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The latest in-depth international and national news from NPR. Includes regional news at 6:06am, 7:04am, and 8:06am.

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The Salt
1:48 am
Fri December 13, 2013

USDA Steps Up The Fight To Save Florida's Oranges

Oranges ripen in a Plant City, Fla., grove on Wednesday. Growers in Florida, Texas and California are worried about citrus greening, a disease that makes the fruit bitter and unmarketable.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 4:52 am

The citrus industry is facing a crisis. It's called citrus greening — a disease that has devastated orange production in Florida since it first showed up eight years ago. Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a new effort to try to control the disease before it destroys the nation's citrus industry.

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Opinion
1:48 am
Fri December 13, 2013

A Baby Who Saved Her Family From 'The Dark Moments'

Francisco Vasquez says his niece, Ellie, and his sister's battle with cancer have transformed his life "forever."
Courtesy of Maria Vasquez-Rojas

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 11:34 am

Three years ago, Maria Vasquez-Rojas received news to celebrate: After many attempts to conceive, she was going to have a baby. But while pregnant with her daughter, Ellie, Maria was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer.

"If I had not gone in for that ultrasound they would have never caught it. [Ellie] saved my life," Maria tells her brother, Francisco Vasquez, on a visit to StoryCorps in Los Angeles.

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Sports
5:00 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Alabama's Kicker Gets Condolences From 'Another 43'

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 8:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Alabama kicker Cade Foster had a terrible game against Auburn. He missed two field goals, had a third blocked, and was taken out of the game, which Alabama lost. But he received a note of condolence from former President George W. Bush. It reads: Life has its setbacks. I know. However, you will be a stronger human with time. Bush signed his note, Another 43. So wrote the 43rd president to Alabama's kicker, whose jersey is 43.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Strange News
5:00 am
Thu December 12, 2013

French Cafe Charges Rude Customers More

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Waiters in France can be rude - we all know that. But the manager of Le Petit Syrah Cafe in Nice says customers can be too. So he imposed a cost on rudeness. Demand a coffee, and it's 9.50 in dollars. Say please, the price drops to 6. And if you greet the waiter with a friendly bonjour, the bill comes to $2.

The cafe's managers says some of his regulars have taken to calling him Your Greatness. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Picture Show
3:42 am
Thu December 12, 2013

With One Photo, The Average Commute Becomes Super Special

Original caption via Instagram: #pscommute 5:15 PM on the C Train. 34th Street, Penn Station back home to Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Giving the gift of reading. A magical moment between mother and son. It may seem like just another subway ride, but with a book and an imagination, the adventures are limitless.
Jabali Sawicki/@jsawicki1 Instagram

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 8:53 am

Each month on Instagram, we team up with KPCC and suggest a photo assignment for our project Public Square. In October, we wanted to see your commute — that perfectly average and ordinary part of the day that many of us share. Lots of you participated. And one photo in particular had a special story.

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Shots - Health News
2:22 am
Thu December 12, 2013

High Insurance Rates Anger Some Ski-Country Coloradans

Early December brought a foot of fresh powder to the resorts of Vail, Colo., but some residents are still steaming.
Zach Mahone, Beaver Creek Resort AP

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 11:36 am

Some of the biggest ski resorts anywhere lie in U.S. Rep. Jared Polis' Colorado district, dotting the peaks of Summit and Eagle counties, about a hundred miles west of Denver. The area has a high rate of uninsured people and also, it turns out, health plans that are much more expensive than similar plans in surrounding regions. So expensive that Polis, a Democrat, has asked the federal government to exempt some of his constituents from the requirement to buy health insurance.

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Around the Nation
2:22 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Scandal May Bring New Oversight To LA County Sheriff's Department

After the FBI released results of a federal probe on Dec. 9, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said he was troubled by the charges and called it a sad day for his department.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 6:41 am

Longtime civil rights attorney Connie Rice has been following this week's indictments against officers in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. She says it points to a subculture of corruption within certain units, much like the city's scandal-ridden police department of the 1990s.

In the main downtown jails, sheriff's officers are accused of beating and choking inmates without provocation, harassing visitors and then covering it all up.

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Latin America
2:22 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Mexico's Patron Saint Is Also Its Hello Kitty

The Virgencita Plis character from Distroller in Mexico.
Distroller

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 5:52 pm

In Mexico, Dec. 12 is the day to celebrate the country's most revered religious icon: the Virgin of Guadalupe.

As many as 6 million pilgrims have made their way to the Mexican capital to pay homage to the country's patron saint on Thursday, and one woman has taken her devotion of the Virgin and turned it into a multimillion-dollar company.

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All Tech Considered
2:22 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Amid Cuts And Tax Hikes, Tech Companies Get Love in Ireland

Tech companies around the world have set up shop in the financial district in Dublin, Ireland.
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 5:47 am

Ireland is about to become the first European country to emerge from an international bailout in the wake of the financial crisis. Like other European countries, Ireland has been in a period of austerity — higher taxes and more cutbacks.

The nation's technology sector has been protected, however, as Ireland makes a concerted effort to attract foreign businesses through tax incentives and development programs.

But Ireland's methods have also been criticized — locally and internationally.

Apple In Ireland

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Veterans And Other-Than-Honorable Discharges
2:22 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Filling The Gaps For Veterans With Bad Discharges

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

All this week on MORNING EDITION we've been hearing about veterans we don't usually discuss, people who served in the military and then left with a less than honorable discharge. Even if they saw combat, veterans with bad paper, as it's called, do not get the healthcare or benefits accorded to most vets.

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