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Produced and distributed by NPR in Washington, D.C., Morning Edition draws on reporting from correspondents based around the world, and producers and reporters in locations in the United States. This reporting is supplemented by NPR Member Station reporters across the country as well as independent producers and reporters throughout the public radio system.

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

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All right. And our last word in business today is snakebite.

Trombonist Paul Tanner Dies At 95

Feb 8, 2013

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The musician Paul Tanner has died. If you're not a close reader of liner notes, you may never have heard his name but generations of Americans know his music.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "IN THE MOOD")

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An asteroid the size of an office building will zoom close by Earth next week, but it's not on a collision course, NASA says.

Still, some people think this near-miss should serve as a wake-up call.

"It's a warning shot across our bow that we are flying around the solar system in a shooting gallery," says Ed Lu, a former astronaut and head of the B612 Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting humanity from asteroids.

The asteroid known as 2012 DA14 was first spotted last year by astronomers in Spain. It's thought to be about 150 feet across and made of rock.

Congress likes to say it no longer does earmarks, the provisions that direct federal dollars to serve local interests or campaign supporters. And though that may be true, it's also a fact that targeted provisions are still useful in moving legislation — even critical legislation like the bill that pulled Washington back from the fiscal cliff last month.

More than 200 houses of worship damaged in Superstorm Sandy have applied for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But given the separation of church and state, it's unclear whether federal funds are available to them.

The sanctuary of Temple Israel of Long Beach, N.Y., was flooded with more than 10 feet of saltwater in some places, says Rabbi David Bauman.

"Roughly 5 to 7 feet [of water] in most, and there were surges — particularly in our mechanical room — that went upwards of 12 to 14 feet," he says.

How Happy Is America?

Feb 8, 2013

In recent years, Canada, France and Britain have added measures of citizen happiness to their official national statistics. The U.S. government is now considering adopting a happiness index as well.

This makes a certain amount of sense. Everything a government does — hiring soldiers, building bridges, providing pensions — is supposed to make citizens happy.

When Bonnie Brown was pregnant with her daughter, Myra, she says she felt a mix of joy and anxiety.

"I hadn't ever been pregnant before," she says. "I never had really an idea of how to take care of a baby."

Brown, who is intellectually disabled, works at Wendy's while raising Myra as a single mom. Despite her disability, she says she never felt like her daughter was too much to handle.

"I think because I'm different it might seem hard for me, but I was going to give it all I got no matter what," she tells Myra, now 15, during a visit to StoryCorps.

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We've heard that necessity breeds invention. Well, so does discomfort. This weekend, 200 million Chinese are traveling home for the Chinese New Year. And for some this means entire days on standing room only trains.

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NPR's business news starts with Boeing's battery problem.

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And we have news of another fire sale. Our last word in business today is the buy of a lifetime.

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In exchange for multibillion-euro bailouts, Greece was required to sell state-owned assets. But the sweeping privatization process is behind schedule. In addition, European governments are nervous that Chinese, Russian and Arab companies are lining up to take advantage of the Greek fire sale.

Ecuador's Yasuni National Park is one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. But there's a complication: The park sits on top of the equivalent of millions of barrels of oil.

This creates a dilemma.

Ecuador prides itself on being pro-environment. Its constitution gives nature special rights. But Ecuador is a relatively poor country that could desperately use the money from the oil.

One of the oldest known workplace dangers is breathing in tiny bits of silica, which is basically sand. Even the ancient Greeks knew that stone cutters got sick from breathing in dust. And today, nearly 2 million American workers are exposed to silica dust in jobs ranging from construction to manufacturing.

John Brennan, President Obama's choice to lead the CIA, can look forward to a grilling Thursday on Capitol Hill. As Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser, he has been associated with some controversial policies, including the use of armed drones. Brennan's nomination comes before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and members from both parties have their questions ready.

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Good morning, I'm David Greene.

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NPR's business news begins with an ending.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Patty Andrews, the last surviving member of the Andrews Sisters trio, died of natural causes at her home in Los Angeles on Wednesday, according to her management. She was 94. The group's career spanned more than five decades and resulted in 90 million records and 46 top 10 hits.

The youngest of the sisters, Patricia Marie Andrews was just 19 when the trio became an overnight sensation crooning "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen," a tune originally written for the Yiddish theater. Patty not only sang lead; she was clearly the star of the group.

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It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep, with Renee Montagne. Good morning.

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