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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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4:23am

Mon October 8, 2012
Middle East

Syria, Turkey Exchange Weekend Artillery Fire

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 4:40 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

More Syrian mortar fire struck inside Turkey today. That's the sixth consecutive day that Syrian artillery shells have exploded across the border. The Turkish military, once again, responded with artillery fire back into northern Syria. There is a growing international chorus of calls for restraint as this cross-border fires continues, amid fears that Turkey could be dragged into the Syrian conflict. NPR's Peter Kenyon is following the story from Istanbul.

Hi, Peter.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: Morning, Steve.

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3:08am

Mon October 8, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

For Families Of Medicare Recipients, Insurance Choices Are Tricky

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 12:23 pm

Bruce Osterweil, 59, of San Francisco has long relied on his wife's employer-sponsored health plan for coverage, but she recently turned 65 and signed up for Medicare. She's going to retire in January and now Bruce is on his own to find a plan on the individual insurance market.
Sarah Varney KFF

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.

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3:07am

Mon October 8, 2012
National Security

Predicting The Future: Fantasy Or A Good Algorithm?

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 11:47 am

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.

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3:07am

Mon October 8, 2012
World

Piecing Together 'The World's Largest Jigsaw Puzzle'

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 4:35 am

Roland Jahn, a former East German dissident, is now Germany's federal commissioner of the Stasi archives. His agency is painstakingly piecing together the shredded documents of the former East German secret police. Jahn is shown here in March 2011 at a former Stasi prison at Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

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.

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2:03am

Mon October 8, 2012
Music Interviews

Kenny Rogers: 'I Take Great Pride In Not Writing Hits'

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 4:35 am

Kenny Rogers performs at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, Calif., earlier this year.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

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.

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7:21am

Fri October 5, 2012
Middle East

Dubai To Build Replica Of Taj Mahal

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

7:15am

Fri October 5, 2012
Europe

Guards Chastised For Showing Inmates Prison Flick

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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5:33am

Fri October 5, 2012
Monkey See

Picking The Best Bond: Connery And Craig Rise To The Top

The Gold Standard: In NPR's survey, most readers chose Sean Connery (above, in Goldfinger), as the best James Bond. Daniel Craig placed second in our survey.
The Kobal Collection

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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5:33am

Fri October 5, 2012
NPR Story

Venezuelans In Fla. Face 900-Mile Trip To Vote

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 8:58 am

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.

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5:33am

Fri October 5, 2012
NPR Story

Mystery Solved: Why Was Some French Honey Green?

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 7:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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5:03am

Fri October 5, 2012
Sports

U.S. Speedskater Admits To Sabotaging Rival's Skates

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:19 pm

Simon Cho competes in the men's 500-meter finals at the 2011 ISU World Cup short track speedskating final in Dresden, Germany. He won the event.
Robert Michael AFP/Getty Images

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.

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3:43am

Fri October 5, 2012
Planet Money

No One Trusts China's Unemployment Rate

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 4:09 pm

Mark Ralston AFP/GettyImages

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.

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3:21am

Fri October 5, 2012
Solve This

Romney, Obama Far Apart On Closing Budget Gap

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 5:33 am

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney finish their debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

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

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3:18am

Fri October 5, 2012
Europe

Not Everyone In Spain Eager To Wager On EuroVegas

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 4:03 pm

Spaniards protest the construction of the EuroVegas gambling complex at Puerta del Sol in Madrid last month.
Gustavo Cuevas EPA/Landov

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.

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10:03pm

Thu October 4, 2012
StoryCorps

For Special Education Teacher, 'Every Day Is Precious'

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 9:04 am

Ken Rensink found his calling, teaching special education, after a debilitating accident when he was 19. Now 47, he talked about his journey with friend and colleague Laurel Hill-Ward at StoryCorps in Chico, Calif.
StoryCorps

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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