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Strange News
6:30 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Superman's Alter Ego Quits 'The Daily Planet'

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Stop the presses. Clark Kent is quitting The Daily Planet. The mild-mannered reporter apparently decided to show a little steel after being scolded one time too many by Editor-in-Chief Perry White. Superman's alter ego goes out big. Before the entire staff, he rails against the newspaper's new emphasis on entertainment and scandals. After seven decades on the news desk, Clark is reportedly reinventing himself in new media. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

All Tech Considered
5:01 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Google's Street View Goes Into The Wild

Before Steve Silverman helped Google build its new Trekker, he built cameras for NASA to photograph the surface of Mars. Silverman says the Trekker is built to survive in intense conditions. It will boot up at 10 below zero Celsius or at 110 Fahrenheit. It will even work after being fully submerged in water.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 8:23 pm

Google's Street View maps are headed into the backcountry. Earlier this week, two teams from Google strapped on sophisticated backpacks jammed with cameras, gyroscopes and other gadgets, and descended to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. But this is just the first step in the search giant's plan to digitally map and photograph the world's wild places.

Luc Vincent — who runs Google's Street View — met up with a small group of reporters on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon this week.

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Afghanistan
4:04 am
Wed October 24, 2012

U.S. Eager To Step Aside; Are Afghan Forces Ready?

Afghan soldiers stand at attention during a ceremony transferring authority from NATO-led troops to Afghan security forces in Afghanistan's Kunar province. The transfer of responsibility for security from NATO-led ISAF forces to Afghan troops is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 6:30 am

America's exit strategy in Afghanistan is to have Afghan forces take the lead in fighting for their country. But too often these days, the job still falls to U.S. troops.

A senior officer in Afghanistan tells NPR that Americans continue to coddle Afghan forces and that this must stop. Tough love is in, the officer says. He says the Afghan forces are far more capable than the U.S. estimates and have simply grown accustomed to the U.S. doing everything for them.

That pretty much sums up the situation in southern Afghanistan earlier this year.

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The Impact of War
4:03 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Vet Walks On New Legs, With A Little Help From Mom

Nick Staback, who lost both of his legs to a bomb in Afghanistan, talks with his mother, Maria Staback, in Scranton, Pa. Maria Staback took a leave of absence from her job to move in with her son while he was recuperating at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington, D.C.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 1:58 pm

On furlough from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center this summer, 21-year-old Nick Staback lounges on his parents' back porch in Scranton, Pa., taking potshots at sparrows with a replica sniper rifle. The long plastic gun fires pellets that mostly just scare the birds away.

It's been a tough year for Staback since his last foot patrol in Afghanistan.

"We [were] just channeling down a beaten trail, of course, you just don't know what's on it," he says. "We had the mine sweepers out front and everything like that."

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How We Watch What We Watch
4:03 am
Wed October 24, 2012

So Many Screens, And So Little Time To Watch

A visitor looks at a bank of TV screens at a consumer electronics show in Berlin. While TV and movies are available on many devices, consumers often struggle to find exactly what they want, television critic Eric Deggans says.
Adam Berry Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 6:30 am

While sitting on a couch and gazing at a 50-inch TV remains a popular pastime in America, smaller screens have also edged their way into our lives. Phones, tablets and video game devices crowd pockets and coffee tables, offering access to what used to be called "TV," at any time of the day.

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Sweetness And Light
9:03 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Brooklyn Finally Nets A Team Of Its Own

C.J. Watson of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles upcourt in a preseason game against the Philadelphia 76ers. The New York City borough finally has a pro sports team to call its own, says Frank Deford.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 6:30 am

It's largely forgotten now — but there was a time when the mere mention of Brooklyn would produce a cascade of laughs. It was like saying "woman driver" — surefire guffaws. Everybody from Brooklyn was supposed to be a character.

Every platoon in every war movie had one wise guy from Brooklyn in it. Brooklyn natives spoke funny. They said, most famously, "youse guys." At a time when African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanics barely existed — visibly — in movies or on radio or television, Brooklyn was the all-purpose stand-in for our great American ethnic diversity.

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Strange News
4:53 am
Tue October 23, 2012

A Captive Beluga Whale's Remarkably Human Song

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with a tale of the singing whale. Scientists this week published a study of a captive beluga whale in San Diego. The whale began to sing, apparently after spending time close to people. It died several years ago, but left behind a recording that sounds like a person in the shower.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHALE SINGING)

INSKEEP: We do not know if during his lifetime the singing whale ever made it to a karaoke bar.

Strange News
4:53 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Bridge Designers Envision Giant Trampolines

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Asia
3:58 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Malala Isn't Alone: Another Pakistani Girl's Dream

Pakistani security personnel stand guard in front of a burnt-out school following an attack by the Pakistani Taliban in the northwestern district of Upper Dir in June 2011. The Taliban have destroyed many schools in northwestern Pakistan.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 7:18 pm

Stop someone in the street. Ask them about the case of Malala Yousafzai. They will likely know — after the worldwide publicity given to her story — that Malala is the Pakistani teenager who was shot for demanding the right of girls to go to school.

They will surely know, too, that the people who shot Malala in the head from close range were the Pakistani Taliban. They will probably view Malala as the heroine she clearly is. And the Taliban will be seen as the violent fanatics that they surely are.

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All Tech Considered
3:38 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Microsoft, An Empire Under Siege, Makes Its Next Moves

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks at a Microsoft event in San Francisco in July. This week, Microsoft launches Windows 8, a radical redesign of its operating system, as well as a new set of tablet computers.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 5:49 pm

Microsoft, the company that defined the PC, is still enormously profitable — but not as profitable as it once was.

This week, Microsoft will try to regroup. It is rolling out the largest upgrade of its Windows software in more than a decade. All of this is meant to help the company break into the exploding market for mobile.

While the company still commands a formidable computing empire, it is now under attack.

Microsoft's CEO is Steve Ballmer, a big, bombastic, balding guy. These days he's riled up about Windows 8.

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