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NPR's up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary and coverage of news, politics, arts, sports, and more from around the world and in and around Pittsburgh, hosted locally by 90.5 WESA's Josh Raulerson.

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Africa
7:25 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Hot Coffee Thwarts Robbery Attempt

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 3:18 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. This story starts as a business transaction in West Haven, Connecticut. A man ordered coffee at a drive-thru Dunkin Donuts. Then, according to NBC Connecticut, he announced a robbery and tried to climb through the window. Luckily, his hot coffee was ready so the clerk threw it in his face. She followed that with a whole pot. The man fled and the clerk recalled the Dunkin Donuts slogan: Go run on Dunkin, she called after him. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
6:41 am
Wed March 6, 2013

German Man Caught Impersonating A Cardinal

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

The world is speculating, furiously, about who will be the next pope. The wait was too much for one German man, who tried to sneak into a closed-door meeting of cardinals by impersonating one. The man, calling himself Basilius was spotted and thrown out by the Swiss Guard, after someone noticed his crucifix was too short and his sash was just a purple scarf. He claimed to be from the Italian Orthodox Church - which does not exist.

Latin America
5:08 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Venezuelans Mourns Late President Hugo Chavez

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Venezuela is in a state of mourning for its late president, Hugo Chavez. The outsized leader died yesterday in the capital, Caracas, after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 58. Hugo Chavez was both a polarizing and charismatic figure, and during his long rule he became an icon, beloved by Venezuela's poor and others in the region who admired his defiant stance toward the U.S.

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Latin America
4:45 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Chavez's Death Will Have Ramifications For Cuba

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The death of Hugo Chavez could mean as much for Cuba as it will for Venezuela. As we just heard, Chavez looked to Fidel Castro for inspiration, and Castro has supplied Venezuela with thousands of Cuban doctors, health workers and security specialists. In return, Chavez sent a massive amount of Venezuelan oil to Cuba at cut-rate prices, and thus helped keep the Cuban economy afloat during years of crisis.

Joining us now is NPR's Tom Gjelten. Good morning.

TOM GJELTEN, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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Business
4:45 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR business news starts with markets on fire.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Around the Nation
4:45 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Chicago Commuters Brace For Delays During Bridge Repair

Construction on Chicago's Wells Street Bridge is taking place around the clock, as crews replace the south leaf section. The north leaf section will be replaced in the spring. The double-decked steel truss drawbridge was built in 1922.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

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U.S.
3:46 am
Wed March 6, 2013

With Adaptive Skiing, Disabled People No Longer Left Out In The Cold

Tilghman Logan and his instructor, Craig Stagg, do some practice turns using sit skis. Some ski resorts have created opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in snow sports.
Carrie Jung KUNM

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

March means spring break is just around the corner, and for New Mexico it means mild temperatures and fresh snow — perfect conditions for visiting area ski resorts.

A growing number of resorts are now offering programs that cater to vacationers with disabilities, and resort owners say it has proved to be a boost for business.

At a Taos Ski Valley chairlift, Barbara and Philip Logan prepare their son, Tilghman, for his first day of ski lessons.

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It's All Politics
3:45 am
Wed March 6, 2013

The Boehner Rule? Speaker Bucks House GOP For Some Legislation

House Speaker John Boehner answers reporters' questions after the weekly House Republican caucus meeting with (from left) Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Lynn Jenkins, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Rep. Steve Daines on Tuesday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

House Speaker John Boehner held a news conference the day after the November election.

"The American people have spoken," he said. "They've re-elected President Obama. And they've again re-elected a Republican majority in the House of Representatives."

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World
3:45 am
Wed March 6, 2013

John Kerry, A 'Recovering Politician,' Settles Into Diplomatic Role

John Kerry, on his first trip abroad as secretary of state, walks with French President Francois Hollande after their meeting at Elysee Palace in Paris on Feb. 27. Kerry's nine-day trip took him through Europe and the Middle East.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 8:44 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry describes himself as a recovering politician. He's just getting used to the fact that he can't speak quite as freely as he did when he was a senator.

"Each word means more, each relationship is played differently," he said in an interview with NPR, at the end of a nine-nation swing through Europe and the Middle East. "As a senator, you just don't have those stakes riding in it."

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Cloud Cult's 'Love' Channels A Life Tested By Loss

Cloud Cult's new album is titled Love.
Cody York Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

The latest Morning Edition "Music Moment" focuses on the band Cloud Cult. The group is known to fans for making music to soothe the soul, as it does on the new album Love.

"This album really looks at all the different aspects of the self that need to be healed up in order to facilitate the process of stepping aside and allowing love to speak for our life rather than our wounds," lead singer Craig Minowa says.

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Education, state budget
3:32 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Flat State Funding for PA Community Colleges Could Jeopardize Accessibility, Affordability

Community College presidents from around the commonwealth addressed the House Appropriations Committee during a budget hearing this week, making the case for increased funding.

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Around the Nation
7:15 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Wash. Lawmaker Apologizes For Cyclist Comment

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne. When Washington state lawmakers proposed a new tax on bikes, the owner of several bike shops protested and ended up in an email argument with a Republican lawmaker, who shot back a novel claim.

State Sen. Ed Orcutt argued that cyclists pollute just by breathing. It is true that a heavy breathing cyclist will emit more carbon dioxide than a person who's just sitting. Orcutt did reconsider, and apologized.

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

World
7:05 am
Tue March 5, 2013

U.S.: Diplomats Shouldn't Drink Before Budget Meeting

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with a call for a reform at the United Nations.

Joseph M. Torsella represents the United States on the U.N. budget committee. He says it's a tough budget process, complicated by diplomats who show up drunk. Ambassador Torsella made, quote, "the modest proposal that the negotiating room should be inebriation-free." He says he wants this, even though sloshed negotiators have provided the U.S. with, quote, "strategic opportunities." It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
5:18 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Best Buy To End Flexible Work Program

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 7:27 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And our last word in business is, no more working in your pajamas. Best Buy says it's ending its flexible work program, calling its corporate employees back to the office.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is getting to be a trend. The move comes after Yahoo stirred debate for ending its work-from-home program. A Best Buy spokesperson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the hope is that quote, "all-hands-on-deck approach will lead to collaboration."

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Asia
5:18 am
Tue March 5, 2013

National People's Congress Opens, Prepares For Leadership Change

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 6:54 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. As he prepares to step down, China's prime minister today delivered his version of a state of the union address. He got a big boost in military funding, one that outpaces expected economic growth.

NPR's Louisa Lim has been gauging the mood of China's new leaders, both inside and outside of the Great Hall of the People.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Business
5:18 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 7:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a ketchup jackpot.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Last month, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and a private equity firm announced they were buying Heinz for $29 billion. Now we're learning what the deal means for Heinz's CEO, William Johnson.

It's All Politics
3:42 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Four Things To Know About The Next Big Budget Battle

Congress has until March 27 to pass a Continuing Resolution. If it doesn't, the government will run out of money and will likely shut down.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 8:50 am

Now that the sequester has taken effect, there's a new phrase that keeps popping up in Washington: the "continuing resolution." If Congress doesn't pass a continuing resolution by March 27, the government will run out of money and will likely shut down. Here's a list of four things you might want to know about how a continuing resolution works and how it might soften the blow of the sequester.

1. Exactly what is a "continuing resolution"?

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Author Interviews
3:40 am
Tue March 5, 2013

'Wave' Tells A True Story Of Survival And Loss In The 2004 Tsunami

This Dec. 26, 2004, photograph shows a trail of destruction in the southern Sri Lankan town of Lunawa after tidal waves lashed more than half of Sri Lanka's coastline.
Sena Vidanagama AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 7:56 am

On Dec. 26, 2004, Sonali Deraniyagala was vacationing with her husband, her two sons and her parents in Yala, Sri Lanka. The day was just beginning when she and a friend noticed that something strange was happening in the ocean. Within a matter of minutes, the sea had wiped out life as she had known it. In a new memoir, called simply Wave, she recalls her experience with the tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people, including her own family.

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Author Interviews
3:38 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Skipping Out On College And 'Hacking Your Education'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 5:18 am

The cost of college can range from $60,000 for a state university to four times as much at some private colleges. The total student debt in the U.S. now tops credit card debt. So a lot of people are asking: Is college really worth it?

There are several famous and staggeringly successful college dropouts, including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Larry Ellison. You may not end up with fat wallets like them, but Dale Stephens says you can find a different education path.

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Minimum Wage, Employment
2:16 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Low-Wage Pittsburgh Workers to Obama Administration Official: Raise the Minimum Wage

Acting Deputy Administrator for the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division Mary Beth Maxwell (center), hearing the stories of Nikki Edmonds (left) and Sandra Burden (right) during a roundtable discussion. The women work for minimum wage and told her raising the wage from $7.25 to $9.00 would be very helpful.
Credit Deanna Garcia/90.5 WESA News

Hannah Williams works for a temp agency where she makes minimum wage: $7.25 per hour. The single mother also goes to school. She said her job doesn’t provide the living she and needs.

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Politics
1:02 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Obama Announces His Picks For EPA, Other Cabinet Posts

President Obama rounds out his Cabinet for his second term, nominating three new leaders Monday: Walmart Foundation's Sylvia Mathews Burwell for budget chief, MIT scientist Ernest Moniz to head the Energy Department and veteran regulator Gina McCarthy to run the EPA — a post that's likely be a lightning rod during Senate confirmations.

Around the Nation
7:09 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Lock-Picking Class Is Popular In Oakland

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 1:02 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Burglary is a big problem in Oakland, California. So Mayor Jean Quan opened the door to some harsh criticism when her weekly newsletter of community events advertised a lock-picking class. Learn the art for only $40. Some residents were unhinged, but organizers say the course is for hobbyists, not criminals. The mayor apologized, but the advertising seems to have worked - the class was sold out. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

It's All Politics
6:02 am
Mon March 4, 2013

President Obama To Nominate New EPA, Budget And Energy Heads

President Obama is expected to nominate Gina McCarthy, currently assistant administrator with the Environmental Protection Agency, to head the agency on Monday. The nomination requires a Senate confirmation.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 1:02 pm

President Obama plans to announce three Cabinet-level nominations Monday, including a new administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, who could be on the hot seat in the looming battle over global warming.

Gina McCarthy, currently an assistant administrator in the wing of the EPA that regulates air pollution, is the president's pick to head the EPA.

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Around the Nation
6:02 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Mom Saves Baby From Deadly Drop Out Of Window

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 1:02 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

A woman in Spokane, Washington stepped out of the shower and into a moment of terror. Her 14-month-old boy was bouncing on the bed. He bounced out a half-open second-story window. She dove after the boy, smashed through the window, grabbed his foot as he was tumbling down the porch roof and lowered the kid safely to his grandma, who was smoking on the porch.

The mom then crashed into a bush. She's scraped up. The baby is fine.

Around the Nation
5:01 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Hard-Hit Boise Subdivision Lacks Owner-Occupied Homes

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 1:02 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The housing market is recovering in much of the country, not so much in Idaho. Home prices dropped by 46 percent in the Boise area during the financial crises. Forty-six percent. Today's business bottom line takes us to the home of a family that rode out the crash and are still waiting for better times. Here's Molly Messick of Boise State Public Radio.

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