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Morning Edition

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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.

Singer-songwriter Tift Merritt has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris. She also has received a Grammy nomination for Best Country Album. The kind of music she makes doesn't attract much commercial attention — and that seems to suit her just fine.

At a recent academic conference, Michigan State University professor Natalie Phillips stole a glance around the room. A speaker was talking but the audience was fidgety. Some people were conferring among themselves, or reading notes. One person had dozed off.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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NPR's business news starts with slower growth in East Asia.

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Bruce Osterweil is a lucky man to live just a short walk from where San Francisco's Golden Gate meets the cold, rough waters of the Pacific Ocean. He is also a lucky man to have married his wife, Patricia Furlong, who has long provided the family's health insurance through her job at a small financial consulting firm.

But last month, Osterweil's wife turned 65 and decided to retire, and although she may walk away with a crystal bowl or a golden watch for all those years of service, she will also walk away from her company's generous health insurance benefits.

After failing to predict the Arab Spring, intelligence officials are now exploring whether Big Data, the combing of billions of pieces of disparate electronic information, can help them identify hot spots before they explode. The intelligence community has always been in the business of forecasting the future. The question is whether tapping into publicly available data — Twitter and news feeds and blogs among other things — can help them do that faster and more precisely.

When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, East Germany's secret police, the Stasi, frantically tore up millions of files gathered during decades of spying on its own citizens.

More than two decades later, the vast array of secret papers collected by the Stasi is still in huge demand. So far this year, 70,000 people have applied for access to the Stasi archives.

Many are young Germans — some searching for information about relatives, others just eager to know more about their country's past.

In the mid-1970s, a man approached singer Kenny Rogers after a performance in the lounge at the Las Vegas Hilton. The mysterious stranger simply said, "Hey, man, I really like your music." Rogers learned later that the fan at the dressing-room door had been Elvis Presley.

Dubai To Build Replica Of Taj Mahal

Oct 5, 2012

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Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The emirate of Dubai has created many wonders - a snowy ski hill in the desert, the world's tallest building. Its latest mega-project could be called a labor of love. The luxury hotel Taj Arabia will be a replica of the Taj Mahal, only four times the size. The 17th original in India was built by an emperor as a shrine to his beloved late wife. Dubai is pitching its faux Taj Mahal as a destination for weddings. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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It's official: Sean Connery IS James Bond, according to NPR readers who weighed the question this week. The final results show that Connery set the gold standard as 007, the spy known for his playfulness, his ruthlessness — and his ability to look good in a suit. Today marks the Bond film franchise's 50th anniversary.

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Oh my gosh, today's last word in business is the most compelling report about our food supply since a few minutes ago, when we exploded the way that the bacon shortage was hyped. This story seems to be true.

Beekeepers in eastern France were upset, recently, to find that their bees were producing honey in unusual shades of blue and green.

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American speedskater Simon Cho says what he did was "wrong" when he yielded to what he claims was persistent pressure from a coach to tamper with another skater's blades at the World Short Track Team Championships in Poland last year.

"Tampering with someone's skates is inexcusable," Cho told NPR in his first interview about the incident. "And I'm coming out now and admitting that I did this and acknowledging that what I did was wrong." The Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune also spoke with Cho earlier this week after the NPR interview.

Venezuelans go to the polls Sunday in an election that will decide if President Hugo Chavez remains in power. Polls indicate it's his most serious electoral challenge since taking office nearly 14 years ago, and it's mobilizing large numbers of voters in Venezuela — and in the U.S.

Nearly 20,000 Venezuelans living in Florida are registered to vote, and most arrived in the past decade, since Chavez took power. He upended the old power structure, installing a socialist government that seized property and nationalized industries.

No One Trusts China's Unemployment Rate

Oct 5, 2012

Ask an economist like Eswar Prasad, who used to work at the International Monetary Fund, "So, do you know, what the unemployment rate in China is?"

And he'll answer, "We don't."

The official unemployment rate, put out by the government, Prasad says, is 6.5 percent, but according to him, "that number has no credibility at all."

He's not the only dubious one.

Here's one thing President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney could agree on during their first debate this week: Something has to be done about the enormous gap between what the federal government collects in taxes and what it spends.

But the two men fundamentally disagree on what to do about that budget deficit.

The Problem

American billionaire, casino mogul and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson has a new project: a $35 billion gambling megacity in Europe. He has chosen debt-ridden Spain as the location for "EuroVegas," which is expected to bring up to 250,000 much-needed jobs.

But many Spaniards are divided over whether they want casinos in their backyard.

In the movie Goldfinger, a minion of bad guy Auric Goldfinger asks 007: "Can I do something for you, Mr. Bond?"

"Just a drink," Sean Connery's Bond replies, deadpan. "A martini. Shaken, not stirred," he intones.

From Connery to Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, this preference is repeated again and again in 007 flicks. (Check out this video montage for the full Bond effect.)

Ken Rensink's path to special education teaching began when he was 19, just one day after he completed his training for the U.S. Army Reserves. He fell asleep at the wheel of his car, hit a telephone pole and nearly lost his life.

"I was paralyzed from the waist down," Ken told friend Laurel Hill-Ward, a Chico State University professor who trains special education teachers. "My left arm was so weak, I could barely hold a plastic cup of water."

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Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Canadian police say they've seized thousands of gallons of maple syrup. They found the sweet stuff in the storehouse of an exporter. The truckloads of syrup appear to be a small part of a heist that siphoned off much of the strategic reserves of a producers cooperative in Quebec. The total amount missing: about $20 million worth. Still, it's a bit of a sticky investigation, as maple syrup is near impossible to track. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

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Major League Baseball's regular season ended yesterday with the kind of day that would warm the commissioner's heart: fans cheering from coast to coast, a towering achievement for one very good hitter, and the promise of even more excitement to come as the playoffs begin. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman has been tracking this season. He's on the line.

Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hello.

The Last Word In Business

Oct 4, 2012

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And today's last word in business concerns another unlikely franchise, "Jersey Shore."

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: I love "Jersey Shore."

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I love Guido.

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PAUL DELVECCHIO: There's no way I'm going to Jersey without my hair jell.

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Turkey, Syria Exchange Fire For A 2nd Day

Oct 4, 2012

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Women in the U.S. military have been flying warplanes for years, and recently began serving in artillery and tank units. But they're still barred from direct ground combat.

Now, for the first time in the course's 35-year history, the Marine Corps is putting the first women through its grueling Infantry Officer Course: 86 days crawling through obstacle courses, lugging heavy machine guns, navigating the woods at night.

Col. Todd Desgrosseilliers, the top trainer at Marine Base Quantico in Virginia, says there's a good reason the course is so tough that 1 in 5 Marines fail.

If you want to gain a good insight into Pakistan's economic situation, just look at a few of the country's newspaper headlines on any given day. The language says it all: prices soar, stocks plunge, budget deficit swells, foreign investment evaporates — and the list goes on.

Now, analysts are increasingly worried that the faltering economy could join Pakistan's pervasive insurgency and repeated political upheavals as another serious threat to the country's stability.

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