David Greene

David Greene is host of NPR's Morning Edition, with Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne.

For two years prior to taking on his current role in 2012, Greene was an NPR foreign correspondent based in Moscow covering the region from Ukraine and the Baltics, east to Siberia. During that time he brought listeners stories as wide ranging as Chernobyl 25 years later and Beatles-singing Russian Babushkas. He spent a month in Libya reporting riveting stories in the most difficult of circumstances as NATO bombs fell on Tripoli. He was honored with the 2011 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize from WBUR and Boston University for that coverage of the Arab Spring.

Greene's voice became familiar to NPR listeners from his four years covering the White House. To report on former President George W. Bush's second term, Greene spent hours in NPR's spacious booth in the basement of the West Wing (it's about the size of your average broom closet). He also spent time trekking across five continents, reporting on White House visits to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Rwanda, Uruguay – and, of course, Crawford, Texas.

During the days following Hurricane Katrina, Greene was aboard Air Force One when President Bush flew low over the Gulf Coast and caught his first glimpse of the storm's destruction. On the ground in New Orleans, Greene brought listeners a moving interview with the late Ethel Williams, a then-74-year-old flood victim who got an unexpected visit from the president.

Greene was an integral part of NPR's coverage of the historic 2008 election, covering Hillary Clinton's campaign from start to finish, and also focusing on how racial attitudes were playing into voters' decisions. The White House Correspondents Association took special note of Greene's report on a speech by then-candidate Barack Obama, addressing the nation's racial divide. Greene was given the association's 2008 Merriman Smith award for deadline coverage of the presidency.

After President Obama took office, Greene kept one eye trained on the White House and the other eye on the road. He spent three months driving across America – with a recorder, camera and lots of caffeine – to learn how the recession was touching Americans during President Obama's first 100 days in office. The series was called "100 Days: On the Road in Troubled Times."

Before joining NPR in 2005, Greene spent nearly seven years as a newspaper reporter for the Baltimore Sun. He covered the White House during the Bush administration's first term, and wrote about an array of other topics for the paper: Why Oklahomans love the sport of cockfighting, why two Amish men in Pennsylvania were caught trafficking methamphetamine and how one woman brought Christmas back to a small town in Maryland.

Before graduating magna cum laude from Harvard in 1998 with a degree in government, Greene worked as the senior editor on the Harvard Crimson. In 2004, he was named co-volunteer of the year for Coaching for College, a Washington, D.C., program offering tutoring to inner-city youth.

It's like a scene from an old Soviet movie playing out before our eyes in 2014.

Dozens of young Crimeans, with innocent faces and crisp blue uniforms, stand at attention and declare oaths of loyalty to Russia.

They are the first class of Crimean recruits training to be officers in Russia's Interior Ministry. Many will likely serve in the domestic security service, the modern-day KGB. Soviet music blares as the young trainees march beneath the looming statue of Lenin in the city square.

Nearby, the Russian flag flaps above a government building.

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Morning Edition host David Greene and producer Lauren Migaki traveled to Crimea to see what's changed since Russia sent troops in this spring and shortly afterward annexed the territory despite widespread international criticism. Their stories will be on air and online this week.

We're traveling through flat farmland on a two-lane road in the far north of Crimea, when suddenly it's interrupted by a checkpoint. Actually, Russia now considers it the border, a physical reminder of the new divide between Russia and Ukraine — and the West.

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Rochester, N.Y., was once the imaging capital of the world, home to Kodak, Xerox and the eye care company, Bausch + Lomb.

Led by these companies, the manufacturing sector once employed 60 percent of Rochester's workforce. Now, that's less than 10 percent. And so, like many cities in this country, Rochester is trying to build something new from its manufacturing heritage.

If you want to understand the story of Rochester, says historian Carolyn Vacca, you need to come to High Falls, where from a bridge visitors see a waterfall and a panoramic view of downtown.

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Every morning, Manuel Landin Rodriguez walks past the luxurious state-owned Xanadu Mansion hotel and crosses its neatly trimmed golf course all the way to its edge. He camps out on the cliff overlooking the turquoise Caribbean waters that make the resort town of Varadero on Cuba's northern coast so famous.

Landin, a retired physical education teacher, comes to the spot to fish. When we meet him on the cliffs, he's trying to catch mojarras -- small silver fish that hang out in the shallow waters to avoid sharks — which he will use to feed his family of five.

When you arrive at the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, you're greeted with a barrage of billboards with the popular Cuban government slogan promoting tourism: "Cuba, where the past and the present converge."

Perhaps nowhere on the island is that statement more true than in the city of Mariel, about 30 miles from Havana on the northwestern coast.

When Americans think of business in Cuba, they think of government-owned enterprise. And the vast majority of Cubans do work for the state.

But in recent years, private business owners known as cuentapropistas have flourished on the island.

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And so as Leila just told us, Egyptians appear ready to elect a military man - which in a way seems amazing considering the images we remember from three years ago. At that point, a military dictator, Hosni Mubarak, was removed from power. At that time, it was NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro in Cairo. She was witnessing all of the celebration.

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Two large objects showed up satellite images bobbing in a remote part of the Indian Ocean.

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Good morning, I'm David Greene.

It is Twitter's 8th birthday. To celebrate, the site has put out a tool that lets you see any user's very first tweet. Some were naturals. Warren Buffett's first tweet, Warren is in the house, has been retweeted more than 40,000 times. Others might cringe at their first contribution. Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, tweeted about his dance lessons: No pain, no gain. Awkward but fun this dancing, I still can't do macarena. That's what he wrote.

Australian officials say they are searching the Indian Ocean southwest of Perth after satellite images found objects that are possibly connected to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

A Chinese property developer has reportedly paid close to $2 million for a golden-haired Tibetan mastiff puppy. The lion-looking dogs have become a status symbol for China's very rich.

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Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Michael Smith, of Norridgewock, Maine, has a really convincing tattoo of a handgun on his lower stomach. This week, he woke up to a crew cutting trees outside. He marched out to tell them to stop with his shirt off. A bit later he woke up again, to a SWAT team with rifles trained. The tree cutters had mistaken his tattoo for a real gun tucked in his belt.

Smith told the police, quote, "I got plans today. I don't want to get shot." He was not charged.

Edd Joseph bought a game console online, but he never received it. So he took revenge by texting 37 full Shakespeare plays to the seller's phone. That's nearly 30,000 messages.

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NPR's business news starts with payouts in Bangladesh.

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It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Just before residents of Crimea voted to break away from Ukraine and join Russia, a group of U.S. senators visited Kiev. They were showing support for Ukraine's new government, and also offering U.S. help. Among them was Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin. We reached him by phone in Chicago, and asked if the U.S. and Europe have to accept that Crimea is now part of Russia.

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NPR's business news begins with a split for Lands' End.

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GREENE: Lands' End, the outdoor clothing retailer, will spin off from Sears Holdings Corporation next month and operate as a standalone, publicly traded company.

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Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Recently Christopher Viatafa did something many of us have done: He Googled his own name. But what he found wasn't so normal. It was his own face, on Northern California's Most Wanted website. He allegedly pulled a gun at a party last summer and fired it into the ground. In what authorities are calling an act of good judgment after a very bad call, Viatafa turned himself in. He's been charged with assault with a deadly weapon. He's now listed as a captured fugitive.

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A few years ago, this song came out of nowhere, "Pumped Up Kicks" from Foster The People, an unsigned band from L.A. It became one of 2011's biggest hits.

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FOSTER THE PEOPLE: (Singing) All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you better run, better run, outrun my gun. All the other...

GREENE: Song, as you can hear, has a summer party sound. The lyrics though tell a much darker story.

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OK. We've gotten through Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year's. But if you're an NFL fan, the next holiday up is Wild Card Weekend. There is football on Saturday and Sunday. Four wild card teams facing four teams that won their divisions. And there are some pretty interesting storylines to cover. Let's cover them with NPR's Mike Pesca. Hey, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Storyline number one - not all the teams playing are wild cards. It is called that but they get to play divisional leaders, don't they?

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

This is a sound you might not expect to hear in a nation being torn up by violence.

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It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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And I'm David Greene.

Here's a way to look at the year 2013 for President Barack Obama: He began the year with two-thirds of Americas saying they approved of the job he was doing. He's ending the year with that number around 40 percent.

He began fresh off a hard-fought electoral victory, going into his second term with a pretty ambitious agenda. He's ending the year with many of his priorities stalled.

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Yesterday, Ukraine got a big holiday present from its neighbor, Russia, in the form of a multi-billion dollar bailout. And now everyone is trying to figure out what strings Russia attached, and whether this could be a sign that Ukraine, a country of some 45 million people, is aligning itself more closely with the East than the West.

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You're listening to MORNING EDITION on NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

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And I'm David Greene.

There's another milestone today in the long effort to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons. The international overseeing the effort is unveiling more details of its plan and this is all a bit complicated. The first stage could be the hardest - moving the chemicals overland in the middle of a civil war to a Syrian port.

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