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Waking up is hard to do, but it's easier with Morning Edition from NPR and HPPR. Hosts Renée Montagne and Steve Inskeep bring you the day's news stories and interview newsmakers from politicians, to academics, to filmmakers. Morning Edition provides news in context, airs thoughtful ideas and commentary, and reviews important new music, books, and events in the arts. All with voices and sounds that invite yo to experience the stories. Morning Edition is a world of ideas tailored to fit into your busy life.

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Strange News
2:44 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Freed Inmate Re-Incarcerated For Refusing To Leave

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 6:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer with the opposite of a jailbreak. Rodney Dwayne Valentine was released from jail. He asked police officers for a ride to a motel and the officers said no. They told him to call a cab. Instead, Valentine decided to stay put. He refused to leave the jail. The Greensboro News and Record reports that Valentine was then arrested for trespassing. He's back in the slammer. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sports
2:44 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Olympic Gymnasts Take The (Hot Pink) Floor

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 6:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

As the U.S. men's gymnastics team struggles to adjust to the London arena, where they will compete, they're thinking more about pink than gold. That's because the competition floor is covered in hot pink. In a room Barbie would love, the men's team says it's not about gender norms but rather an array of colors making it hard to spot the high bars. As one gymnast put it, real men do compete on pink floors.

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

It's All Politics
8:13 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Obama Would Pay More — Romney, A Lot More — If Bush-Era Tax Cuts End

President George W. Bush signs tax cut legislation on June 7, 2001. The cuts from this and a subsequent bill are set to expire at the end of 2012.
Stephen Jaffe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 10:42 am

An occasional series, Fiscal Cliff Notes breaks down the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and deep automatic spending cuts set to hit around the first of year.


About 80 percent of Americans would see their taxes go up if all the tax cuts signed into law by President George W. Bush were to expire as scheduled at the end of this year. And nearly 100 percent of the highest income earners would have to pay more — including both the Obamas and the Romneys.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:13 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

GOP Says Coverage For The Uninsured Is No Longer The Priority

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says covering the uninsured shouldn't be Republicans' top health priority.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 6:44 am

For decades, the primary goal of those who would fix the U.S. health system has been to help people without insurance get coverage. Now, it seems, all that may be changing. At least some top Republicans are trying to steer the health debate away from the problem of the uninsured.

The shift in emphasis is a subtle one, but it's noticeable.

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AIDS: A Turning Point
8:13 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Greece's Latest Crisis: Rising HIV Cases

Nurse Maria Vatista draws blood from a Greek drug addict for an HIV test in a mobile testing van in Athens last year. HIV infection rates are rising, as Greece's financial crisis has led the government to cut health and social services, including a successful needle exchange program.
Yannis Behrakis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 6:58 am

One of the alarming consequences of the financial crisis in Greece appears to be a sharp rise in the rate of HIV infection.

The country, which is struggling through a historic debt crisis and a deep recession, still has one of the lowest HIV infection rates in Europe. But budget cuts to health and social services seem to be driving a recent and dramatic increase, especially among injecting drug users.

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Planet Money
8:13 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

How To Set Up An Offshore Company

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 9:51 am

Setting up an offshore company in a tax haven is surprisingly easy. A simple Google search offers up thousands of companies willing to help you do it.

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Poetry
8:13 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Honoring The Games, And The Past, With Poetry

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 5:34 pm

In the days of the ancient Greeks, poetry and sport went hand in hand at athletic festivals like the Olympics. Poets sang the praises of athletic champions and, at some festivals, even competed in official events, reciting or playing the lyre. Here at NPR, we're reviving that tradition with our own Poetry Games.

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Asia
5:23 am
Thu July 26, 2012

China Charges Bo Xilai's Wife In British Man's Killing

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:35 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

China announced today that it is prosecuting the wife of a disgraced party official for the murder of a British man. It's the latest sensational twist in the country's biggest political scandal in decades. NPR's Louisa Lim joins us now from Beijing. Louisa, could you bring us up to speed on this scandal and what the latest news is?

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Strange News
2:28 am
Thu July 26, 2012

It's State Fair Season; What's On The Menu?

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

It's the start of state fair season, which means lots of weird and fried food. The Indiana State Fair decided on spaghetti and meatballs ice cream as the fair's official food. The noodles are made of gelato, the sauce is strawberry tomato, and the meatballs are chocolate. It's topped with shredded white chocolate cheese. Yummy. At the Iowa State Fair you can try a double bacon corndog. Last year, Iowa featured deep fried butter. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Strange News
2:21 am
Thu July 26, 2012

'Lucky Larry' The 17-Pound Lobster Goes Free

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:35 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Lucky Larry is a 17-pound lobster estimated to be at least 70 years old. He was not so lucky when he was trapped and sold to a restaurant in Connecticut. But Don MacKenzie stepped in. He bought Lucky Larry, but not for a dinner date. He sent him back out to sea. For a lobster to live this long and avoid traps, MacKenzie said, he does not deserve a bib and butter. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Planet Money
11:45 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Meet The Drug Dealer Who Helps Addicts Quit

Suboxone is used in the treatment of opiate dependence.
Drugs.com

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 2:56 am

A prescription drug called Suboxone helps wean people off of heroin and pain pills, but addicts have a hard time getting prescriptions. So they're turning to the black market.

An Albuquerque man who goes by the name Mystery Man has stepped in to fill the void. He says he illegally sells Suboxone every day.

To get Suboxone, Mystery Man has to find a patient with a Suboxone prescription, and give that person the $50 co-pay to fill it. He gets that money by selling, among other things, crack and guns.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:16 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Treating Everybody With HIV Is The Goal, But Who Will Pay?

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:35 am

The big question hanging over the International AIDS Conference this week is whether all 34 million people in the world with HIV can possibly get antiviral drug treatment.

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Television
11:10 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

At Bravo, A Pop-Culture Kingpin Works Day And Night

Andy Cohen on the set of his nightly Bravo talk show, Watch What Happens: Live. Cohen is also Bravo's executive vice president of development and talent, and has helped make Bravo a pop-culture heavyweight.
Heidi Gutman Bravo

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:35 am

Andy Cohen has been yakking for most of his 44 years. He has a book titled Most Talkative — a title he earned in high school.

"My mouth has been my greatest asset and also my biggest Achilles' heel," he says.

Most days, it's an asset.

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Business
11:09 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

For Temp Workers, 'Temp' Looking More Permanent

Job applicants outside the Staffmark temp agency in Cypress, Calif., in 2005. Temp hiring is usually a harbinger of an improving job market, but some analysts say more employers may be considering temps as a more permanent staffing solution.
Ric Francis AP

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 1:11 pm

While the job market remains sluggish, temporary work is one area that's done very well in the economic recovery. Companies are keeping their temps longer and are even using them to fill professional and high-ranking positions.

The average daily number of temporary workers employed during the first quarter of 2012 was more than 2.5 million. That's up from a low of 2.1 million in early 2009, according to the American Staffing Association.

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Asia
11:09 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

In Pakistan, Sounds Of A Different Kind Of Drone

Ibrahim Ahmad, the son of the owner of the Imperial Bagpipe Manufacturing Co., tests a bagpipe at a factory in Sialkot, Pakistan. The Pakistani city is the largest producer of the instruments most commonly associated with Scotland.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:35 am

Bagpipes and Scotland? Aye, it's a natural association: Played for centuries, the instrument is especially identified with the Scottish military and traditional Scottish dress, tartan kilts and shawls.

But bagpipes and Pakistan? Nae, you say? Think again.

Turns out no place in the world manufactures more bagpipes than Pakistan. And no city in Pakistan makes more of them than Sialkot.

Bagpipe Central

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Shots - Health Blog
2:54 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Prevention Programs Curb New HIV Infections In South Africa

Health care workers in South Africa speak to residents during a door-to-door AIDS awareness campaign, part of a series of prevention efforts that has helped lower the country's HIV infection rate.
Mujahid Safodien Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 9:03 am

The statistics on HIV and AIDS in South Africa are daunting.

In a country of 50 million people, more than 5.5 million people are living with HIV and almost 2 million people are on HIV drug treatment. Each year, roughly 300,000 more South Africans are infected with HIV, and half a million come down with tuberculosis.

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Strange News
2:36 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Survey Shows Londoners Are A Crabby Bunch

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Strange News
2:33 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Joggler To Make World Record Attempt

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:12 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Matthew Feldman won't be competing in the Olympics, but he'll be trying to break a record this Friday in joggling. That's what it sounds like: juggling while jogging. He's trying to run one mile, continuously juggling five objects. He broke the Guinness world record in practice, and if he doesn't drop the ball Friday, he can make it official. But there are no gold medals for joggling so far. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Afghanistan
11:56 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Taliban's 'Summer Offensive' Heats Up In Afghanistan

A Spanish NATO soldier on patrol in Afghanistan. Insurgents in the country have been busier this summer than last, and more often than not, civilians are paying the price.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:12 am

NATO officials were hoping that insurgent activity in Afghanistan would taper off during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but so far, insurgents appear to be pressing ahead with their summer offensive.

More than a dozen NATO troops and contractors have been killed since the beginning of Ramadan last Friday. In general, insurgents have been busier this summer than last, and more often than not, civilians are paying the price.

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U.S.
11:56 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Plant Pleads To Stay Afloat, But Army Says 'No Tanks'

M1 Abrams tanks sit on the assembly line at a plant in Lima, Ohio, the only place where the tanks are manufactured. Plant and local officials fear the plant won't survive if the military temporarily halts new tank orders.
General Dynamics Land Systems

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 12:39 pm

M1 Abrams battle tanks are the rock stars of military armor. They're made in only one place: Lima, Ohio. The Army says it's done ordering them, but Congress appears intent on spending millions for more, arguing that cutting production is bad for the economy and national security.

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Joe's Big Idea
11:55 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Summer Science: Clothes Keep You Cool, More Or Less

United States runner Kam Conley sheds layers to train for the Olympics in England on Monday. Less clothing means more evaporation, keeping athletes cooler.
Hussein Malla AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:05 am

The cool weather in London is good news for the Olympic athletes because their bodies won't need to put as much energy into cooling off.

But most of us aren't lucky enough to be headed to London, and we could use some help keeping cool.

When you get hot you sweat — but it's not enough to just sweat. To cool off, you need that sweat to evaporate. It's evaporation that drains the heat from your body.

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Sweetness And Light
5:03 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

From Obscurity To The Olympics Back To Obscurity

Know who this gymnast is? You will soon. Seventeen-year-old Jordyn Wieber will compete for the U.S. women's gymnastics team in the 2012 London Olympics.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:12 am

Why do we like the Olympics?

If somebody hadn't thought to start them up again 116 years ago, would ESPN have invented them to fill in summer programming?

I'm not being cranky. It's just that most of the most popular Olympic sports are the groundhog games. Swimming, gymnastics and track and field come out every four years, see their shadow and go right back underground where nobody pays any attention to them for another four years. Can you even name a gymnast?

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Business
4:08 am
Tue July 24, 2012

'News Of The World' Editors Charged In Hacking

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We've been following some big developments today in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal in Britain. Prosecutors are charging eight people - including a former top aide to Prime Minister David Cameron - and a woman who was Rupert Murdoch's top lieutenant. NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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Strange News
2:02 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Pittsburgh-Area Mall Gets A Second Bear Visitor

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with continuing coverage of the Pittsburgh Mills shopping mall. Yesterday, we told you of a bear that strolled into Sears, had to be tranquilized and taken away. Now a second bear has appeared at the same mall near the Olive Garden. Didn't stick around but later returned, backing up traffic on the highway. State game officials say they now plan to set a bear trap. In case the bear is listening, they plan to set that bear trap on Monday. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Strange News
1:57 am
Tue July 24, 2012

'Thomas Jefferson' Running For U.S. House

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:30 am

Transcript

U.S.
11:45 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Despite Crop Insurance, Drought Still Stings Farmers

Corn plants dry in a drought-stricken farm field on July 17 near Fritchton, Ind. The corn and soybean belt in the middle of the nation is experiencing one of the worst droughts in more than five decades.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:30 am

Stop by most any unirrigated farm across the lower Midwest and you'll see crops in distress. Midwestern corn and soybean farmers are taking a beating during the recent drought, but it's not likely to drive many out of business.

Most of those farmers carry terrific insurance, and the worse the drought becomes, the more individual farmers will be paid for their lost crops. The federal government picks up most of the cost of the crop insurance program, and this year that bill is going to be a whopper.

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The Veepstakes
11:22 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Budget Hawk Ryan Offers Romney Risk, Reward

Rep. Paul Ryan (left), R-Wis., and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a campaign stop in Appleton, Wis., on March 30.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:30 am

Among those on Mitt Romney's list of potential running mates, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan has youth and experience, he's a conservative from a swing state, and he has big ideas and the policy chops to back them up.

But the chairman of the House Budget Committee would not be the safest of choices.

Back in February, when the Republican primary was still in full swing and the party's right wing was conspicuously unhappy with the idea of Romney, tax hawk Grover Norquist spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference.

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Middle East
11:07 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Border Battles A Cat-And-Mouse Game In Syria

Battles on the Syria-Turkey border, like the one at the Bab al-Hawa border post, are a cat-and-mouse game for Syrian rebels.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:30 am

Second of five parts

I'm standing next to a ridge, looking at the Syrian town of Salaqin. Just up on the ridge you can see the silhouettes of a mosque and couple of water towers. It looks like a very small, inconsequential town, but because it's on the Syrian-Turkish border it's very important to the rebels.

What the Syrian rebels are trying to do right now is carve out a kind of safe zone, a buffer zone where they can gather, assemble and plan attacks against the Syrian regime's army, and also a place where they can move weapons and money into Syria.

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Mitt Romney
11:04 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Romney's Foreign Agenda: Listen, Learn, Olympics

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks in Bow, N.H., on July 20. On his upcoming trip, Romney plans to make stops in the United Kingdom, Israel and Poland.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 4:18 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev., on Tuesday. It's a sort of launching pad for a foreign trip that will take Romney to three countries over the next week: the United Kingdom, Israel and Poland.

Romney, a man with a lot of domestic policy experience, is now trying to demonstrate his proficiency with international affairs.

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NPR Story
6:26 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Penn State's Wins Since 1998 Vacated, Hit With $60M Fine

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

Penn State says it accepts the sanctions announced this morning by the NCAA. College sports' governing body announced punitive sanctions against Penn State University after the child sex abuse scandal that has tainted the reputation of the football program and the former coach, the late Joe Paterno. Penn State will be fined $60 million and lose 14 years of victories, from 1998 to 2011, among other penalties. Here's the NCAA president, Mark Emmert.

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