Renee Montagne

Renee Montagne is co-host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most widely heard radio news program in the U.S. She has hosted the newsmagazine since 2004, broadcasting from NPR West in Culver City, California, with co-host Steve Inskeep in NPR's Washington, D.C. headquarters.

Montagne is a familiar voice on NPR, having reported and hosted since the mid-1980s. She hosted All Things Considered with Robert Siegel for two years in the late 1980s, and previously worked for NPR's Science, National and Foreign desks.

Montagne traveled to Greenwich, England, in May 2007 to kick off the yearlong series, "Climate Connections," in which NPR partnered with National Geographic to chronicle how people are changing the Earth's climate and how the climate is impacting people. From the prime meridian, she laid out the journey that would take listeners to Africa, New Orleans and the Antarctic.

Since 9/11, Montagne has gone to Afghanistan nine times, travelling throughout the country to speak to Afghans about their lives. She's interviewed farmers and mullahs, poll workers and President Karzai, infamous warlords turned politicians and women fighting for their rights. She has produced several series, beginning in 2002 with 'Recreating Afghanistan" and most recently, in 2013, asking a new generation of Afghans — born into the long war set off by the Soviet invasion — how they see their country's future.

In the spring of 2005, Montagne took Morning Edition to Rome for the funeral of Pope John Paul ll. She co-anchored from Vatican City during a historic week when millions of pilgrims and virtually every world leader descended on the Vatican.

In 1990, Montagne traveled to South Africa to cover Nelson Mandela's release from prison, and continued to report from South Africa for three years. In 1994, she and a team of NPR reporters won a prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of South Africa's historic presidential and parliamentary elections.

Through most of the 1980s, Montagne was based in New York, working as an independent producer and reporter for both NPR and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter/editor for Pacific News Service in San Francisco. She began her career as news director of the city's community radio station, KPOO, while still at university.

In addition to the duPont Columbia Award, Montagne has been honored by the Overseas Press Club for her coverage of Afghanistan, and by the National Association of Black Journalists for a series on Black musicians going to war in the 20th century.

Montagne graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, as a Phi Beta Kappa. Her career includes serving as a fellow at the University of Southern California with the National Arts Journalism Program, and teaching broadcast writing at New York University's Graduate Department of Journalism.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

News is slowly spreading across Afghanistan of President Obama's midnight visit to Kabul. And Afghans woke up this morning to a darker kind of news as well - that car bomb attack on a foreign aid compound little more than a mile from where the two presidents met hours earlier. NPR Kabul bureau chief Quil Lawrence joins me here in Kabul.

And let's start with this morning's attack. Tell us what you know about it at this point in time.

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The scandal that's engulfed Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is taking center stage in London, at the Royal Courts of Justice, once again. Here, his son James Murdoch.

JAMES MURDOCH: I swear by the mighty God that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

North Korea says a three-stage rocket on the launch pad will carry a weather satellite into space. The launch is intended to mark the centenary of the birth of North Korea's founder, but the move has been condemned by the United Nations, the United States and North Korea's neighbors.

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Joining us for some analysis of last night's results and a look at the presidential contest ahead is NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson. Good morning.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Clearly another good night for Mitt Romney, especially when it came to the delegate count. What exactly has he won?

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is in Afghanistan on a long-planned trip that has turned into something of a fence-mending mission. A U.S. soldier is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians. That attack is the latest in a series of negative events involving U.S. forces.

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is in Afghanistan. It's a long-planned trip that's turned into something of a fence-mending mission. Yesterday, Panetta met with U.S. Marines and Afghan troops in the southern province of Helmand.

U.S. officials have not released the name of the U.S. soldier accused of killing some 16 Afghan civilians in southern Afghanistan over the weekend. The shootings come as anti-Americanism already is boiling over in Afghanistan after U.S. troops burned Qurans last month.

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Lawyers for BP, and thousands of people affected by the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill, had been expected, for a long time, to be in a New Orleans courtroom this morning for a civil trial. Instead, they're reviewing a deal to settle the case.

BP estimates it would pay nearly $8 billion in the settlement. In exchange, the company would avoid revisiting, in a courtroom, what led up to the drilling rig explosion that killed 11 men and poured massive amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

In certain parts of Syria, the violence is unending and it is mainly focused on the city of Homs. For the past 25 days, the Syrian army has been bombarding the neighborhoods of Homs that have been resistant to the government.

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The Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and leading the pack with 11 nominations is the 3D movie "Hugo." It's about a Paris street urchin who befriends one of the inventors of cinema. "Hugo" was nominated for best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay, among others. NPR's Neda Ulaby joins us to talk about the Oscar nominations, and good morning.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: What else was nominated for best picture?

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This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The body of North Korea's late leader Kim Jong Il lies in state today in a glass coffin in the capital, Pyongyang. In the three days since his death, little has emerged about what's next in North Korea, other than a state funeral has been set for next week.

Governments around the region are monitoring for signs of instability, and they're also debating how to respond to the events.

North Korea has announced its leader Kim Jong Il has died at age 69. The state news agency reports that he had a heart attack.

House Republicans are rejecting a bipartisan compromise approved overwhelmingly by the Senate Saturday. The deal would have extended the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits through February.

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This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

So, it looks like the federal government is not going to shut down at midnight tonight. That's good news. Congressional negotiators say they've reached an agreement to move forward on a trillion-dollar-plus spending plan. It would fund the government through October. There are still some end-of-year issues that haven't been resolved.

Hundreds Of LA Police Takeover Occupy Camp

Nov 30, 2011

Police in LA moved in overnight at the camp of Occupy protesters. The raid began two days after protesters were told to leave. Police took also took similar action in Philadelphia.

The child sex abuse scandal at Penn State is raising more and more questions about who knew what, when and what actions were, or were not taken. Elements of the unfolding scandal remain quite confusing. Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is charged with abusing young boys.

Shares of the daily deal company Groupon hit the Nasdaq stock exchange Friday after an IPO raised about $700 million. The company has been dogged by investor concerns over management and questions about its accounting methods.

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Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with congratulations to R.J. Balson and Son. The butcher shop on the south coast of England has been named Britain's oldest family-run business, and is it ever. Balson's began selling sausages and bacon in 1535 when Henry VIII was king and still married to Ann Boleyn. Twenty-five generations later, owner Richard Balson tells the Daily Mail his son will join the business next year, and that son has a son, too. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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Arizona is one of a handful of states that hands the redistricting to an independent commission, instead of its legislature. At least that's what's supposed to happen. In a stunning move last night, though, the Arizona Senate and its governor ousted the head of the state's independent commission.

NPR's Ted Robbins joins us from our bureau in Tucson to explain. Good morning, Ted.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: What exactly happened?

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ARI SHAPIRO, host: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host: And I'm Renee Montagne.

The European Union is facing the worst crisis in its history and it has to the potential to affect us all. The meltdown in Greece could eventually imperil the entire global financial system. Today in Brussels, Europe's leaders will make another attempt at finalizing a eurozone survival plan. But time is short and the stakes could not be higher. The key players have big national issues to worry about.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

A dramatic prisoner swap is underway now, between Israel and the Palestinians. After five years in captivity, Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, is free. He is in Israel, and we'll go there in a moment.

First, to the West Bank and the city of Ramallah. That's where NPR's Peter Kenyon is, surrounded by a jubilant crowd of Palestinians.

Good morning, Peter.

PETER KENYON, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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The world of IndyCar racing has lost one of its stars. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon was killed yesterday during an IndyCar race in Las Vegas. Wheldon was trailing a pack of cars when he was unable to avoid a massive pile-up.

(SOUNDBITE OF BROADCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Oh, here we go. (Unintelligible) a huge crash. Up at turn number two. Oh, multiple cars involved.

President Obama has been going around the country trying to rev up crowds demanding Congress pass his jobs bill. But besides Republicans, some Democrats also oppose Obama's plan.

A decade ago, al-Qaida leaders were last seen in eastern Afghanistan, in the city of Jalalabad, before they vanished. And as the years went on, Jalalabad, which lies in the mountainous region along the Pakistan border, became a center of insurgent activity.

Now, it is a city still struggling to stay peaceful.

Jalalabad's deputy police chief knows what it means to be under attack. His hands bear the angry red scars left from the severe burns he suffered last winter, when suicide bombers overran a bank in the city.

Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak goes on trial in Cairo today along with his two sons and top officials from his government. Mubarak could face the death penalty if he is convicted of ordering attacks on protesters in Tahrir Square that left some 800 dead.

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