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THE morning news magazine. Join us weekday mornings as NPR's Morning Edition gives you news, analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports. Stories are told through conversation as well as full reports. It's up-to-the-minute news that prepares listeners for the day ahead.

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4:50am

Tue April 3, 2012
Europe

Putin Tries To Influence Former Soviet States

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 12:01 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

Writer Lawrence Sheets once described the Soviet Union as an ill-fitting, stained glass mosaic. That is certainly not the image any Westerners had as they watched the Soviet collapse in 1991.

LAWRENCE SHEETS: We saw the Soviet Union as a monolith, through a few symbols like Red Square or men in fur hats, empty store shelves - these sorts of things.

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2:00am

Tue April 3, 2012
Television

'Perky' Katie Couric Returns To Morning TV

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Sixteen years - that is a long time to be number one. And this week, media critics and TV viewers are wondering whether NBC's "Today Show" can stay on top. There was a time, of course, when the name Katie Couric was synonymous with the "Today Show," helping them make it the ratings winner in morning news. And this week, Katie Couric could be the one who helps break that winning streak. Couric now works for ABC, and all week, she's guest hosting rival show "Good Morning America" with George Stephanopoulos.

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2:00am

Tue April 3, 2012
Sports

Wildcats Roll To 8th NCAA Title, Coach Calipari's 1st

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 12:01 pm

Anthony Davis of the Kentucky Wildcats puts up a shot over Jeff Withey of the Kansas Jayhawks in the NCAA Division I men's basketball final Monday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats beat the Kansas Jayhawks 67-59 Monday night in New Orleans, claiming their eighth NCAA men's basketball title and head coach John Calipari's first.

The Jayhawks trailed by 14 at halftime, and just 5 points separated the teams with about a minute left in the game. But Kansas couldn't get any closer to beating Kentucky, a team stacked with young talent that had dominated the whole tournament.

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2:00am

Tue April 3, 2012
Economy

Michigan Mulls Taking Over Detroit's Finances

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The city of Detroit is broke - verging on bankruptcy, in fact. And we may have come to a moment of reckoning. This week, Michigan's governor is giving city officials a choice: either they allow the state to help run Detroit's finances, or the state will appoint an emergency manager with total authority over budgetary matters. WDET's Quin Klinefelter reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF PEOPLE CHANTING)

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2:00am

Tue April 3, 2012
Animals

Zoos As A Choice To Polar Bear's Melting Environment

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We're going to look now at an animal whose habitat is slowly disappearing. Polar bears live on sea ice. But Arctic sea ice, which used to stay frozen in the summertime, is now slowly disintegrating. This poses a unique challenge for scientists, government officials and others. How do you preserve the polar bear and prevent it from going extinct decades from now? Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post has been reporting on this issue. And she joins us now to talk about what she's learned.

Juliet, good morning.

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