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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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Europe
2:32 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Holiday Inn In North London Hopes To Horrify Guests

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer.

A North London Holiday Inn is hoping to horrify its guests, and we're not talking about rude clerks at reception. To promote the horror film, "Mama," the hotel has received a gory makeover. Rooms with blood-soaked sheets and scary graffiti also included paranormal visitations designed to trigger a flight or fight response.

Good evening, it's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

National Security
12:23 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Will Surveillance Disclosure Lead To More Oversight Of NSA?

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. The recent leaks revealing the extent of the National Security Agency surveillance programs came as news to many people. But some members of Congress have been warning for years that such surveillance could threaten the privacy of average Americans.

NPR's Larry Abramson reports that in the end, it was Congress that decided not to disclose details about these programs to the public.

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Religion
12:23 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Churches Reconsider Sponsoring Boy Scout Troops

Some churches have said they will end their affiliation with the Boy Scouts after its decision to allow openly gay members to join. Others, including Southern Baptists, are considering their next move. Another group plans to hold a meeting in Louisville later this month with parents who say they want a more Christian organization for their children.

Business
12:23 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Data Leak Could Undermine Trust In Government Contractor

Federal contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, headquartered in McLean, Va., employed Edward Snowden, the computer technician at the center of the controversy over leaks involving the National Security Agency.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:56 am

In recent decades, a quiet revolution has been transforming the way Washington works.

Because the U.S. government does not have the workforce to complete all of its tasks, it employs private companies like Booz Allen Hamilton to do the work for it. Booz Allen is the company where Edward Snowden, who said he leaked secrets about the National Security Agency, most recently worked.

Over the past 25 years, this contract workforce has grown and plays a major role in the U.S. government, says Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University.

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Law
12:23 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Feds Buckle On Emergency Contraception Age Restrictions

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. The morning after pill is moving from behind the counter to on the shelf. Last night, the Obama administration announced it will comply with a court order that allows girls and women of any age to buy the emergency contraception without a prescription and without showing ID.

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
10:18 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

A Daughter's Struggle To Overcome A Legacy Of Segregation

Alabama Gov. George Wallace (right) blocks the door of the the Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on June 11, 1963. Wallace, who had vowed to prevent integration of the campus, gave way to federal troops.
AP

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 4:13 am

As we head into the summer months, NPR is looking back to the summer of 1963, a momentous year in civil rights history. As part of NPR's partnership with The Race Card Project, which asks people to distill their thoughts on race to six words, Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris is asking people who were on the front lines of history to share their memories and their thoughts on race in America today.

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Music News
10:16 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Spotlighting Background Singers In 'Twenty Feet From Stardom'

Darlene Love, one of the background singers featured in Twenty Feet From Stardom, didn't receive credit for singing hits in the 1950s and '60s and says her career was derailed by legendary producer Phil Spector.
Radius/TWC

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 5:22 am

Twenty Feet from Stardom, filmmaker Morgan Neville's new documentary, is a reminder that most of pop music's catchiest hooks, riffs and refrains were sung by voices harmonizing in the background. Neville says he wanted to put backup singers — black, female and honed in church — front and center.

"I was really more interested in people who were voices for hire," he says, "who were able to walk into sessions never knowing what they had to do and could bring it."

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Europe
2:34 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Swedish Commuter Rail Engineers Get Around Dress Code

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. In Stockholm, engineers on the Swedish commuter rail line have found a new way to skirt a dress code. The drivers were told no more shorts, even though the heat in the cab can top 95 degrees - just long pants or skirts. So many of the male engineers are now wearing skirts. Women are allowed to, so the company says it will not discriminate. Something tasteful in an A-line, or pleats, perhaps? It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
2:29 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Deputies Help Deer With Doritos Bag Stuck On Its Head

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Key deer in Florida are an endangered species. Their diet includes leaves and berries - definitely not Doritos - which does not mean a deer can't get cravings. Sheriff's deputies on patrol in the Florida Keys spotted one on the side of the road, with an empty bag of Doritos stuck on its head. It must have wanted the last chip in the bottom, a deputy told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The deer stood calmly as the deputies removed the bag.

Parallels
2:10 am
Mon June 10, 2013

In Venezuela, A Family Blames The Police For Their Misery

Eloisa Barrios visits the humble graves of nine male family members in the Guanayen cemetery. She says all nine were killed by the police, in what was a vendetta against her family. Recently, a 10th member of the family was stabbed to death. He was 17.
Meridith Kohut for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 12:05 pm

The story of Venezuela's Eloisa Barrios is especially revealing because so many of her relatives have been killed. Revealing because of who she believes pulled the trigger.

Some weeks ago, Barrios climbed into our van for a drive to a cemetery. The burial ground is outside a village in the Venezuelan countryside. We went there to visit the Barrios family dead.

She told us nine relatives had been killed in shootings over the past 15 years. All nine were young men.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:20 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Ukrainian Wins Top Prize At Van Cliburn Piano Competition

Cliburn medalists Beatrice Rana, second place winner; Vadym Kholodenko, first place winner; and Sean Chen, third place winner, receive applause from the audience at the final awards ceremony at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition on Sunday.
Rodger Mallison MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 6:39 am

Winners of 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition were announced Sunday night in Fort Worth, Texas. The competition was held over 17 days.

Vadym Kholodenko, 26, of Ukraine, won the top prize of $50,000, but he said the rankings don't mean that much.

"It's kind of fun for audience, for press. It's interesting to put first, second, 10th and so on. But in life, not so important," Kholodenko says.

And, he says, so much of life involves competing no matter what you're doing.

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Animals
11:30 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

City Life Disrupts Daily Rhythm Of Birds

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 2:08 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

You've heard the expression Bright Lights, Big City. For many people, city living can mean long hours at work and play and never enough sleep. Now a new study suggests that cities can have a very similar effect on another group of residents: birds. NPR's Rhitu Chatterjee reports.

RHITU CHATTERJEE, BYLINE: Since the 1930s, scientists have noticed that birds in cities, like robins and starlings, can keep different hours than their relatives in forests. Barbara Helm is a biologist at the University of Glasgow.

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Law
11:30 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Jury Selection To Begin In Trayvon Martin Case

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 2:08 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In Sanford, Florida, jury selection begins today in the murder trial of George Zimmerman. The neighborhood watch volunteer is charged with the shooting death of a 17-year-old, Trayvon Martin, last year. Police, at first, declined to charge Zimmerman because of Florida's Stand-Your-Ground law. It gives immunity to people who use deadly force in self defense.

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National Security
11:30 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Confessed NSA Leaker Hole Up In Hong Kong Hotel

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 2:08 am

The Guardian has identified its source for a series of reports it published in recent days on secret U.S. surveillance activity. The paper says the source is Edward Snowden, a former technical assistant for the CIA who now works for a private-sector defense and technology consulting firm.

National Security
9:58 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Amid Data Controversy, NSA Builds Its Biggest Data Farm

A National Security Agency data center is under construction in Bluffdale, Utah. When this data center opens in the fall, it will be the largest spy data center for the NSA.
George Frey EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 5:01 am

As privacy advocates and security experts debate the validity of the National Security Agency's massive data gathering operations, the agency is putting the finishing touches on its biggest data farm yet.

The gargantuan $1.2 billion complex at a National Guard base 26 miles south of Salt Lake City features 1.5 million square feet of top secret space. High-performance NSA computers alone will fill up 100,000 square feet.

The Utah Data Center is a data farm that will begin harvesting emails, phone records, text messages and other electronic data in September.

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Around the Nation
9:57 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Rail Project At Los Angeles Port Draws Environmentalists' Ire

Shipping containers stack up at the Port of Los Angeles.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 7:21 am

In California, a high-profile lawsuit is seeking to halt construction of a new $500 million rail yard next to the Port of Los Angeles. Activists, including a national environmental group that's spearheading the opposition, say the massive project would mean even more pollution for nearby neighborhoods that already have some of the worst air in the country.

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Shots - Health News
9:56 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

African-Americans Remain Hardest Hit By Medical Bills

Mike Jackson has diabetes and high blood pressure. His eye was damaged after he cut back on insulin because he couldn't afford it.
Bryan Terry for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 3:37 am

For many years, high medical bills have been a leading cause of financial distress and bankruptcy in America. That pressure may be easing ever so slightly, according to a survey released earlier this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But 1 in 5 Americans still face hardships due to medical costs — and African-Americans continue to be the hardest hit.

Read more
Politics
9:32 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Sen. McCain Urges U.S. To Do More For Syrian Rebels

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. Sen. John McCain is pushing the Obama administration to do more for rebels fighting the Syrian government. This follows his trip last week to opposition-held territory in Syria. McCain warns that a failure to act could send the Middle East deep into sectarian conflict.

His comments come as both the rebels, and the likelihood of planned peace talks, appear to be losing ground.NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:31 am
Fri June 7, 2013

City Workers Help Ducks Walk To Water

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. It was a classic make-way-for ducklings scenario. Syracuse city worker Gary Clifford saw a mother duck leading a dozen little ones down a busy city street. So he followed them in his truck, stopping traffic along the way. Until they walked across a storm drain and four ducklings fell in. Syracuse.com reports a city crew was called. It scooped them up, calmed the panicked mama duck, and took the entire feathered family to a creek. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Space
2:22 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Justin Bieber Aims For Outer Space

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer.

He has performed around the world for millions of screaming fans. Now, Justin Bieber is taking his talents off the planet. Bieber put a quarter-million dollar deposit on a seat on Virgin Galactic's spaceship. The singer wants to shoot a music video in space.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield already did that last month, singing David Bowie's "Space Oddity" on board the International Space Station.

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

Business
12:34 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Ill. Assembly Called Back To Work On Pension Fund Shortfall

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with pension problems for Illinois.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: The credit rating for the state of Illinois has taken another step closer to junk bond status. Illinois already had the lowest credit rating in the nation before it was downgraded again this week by Moody's and Fitch. The state legislature adjourned last week without addressing a $100 billion pension shortfall.

So as NPR's David Schaper reports, the governor is calling lawmakers back.

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Business
12:32 am
Fri June 7, 2013

California Hosts U.S.-China Summit

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Chinese President Xi Jinping begins a two-day meeting later today with President Obama near Palm Springs, California. There's a good deal of significance behind the choice of California as a venue for this summit. The state one of China's largest trading partners. And is also home to a recent boom in Chinese real estate investment.

NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.

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Asia
12:27 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Cyberspying Expected To Be Discussed At U.S.-China Summit

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 9:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Today, President Obama will be turning his attention to China. He's meeting China's new President, Xi Jinping, here in Southern California. There's plenty on the agenda: trade, currency, North Korea. This year, though, a new topic may dominate: China's habit of breaking into U.S. computer networks to steal trade and military secrets.

NPR's Tom Gjelten reports.

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Business
11:46 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 3:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business is: Hot chocolate.

Not the kind you drink on a wintery day, but the kind you eat in the sizzling tropics. The snack company Mondelez says it's perfecting a process to make chocolate unmeltable - even in temperatures above 100 degrees. The Deerfield, Illinois company says this new innovation will help it sell chocolate in emerging markets with hot climates and limited refrigeration, like sub Saharan Africa.

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National Security
11:46 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Intelligence Community Mines Phone Records, Internet Data

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 1:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. Just one day after we learned the National Security Agency has been secretly collecting telephone records from millions of Americans, it's been revealed that the agency is also running a massive Internet surveillance program.

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Law
11:46 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

The History Behind America's Most Secretive Court

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court resides in this courthouse in Washington, D.C.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 5:52 am

This week The Guardian newspaper shared with its readers a document that few people ever get to see — an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court telling Verizon to share countless phone records with the National Security Agency. The White House would not confirm the existence of this surveillance effort, but it insisted Congress is fully briefed about such activities. Members of Congress confirmed that they knew.

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National Security
11:46 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Reports: NSA Mines Servers Of U.S. Internet Companies

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 1:01 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Since 2007, America's National Security Agency has been mining data from the servers of major American Internet companies, including Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google. That's according to new reports from the Guardian and the Washington Post. This comes hard on the heels of another Guardian report revealing the intelligence agency is collecting Verizon phone records of millions of Americans

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Around the Nation
11:46 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Minnesotan Musician Makes 'Heavy Rotation' List

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 4:07 am

Linda Wertheimer introduces listeners to Andrea Swensson of Minnesota Public Radio, and her pick for June's installment of Heavy Rotation: Har Mar Superstar's "Lady, You Shot Me." The musician's real name is Sean Tillman and he's from just south of the Twin Cities.

Planet Money
10:34 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

How To Sell Coke To People Who Have Never Had A Sip

Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 10:05 am

For years, there were only three countries in the world that didn't officially sell Coca-Cola: Cuba, North Korea and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

Now, after 60 years, Coke is back in Myanmar. Sanctions were lifted last year on the country. Just this week, Coca-Cola opened its new bottling plant outside of Yangon. Now all the company has to do is figure out a way to sell all that Coke to people who may not remember what it tastes like.

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The Salt
10:26 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Not Everyone Cheers Turkey's Move To Tighten Alcohol Rules

Diners drinking raki, a traditional Turkish alcoholic drink flavored with anise, at a restaurant in Istanbul.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 11:46 pm

The ongoing anti-government protests in Turkey are about a lot of things — including a recent law to restrict the advertising and sale of alcohol. The limits aren't any more onerous than those in some other Western countries, but secular Turks see them as another step in a push by the ruling party to impose conservative social values on the population

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