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Planet Money
3:21 am
Fri November 1, 2013

How Much Is NPR's Brand Worth? $400 Million!*

Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:19 pm

*This number is a very, very rough approximation

How much is a brand worth? Not the stuff a company sells, or the buildings and factories it owns. Just, basically, the name of the company — and all of the customer loyalty attached to that name.

Oscar Yuan's job is to answer this question. He's a vice president at the brand consulting firm Millward Brown Optimor.

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StoryCorps
3:20 am
Fri November 1, 2013

An Unconventional, But 'Perfect,' Path To Parenthood

Robin Share and Rami Aizic hold a photo of their daughter, Bailey, at a visit to StoryCorps in Santa Monica, Calif.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 11:18 am

Since childhood, Rami Aizic knew he "needed and wanted to be a dad." He assumed he would one day meet the girl of his dreams and it would all just happen.

Then he realized he was gay.

Robin Share also wanted kids, but had no partner. So when a mutual friend told Rami about Robin, he called her up and left a message: "Hi, Robin. I'm a friend of Scott's and he said you might be interested in having a baby with me. So give me a call back."

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Education
3:20 am
Fri November 1, 2013

What It Takes (And Means) To Learn English As An Adult

Millions of adults who grew up speaking a language other than English are still held back by their language skills.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:33 pm

This is the second report in a four-part series on adult education.

Ana Perez never made it to high school. Her education ended after the sixth grade, when war broke out in her native El Salvador. She says she's "desperate" to learn English, but she gets nervous trying to speak it.

Immigrants like Perez see English as the key to a better life. Many hope learning the language will help lift them out of poverty and integrate them into American society. But gaining English proficiency is a difficult task amid everyday obligations.

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Digital Life
6:23 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Steve Jobs' House In Los Altos Designated A Historic Site

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 7:22 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Strange News
5:31 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Graffiti Artist May Have Been Done In By Pumpkin

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 7:22 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

We hear of criminals who leave wallets or phones at the crime scene. That is exactly what a graffiti artist does every time - leaves behind some identifying mark. The trick is to escape any way. And there, a Colorado man fell short. Steamboat Springs police say the suspect tagged downtown properties. Might have been hard to find him except its Halloween, the local paper says police found a similar design on a pumpkin at the graffiti artist's home.

Music Interviews
4:03 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Luscious Jackson Is Ready For Its 'Magic Hour'

Luscious Jackson has reconvened after more than a decade for its new album, Magic Hour, which comes out Nov. 5.
Doug Seymour Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 7:22 am

"3 Seconds to Cross," a new song by Luscious Jackson, begins somewhere in New York City. The narrator lies awake longing to be in California, though it becomes apparent a New Yorker like her really wouldn't fit in: "It only takes just a little to get yourself lost."

California, we're told, is a land unfriendly to pedestrians, where an L.A. traffic light might give you three seconds to cross the street.

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Author Interviews
4:03 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Recurring Dream: Morpheus Returns In Gaiman's 'Sandman' Prequel

The Sandman: Overture explores the back story of the central character, Orpheus, to explain how he wound up in captivity at the start of The Sandman.
Courtesy of DC Entertainment

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:54 am

Neil Gaiman started writing the Sandman comic books 25 years ago. Since then, he's written acclaimed fantasy novels, children's books and screenplays — but the pale, star-eyed Lord of Dreams remains one of his most beloved characters. Over the course of 75 issues, the series captivated fans and critics alike.

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Around the Nation
4:02 am
Thu October 31, 2013

A New Way To Do Halloween: Chocolate Chunks In The Trunk

Cars decorated for Halloween wait for kids to come by for "trunk-or-treating" in New Berlin, Wis. The event is seen as an alternative to sending kids door to door for candy.
Stephanie Lecci WUWM

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 9:36 am

The parking lot of Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beloit, Wis., is filled with dozens of costumed kids hungry for candy at an early Halloween event.

But the princesses and Iron Men aren't yelling "trick or treat." Instead, it's "trunk or treat" — and that's because these kids, rather than going door to door, are going from car trunk to car trunk. Each car is decorated with a theme.

Pastor Jason Reed says his church likes to focus on the fun — rather than freaky — parts of Halloween.

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Around the Nation
6:15 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Will GPS Cannon Spell The End Of High-Speed Chases?

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 5:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Police cars in Iowa and Florida are testing a secret weapon: a small cannon embedded in the grille. It shoots tracking bullets containing tiny GPS devices that can stick to the trunk of a suspect's car. Police could then follow a suspect at a leisurely pace instead of embarking on a dangerous high-speed chase. The weapon, very James Bond, except American police would need to get a warrant before attaching a GPS to a car. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR Story
5:48 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Without Earmark 'Grease,' Some Say, Spending Bills Get Stuck

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 5:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

While Congress tries to get to the bottom of what went wrong with the Affordable Care Act website, it's got other problems on its mind. Leading the list is the inability of lawmakers to carry out their most fundamental constitutional responsibility: appropriating the money needed to run the government in a timely fashion.

This month's shutdown was only the most recent fallout of the breakdown in appropriations. Some lawmakers say the Republican ban on earmarks nearly three years ago has only made things worse.

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NPR Story
5:48 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Lawmakers To Grill Sebelius On Affordable Care Act

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 5:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. More hearings come today on the messy rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will face questions from the House, Energy and Commerce Committee. Now, yesterday, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid testified before a different committee. Marilyn Tavenner offered consumers an apology for the problems at the health care.gov website.

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NPR Story
5:48 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Brick-And-Mortar Bookstores Play The Print Card Against Amazon

Barnes & Noble is one of several stores that have refused to carry Amazon Publishing's books.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 5:24 am

When it comes to book publishing, all we ever seem to hear about is online sales, the growth of e-books and the latest version of a digital book reader. But the fact is, only 20 percent of the book market is e-books; it's still dominated by print. And a recent standoff in the book business shows how good old-fashioned, brick-and-mortar bookstores are still trying to wield their influence in the industry. You might even call it brick-and-mortar booksellers' revenge.

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Sweetness And Light
5:03 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Can NASCAR Steer Itself Back Into Popularity?

Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) and Juan Pablo Montoya (42) drive through turn four on a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 5:24 am

As the NASCAR season climaxes, America's prime motor sport continues to see its popularity in decline. For several years now, revenues and sponsorship have plummeted, leaving an audience that increasingly resembles the stereotype NASCAR so desperately thought it could grow beyond: older white Dixie working class.

Both ESPN and the Turner Broadcasting Co., longtime NASCAR networks, took a look at the down graphs and the down-scale demographics and didn't even bother to bid on the new TV contract.

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Shots - Health News
4:29 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Violence, Chaos Let Polio Creep Back Into Syria And Horn Of Africa

The Ethiopian government has set up about a dozen vaccination booths along its thousand-mile border with Somalia.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 6:27 pm

Update on Thursday, Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m. ET:

A spokesman for the World Health Organization said Thursday that it was mistaken about the polio outbreak in Somalia spreading to South Sudan. The virus has been detected in Kenya and Ethiopia this year. But South Sudan has not recorded a polio case since 2009.

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Around the Nation
4:28 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Arguments Over Social Security Pit Old Vs. Young

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 5:24 am

Congress has until Jan. 15 to come up with another spending plan. As they negotiate, one thing you'll hear a lot about is overhauling entitlement programs — particularly Social Security.

The program accounts for about 20 percent of federal spending. One argument in favor of cuts is that Social Security amounts to a huge transfer of wealth from the young to the old.

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Code Switch
2:22 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

When Will We Stop Side-Eyeing Relatives Who Don't 'Match'?

The children of the Ruseva family — at the heart of a story about a Roma child suspected of being kidnapped because she had blond hair and blue eyes — might not read to many as relatives. But they are.
BGNES AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 8:00 am

Last week, folks told us that that they found odd resonances in their lives with the stories of several Roma children in Europe who'd separated from their families. Like those blond, blue-eyed Roma children in darker-skinned, dark-haired families, people said that their own familial bonds had occasionally come under suspicion from strangers, who thought there was a "racial mismatch" between parent and child.

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Strange News
6:45 am
Tue October 29, 2013

That'll Do, Pig: Neil's Not A Hog After All

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. It's a happy ending for Neil the popular potbelly pig, who faced eviction from his California home. Pigs are allowed as pets in the town of Sierra Madre, but not hogs. An animal control officer suspected Neil was a hog - that is, a pig weighing more than 120 pounds. As one local put it, if everyone overweight was considered, half the town would be evicted.

Around the Nation
5:22 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Hosts Call Police After Their Own Party Rages Out Of Control

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

A desperate act in wartime comes when you call an air strike on your own position. This, in effect is what the hosts of a party in Eugene, Oregon had to do. More than 200 partygoers got out of hand. Even the private security couldn't handle it. Rather than wait for angry neighbors to call police, the homeowners called the cops themselves. Police did not make arrests as they broke things up. But their best professional judgment was that people looked a little drunk.

NPR Story
5:15 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Will Hard-Line Critics Scuttle Iranian Talks?

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 8:55 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. The diplomatic push to answer questions about Iran's nuclear program has generated some hope for a peaceful solution. It has also inspired a backlash and negative response in both Iran and the West. On both sides, conservatives who would not normally agree about much seem to agree that nuclear negotiations are a dangerous idea that could produce what they would see as a bad deal.

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NPR Story
5:15 am
Tue October 29, 2013

As Olympics Near, Bobsledder Still Fighting For A Spot

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

With 100 days left before the Winter Olympic Games begin in Sochi, Russia, the U.S. Olympic Committee begins its countdown in Times Square today. they're bringing ice and snow into the middle of Manhattan where temperatures will be in the mid-50s so the athletes can show off their skills. But in these final months, there's still a lot of scrambling to figure out which athletes get to compete in the Games.

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All Tech Considered
2:56 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Who Has The Right To Know Where Your Phone Has Been?

Cell towers are constantly tracking the location of mobile phones. And that data, federal courts have ruled, is not constitutionally protected.
Steve Greer iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:49 am

You probably know, or should know, that your cellphone is tracking your location everywhere you go. But whether law enforcement officials should have access to that data is at the center of a constitutional debate.

Matt Blaze, a professor of computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania, says location tracking is key to how the cell system operates.

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U.S. Commutes: The Way We Get To Work
2:55 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Reverse Commutes Now Often A Daily Slog, Too

Reverse commuters, include Kathy LeVeque (in the foreground), wait for an approaching outbound Metra commuter train at the Mayfair neighborhood stop on Chicago's northwest side.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:49 am

It is still as dark as night as Jim Rix steps out of his red brick Chicago bungalow and gets into his car, parked on the street. It's 6 a.m., and the 53-year-old engineer is getting an early start on his 35-mile commute out to Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago's southwest suburbs.

"Depending upon weather and time of day, it can take 45 minutes to two hours to get to and from work," Rix says.

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All Tech Considered
2:55 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Etsy's New Policy Means Some Items Are 'Handmade In Spirit'

Rae Padulo creates handmade ceramics, like these holiday ornaments, for her Etsy-based company, mudstar ceramics. She's disappointed with the site's new policy to allow outsourced manufacturing. "There's nothing wrong with factory-made," she says, but "that's not what Etsy started out to be."
Courtesy of Rae Padulo

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:49 am

Under online marketplace Etsy's new policies, vendors can now use an outside manufacturer to help make their goods.

That is not going down well with some longtime sellers, who are calling the new policies a turnaround from the site's original mission.

"Their moniker is, you know, a place to buy handmade. It doesn't say a place to buy factory-made," says Rae Padulo, a potter who began selling dishes and ornaments on Etsy in 2009.

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Author Interviews
2:01 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Biography Doesn't Hold Back On Darkest Years Of 'The Man In Black'

ABC Television Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:49 am

In early 1968, country singer Johnny Cash gave one of the defining performances of his career when he played for inmates at California's Folsom State Prison. Robert Hilburn, a music critic early in his career at the Los Angeles Times, was the only reporter to cover that legendary concert.

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Strange News
6:13 am
Mon October 28, 2013

What Employees Will Say To Get A Sick Day

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 8:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Employers do fire workers who use fake excuses to call in sick, but there are still plenty of examples of this adult version of The Dog Ate My Homework, according to a new study released by the website CareerBuilder. Nearly a third of employees reported they've called in sick when they weren't really. Among the imaginative medical excuses: losing false teeth out of the car window or extreme grumpiness from quitting smoking. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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