Morning Edition

Weekdays at 6am
Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne

Produced by NPR in Washington, D.C., Morning Edition draws on reporting from correspondents based in 13 countries around the world, and producers and reporters in 19 locations in the U.S. Their reporting is supplemented by NPR member station reporters across the country and a strong corps of independent producers and reporters in the public radio system.

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7:44am

Tue March 26, 2013
Europe

5 People Jailed In Britain For Movie Tax Scam

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. The movie "Argo" told the story of a fake film that was a cover to get hostages out of Iran. Well, think of this as the "Argo" of tax fraud. Five people have been jailed in the U.K. for orchestrating quite a tax scam. The group pretended to make a movie to secure millions in tax credits from the British Film Commission.

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7:40am

Tue March 26, 2013
Around the Nation

Hey Punxsutawney Phil! Where's Spring?

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

As snow blanketed parts of the country yesterday, many turned their anger towards a weather predictor. Last month, Punxsutawney Phil forecast an early spring. One shivering Ohio prosecutor filed a lighthearted criminal indictment against Phil for fraud. But the president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club says it's not Phil's fault. He says he misinterpreted the groundhog's message, which has the prosecutor reconsidering charges.

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5:39am

Tue March 26, 2013
Business

Ford Unit Apologizes For Demeaning Ads

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And out next business story fits in the category of what were they thinking? Ford Motor Company is apologizing for ads sketched up by an agency in India - ads that have been decried as demeaning to women. They are cartoon drawings showing off how spacious a Ford trunk can be. One spoofs Italy's former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. He's at the wheel, and in the trunk, three women, tied up.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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5:39am

Tue March 26, 2013
Law

Abortion Opponents Gear Up For More Battles

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now to a debate over abortion that has escalated after some recent moves by states. The North Dakota legislature just passed a series of bills, including the strictest abortion ban in the country. And lawmakers there voted to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot next year which would end abortion entirely. Earlier this month, Arkansas passed a 12-week ban. NPR's Kathy Lohr reports that more states are debating stricter laws with hopes of getting one of them before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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5:08am

Tue March 26, 2013
Business

Opposition Blocks Return-Free Tax Filing In U.S.

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Imagine a world with no tax returns.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: OK, it's just a fantasy. But actually, in some countries taxpayers can sign up to receive simply a bill. The government sends you a tax bill, you pay it and, voila, that's it.

Now, there was an effort to bring return-free filing to the United States, but that effort came up against stiff opposition. And to find out why, we called Liz Day of ProPublica. She's been digging into this issue.

Liz, thanks for joining us.

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3:28am

Tue March 26, 2013
Shots - Health News

Maybe Isolation, Not Loneliness, Shortens Life

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 11:54 am

People who are socially isolated may be at a greater risk of dying sooner, a British study suggests. But do Facebook friends count? How about texting?
iStockphoto.com

Loneliness hurts, but social isolation can kill you. That's the conclusion of a study of more than 6,500 people in the U.K.

The study, by a team at University College London, comes after decades of research showing that both loneliness and infrequent contact with friends and family can, independently, shorten a person's life. The scientists expected to find that the combination of these two risk factors would be especially dangerous.

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3:27am

Tue March 26, 2013
Shots - Health News

Arkansas Medicaid Expansion Attracts Other States' Interest

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:57 am

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe speaks at a rally promoting the expansion of Medicaid in the state in front of the Capitol in Little Rock on March 7.
Danny Johnston AP

Since the Supreme Court made the Medicaid expansion under the federal health law optional last year, states' decisions have largely split along party lines. States run by Democrats have been opting in; states run by Republicans have mostly been saying no or holding back.

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3:26am

Tue March 26, 2013
Around the Nation

'American Winter' Families Struggle To Survive Fall From Middle Class

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:57 am

Pam Thatcher and her family ultimately moved into her mother's two-bedroom apartment because they couldn't make rent.
Courtesy Devon Terrilll Viewfilm productions/HBO

It's a visual no parent wants to picture: a child describing what it's like to live in a house with no power for lights, heat or cooking. For many middle-class American parents, it's hard to imagine their family ever facing a situation like that. But a new HBO documentary suggests that many seemingly prosperous parents are only a few misfortunes away from dark houses and empty refrigerators.

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7:39pm

Mon March 25, 2013
Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court

In First Of 2 Gay-Marriage Cases, Court Turns To Proposition 8

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:57 am

Snow covers flowers in front of the Supreme Court building on Monday in Washington, D.C. On Tuesday, the justices hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Outside the Supreme Court, lines began forming nearly a week ago. By Monday, the line had snaked down the court steps and to the corner, with people braving freezing temperatures and snow in anticipation of the historic arguments on same-sex marriage on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The justices are first hearing a constitutional challenge to California's ban on same-sex marriage. A second day is devoted to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples married in the nine states where such unions are legal.

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3:55pm

Mon March 25, 2013
Heavy Rotation

Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:57 am

Tame Impala.
Maciek Pozoga Courtesy of the artist

Our panel of public-radio music obsessives has five more favorites to share. KCRW music director Jason Bentley can't get enough of the new Frightened Rabbit album. Alisa Ali, a DJ for New York's The Alternate Side indie-rock channel, picked a great new track by the promising Glasgow act CHVRCHES. Baltimore's Friday-night hip-hop show Strictly Hip Hop highlighted the new jam by Joey Bada$$.

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8:34am

Mon March 25, 2013
Afghanistan

Kerry Stops In Afghanistan On Diplomatic Mission

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Secretary of State John Kerry is putting his diplomatic skills to the test this week. He is dealing with some difficult partners and trying to revive Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. Kerry spent the day yesterday in Baghdad and today he made an announced trip to Afghanistan to try to smooth over the latest disputes with President Hamid Karzai. NPR's Michele Kelemen is traveling with the secretary and joins us now from Kabul. Hey, Michele.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

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7:31am

Mon March 25, 2013
Europe

Pope Calls To Cancel His Newspaper Subscription

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. We've been hearing a lot of stories of the new pope's modesty, and now this. The pope called a Buenos Aires newspaper kiosk to cancel his own subscription. The shocked kiosk owner thought it was a joke until his holiest customer said, seriously, I'm calling you from Rome. The news vendor told an Argentine daily of another humble habit. The then-cardinal always collected and once a month returned the rubber bands from his newspapers. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

7:16am

Mon March 25, 2013
Around the Nation

Golfer Sergio Garcia Climbs Tree To Avoid Penalty

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:34 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene.

Pro golfer Sergio Garcia hit a ball into a tree at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this weekend. The easy choice: Just take a one-stroke penalty. Drop the ball to the ground. But Garcia did it the hard way. He climbed 15 feet up the tree and played the ball from there. Balancing himself with one hand on the club, he somehow knocked the ball onto the fairway. Well, what is the best club in such a situation? One PGA announcer suggested a tree iron.

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4:47am

Mon March 25, 2013
Europe

Exiled Russian Oligarch's Death Launches British Probe

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And police in Britain are piecing together the final days in the life of a Russian oligarch named Boris Berezovsky. They hope this may shed light on his sudden death this last weekend. Berezovsky used to be one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Russia. Then he fell out with the Kremlin and sought asylum in Britain. NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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4:47am

Mon March 25, 2013
Economy

Examining Dual Trends In The Economy

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:34 am

Both housing and the stock market have been on the upswing in recent months. But a full recovery in the housing market would be more significant to the overall economy. That's because more Americans have something at stake in home values than in stock prices.

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