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7:34 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Spelling Bee Winner Conquers 'German Curse'

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 4:37 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A 13-year-old from Queens won the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night. He correctly spelled a Yiddish word of German origin meaning dumpling.

(SOUNDBITE OF SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE)

ARVIND MAHANKALI: Knaidel. K-N-A-I-D-E-L. Knaidel.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You are correct.

Strange News
7:34 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Movie In The Works For 'Grumpy Cat'

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Last year, a snapshot of a frowning feline went viral, emblazoned with captions like, "Of all the 9 lives I've lived, this is the worst." Within months, "Grumpy Cat" - that's her nom de plume -had a book deal. Now, the feline face that launched a thousand memes has a movie in the works.

So how does a cat make it into the pictures? Turns out she has a great agent - the same one who represents another online star, "Keyboard Cat."

Monkey See
7:23 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Binge Viewing And A Summer TV Quiz

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

It's not every week you get to hear me go full-on fan-crazy. (Okay, it's some weeks, but usually not about the people who are in the studio.) But this week, I am extra-excited because Stephen Thompson and I are joined for our pop-culture roundtable podcast by Gene Demby and Kat Chow, both from NPR's race, ethnicity and culture team that writes the Code Switch blog.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Fri May 31, 2013

All Are OK After Small Plane Crashes Through Apartment Roof

This photo from the Virginia State Police shows the tail of the small plane that crashed into the living room of an apartment in Herndon, Va., early Friday.
AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 9:39 am

Amazingly, no one was seriously hurt early Friday morning when a small plane with two people aboard crashed through the roof of an apartment building in Herndon, Va., about 30 miles west of Washington, D.C.

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The Two-Way
6:11 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Book News: World's Oldest Torah Scroll Found, Italian Scholar Says

This sheepskin scroll found in the University of Bologna archives dates from 1155 to 1225, according to carbon testing.
AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Arizona Mom Released From Mexican Jail

Yanira Maldonado talked to reporters late Thursday after her release from a prison on the outskirts of Nogales, Mexico.
Cristina Silva AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 9:20 am

This is our first, and possibly last, mention of a story that's been getting lots of play on cable news:

"Mexican Court Frees Arizona Mom Accused Of Drug Smuggling." (CNN.com)

"I'm free now ... and I'm very grateful," Yanira Maldonado told reporters early Friday.

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The Two-Way
5:42 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Reports: Texas Man Questioned About Latest Ricin Letters

None of the possibly ricin-tainted letters mailed to President Obama have reached the White House, authorities say. They were intercepted at a remote mail handling facility.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 9:19 am

"Authorities, including the FBI, questioned a New Boston, Texas, man Thursday night in connection with an investigation of ricin-laced letters sent to government officials, including President Barack Obama," KSLA-TV in Shreveport, La., reports.

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Environment
4:57 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Houston's Petrochemical Industry, Source Of Jobs And Smog

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 8:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Houston, Texas provides a dramatic example that it's possible to make great strides in reducing air pollution. Our story yesterday talked about how that came about, but Houston still does not quite meet the federal smog standard. So, the question for the nation's fourth largest city is what's next. NPR's Richard Harris explores that question as part of our series Poisoned Places.

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Around the Nation
4:57 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Aid Bill Hot Topic In Oklahoma

Rep. Cole speaks as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and others listen during a news conference in Moore last week.
Brett Deering Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 12:39 pm

When Congress voted on federal relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey earlier this year, five of the seven Oklahoma representatives and senators voted no. Rep. Tom Cole, one of the two who voted yes, warned that someday Oklahoma would be asking for help — and that day came last week after a massive tornado.

The storm ripped through the city of Moore, in Cole's home district, killing 24 people and destroying thousands of homes.

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Europe
4:57 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Mired In Recession, EU Eases Some Austerity Measures

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 2:39 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

While there are many signs that the American economy is picking up steam, in much of the European Union, the opposite is true. Austerity programs aimed at reducing national debts have been blamed for crushing growth and sending unemployment in the eurozone nations to a record high of 12 percent.

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Planet Money
4:21 am
Fri May 31, 2013

How Recalculating GDP Can Help App Designers In Nigeria

AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 1:34 pm

If you're trying to grow a business in Nigeria and you want investors, you want Nigeria's economy to look as big as possible.

Bayo Puddicombe and Zubair Abubakar own a company called Pledge 51, which creates applications for Nigeria's low-tech cellphones. One of their most popular games lets players pretend to drive the notoriously wild buses crisscrossing the Nigerian city Lagos. It's called Danfo, after the buses.

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Animals
4:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Big-Mouthed Toucans Key To Forest Evolution

Channel-billed toucans are important seed dispersers in rain forests.
Courtesy of Lindolfo Souto AAAS/Science

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:34 am

Brazil is a paradise for birds; the country has more than 1,700 species. Among them is the colorful toucan, a bird with an almost comically giant bill that can be half as long as its body. There are lots of different types of toucan — red-breasted, channel-billed, keel-billed, saffron toucanet — each with its own color-scheme and distinctive call.

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Business
4:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with Japan's wheat ban.

Japan has suspended wheat imports from the Pacific Northwest states. This comes after the U.S. Agricultural Department found genetically modified wheat growing on an Oregon farm - as we reported on this program yesterday. GMO wheat has not been approved for U.S. farming, and it's not clear how the wheat found its way onto the farm.

Business
4:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Moto X: First Smartphone To Be Assembled In U.S.

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now let's go to Texas for another follow-up - where Motorola Mobility's new smartphone, Moto X, is set to become the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S.

As Lauren Silverman of member station KERA reports, the Google-owned company has already begun hiring for its new plant in Fort Worth.

LAURA SILVERMAN, BYLINE: There are more than 130 million smartphones in the U.S. But none of them say assembled in the USA. When Motorola debuts its Moto X this summer, it will be the first.

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Business
4:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

10-Year Strike Against Chicago Hotel Ends

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Chicago, one of the longest labor strikes in U.S. history has finally come to an end. Hospitality workers at the Congress Plaza Hotel have put down their picket signs after almost 10 years.

But as Susie An reports from member station WBEZ, getting back on the job may not be so easy now that the strike is done.

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