National News

BJ Leiderman is the composer of the theme music heard on NPR's <em>Morning Edition</em>, <em>Weekend Edition</em> and <em>Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!</em>

The Man Behind The 'Morning Edition' Theme Music. Also, Lyrics!

Morning Edition is celebrating its 35th anniversary this week.

Over the years, many stories, voices and sounds have come and gone on the show. But there has remained one constant — our theme music.

The Morning Edition theme was written by BJ Leiderman in 1979. At the time, he was a struggling college student who wrote jingles on the side. He gave a demo tape of his music to a friend who worked at NPR.

On that tape was one little musical phrase that eventually became the Morning Edition theme music.

John Harris makes a weld for a test during a welding class at Spartanburg Community College in Spartanburg, S.C., on Oct. 22.

In South Carolina, A Program That Makes Apprenticeships Work

Several years ago, South Carolina had a problem: a shortage of skilled workers and no good way to train young people for the workforce. So at a time when apprenticeship programs were in decline in the U.S., the state started a program called Apprenticeship Carolina.

"We were really, really squarely well-positioned at the bottom," says Brad Neese, the program's director.

Alicia Morant, 53, poses with her son Oriol Puig, 29, in their apartment near Barcelona's Sagrada Familia church. Both mother and son support Catalan independence from Spain, but they have different reasons for doing so.

New Generation Of Catalonian Separatists Looks To Future, Not Past

Catalan independence used to be a cause for an older generation. The northeast Spanish region's push for freedom was long led by Catalans who suffered repression under the Spanish military dictator Francisco Franco, who died in 1975. They remember the years in which their Catalan language and holidays were prohibited.

The Smithsonian's Jonathan Blundell scans the fossilized foot bone — the metatarsal — of the Wankel T. rex to help create a digital 3-D image of the long-dead dinosaur.

America's T. Rex Gets A Makeover

The Wankel T. rex, named for the Montana rancher who found its bones, is destined to be the giant centerpiece for the new dinosaur hall at the National Museum of Natural History, in Washington, D.C. — the first nearly complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex the Smithsonian Institution has ever had. But when it arrived at the museum last April, the skeleton was in pieces — in a couple dozen packing crates.

Chevron Corp. supported several candidates in Richmond, Calif., where the company has been hoping to modernize a large oil refinery, seen here in 2010. None of the Chevron-backed candidates were elected.

Chevron Spends Big, And Loses Big, In A City Council Race

Tuesday's elections weren't just bad news for Democrats. Oil giant Chevron Corp. got clobbered in a hot local election in Richmond, Calif., that was widely seen as a referendum on the company itself.

The San Francisco Bay Area community of 107,000 people attracted national attention to its race for city council. Richmond is home to one of Chevron's two West Coast refineries. The city has long been known as a company town: Chevron is Richmond's largest employer and taxpayer.

Health workers sit at the emergency entrance of a Doctors Without Borders clinic in Monrovia. New data seem to show a decline in Ebola cases in Liberia, WHO says.

Ebola Cases Seen Declining In Liberia, WHO Says In New Update

There are currently 13,042 confirmed or suspected cases of the deadly Ebola virus in six countries, according to the World Health Organization. But the group says its latest figures also hold some good news, as the number of Ebola cases in hard-hit Liberia appear to be on the decline.

WHO released its data for the period up to Nov. 2 Wednesday, saying that Ebola has now been blamed for 4,818 reported deaths.

Marcus Lattimore retired from the NFL Wednesday, ending his hopes of returning from a knee injury to play for the San Francisco 49ers.

49ers Running Back Retires From NFL, Without Playing A Snap

Saying his knees wouldn't withstand the punishment the NFL deals out, running back Marcus Lattimore retired from the league Wednesday. Lattimore, 23, suffered serious injuries to both knees in college. He says he chose a higher quality of life over the promise of millions of dollars.

Berkeley's efforts to pass a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks faced opposition with deep pockets — but it also got sizable cash infusions from some big-name donors.

How Did Berkeley Pass A Soda Tax? Bloomberg's Cash Didn't Hurt

It's no secret that the American Beverage Association spent a lot of money to defeat soda tax initiatives in California this election season.

Members of the activist group ACT UP, which has fought for the rights of people with AIDS, held a demonstration in New York's Times Square in 1992.

A Veteran AIDS Activist Has Déjà Vu From Ebola Panic

The panic over Ebola in the U.S. gets a one-word comment from Gregg Gonsalves: "Crazy."

Actually, he has a few more words than that to say. In this week's online New England Journal Of Medicine, Gonsalves co-authored an essay called "Panic, Paranoia, and Public Health — The AIDS Epidemic's Lessons for Ebola."

Air Force personnel put up tents to house a 25-bed, U.S.-built hospital for Liberian health workers sick with Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia's capital. The hospital is scheduled to open this weekend.

U.S. Military Response To Ebola Gains Momentum In Liberia

Two new U.S. Ebola treatment facilities are expected to open in Liberia over the next week. One is a 25-bed field hospital near Monrovia's airport, specifically to treat local health care workers who get infected. The other is a 100-bed Ebola treatment unit, or ETU, in the town of Tubmanburg, north of Monrovia.

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