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NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports. One of the most respected news magazines in the world, Morning Edition airs Monday through Friday on Public Radio East.

Morning Edition is hosted by NPR's Steve Inskeep and NPR's Renee Montagne. Kelly Batchelor is the PRE host coordinating regional news, weather, and features of interest to our Eastern North Carolina audiences.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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I'm David Greene in Des Moines, Iowa, at Smokey Row, a coffeehouse in Des Moines.

Renee, you should really see this. It is - I mean it is hundreds of people, I think, just packed in here.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Taco Literacy Class; Sake-Flavored KitKats

Feb 1, 2016
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Good morning, I'm David Greene in Des Moines, Iowa. Tonight is caucus night, and here's your weather forecast. Snow, possible blizzard conditions in parts of this state. This has campaigns nervous about voter turnout - although, not this one.

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Politics In The News: Iowa Caucuses

Feb 1, 2016
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And in Des Moines, Iowa, I am David Green. And, Renee, I'm at a coffeehouse in Des Moines with - this is a first for me - a live audience.

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I'm comfortable to talk about anything, Bob Woodruff says. I'm lucky to be alive.

In January 2006, Woodruff stood on the precipice of stardom as the new co-anchor, together with Elizabeth Vargas, of ABC's World News Tonight, the heir in many ways to the legendary globetrotting anchor Peter Jennings, who had died of cancer the previous summer.

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Dr. João Ricardo de Almeida is part of a team in Brazil that's investigating the cases of microcephaly — brain damage in infants born to mothers who contracted Zika virus during their pregnancy. He's examined dozens of brain scans, and he says that the scans are "very scary to look at."

"You see very profound abnormalities," says the neuro-radiologist. "Usually it's striking."

And they're notably different than scans of other babies born with the birth defect.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter says he's hoping this year to drive the Islamic State out of the two largest and most important cities in its self-proclaimed caliphate, Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.

In an interview with NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, Carter offered a broad assessment of U.S. military operations, saying the U.S. was winding down in Afghanistan, while looking to step up the tempo in Syria and Iraq.

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