting a pension buyout.

Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton explains.

TRACY SAMILTON, BYLINE: The GM retirees have two choices: either take a lump-sum payment - which can range from 400,000 to $800,000 - or their pensions will be shifted from GM's books to the private insurance company Prudential.

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3:39am

Fri July 20, 2012
Economy

Tough Austerity Plan Incites Spanish Protesters

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Spain, hundreds of thousands demonstrated in scores of cities yesterday, protesting austerity measures meant to pull the government out of the red. Sales tax is going up, and civil servants are taking pay cuts. All this as Europe readies a bailout of Spain of up to $125 billion.

Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHANTING)

LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: About 100,000 Spaniards flooded Madrid's center once the sun went down on another 100-degree day.

(SOUNDBITE OF AIR CANNONS)

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2:44am

Fri July 20, 2012
Planet Money

Public Pensions Are About To Look Less Healthy

Originally published on Sat July 21, 2012 10:06 am

The health of public pension plans — the retirement plans for teachers, firefighters, police officers and other state and local governments — has gotten plenty of attention lately.

Some plans are hurting, and numbers from state and local governments suggest their public pension plans are underfunded by about $1 trillion.

But that gap between what they owe and what they have on hand today is about to look bigger — much bigger, in some cases.

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2:41am

Fri July 20, 2012
The Veepstakes

Jindal's Story Intrigues, But Can It Get Him A VP Nod?

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Mention Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and a lot of people still remember his 2009 Republican response to President Obama's first address to Congress. In a voice often compared to Kenneth the Page on 30 Rock, Jindal addressed viewers across the nation as if they were primary school students.

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2:40am

Fri July 20, 2012
U.S.

Rain Over Texas Quenches Dry Lone Star State

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Pedestrians stand along the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas, in May. The state has gotten a reprieve from more than a year of drought.
Eric Gay AP

While severe drought is taking hold in the Midwest, Texas is doing better. At this time last year, the state was on fire, crops were desiccated in the field and livestock were slowly starving. But recent rains have almost ended more than a year of record drought.

"If you look at the way we were thinking and feeling on the last July 16, that was desperation. That was despair," says Gene Hall, public relations director for the Texas Farm Bureau.

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2:35am

Fri July 20, 2012
London 2012: The Summer Olympics

Olympians' Dilemma: 'Starve My Soul' For Ramadan?

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 7:12 am

Mohammed Ahmed runs at the NCAA championships in June in Des Moines, Iowa. He's representing Canada at the Olympics and had to decide whether to fast for Ramadan this year.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Mazen Aziz, representing Egypt in the 2012 Summer Olympics, has trained for the 10,000-meter, open-water swim for years. It's a grueling race that can take upwards of 1 hour and 45 minutes, depending on the waves, current or water temperature.

But Aziz is Muslim, and with the Olympics falling during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the 22-year-old athlete had to make a choice: be in top physical condition or maintain a primary tenet of his faith.

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2:25am

Fri July 20, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Activists Fear Brazil's Triumph Over HIV Has Fizzled

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Drag queens at an outdoor restaurant in Copacabana incorporate safe sex messages into a show of lip-synced songs and risque jokes.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Brazil's HIV/AIDS program — which has been praised as a model for developing nations — is now under strain.

When HIV first emerged in the 1980s, Brazil responded quickly to the epidemic. The South American country launched large-scale safe-sex drives and gave away millions of condoms. It offered free treatment to anyone who was infected. The Brazilian government took on international pharmaceutical companies and even broke patents to cut medication costs.

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2:02am

Fri July 20, 2012
Asia

N. Korean Conundrum: Are Political Changes Real?

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 9:28 pm

In this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency and distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service on July 9, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seen with a woman in Pyongyang. It's not clear who she is, but a first lady would be a marked departure from the days of Kim's father, who kept his personal life private.
AP

North Korea's army has been swearing oaths of loyalty to leader Kim Jong Un after he was given the new title of marshal of the nation, cementing his position. This comes just days after the army chief was dismissed for illness. Analysts suspect these announcements are masking far deeper changes, but there's disagreement about what it means.

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9:01pm

Thu July 19, 2012
StoryCorps

Two Tough Guys Meet Tough Times, And Each Other

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Jake Bainter and "Boston" Bill Hansbury recently visited StoryCorps in St. Petersburg, Fla., where they discussed losing their right legs.
StoryCorps

Back in 2008, "Boston" Bill Hansbury was learning to live with a prosthetic after losing his leg to an infection. That's when he met Jake Bainter, who was about to have his right leg amputated. The two struck up a friendship, despite a wide gap in their ages — Hansbury was 70, and Bainter was 7.

The pair recently discussed their friendship, and other topics, during a visit to StoryCorps in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"Boston Bill, tell me about the day that we met," says Jake, now 12.

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7:41am

Thu July 19, 2012
Around the Nation

U.S. Men Held At Border With Canadian Contraband

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Two young Seattle men came back from a trip to Canada bearing gifts - six chocolate eggs known as Kinder Surprise eggs, because each has a plastic toy inside. They got their own surprise when they reached the U.S. border and agents informed them each egg carried a $2,500 fine. The men told KOMO News they were eventually allowed across without a fine and without the eggs, which are banned in the U.S. as a choking hazard. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

7:30am

Thu July 19, 2012
Around the Nation

Hasselhoff Photos Stolen From Store's Ad Campaign

Cumberland Farms put giant photo cutouts of David Hasselhoff in front of their stores across New England and Florida. The 60-year-old star of Baywatch and Knight Rider is shown smiling, wearing a tank top and promoting iced coffee. Of 570 photos, roughly 550 have been stolen.

7:01am

Thu July 19, 2012
Europe

Israel Suspects Extremists In Bulgaria Attack

Originally published on Sun July 22, 2012 8:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's learn more, now, about an attack in Bulgaria. Seven people were killed, we're told, among them, five Israelis, in a suspected suicide bombing. It happened at a seaside resort town called Burgos. More than 30 more people were injured by this explosion. Israel is calling it a terrorist attack and says it suspects Iran or Muslim extremists. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro joins us on the line, now, from Tel Aviv.

Hi, Lourdes.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: Good morning.

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