Renee Montagne

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One thing about the economic pain Spain, and other EU countries, are now experiencing - it's offering something of a break to President Obama in this campaign season, where he's trying to fend off Republican attacks on his handling of the sluggish American economy. In a White House press conference this morning, the president was able to point to Europe's financial woes as a drag on the economy here in the U.S.

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We're going to hear now about some surprising consequences of the weak housing market in this country. It turns out that the value - even on a paper - of a home can affect the college choices that a family makes.

NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam regularly joins us to discuss social science research. He's here this morning to talk about those new findings. And good morning.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.

MONTAGNE: This new research, describe it for us.

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The first free presidential election in Egypt is in its second day. Thirteen candidates are vying to replace Hosni Mubarak in what many there say is a wide-open race. The last election in 2005 saw Mubarak winning 87 percent of the vote against another candidate, a candidate he later threw in jail. Voter turnout yesterday was so strong, election officials kept polling stations open across Egypt for an additional hour.

The movie being talked about the most at this year's Cannes Film Festival in the south of France is Michael Haneke's Amour. It's the 65th anniversary of the festival.

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For the second straight year, one of the NBA's greatest players is leaving the playoff party early. Kobe Bryant and his Los Angeles Lakers are out. Last night, they lost their second round series against the young and explosive Oklahoma City Thunder, four games to one. The Thunder's big three - Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden - combined for 70 points in Oklahoma City's 106-90 win. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us now on the line.

Good morning.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi.

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And now we go to southern Afghanistan for an update on an incident that threatened to undermine America's mission in this country. In March, an American soldier massacred villagers near a remote outpost west of Kandahar. An Army sergeant, Robert Bales, is in custody, accused of that crime.

I reached NPR's Tom Bowman who is in Kandahar now, just back from the area where Sgt. Bales was assigned.

And Tom, I understand you were just a mile or two from where those killings took place.

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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.

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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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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.

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Joining us now for some analysis of this ever-changing primary season is NPR's Cokie Roberts. Good morning.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.

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