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Middle East
2:27 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Asked To Spy On Rebels, Syrian Soldier Becomes One

A Syrian soldier casts a shadow as he stands in the northwest city of Idlib in May. Growing numbers of Syrian soldiers are defecting and joining the rebels.
Khaled al-Hariri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 3:53 pm

The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has been stung by a string of prominent defections, from the prime minister to a leading general to a military aviator who was Syria's first man in space.

Ra'ed, a soldier from Syria's most prestigious military unit, the Republican Guard, is among the defectors.

The guard's chief duty is to protect the Syrian leadership. But Ra'ed says he never felt proud to serve after he was drafted in June 2010 at age 19.

Ra'ed, who is now living in Lebanon, asked that NPR use only his first name out of concern for his safety.

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World
6:26 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Police Chief Urges Toronto Mayor To Get A Driver

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Around the Nation
6:18 am
Wed August 15, 2012

After 25 Years, Electric Squabble Is Settled

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A cold winter, a stifling summer, and your power bill will spike. But Grace Edwards' electric bill had seemed high for 25 years. Connecticut Light and Power first told her it must be an extra TV or her air conditioning. Turns out, Edwards was paying to power two street lights. The Hartford Courant reports she's been issued a refund of $10,491, what she overpaid plus interest, plus an apology. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Election 2012
4:22 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Obama Backs Wind Energy, Romney Favors Coal

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

You could say that the presidential campaign got a jolt of energy this week. President Obama was in Iowa yesterday, touting the electric potential of wind power. Republican rival Mitt Romney was in Ohio, talking up that old standby, coal. Each man accused the other of standing in the way of a rival energy source.

NPR's Scott Horsley has more.

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Around the Nation
4:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

San Fernando's Financial Crisis Burdened By Scandal

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 6:07 am

The small Southern California city of San Fernando is facing a seven-figure fiscal crisis. But the town has been unable to address its money issues because the romantic entanglements of the city leaders are dominating the agenda.

Election 2012
4:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

In Colorado With Rep. Ryan

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 6:03 am

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan continues to introduce himself to voters. Over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced Ryan would be his running mate. So far, Ryan has campaigned exclusively in battleground states that were carried by Democrats in 2008.

Business
4:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Standard Chartered Settles Money Laundering Charges

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A British bank has agreed to settle charges that it illegally laundered Iranian money. The settlement with Standard Chartered was announced by New York banking regulators, who'd brought the charges just a week ago. The bank still is under investigation by the federal government. NPR's Jim Zarroli has more.

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Movies
4:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

'Odd Life Of Timothy Green' Pushes Too Hard

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 8:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A new movie in theaters today is titled "The Odd Life of Timothy Green." And film critic, Kenneth Turan, found the movie, itself, odd.

KENNETH TURAN: "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" is a when you wish upon a star fable in the old school Disney style. It's just the kind of inspirational family-friendly comfort food it feels churlish to rebuff. But though the film's heart is pure, its execution is so cloying and contrived it brings on tears of frustration.

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Business
4:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 6:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the top man at The Times.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: The New York Times has named its new president and CEO. The man who got the job is Mark Thompson, a former BBC executive. Thompson will face a different business model from the non-profit British broadcaster. The paper is run by a board that's largely elected by a family trust.

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Business
4:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Home Depot Reports Earnings Are Up 12 Percent

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Home Depot says, from its vantage point, there seems to be a turnaround in the housing market. The nation's largest home-improvement chain reported a 12 percent increase in second-quarter earnings.

Joshua Stewart from Georgia Public Broadcasting has the details.

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