Morning Edition for Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Steve Inskeep talks to Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, about the U.S. role in Syria. Smith, who recently visited Syrian refugees in Jordan, is urging the administration to step up aid to moderate opposition forces, but he has reservations about U.S. military action.

Microsoft To Buy Nokia's Handset Division

Microsoft is buying Nokia's mobile phone business which means the giant software company will get access to Nokia's patents for a total of $7.2 billion. The move is an effort to expand Microsoft's share of the smartphone market.
The Golden 1920s couple didn't fare as well in the 1930s, and the North Carolina mountain town was host to a particularly sad time. NPR's Susan Stamberg discovered a little-known story of the Jazz Age darlings, and their devastating connections to Asheville.
Even infants too young to discern the meaning of words seem better able to learn while listening to the sound of human speech than while listening to nonsense — speech run backwards. Little surprise there, perhaps, but a study shows that recordings of lemur calls spark learning, too.

Graves To Be Exhumed At Fla. Reform School

Researchers are exhuming the remains from unmarked graves at a now-closed Florida reform school. Former residents of the school say brutal beatings were routine, and they believe many boys died as a result. At least 50 grave sites have been identified and it is believed that there may be many more.

Justice Dept. Tackles Quality Of Defense For The Poor

An unprecedented recent court filing from the Justice Department could have dramatic implications for the representation of indigent defendants. DOJ argues that the fix for broken public defender systems could include a court-appointed monitor.

Verizon Buys Out Vodafone To Acquire Wireless Company

Verizon has agreed to buy out Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless for $130 billion. That will give Verizon total control of the largest U.S. cell phone service provider.
Upstate New York is embracing the unlikely moniker of "Silicon Valley of Greek Yogurt." As the high-protein food explodes in popularity, manufacturers are building new plants in New York and ramping up production. The big problem is, the state's dairy industry is scrambling to provide enough milk to keep up.

Lava Lamp Turns 50

The lamp, with its hypnotic moving liquid blob center, helped define the psychedelic era. It first hit stores in Britain on this day in 1963. The lamp's inventor was inspired by the design of an odd egg timer in a pub.

Obama Meets With McCain, Graham About Syria Strikes

The effort to convince Congress to authorize a limited military strike against Syria is preoccupying Washington. On Monday, President Obama met with Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Their backing may be key to winning over Congress on the issue.

Iran Weighs Heavily In Debate Over Syria

A lot of the debate over Syria is actually a debate about Syria's ally Iran. If the U.S. does strike, could Iran retaliate against the U.S. or its ally Israel? For more, Steve Inskeep talks to Scott Peterson, of The Christian Science Monitor, who is in Istanbul, Turkey.
Diana Nyad finally conquered the Straits of Florida by swimming without a shark cage from Cuba to Key West. It was a distance of more than 100 miles. It was her fifth attempt.

The Latest In Scientific Field Equipment? Fido's Nose

Conservationists around the world are using a new kind of field equipment. It can navigate difficult terrain, detect tiny chemical samples, and ... wag its tail. Detection dogs are teaming up with humans to study rare, endangered and invasive organisms.

Radio Station KYAY Is Lifeline For Apache Tribe

In eastern Arizona, there's a tiny, 1900 watt radio station that's marking its first year on the air. KYAY is licensed to and owned by the San Carlos Apache Tribe. For many of the isolated reservation's 13,000 or so residents, it's the outlet for community information, news and a lot of entertainment.

Pena Nieto Encourages Mexicans To Embrace Change

President Enrique Pena Nieto gave an upbeat assessment of his nine-month-old administration on Monday in his first State of the Union address. Despite his positive review of Mexico's condition, the new president is dealing with chaotic teacher protests in the capital, intractable levels of violence and a less favorable economic outlook than predicted.
About 160 years ago, before Europe began warming up, glaciers in the Alps started rapidly retreating. Now NASA scientists offer a possible explanation for this apparent paradox: Soot from the Industrial Revolution could have heated up the ice.

Neko Case: 'I Couldn't Really Listen To Music'

While making her new album, Case went through a series of deaths and a bout of depression. But once she stopped fighting it, "it's like a bottleneck broke open, and everything started to flow again and my circulation came back," she says.

Woman Waits 8 Years To Get Diamond After Chicken Ate It

After her pet chicken ate a diamond earring, a woman in England decided to wait until the bird died to get her jewelry back. The earring could have been removed surgically but she was afraid the chicken wouldn't survive.

U.S. Navy Wins Battle Of Lake Erie, Again

Sailing ships re-enacted the victory over the British 200 ago during the War of 1812. The Port Clinton News Herald says the 2013 battle turned out the same, but with better technology: people captured battle scenes on cell phones.
Find an archived Episode: