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Yesterday, Ukraine got a big holiday present from its neighbor, Russia, in the form of a multi-billion dollar bailout. And now everyone is trying to figure out what strings Russia attached, and whether this could be a sign that Ukraine, a country of some 45 million people, is aligning itself more closely with the East than the West.

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There's another milestone today in the long effort to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons. The international overseeing the effort is unveiling more details of its plan and this is all a bit complicated. The first stage could be the hardest - moving the chemicals overland in the middle of a civil war to a Syrian port.

[LATE-BREAKING CORRECTION: We misunderstood where the 24 hours of Elf was being planned. We thought it was USA, but it's actually Starz. Sorry, Starz!]

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Well, this is rivalry week in college football. It's that annual period when the cheering and the insults get noticeably louder. And this weekend there's some extra spice as games from Alabama to Florida to Michigan could all have an impact on which two teams end up playing for the national championship. This is the last year of the so-called BCS Championship, the Bowl Championship Series.

Comedian Bill Cosby has been in show business for 50 years, and he celebrated on Comedy Central over the weekend with a stand-up special — his first in 30 years — called Far From Finished.

That earlier special, called Bill Cosby Himself, inspired one of the most popular sitcoms in TV history: The Cosby Show, starring Cosby as paterfamilias Cliff Huxtable. It was a show that was really the first of its kind, capturing life in a highly educated upper-middle-class African-American family.

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NPR's business news starts with a guilty plea.

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GREENE: SAC Capital Advisors is expected to plead guilty to securities fraud today. The hedge fund company has agreed to pay $1.8 billion to settle charges of insider trader. It's said to be the biggest fine ever in a case like this. The settlement will be announced at a news conference later today in New York City. And that's where we've reached NPR's Jim Zarroli. And Jim, explain for us, if you can, what SAC has actually agreed to here.

It may come as a surprise to riders on Metro's Orange Line in Arlington, Va., just outside Washington, D.C., but the area sets the bar for suburban transit.

That's because a risky, expensive decision by local planners in the 1960s as the Washington subway system was about to be built helped this once-sleepy community come alive. It led to an increase in residents and decrease in traffic. Instead of having a line bypass these nearby Virginia suburbs aboveground, next to a highway, planners decided to run it underground and redevelop the neighborhoods above.

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And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Today marks the second day of relative normalcy following 16 days of government shutdown and the prospect of a U.S. default on its debts. A pivotal player in this drama was House Speaker John Boehner. He was portrayed alternately as a victim of Tea Party hardliners, as a figurehead haplessly stumbling through this crisis, or as a clever leader who had the ending figured out all along.

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NPR's business news begins with the latest on the deadlock here in Washington.

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GREENE: We've been following the story all this hour: House Republicans have been expected to announce their own plan to end the partial government shutdown and avert a default on the national debt. But House Speaker John Boehner came to the microphones a short while ago and kept things very vague.

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Seven days from now - according to the U.S. Treasury Department - the U.S. approaches the point where it can no longer pay its bills. The federal budget deficit has been dropping dramatically. But in the wake of the Great Recession, it is still very high.

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The Swedish Academy, which gives Nobel Prizes out this time of year, calls for master of the contemporary short story. Canadian writer Alice Munro is the winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature. The announcement was made earlier this morning in Stockholm. And joining us to talk about the selection is NPR's Lynn Neary. Lynn, good morning

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Good morning. Good to be here.

GREENE: So we have an editor at MORNING EDITION from Canada, and he literally jumped out of his seat when he heard this news.

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The Marine Corps has forced two of its top officers to retire. It is rare for commanders to be punished for a failure in combat, but that's the case here. The two commanders - both two-star generals - are being forced out because of an attack that happened on their watch in Afghanistan. It took place a year ago at a sprawling base called Camp Bastion. Two Americans died.

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After 162 regular season baseball games, the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates will meet tonight in a sudden death playoff. For my team, the Pirates, it's their first time in the post-season in 21 years. And after tonight, after just one game in a scheme surely invented by sadists, the Pirates might be out of the playoffs.

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And I'm David Greene. We are going into the fourth day of a siege at a popular mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The Somalia-based al-Shabab militant group has claimed responsibility. At least 62 people have been killed.

We had NPR's Gregory Warner on the line earlier. He told us that the military is still battling terrorists inside the mall, but they claim to have made progress. Do these militants still have any hostages in there?

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And I'm David Greene, good morning. Here is a window into President Obama's agenda right now. He's off to New York today for the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. Meanwhile, the U.S. federal government is heading towards a possible shutdown. And the president is helping the nation heal after another mass shooting.

Let's bring in a familiar voice on Monday mornings. Cokie Roberts, good morning.

The Costa Concordia is lying on its side in shallow waters off the west coast of Italy. It struck a reef 20 months ago when the captain steered too close to land. Thirty-two people died. On Monday, the task is to begin to slowly rotate the ship to an upright position, using a complex system of chains and underwater platforms and cables.

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All right, college football fans, it is time to get out your body paint and those foam fingers. The NCAA Division One football season is starting tonight with 17 games on the schedule. Most of the heavyweights start their campaigns on Saturday, and that includes top-ranked Alabama. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins me to preview the new season. And Tom, are you excited?

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Sure. Are you?

We started our historical Twitter account, @TodayIn1963, in June with the idea that we wanted to bring this monumental summer back to life with a modern take.

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After a weeklong vacation, President Obama is back at the White House, though not for long. He's getting ready for a bus tour later in the week to promote his policies on the economy and education. The president is also dealing with demands from both political parties that he get tougher with the Egyptian military, as violence rages in Egypt.

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There has been a lot of political reaction to the George Zimmerman verdict, announced Saturday night in Sanford, Fla. Also in the news, it appears the Senate is headed toward a historic vote on changing filibuster rules.

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