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Renee Montagne

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And the winner is...

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The International Olympic Committee has the honor to announce the host city of the Olympic Winter Games 2022 - Beijing.

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MONTAGNE: Yes, Beijing, host of the 2008 summer games will now get the honors for the 2022 Winter Olympics as well, the first city to ever host both summer and winter games. NPR's Anthony Kuhn is in Beijing and joins us now. Good morning.

ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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On the shores of California one recent morning, female Marines were heaving heavy chains to secure amphibious assault vehicles that soon would roll into the waves.

The exercise was one part of a yearlong experiment aimed at settling the question of whether women can handle the punishing world of ground combat.

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All this week, Morning Edition is talking about drums and drummers. For the fifth and final installment in "Beat Week," Renee Montagne spoke with Mz. Bobbye Hall, a studio percussionist who has recorded with everyone from Bob Dylan to Carole King to Stevie Wonder.


Mz. Bobbye Hall is a liner-note legend. She plays the congos, bongos, triangles, tambourines — you name it — to give other people's music shimmer and life. Since becoming a studio musician as a kid in the '60s, she's played on a string of hits from Motown to L.A.

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OK, it's Black Friday, and you know what that means.

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MONTAGNE: Stampeding customers crashing through doors, elbowing and shoving to get in on some incredible bargains.

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

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And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Herat is one of the most graceful cities in Afghanistan. Its traditions go back to the Persian empire, with its exquisite blue and green glass, and its thriving poetry scene.

Now Herat is struggling with a darker side: drug addiction at a higher rate than almost anywhere else in the country.

In a dusty ravine on the outskirts of the city, Ahmad, a scruffy 20-year-old, is striking a match to inhale heroin.

It's a simple act he repeats throughout his day — heating a dark slab of heroin paste smeared on a bit of foil so he can smoke it.

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And I'm Renee Montagne.

The Supreme Court this morning, upheld a ban on using racial preferences in admissions to the public universities of Michigan. The ban was enacted by referendum as an amendment to the state constitution in 2006 and struck down by a lower court. Today, the justices voted 6-to-2 to say the federal courts could not do that and the ban had to stand.

NPR's Nina Totenberg joins us now to talk more about this. Good morning.

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And as our listeners, Renee is just back from Afghanistan. Renee, I should say welcome back.

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Thank you very much, Steve. Glad to be back.

INSKEEP: It wasn't easy to report in Afghanistan either.

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As Afghans prepare to choose a new president Saturday, it's hard not to notice a striking contradiction.

The three leading candidates are all urbane, Westernized men inclined to wear suits and ties in public. And yet, as they crisscross this impoverished, traditional country, they've all had to remake themselves to some degree, in their dress, their speech and even in the surprising choices they've made for vice presidential running mates, who range from notorious warlords to a woman.

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

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NPR's business news starts with Starbucks after hours.

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