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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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Europe
7:20 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Legendary Rats Return To German Town

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A town in Germany once had a legendary rat problem. Hamelin was the setting for the tale of the Pied Piper, who lured its rats into a river, and then led away its children when he wasn't paid. Some 700 years later, the rats have returned and chewed through the electric cable powering the town's fountain. Could be a job for another Pied Piper, or tourists could just stop scattering bread crumbs for birds near the fountain. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Asia
4:26 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Hollywood Dreams Led Chinese Firm To Buy Into U.S.

Moviegoers watch a 3-D IMAX movie at a Beijing theater run by the Chinese company Wanda, which recently announced it was buying AMC movie theaters for $2.6 billion. The move is seen as part of a larger effort by the Chinese conglomerate to move into the U.S. market.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:09 am

One of the big movie blockbusters this year isn't a film, but a business deal.

The Chinese company Wanda, one of that country's leading cinema owners, is buying AMC Entertainment, North America's second-largest movie theater company, for $2.6 billion.

When the agreement was announced in China this week, it did not make a lot of sense at first glance. At least for the buyer.

AMC is loaded with some $2 billion in debt, and movie theater attendance in North America was down 4 percent last year.

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Your Money
4:25 am
Fri May 25, 2012

In Tight Credit Market, A Tool For Small Businesses

Many small-business owners have had difficulty securing loans in recent years. One website grades the nation's banks by the ratio of small-business loans to deposits β€” and finds that community banks are often most friendly to small business.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:09 am

When small-business owners start looking for money to expand, they often begin at a big bank. The banks are highly visible, well-known and often nearby.

But many small-business owners report that they have struggled to get loans in the wake of the economic downturn.

Ami Kassar, CEO of the small-business-loan broker multifunding.com, advises business owners that large banks are "not the best place to start" when looking for a small-business loan.

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Africa
4:06 am
Fri May 25, 2012

How Crumbling U.S. Dollars Bailed Out Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe now uses the U.S. dollar as its main currency, though the bills are often extremely dirty and falling apart due to constant use. Here a cashier holds U.S. dollars in good condition at a supermarket in the capital Harare in 2009.
Kate Holt Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:17 pm

Four years ago, Zimbabwe experienced one of the worst cases of hyperinflation in history. The country abandoned its own currency and switched to the U.S. dollar β€” a move experts say prevented a complete economic collapse.

But using American dollars has created a host of bizarre issues. The bills are filthy, crumbling and often in short supply. There are no U.S. coins to make change, so chocolate is handed out instead. There is, oddly, an abundance of $2 bills.

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Around the Nation
3:50 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Walk This Way: Crossing The Golden Gate Bridge

More than 200,000 people crossed the bridge the day it opened in 1937. Many walked. Others ran, tap-danced, roller-skated, unicycled, or strode on stilts.
Courtesy of GoldenGateBridge.org

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 2:15 pm

On May 27, 1937, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge opened, connecting bustling San Francisco to sleepy Marin County to the north. The Oakland-Bay Bridge had opened six months earlier β€” but the Golden Gate was an engineering triumph. It straddles the Golden Gate Strait, the passage from the Pacific Ocean into the San Francisco Bay, where rough currents prevail and winds can reach 70 mph.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:48 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Need A Nurse? You May Have To Wait

Some fear that with rising medical costs and an aging population, the country's nursing staff will be stretched too thin.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:15 pm

Nurses are the backbone of the hospital β€” just ask pretty much any doctor or patient. But a new poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health finds 34 percent of patients hospitalized for at least one night in the past year said "nurses weren't available when needed or didn't respond quickly to requests for help."

Since nurses provide most of the patient care in hospitals, we were surprised at the findings. We wanted to find out more. We wanted to know what was going on from nurses themselves. So we put a call-out on Facebook.

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Europe
3:33 am
Fri May 25, 2012

To Tap Arctic Oil, Russia Partners With Exxon Mobil

A Rosneft flag flies over the Russian oil giant's refinery near the city of Samara. Growth of Russia's oil and gas output has stalled, but Exxon Mobil and other foreign firms have signed deals to help exploit the Arctic.
Nikolay Korchekov Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:09 am

Russia is still the world's largest producer of oil and gas, but growth has stalled and to get to new supplies requires going to a very difficult place β€” the Arctic.

"If you want to be in this business in 2020, 2025, you must think about the Arctic," says Konstantin Simonov, head of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow.

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Music News
3:30 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Eurovision 2012: The Babushkas Make It To The Final

Russia's singing group Buranovskiye Babushki hold their national flag as they celebrate making it through to the Eurovision final on May 22 with Moldova's entrant, Pasha Parfeny (left), and his dancers.
Vano Shlamov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:26 am

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StoryCorps
3:29 am
Fri May 25, 2012

The Day Taps Echoed Through Belgium's Hills

After Harrison Wright was drafted into the U.S. Army as a teenager in 1943, he became a bugler.
Courtesy of Harrison Wright

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:09 am

During World War II, Harrison Wright served with the Army in Europe. And as he recalls during a visit to StoryCorps with his grandson Sean Guess, he was sent on a very special assignment to mark the end of the war.

Wright was drafted in March 1943.

"I was an 18-year-old boy," he says. "I blew the bugle in our outfit," he adds, largely because he had played the trumpet in high school.

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Author Interviews
10:41 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Mohammed Hanif On Secrets And Lies In Pakistan

Mohammed Hanif is the author of The Case of Exploding Mangoes. He lives in Karachi.
Nirma Bucha

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 6:17 am

The Pakistani writer Mohammed Hanif is living proof that you can sometimes tell the truth more easily with fiction than facts. Hanif is a journalist in one of the world's more dangerous places to be a journalist: Pakistan. He's also become one of the country's most prominent and provocative novelists. His book A Case of Exploding Mangoes told the tale of real-life Pakistani dictator Zia-ul-Haq, who died in a plane crash in 1988. Few believed it was an accident, and Hanif's novel delved into the conspiracies (and conspiracy theories).

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